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Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (2009)

Falk Struckmann , Michael Schade  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Falk Struckmann, Michael Schade, Adrian Erd, Ain Anger, Johan Botha
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 293 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002N5KDZ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,706 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Falk Struckmann, Ain Anger, Johan Botha, Adrian Eroed, Ricarda Merbeth, and Michael Schade star in this 2008 Vienna State Opera production of the Wagner opera conducted by Christian Thielemann on 2 DVDs.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(7)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost great. November 9, 2009
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As usual with filmed opera there is always a sense of what might have been. At best there seems to always be some element or two, or three, or four, that prevents the show from being totally satisfying. This film of Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg' is a classic case in point.

You have Christian Thielemann in the pit, a conductor who is regarded by many, including myself, as the greatest living interpreter of late romantic German opera; you have the Vienna Philharmonic doubling as the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, it gets no better than that; on a lesser level you have a penny plain, old-fashioned set by Otto Schenk, from a 34 year old production. It isn't one of those panoramic extravaganzas as you'd see at the Metropolitan Opera but it is charming, and aside from the astro turf in Act 3, satisfactorily fulfills the visual requirements for a small scale production of this vast opera. I should mention one gaff in the costuming, those terrible hats for the ladies in Act 3, in fact, the costuming for the chorus, generally speaking is a pretty mediocre. Schenk's productions are never very exciting in the couture department. And the skirmish at the end of Act 2 is directorially uninspired.

The casting of the two 'young' lovers is where the problem arises with this film. Ricarda Merbeth, Eva, is an unremarkable, matronly singer with a wobbly voice one size too large for this part. She is also not a very pleasant singer to watch up close. She makes some fairly alarming faces, bordering on gurning, when she sings, at times looking as if she were in the dentist's chair having her teeth cleaned. Her mouth is huge and it's open most of the time, even when not singing herself.
Her acting skills are for the big stage, not film.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Es klang so alt und war doch so neu November 7, 2009
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It's very hard to find traditional productions of Wagner's operas these days. The Met's Schenk production of der Ring has been put out to pasture this year, and next year's production promises to be radically new. Most European opera houses (and especially Bayreuth) are infested with Regietheater. This, in itself, isn't a bad thing, but not all interpretations are successful and thought-provoking; some, like the Bayreuth Meistersinger, are dismal failures.
Which makes this DVD very unusual, since it's basically a recent recording (2008) of a very tradional production of Meistersinger, conducted by a dynamic modern conductor. The production, in fact, is after the style of Otto Schenk, as seen on the Met DVD. (You might like to compare the two).
The conductor is Christian Thielemann, who brings a breath of fresh air into the piece, without losing its charm and humanity. He's extremely popular in Europe at the moment, and received thunderous applause at the end of the performance. Indeed, his interpretation was superb, but I felt that he could have moderated the volume a little, to give the singers more of a chance. The chorus was inaudible at times, and Falk Struckmann's voice began to fade towards the end - no doubt from trying to compete with a full orchestra with the volume turned up to eleven.
Meistersinger is an opera which demands good voices and good acting. For the most part, the soloists' performances were excellent. Struckmann's Sachs and Botha's Walter were beautifully sung and acted. Schade's David was also top-notch; he has a sublime voice, too. Adrian Eröd portrayed Beckmesser as somewhat of a fop, with a rather Gallic appearance, an unusual approach which worked very well. Ain Anger's Pogner was also worthy of mention - great presence.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Very Mixed Bag November 8, 2009
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There are a number of Meistersingers available on DVD; none of them would shock the sensibilities of all except the most delicate. The recording under review is a product of Otto Schenk dating from 1975; it has been a long time since I have seen the Met's Schenk production so comparisons can be made by others.

The virtues of this set are immeditately apparent: Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic. To this I would add Falk Struckmann. His is a great performance even if the voice is not as beautiful as Weikl's or Brendel's. He clearly has the measure of the role and it shows in everything he does. It is a superb performance.

Von Stolzing is Johan Botha, a tenor I knew of but had only heard in the gala that celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the State Opera: excerpts from Aida. Wagner is clearly his fach, and it must be said that he sang beautifully with poetic sensitivity. Alas the man is grossly overweight. For interesting comments the artist has made search out the Mostly Opera blog. Whether or not we agree with it we live in an age when appearance counts as much as voice and talent. Botha carries most of his weight around the center (not unlike Pavarotti) limiting his ability as an actor--he really doesn't try which is probably for the best. Heppner is heavy as well, but the weight is distributed differently--it makes a difference.

Another virtue of this set is Michael Schade as David. He, too, is putting on weight, but he could have been costumed better and masked his figure more adroitly.

No, the real fly in the oitment is the Eva. I have seen her name in various publications, but I truly hope I never hear her again: Ricarda Merbeth. It is a voice without distinction, real technique and style.
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