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Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos [Blu-ray] (2006)

Emily Magee , Elena Mosuc , Claus Guth  |  NR |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Emily Magee, Elena Mosuc, Roberto Sacca, Gabriel Bermudez, Christoph von Dohnanyi
  • Directors: Claus Guth
  • Writers: Richard Strauss, Hugo von Hofmannsthal
  • Producers: Opernhaus Zurich, Alexander Pereira
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (DTS-HD 7.1)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: TDK DVD VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0027DQHNC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,804 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Emiy Magee, Elena Mosuc, Roberto Sacca, Michael Volle, and Michelle Breedt star in this 2006 Opernhau Zurich production of the Strauss opera conducted by Christoph Von Dohnanyi.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
(9)
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance! July 18, 2009
Format:Blu-ray
If this is modern opera, opera has unquestionable longevity!!! I have been moved, thrilled and exhilarated by this production - and cannot stop watching it. The artistic concept of this production and interpretation of Strauss's opera will even get the composer's approval. Gone are the cardboard islands and caves and we find ourselves in a beautiful modern day restaurant. Emily Magee is a Garbo of divas - in looks, style and voice. Her acting abilities and indulgence in the role is Fleming-like, but without the self indulgence. Roberto Sacca has Brando presence and a voice that will melt you. The last 25 min between the hero and the victim was breathtaking - even more so in Blu-ray and HD sound. Long story short - Strauss and Ariadne lovers - you HAVE to see this! Long live opera tailored for modern times and audiences and I hope we see lots more form American soprano Emily Magee.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very convincing August 5, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The Prologue is set up in an empty set with curtains in the back. There are no props and it is very effective, as the singers/actors convey the different messages very convincingly. The opposite symbols that Strauss and Hofmannsthal created are clearly portrayed in the music and acting, serious opera vs. light entertainment, fidelity vs. coquetry, employer vs. employee, etc. Amazingly, it becomes clear that these opposites are in essence different aspects of the same unity. The production succeeds in keeping it whole. At the end, the composer kills himself, instead of running away in despair as set in the original libretto (of Ariadne II).
The Opera is set in a modern restaurant. It is very effective and well created. The "Island" is a sociological one instead of a physical one. The acting of Emily Megee during the short overture is just amazing (no singing!). The recording has a close up of her gestures that I wandered if the audience in the theater could have effectively appreciated. The music and her gestures totally convey her state of mind, no explanations or word needed.
Elena Mosuc as Zerbinetta is wonderful. Beautiful singing and acting.
The composer ghost appears at some point in the Opera, which could have many interpretations that I leave to each watcher. The music and the voices are just wonderful.
Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful September 20, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
what i like about the production is the set for the 'opera'. which depicts a restaurant. it didn't feel like a stage set, it's more like a film set where a real restaurant is used, with proper walls, doors and such. Such a joy to watch.
i like the use of cast members to act as patrons at the restaurant. the action in the opera was mostly 'realistic', with no 'eurotrashy' abstractions !!!! i said 'mostly' because i didn't like the appearance of the 'composer' in the 'opera' section. it was unnecessary. it spoilt my enjoyment of the 'opera'.
the singers were ALL good !!! everyone was a joy to watch as they all sang well, and without the need (in general) to do anything unrealistic (i mean eurotrashy). zerbinetta - beautiful, strong and clear, Ariadne - great voice (wish it is warmer - I like Ariadnes with opulent voices like Leontyne Price, or Anna Tomowa-Sintow), and the BEST thing for me is the use of an Italian tenor !!! most German tenors i've heard do not possess the warmth (most of them sound brassy) that most Italian tenors have. Roberto Sacca, the tenor, sang the role with a great musical voice and accuracy as well as with the Italian romanticism. Yes, I know I AM bias - I do think Italian tenors sound better in German roles than most German tenors in German tenor roles - they tend to sound a lot warmer too.
i am not keen on the Prologue - i do not like the absence of sets for it, period. The composer is good but i suspect the venue doesn't bring out the best in her voice, which i find lost in the theatre. maybe it's the recording technicalities. I think the role of the composer needs an opulent voice like that of Christa Ludwig, or Troyanos.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ariadne and her drunk lovers. April 19, 2010
Format:DVD
This production is another sad victim of modern experimentation on the wittiest and therefore vulnerable to crudity ideas of such a sarcastically intellectual composer as Richard Strauss and an equally demanding and sophisticated literati as Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Both of them were cautious that the audience might not be cultured enough to appreciate the opus; indeed in my opinion, this opera opens itself not from the first time and requires more viewing and studying to be fully understood - its gems of satire and invention; the marvelous blend of an ancient sublime myth and new ideology of reason and rationale.

Musically, it refers to the old strife between two opera traditions - the first is Italian opera buffa or giocosa, represented by Rossini and his contemporary composers, here underscored by the setting within Commedia dell'Arte, with Zerbinetta (Colombina) and her four lovers - Harlekin, Scaramuccio, Truffaldin and Brighella, with emphasis on light and easy attitudes towards amorous affairs, on fun and entertainment and dismissal of any serious passion. The second rival tradition is that of German opera, represented by Wagner, with its heaviness, extreme seriousness, overwhelming passions for love and death.

Thus, the whole idea and irony of the work was to juxtapose the supreme ideals of Wagner/Ariadne to healthy cynicism of Rossini/Zerbinetta/Commedia dell'Arte. But with this interpretation the fabulous conception is totally lost. Is this drug-using alcoholic middle-aged woman (Ariadne) such a moral superior to a seductress (Zerbinetta)?
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