Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wagner - Lohengrin|
Actors: John Treleaven, Emily Magee, Luana DeVol, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, Reinhard Hagen
Director: Peter Konwitschny
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
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How to deal with such confusion?
Wayne Leigh | Singapore | 04/11/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Firstly I did not buy this Lohengrin DVD. It was sent to me by abookerama by mistake. I actually ordered the one featuring Karan Armstrong. I found it too much of a hassle to return or exchange.
Imagine my horror when it turned out to be - 'Wagner in the classroom'!
I did try to sit down an appreciate it. I found that the only way to 'appreciate' this production is to deliberately ignore the libretto, and treat the whole damned thing as a generic story of classroom bully vs innocent girl who was rescued by an adult from outside! BUT even then! Does this mean that the outsider is a paedophile who prey on teenage schoolgirls? What about the ending - So our Lohengrin is an evil man? It is not at odds with the utopian music? What a mess! There is no logic to this production. Even though the original Lohengrin is based on Romantic nonsense as well, it has its own internal logic which needs to be followed.
Hats off to you guys who can actually appreciate such illogical stuff! You must be geniuses, or are you the ones who keep saying that the Emperor's new clothes look so gorgeous?
This updated production failed for me, at least. Nonetheless the singing and acting are excellent. And the asthetics of the classroom on stage is beautiful to behold. I suppose you cannot think too much or ask too many questions, or you'll be frustrated. Opera for idiots? Perhaps..."
Wagner in the classrooom = Eurotrash
Fabert | New York City, USA | 01/11/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Well, for a description of what this production is about, the reader will find all the necessary information in P. Sutherland's review. The director has disregarded all of Wagner's stage instructions and instead set the work in a classroom. Sutherland gives it 5 stars. I give it one. As they say, De gustibus non est disputandum -- there's no point in debating different tastes. The main thing I feel is important here, though, is that the potential customer is made aware that this *is* in fact a Eurotrash production, however one feels about that genre. If you like Eurotrash, then maybe you'll like this production. If you don't -- as I think is in fact the case with most people -- well, then chances are you won't. It's as easy as that, really.
I find Sutherland's final sentence rather typical: "But, I think Wagner, the control freak, would be rolling in his grave over it." That, however, seems not to bother either the reviewer or the man who put on this farce in the slightest. There is no need here to argue that Wagner's instructions were in any way 'sacred,' as the proponents of Eurotrash would so dearly have their opponents say. Innovation is legitimate. But when everyone involved has the clear feeling that the man who -- after all -- composed this work would have detested what these people are doing to it, it's difficult not to feel that something is a bit strange here.
Konwitschny's aim is clearly to deflate what he thinks of as the false pathos in Wagner's operas. He ostentatiously refuses to take any of the emotion in them seriously, and turns everything into a satire, a farce, a slapstick comedy. What is meant to be beautiful he heckles. What is meant to be heroic he ridicules. In the end, what we have is a cruel parody of Wagner, without the slightest resemblance to the original work of art.
Note too how little the cover of this DVD tells us of its contents. We get an idea that this is somehow not 'traditional,' but we receive no hints as to how radically ludicrous the whole concept is. My suspicion is that this is done intentionally, to fool potential customers into thinking that, well, it may be modern, but it surely cannot be *that* bad. It's still Wagner's music, after all. To that I can only reply that all of this is indeed so revolting I have to look away."
Agree with Fabert
CarlosQuintoCatolico | Denver | 08/01/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is indeed Eurotrash. It's not even worth owning to just listen to it; much less to watch it.
If you just want to listen get an old Bayreuth recording of Lohengrin.
The director does try very hard to ridicule Wagner's concept of heroism and fulfilling one's destiny through doing good.
The funny thing is that the music and the drama of Lohengrin are so powerful they overpower the stage production. You end up feeling sorry for the players as they desperately try to ridicule and downplay the drama but fail miserably. Bested by the great master Wagner, even from the grave!"