Annoying - Bad Singing
wenarto | Seattle, WA United States | 10/31/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"To see all the characters played by TWO people is truly annoying. For example, there are always two constanzes on stage, two blonchens, and two everyone...The singing is average, the stage is modern...it does not reflect traditional mozart style."
Shocking but good to see and listen
Jorge Fernandez Baca | Lima, Peru | 11/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You may find shocking to see all the characters, except the Pasha, splitted in two: the singer and the actor, and interacting mutually, but you will finally enjoy it. You must take into account that this is not a typical Opera but a Singspiel that has not a rigid libretto and the dialogues are opened to improvisation. I found the two female singers (Catherine Naglestad playing Constanze and Kate Ladner playing Blonde)quite good, as well as the tenor playing Pedrillo and the baritone playing Osmin. I recommend it to all Opera lovers."
S. T. Fine | East Setauket, NY | 03/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of Germany's most cutting edge opera houses, The Stuttgart State Opera, hired Hans Neuenfels in 1998 to prepare a new version of Entfuhrung. The result was voted Production of the Year in the annual Opernwelt awards, and is presented on DVD here. The orchestra is first rate, and though some of the singers seemed weak to me (e.g. Matthias Klink as Belmonte), they certainly didn't detract from Mozart's sublime score.
Neuenfels took the concept of singspiel and turned it into sing/spiel by dividing each of the roles into a singer and an actor. So, 2 Belmontes, 2 Osmins, 2 Pedrillos, 2 Blondes, and 2 Konstanzes (the exception is Pasha Selim, whom Mozart didn't give anything to sing). But it's not so simple as giving the spoken dialogue to the Actor and the sung to the Singer. Neuenfels cut much of Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger's original libreto and wrote a great deal of new dialogue so that the characters are often interacting with themselves or with each others doppelgangers (or even with the orchestra)!
If you like your operas to be old-fashioned stand-and-deliver warhorses in which tradition and the score rule, this production is not for you. On the other hand, if you find opera to be staid, you ought to give this a try. I thought it was brilliant."