Avid Glass Fans only
Hobbes the Great | Boulder, Colorado United States | 06/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The music in this opera is superb, I have the soundtrack and listen to it often. Howerver, the sound quality is not just poor, the orchestra seems incapable of playing the music as it was meant to be (unlike the wonderfuly done soundtrack). The picture itself is also often grainy and too dark. Why then am I giving this three starts? Even poorly played, Glass's music is excellent, and the visual part of the opera is interesting. Since I am an avid Glass fan, I feel it was worth it to own a copy of this, but for others, I suggest getting the soundtrack, and then re-thinking buying this DVD."
How To Ruin Great Art 101
Cous-Cous Hobson | T E X A S | 08/23/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD should be used in University courses to illustrate how an inept director can ruin a magnificent work of art. Satyagraha is, bar none, my favorite piece of music. I was delighted to find out that I'd finally be able to SEE the music that had given me pleasure for so many years. I managed to make it through the first Act before left in disgust, realising that if I continued to watch, I may start hating my favorite opera. Yes, the DVD production is dreadful- WHY do I need to see what the action looks like from above? The staging was not developed with that perspective in mind. It's as if a child was given a video camera and he got distracted (often) by twirly, shiny things. The worst crime, though, is the inept, thoughtless staging. What did any of those images have to do with the story? I kept thinking "If Corky St. Clair [Waiting for Guffman] staged an opera, this is what it would look like". There was no thought behind it- the director simply puked a bunch of unrelated and trite ideas and images (I'm sure he thought they were clever and profound- please don't be fooled. Just because an "artist" has an idea doesn't make that idea art) onto the stage that had no bearing on the music being performed. The movement of the performers was clunky, amateurish and simply looked unrehearsed. Certain aspects of the production were so unnecessarily noisy that the music itself was drowned out. If they decided to finally put Satyagraha on DVD, why did they choose such a dreadful performance? Did Glass have any say in WHICH production was going to be preserved for posterity? Why would anybody want to preserve this? Please, help me understand! I'm going to go disinfect my eyeballs now."
A New Perspective
Anthony O'Sullivan | Dubai United Arab Emirates | 10/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have long been a Philip Glass fan and have heard the Philip Glass Ensemble in concert on a number of occasions, however this is the first opportunity I have had to witness a Glass opera.I have the region 2 version (ordered from Amazon.de) and Achim Freyer's 1983 production brings a new perspective to the music which I have listened to for years. Visually it is stunning and the set design and setpieces are amazing. The direction is superb allowing us to see the complexity of the production in a way which would not have been aparent to the live audience.The quality of the picture is grainy in places and a dolby remix would have been nice (the only audio option is PCM stereo) however this does not substantially detract from the enjoyment of the piece. The DVD booklet is adequate although I for one would have been interested in reading more about the concepts behind the set design. Subtitling is available in a number of languages.Interestingly when this production was shown on UK television in 1983 it produced the lowest viewing figures in the history of Channel 4 television !There may in the future be a better quality DVD production of this opera, however for the quality of this particular performance, this is an obvious must-have for Glass fans."