Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wagner - Siegfried / Levine Jerusalem Behrens Morris Metropolitan Opera |
Levine Ring Cycle Part 3
Actors: Siegfried Jerusalem, Hildegard Behrens, James Morris, Heinz Zednik, Birgitta Svendén
Director: Brian Large
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
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NOT a dull production
Theodore Shulman | NYC | 05/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I disagree strongly with the reviewer who complained that this production is "dull". It is rescued from dullness by Heinz Zednik, the genius who plays Mime, and by fantastic sets. Also, James Morris is at his peak as the Wanderer, totally convincing visually and vocally (except for his American accent) and he's the only one I've heard so far who can sing the line: "Ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha-ha-ha, der witzigster bist du ..." with all the "ha"s correctly timed. Everyone else--especially Hans Hotter--consistantly screws up this line, even in studio recordings.
Ekkehard Wlaschiha hits a homer as Alberich. Superbly menacing as he threatens the Wanderer and a great bully when he fights with Mime over the treasure. He is not dark and dense; his voice doesn't punch you as some do, but his high notes are excellent.
DESPITE FLAWS, A VERY GOOD PRODUCTION WITH GREAT SOUND AND P
Jesse Knight | woburn ma usa | 11/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Met production returns to Wagner's original intentions, after decades of Bayreuth regietheater productions. While these were interesting, they make what is already a complex story harder to grasp, at least for those new to opera. Although I know the ring quite well, I find regietheater Wagner gets annoying with repeated viewing. It tells me more about the stage director's ego than Wagner's hidden messages. Regietheater can be very good when the director has a worthwhile plan.
I have been able to watch many Wagner opera DVD. This Siegfried is much better than the others despite flaws in singing and staging.
Vocally this Siegfried is good by today's standards, but it's Brunnhilde and Siegfried do not compare to Nilsson and Windgassen on the 1962 recording conducted by Solti. In compensation, we get James Morris as the Wanderer on this DVD who out sings his mentor Hans Hotter on the 1962 recording. The remaining voices are equally good on both these versions.
Visually things are very good except for a Fafner which looks like a heap of dirty rags proped up with broken broomsticks. Act one is as perfect as any Wagner staging could be with very realistic forging of the sword, lots of smoke and sparks, plus superb acting by all, provided you accept a very impulsive Siegfried.
Act two before Fafner appears and after his demise is fine too. Act three has spectacular projected fire, followed by Brunnhilde awakening on a realistic rocky plateau. Behrens and Jerusalem do better than I thought they would with the duet. What's more they look good compared to some other wagnerian singers who shall be nameless. The total effect is very exciting.
This is the only Wagner opera DVD I have that stands up in the long run. The Met orchestra plays very well in this performance with only a few flubbed notes in act two. Otherwise it holds it's own despite (sound only) competition from Solti, Boehm and Furtwaengler. Levine has not always been a favorite conductor, but here he is inspired from beginning to end.
I have only checked out the stereo LPCM sound option which is clean, highly dynamic and demanding of playback equipment. Voices are a bit forward, but not enough to rob power from the orchestra. Again, this is as good a balance as one can expect live.
Considering that this is a great period for Mozart opera, but not for Wagner, this is a very welcome release."
A truly great production!
Raymond M. Jones | Albuquerque, New Mexico United States | 06/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a very grand production of Seigfried. Master Levine does an incredible job as conductor and his interpretation of Wagner is grand. I do not think the production is dull. The lighting is a bit dark at time, but I think that James Morris is superb as the Wanderer. As expected a very good Metropolitan Opera performance. This completes the Ring Cycle for me."
Sanyo (firstname.lastname@example.org) | LA,USA | 11/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although Jerusalem is not well-done, but none of the production from the MET is not GREAT,the scenery,well,was terrific and the last scene, I can only use the term "perfect" to describe that!"