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Wagner: Tannhauser (2010)

 NR |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English, Dutch
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
  • Run Time: 195 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003G0E3H2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,446 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

David Alden's production of Wagner's grand romantic opera was recorded at the National Theatre in Munich, with Bayerische Staatsoper, in September 1994. Shot over three days by leading opera director Brian Large, this recording benefits from the ideal technical conditions made possible by a closed session.

Alden, one of the most iconoclastic interpreters of classical opera, stirs up the visionary, erotic, and archetypal elements in Wagner's work. The cold, forbidding aspect of the stylized and predominantly monochrome sets and costumes by Roni Toren and Buki Shiff manifests the strait-jacket of tradition from which Tannhäuser seeks to free himself in this powerful opera.

Cast René Kollo, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Waltraud Meier, Bernd Weikl, Claes H. Ahnsjö, Nadine Secunde, Hans Günther Nöcker

Conductor: Zubin Mehta
Director: David Alden
Bayerische Staatsorchester
Chorus And Ballet Of The Bayerische Staatsoper
Chorus Master: Udo Mehrpohl
Costume Design: Buki Schiff
Executive Producer: Dietrich Von Watzdorf
Video Director: Brian Large

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NADINE SECUNDE! NADINE SECUNDE!! NADINE SECUNDE!!! April 17, 2001
When American soprano, Nadine Secunde, appeared as Elisabeth in act II of this Munich production of Tannhäuser, I was transfixed. "She looks like she is straight out of a '30's production," I thought. Could this have been what Kirsten Flagstad's debut in the MET felt like to her unsuspecting audience? How do you describe a star? Whatever it takes to be one, Ms. Secunde has got it. It is not only her voice and magnetic stage presence. She has this rare dramatic quality that hypnotizes you and makes you forget everything else. Despite this, she has performed for years, generally, to mixed reviews.
This is rather shocking. How can the existence of a talent of this order go unannounced by headlines in the media? All anyone has ever been hearing for the past half-century is that, "there are no great Wagnerian voices these days." The truth is that some of today's young singers surpass their distinguished predecessors. The reason that they do not receive the same kind of adulation as these earlier legends is twofold. First, the public is conditioned by reissued recordings and has become less receptive to new talent. This rigidity, shaped and nurtured by technology, is unprecedented in the history of the performing arts. The second reason is that, in the opinion of a number of performers, the music and recording industry is a Mafia. This explains why some singers are regulars on every other new recording (e.g. C.S.), while others languish.
Another pleasant surprise on this DVD is René Kollo. When he recorded this Tannhäuser he had been singing the role for a quarter of a century. I expected him to be beyond his prime. However, my impression was that even though his voice was not as youthful sounding as on the '71 Solti set, he compensated with better discipline.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gloomy but not for want of stars February 15, 2003
As for the visual aspect of this "Tannhäuser", it is dominated by gloom and a lack of colour to the point where it often looks like a black-and-white show.
The creatures living in the Venusberg look fleshy but hardly appetizing. "La chaire est triste" in this lovenest, and one wonders why Tannhauser went there in the first place. Wagner never suggested that his hero came from Mars, so why should he have felt attracted by that naked woman crawling over the scene and showing off her huge green (!)Bavarian buttocks?
Having fled this inferno (where boredom seems to be the greatest torment), our hero is supposed to find the colours and vigour of nature, but the real world is just as dark as the one he has left behind. There is no sign of hope in this opera (even the pilgrims come back dressed in black, just as they were before), so the only way out is death. All the more as Tannhauser's former friends are depicted as a bunch of unpleasant hypocrites, oddly dressed of course (I've got so used to these weird costumes that I hardly notice them anymore. Let's just be thankful they kept the scuba-diving equipment for next time).
The singing and acting is quite convincing on the other hand.
Meyer, Rooterink, and Weikl are excellent. Unlike other reviewers I do think Kollo sounds slightly past his prime. Some passages sound forced, and I prefer Windgassen anyway...
The biggest surprise for me wass Nadine Secunde. The prayer at the beginning of the third act moved me to tears. Here the bleak setting (not to mention the clothes) provided a potent contrast to the pure and deeply sensitive voice that brings light into this darkness.
The orchestra and chorus is very good. I love Mehta's interpretation of the prelude to the Third Act (the horns are magic)
All in all, I recommend this work in spite of its shortcomings. The overall quality is very good.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some of the problems are Wagner's fault; some aren't. February 13, 2005
This production has a good deal wrong with it. I'm not necessarily opposed to "modern" productions that employ symbolism Wagner would never have approved of: The Parsifal film produced by Hans-Juergen Syberberg intrigued me, and I thought that heavy load of symbolism was mostly pretty well integrated with the actual Parsifal.

Here, however, the first act has gone badly wrong. The overture goes directly into the opening scene in the Venusberg. so far, so good; that is not how the opera was first produced either in Dresden (1845) or in Paris (1861), but Wagner had good reasons for doing it that way later on (1872--see Ernest Newman's "The Wagner Operas" for a guide through the various versions the composer attempted, combining his earlier and later thoughts and styles).

Where I dissent is that the Venusberg scene, which was intended as a lush and sensual ballet for Paris, has here been turned into a bleak and ugly representation of Tannhauser's despair, when he has found himself surfeited from delights he has enjoyed too much, for too long.

This makes dramatic nonsense out of the second act. In the argument about the nature of love Tannhauser cries out that the other singers know nothing about what it really is, and he wants to go back to the Venusberg that exemplifies it (driving the action forward toward the third act finale). But we know nothing about love or delight as it concerns Venusberg, only vacant-eyed characters symbolic of decedance, wandering aimlessly about the stage (occasionally doing backflips, struggling to carry heavy rocks, etc.). The Mountain of Venus must have pulled hard at the hapless Tannhauser, not once, but twice, and we have no idea from what we have seen how it could have happened.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Too stark and modern
Did not like this production at all, Too stark and ugly in its attempt to be modern. Singing was adequate but just. Okay if you like grit and uncomfortable, I guess. I did not. Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Lains
5.0 out of 5 stars Tannhauser: Zubin Mehta, Rene Kollo
This is a tremendous piece of music. I have always loved Tannhauser. Zubin Mehta does an outstanding rendition of this Wagnerian piece along with Rene Kollo and the other opera... Read more
Published 7 months ago by James D. Weinberg
3.0 out of 5 stars My introduction to Wagner
I first saw this recording of Tannhauser on British TV in the mid-90s. I was only just discovering opera, and this was my first Wagner. I was transfixed! Read more
Published 12 months ago by Brian Mayor
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like looking at a junkyard...
This production is way out there: the symbolism is obscure, the sets are ugly, the costumes bizarre, and the singers chew the scenery (such as it is) and writhe as if they are... Read more
Published on June 8, 2012 by Martin Kantor
2.0 out of 5 stars Wagner - Tannhauser / Mehta, Kollo, National Theatre of Munich
Wagner - Tannhauser / Mehta, Kollo, National Theatre of Munich is a 1995 production of Tannheuser that I was not that pleased with. Read more
Published on October 7, 2011 by Bjorn Viberg
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this one!
The interpretation of Wagner's music seldom causes really heated discussion among Wagnerians since most conductors are professional enough not to tamper overmuch with something... Read more
Published on August 20, 2009 by John Elton
1.0 out of 5 stars Total Disaster!!!
This Tannhauser production is a complete insult to the work and it should be boycotted by all! By right it should be rated -5 stars!! Read more
Published on February 10, 2009 by Gustav Mahler
1.0 out of 5 stars I Feel As If I've Been Cheated.
There's only one real issue in this performance for me, and that's Renee Kollo's disastrous attempt to be Tannhauser at the age of 57. Read more
Published on October 25, 2008 by another customer
2.0 out of 5 stars "Put on your clothes and go home!"
In Jean Anouilh's Becket Henry tells a French courtesan with whom he has spent the night to "Put on your clothes and go home! Read more
Published on June 7, 2007 by L. Mack Hall
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I ordered
Thank you for the order received

The only complaint is that the item on your web site says that this DVD is in 1;85 format. However is displays more like 4. Read more
Published on May 15, 2007 by Ken W. Neilson
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