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Handel: Admeto re di Tessiglia, Opera in three Acts [Blu-ray] (2006)

Matthias Rexroth , Romelia Lichtenstein , Axel Köhler , Ute Feudel  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Handel: Admeto re di Tessiglia, Opera in three Acts [Blu-ray] + Handel: Tamerlano [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Matthias Rexroth, Romelia Lichtenstein, Mechthild Bach, Tim Mead, Howard Arman
  • Directors: Axel Köhler, Ute Feudel
  • Writers: George Frideric Handel, Aurelio Aureli, Ortensio Mauro
  • Producers: Opernhaus Halle, Handel-Festspiele Halle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (DTS-HD 7.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 196 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001QUL6UG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,867 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

George Frideric Handel's Admeto is considered one of the most successful operas produced in the
first half of the 18th century. Along
with Radamisto, Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano, Rodelinda and Alessandro, which were also written in this period, Admeto belongs
to Handel's so-called London operas - works he composed for the Royal Academy of Music. Though born in Halle, Germany, Handel
spent most of his adult life in London and became a British subject in 1727.
Axel Köhler, the celebrated counter-tenor who is active in Munich, Halle and Berlin now also well known for his work as a director
- has brought Admeto into the modern era in timeless style by the skilful application of imaginative theatrical digressions. Köhler's
production at the Halle Opernhaus revisits a work that encompasses comedy, tragedy and almost absurd grotesqueness and gives it
a convincing metaphor in the form of a modern hospital.
The recording of ADMETO on this Blu-Ray forms the highlight and also the conclusion of our Handel Festival cycle, which began four
years ago with TAMERLANO, and was followed by TESEO.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(3)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great singing spoiled by offputting staging & costuming November 15, 2009
Verified Purchase
The booklet accompanying this BD is much better than most and gives a good account of the plot and attempts at explaining the philosophy behind the staging adopted by countertenor/director Axel Kohler. The music is among the best composed by Handel and the artists involved in this product generally handle their roles well although I was less impressed with Melanie Hirsch as her voice was often overshadowed by others.

As with many Baroque operas, the plot is based on ancient myth and is not always easy to follow. So why add in the distractions of inappropriate costumes such as Hercules dressed in a shiny plastic black suit and props like a modern chromed hospital bed, a bright red delivery van and an aluminium suitcase? I can accept some modern settings of operas but it is just so far out at times in Admeto it destroys enjoyment and would seem totally unnecessary.

The cover blub proclaims "Axel Kohler, the internationally renowned countertenor - now also famed for his work as a director - has brought Admeto into the modern era in timeless style by the skilful application of imaginative theatrical digressions. Kohler's production at the Halle Opernhaus revisits a work that encompasses comedy, tragedy and almost grotesqueness, couching it in the convincing metaphor of a modern hospital".

Sorry but my reaction has centred mainly on the grotesque side of what is presented and find the metaphor of the modern hospital utterly unconvincing. Come on, how is resurrection from Hades by mythical characters convincing when the set revolves around a modern hospital bed? The plot is complex enough in Handel operas with women often playing men's parts in mythical stories which are even more unbelievable than most, and they certainly do not increase my enjoyment by "moderisation".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable with great audio/video quality June 28, 2009
If considering a purchase of this item, you should probably read the reviews of the DVD version. Having read them before I played the blu-ray version, I was surprised at how pleased I was. The production is original and unusual, but I enjoyed it and felt it did not distract from the music.

I liked all the soloists, including counter-tenor Matthias Rexroth in the title role.

The audio and video quality are excellent (I played the DTS-HD soundtrack). I would recommend this to anyone who likes Handel's operas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb in Several Ways September 14, 2010
You get a first rate musical performance of one of Handel's most tuneful operas. The blu-ray presentation is extremely fine. As noted by the reviewer at blu-ray dot com, the variety of black levels are something you can't get on an ordinary DVD. And then there is the very inventive comic pantomime that the performers engage in along with their singing duties. Two scenes were sensational: There was Trasimede dressing Antigona as the huntress Diana, accompanied by some delicious hunting horn music, in Act I; At the beginning of Act II, Hercules in a side splitting comic book manner takes over the reception room at Hades to rescue Alceste and some other unfortunate souls. Once you get into this fascinating production, you don't mind the updating at all. Handel done straight, with three and a quarter hours of da capo arias, is often a soporific experience.
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