Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wagner - Siegfried / Siegfried Jerusalem John Tomlinson Anne Evans Graham Clarke Daniel Barenboim Bayreuth Opera|
Actors: Siegfried Jerusalem, Graham Clarke, John Tomlinson, Günter von Kannen, Philip Kang
Director: Horant H. Hohlfeld
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
This legendary production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Harry Kupfer at Bayreuth Festival Opera and conducted by Daniel Barenboim, is considered one of the greatest productions of this titanic work ev... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Pater Ecstaticus | Norway | 08/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before the reader proceeds any further, I would first like to warn that I am quite biased towards this recorded performance of the Ring des Nibelungen, considering it simply the best overall - at least at this time in my ongoing (but somewhat slow) voyage of discovery through the world of recorded performances of the 'Ring'.
Anyhow, my first acquaintance with Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen was indeed through the 'Barenboim Ring'. I say 'Barenboim Ring', and not Barenboim/Kupfer/Schavernoch Ring, because I - probably like many others - first came to this production through the audio-only version, which on itself, so without the acting and the stage design, is already astonishing and quite captivating. But seeing it really does add to the experience.
Often, emotions color my view of what I see and hear on certain moments. And also, matters of personal taste come 'in the way'. I will not try to apologize for either ;-) But I will try to describe as clearly as I am able what I find so wonderful about this production of Siegfried and 'Der Ring' in general. Well, most of the singers are to my ears simply the best for their parts, utterly convincing. We have the towering talents of the excellent actor-singer Graham Clark (Mime), the energetic and heroic Siegfried by Siegfried Jerusalem, the enormously expressive, deeply resounding Wotan by John Tomlinson, the beautifully humane and warmly sympathetic Brunnhilde by Anne Evans ... And now I can at last SEE all of them, singing (and acting) together! What an enormous 'bonus' to see John Tomlinson sing/act his part! His expressive acting does add even more depth to his already deeply moving, highly charged singing.
Also, because all of the singers are obviously great actors as well, the end result is simply spellbinding. But as if this were not enough, we also have a beautiful stage-design. Here, there seems to be more room for discussion, because, of course, with stage-design more liberties can be (and are) taken than with the music or the singing. But to me, the gritty and often just bare stage-design (with completely dark background) really helps to focus attention to the music and singing. Miraculously evocative, how the third act is completely played out on a virtually bare stage, with the help of just (a few) relatively simple light and smoke effects!
Another highlight in my view is earlier, at the end of Act II, where a visibly amused Wotan, up high and out of Siegfried's sight, conjures up the Waldvogel himself, putting it gently upon the end of his outstretched spear, from where it starts to fly upwards, and ultimately offwards, showing Siegfried the way to his bride: a light at the back of the stage begins to glow ever brighter as the music becomes more and more ecstatic, wile the criss-crossing of fallen beams sink and rise slowly out of the way, opening up the way for Siegfried - and with the final fortissimo clang, a close-up of Wotan, victoriously swinging up his clenched fist. In my eyes, this is a stroke of genius of Kupfer: strengthening the fact that it is indeed Wotan's own wish ('Um der Goetter Ende graem't mich die Angst nicht, seit mein Wunsch es will!') that Siegfried should find and wake Brunnhilde, building Wotan's 'new hope for the future', beyond the destruction of the gods.
This Production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, and this Siegfried (my favorite opera in the Ring-cycle), are full of beautiful little (and big) inspirational and creative touches in acting, singing, music-making and stage-design, making it a most highly satisfying and most deeply emotionally engaging 'Gesamtkunstwerk' that really lifts my heart every time."
Region code hack yielded magnificent Act 3
Bonnie Gibbons | Berwyn, IL United States | 07/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I, too, waited months and was horrified to open a Region 2345 DVD, but sought help on the internet by plugging "region code hack" into a search engine. There is a website with a database of known hacks (usually by pressing an undocumented key sequence on your remote) and one of my players is not unofficially region free. Everyone, check this out before returning. I now have little room probably to review the performance, but I've seen every one on video and (despite the lack of a beautiful setting) this is the most glorious, radiant Act 3 duet certainly on video and maybe in my audio collection. I'm in the Chicago area and am certainly among those who are sorry to see Barenboim go -- in this Act 3 I never once found myself waiting for the next "highlight" due to Barenboim's mastery of pacing. (I find Levine's a better Acts 1-2, due to a better Mime and Wanderer.) Siegfried Jerusalem gives his usual 200% and does a very different interpretation of Siegfried than on the Levine, and is apparently in better voice. (And he drools less, but I have to complain about the hair and headband. The 80s were over, Harry.) Getting on the soapbox for a minute, anyone with the brains to appreciate this artist (and I know there are naysayers out there) needs to own both this and the Levine, and needs to immediately acquire the Janowski Ring cycle that just appeared on CD, to have his Siegmund. Graham Clark does his usual fine acting and mediocre singing. Tomlinson is an emotional Wanderer with a very bass-like timbre."
A TERRIBLE STAGING
Paco Rivero | Miami, FL | 08/17/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Somebody had the bright idea of setting this in a futuristic junk yard. Barenboim is great with the big orchestral moments, but that doesn't save this "Siegfried" from crashing badly. Jerusalem and Evans spin further and further away from each other until they might as well be singing in different productions. It all fell with a resounding thud, at least to my ears. I liked the first two installments of this Ring Cycle as well as the last (where both Jerusalem and Evans really shine), but this "Siegried" is a flop, although there is no denying that Barenboim can make the orchestra sound gorgeous -- even here."
Archie | Ottawa ON Canada | 09/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Siegfried is now available formatted for North America. I wish Amazon would remove those reviews which state otherwise, because the situation has obviously changed. I hope no one will be put off buying this by fear of not being able to play it.
The Kupfer/Barenboim RING is, in my opinion, musically, dramatically and conceptually the best currently available. Bring on Gotterdammerung."