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Opera Highlights Vol. III - Elektra, Salome, Capriccio, Tannhauser, Cosi fan Tutte, Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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(Jul 31, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Opera Highlights #03

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bryn Terfel, Waltraud Meier, Christine Schafer, Kiri Te Kanawa, Paul Groves
  • Directors: Luc Bondy
  • Format: Classical, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: German, English, Spanish, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: ArtHaus Musik
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QFBWFQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,321 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This is the third in the series of 'Opera Highlights' from ArtHaus Musik. This series contains excerpts from full-length opera DVDs all of which are otherwise available. Generally speaking these discs contain arias or scenes that are extractable without too much difficulty. They are not necessarily, though, the best known arias from their respective operas. As Amazon has not listed the precise contents on this DVD I shall do so. (I might point out that the DVD box does not list precise provenance data about these excerpts and I have added some of what I could find out, mostly by carefully studying the end credits on each segment of the DVD itself.) And I will add a few comments here and there. Each aria is preceded by a spoken introduction by the singer involved (except for Schäfer's aria, which is introduced by conductor Marc Minkowski)

From 'Entführung aus dem Serail' (Salzburg Festival, 1999):

1. Franz Hawlata, as Osmin, singing 'Solche hergelaufne Laffen' from Act I and 'O wie will ich triumphieren' from Act III. A modern dress version of 'Abduction from the Seraglio' which nonetheless has the characters in the Pasha's palace dressed in quasi-Arab dress. Hawlata is in good voice but he doesn't have quite the bass heft required particularly in the second aria.

2. Christine Schäfer singing Konstanze's 'Martern aller Arten' in the longer version of this florid and difficult aria. She really doesn't quite have the laserlike coloratura required but she is dramatically and generally musically effective. Not surprisingly the four instrumentalists featured in this aria -- flute, oboe, violin, cello all from the Vienna Philharmonic -- are outstanding.

3. Paul Groves, as Belmonte in the final aria 'Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen'.
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In addition to providing delicious excerpts from operas of three of the greatest German opera composers (Mozart, Strauss, Wagner), the scenes are introduced by the singers, who describe the subject of the opera, the motivations of the characters, and what the role means to them personally.

Thus, this is not just a collection of very well-performed opera vignettes, but is also an excellent introduction to whet your appetite before deciding to see one of these operas.

The final scene presented in this set is very fittingly, Richard Strauss's Capriccio--an opera about opera. Kiri Te Kanawa explains how the heroine is torn between which is more important: the words or the music. As one of Strauss's later operas, perhaps it speaks to those of us who love opera, when she sings (very likely uttering Strauss's thoughts), that if she were to live five hundred thousand years, she would never tire of the new beauties of music and its words.

It's a great way to help explain why we like opera, and it might make this a good tool to help introduce it to friends.
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The D VD was never sent to me because of apparent copywrite restrictions in the US.
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