I wish Kultur would go bankrupt
Archie | Ottawa ON Canada | 12/14/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Every time I buy a Kultur production I wish I had not; and this is no exception. This company frequently acquires the rights to great operatic productions and then sends them out as inferior DVD's with no liner notes. I bought this because I am always on the lookout for a great Turandot, and this had promise.
As it turned out, the staging is extremely imaginative, dramatic and appropriate, and It is worth getting just for that. The acting, singing and orchestra are all quite good as well. BUT...
Why is it only in stereo? Why is the sound so flat? Why is the picture unclear? Why are there only English subtitles? Why can't the subtitles be turned off? Why are there no liner notes?
I think I know the reason. This recording was made in 1991. It is likely that Kultur acquired the right to a video recording and released it as a DVD without cleaning it, remastering it or improving it in any way. Typical for this company.
Every time I respond to a positive review for a production, buy it, and it turns out to be by Kultur, I find myself with similar complaints about shoddy work. This time I really really mean it: I Will Never Buy Anything By Kultur Again!!!
I wish all productions were done to the excellent standards of Opus Arte!"
An all round winner worthy of Puccini
Richard | Minneapolis, Mongolia | 09/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks to DVD we are discovering the operatic richness of Australia: Lehrman's Boheme and tenor David Hobson in Boheme, Orfeo and Gondoliers. And here is a fantastic Turandot. It tells the story straught - no directorial wierdness. The spectacle is awesome. Again and again I felt chills up my spine. The singers and conductor, none of whom I knew before, are more than up to snuff. I would say this is the best all round sung Turandot on DVD. Voss easily outclesses both Marton and Schnaut who are harsh and shrill. Sure she is an ice priness but that shouldn't apply to her voice. Voss can be icy but she can melt as well. This is the Turandot to own. Give yourselves over to wonder and awe."
Kultur's Turandot on DVD-Ealynn Voss
EB Browning | 01/29/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Just opened my new DVD and played it. I had been warned about Kultur, but it was worse than I expected. There is a distinct hissing sound throughout, like a worn-out old 33, or worse yet a 78.
View is somewhat muddy, and English subtitles cannot be turned off. Early in Act III, everything came to a halt. Tried everything, then I held this NEW DVD under warm water, dried it with a soft cloth, and tried again. This time Act III played to the end.
I am a Turandot nut. When it comes to the Gold Standard among DVD's, Marton/Domingo at the Met win hands down. This Austrialian Opera production is interesting, but did not stir me at all. No goosebumps. Ealynn Voss slumps horribly -- trying to look shorter than the hero? There is not a single closeup of her face, so you get no emotion. In the Third Act she keels over before the fatal kiss. She's supposed to keel over AFTER the kiss!
Costumes are mostly white -- very little contrast. Pretty bland.
Some passages were sung more slowly than I have ever heard before. This created a draggy, dull mood rather than the passion you hear in the Marton/Domingo version.
A mediocre DVD from Kultur. Avoid this company. I would not be excited by Voss's Turandot, but at least in a quality recording I would have been able to hear it. Joan in Bellingham, Washington
A Consideration or two
Progressive | Colorado | 06/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As the Director of Sales at Kultur, I have to interject a couple of points about the negative reviews here.
First and foremost, apologies for your disappointment. However, let me stress that Kultur is really not to blame. We were not involved in the filming or production of this work. We received a completed master, and that is what we have to work with. If, as occasionally happens, the sub-titles are permanently burned in, we have no way in which to remedy this. Equally, to change the audio from stereo to something more advanced requires access that we do not possess and cannot obtain.
In short, your criticisms may be valid but really should not be directed at Kultur; at least so far as our being the cause of these shortcomings. We are, in truth, only the messenger, and certainly do nothing whatsoever that would subtract from the quality of the DVD.
You may, or perhaps may not, be happy to learn that we are now distributing a number of the Opus Arte productions. They will be offered completely true to their original standards; additionally they are priced substantially lower than in the past.
That said, I personally enjoyed the singers and the sets in this Turandot. Please reconsider your wish of bankruptcy; it's not really fair, and not very kind!