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  • Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg / Heppner, Mattila, Morris, Pape, Allen, Polenzani, Levine, Metropolitan Opera
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Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg / Heppner, Mattila, Morris, Pape, Allen, Polenzani, Levine, Metropolitan Opera


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Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg / Heppner, Mattila, Morris, Pape, Allen, Polenzani, Levine, Metropolitan Opera + Wagner: Parsifal / Metropolitan Opera + Wagner: Tristan und Isolde  (Barenboim, Bayreuth Festival)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Heppner, James Morris, Karita Mattila, Rene Pape, James Levine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Chinese
  • Dubbed: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2005
  • Run Time: 292 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002UNQ5Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,040 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Ben Heppner, Karita Mattila, Renee Pape, and James Morris star in this Metropolitan Opera production of the Wagner opera conducted by James Levine. Booklet includes cast list, synopsis, and tracking information. DVD features include 5.1 Surround Sound,

Customer Reviews

Both the video and the sound are sharp, clear and lifelike.
Richard Partridge
James Morris is absolutely perfect as Hans Sachs, what an actor and singer.
N. Gallimore
The performance is really well cast and the singing and acting are great.
ACG

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Doug Urquhart VINE VOICE on January 16, 2005
Verified Purchase
Let's start with the technicalities. The picture and sound quality of this disk are superb!The picture is anamorphic wide screen (even though the box describes it as 4:3) and gives crystal-clear reproduction of Gil Wechsler's 'Old Master' lighting effects. The DTS 5.1 sound faithfully reproduces the ambience of the Met (even including the guy with the cough, a few rows down on my left), and is outstanding for a live performance.

The performance? It's the Met - what do you expect? Levine and the Met Orchestra were in top form, extracting every bit of humor and pathos from some of Wagner's most beautiful music.

I must confess that I was worried that James Wotan Morris could handle the essential humanity of Sachs, but I needn't have bothered - he was perfect. It was strange to see him singing with both eyes open, though.

Thomas Allen's Beckmesser was a tour de force, reminding me of Hermann Prey. Not only does Allen sing well, but he is an excellent physical comedian. The scene in Sach's workshop was hilarious. He also managed to convey Beckmesser's malice - essential if he is not to be perceived as a pathetic victim.

Ben Heppner's Walter was outstanding. It is said that nobody plays Walter well. Mr Heppner did. He's the first good Walter I've ever seen.

Rene Pape's Pogner was beautifully sung and acted, but I can't help feeling that he looks a bit young for the part. Well, that's my fault for not suspending disbelief properly - his performance was impeccable.

And now Karita Matilla. I'm probably going to be lynched by one of her rabid followers, but I don't think she makes a particularly good Eva. Her voice was superb, and all that, but there has to be a chemistry between Eva and Sachs, and it just wasn't there.
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100 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Freborg on January 11, 2005
Verified Purchase
Meistersinger is the quintessential Wagner - Controversial/German/Dynamic. An experience of the Romantic in music and drama, again the Met does not disappoint with this latest entry in home DVD. Gorgeous traditional staging (recreating 16th century Nurnberg exquisitely), a solid cast, one of the finest orchestras, and quality packaging. The sets, color, costuming and overall staging is perhaps the finest I've seen - you WILL be taken to 16th century Nurnberg. The final scene of Act 3 is spectacular - a Medieval German feast for the eyes - with Wagners magnficient music.

The acting is superb with the characters all very human, and is coupled very well with strong voice performnce from all the cast - no weak links here. The orchestra at times (to me) came across a little "thin."

Though many disagree - I find Levine bringing a richness and depth in his music direction (many complain of "plodding" tempos, etc). As a classical musician (viola) I have to disagree, and Levine is a bit more lively here than in many of his Wagner produtions. These Met releases for home DVD are like fine wines to be treasured over and over - and a wonderful refuge from the world.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Keingelder on February 19, 2005
let's get one thing straight from the start: james morris as hans sachs is not my cup of tea. not to say he doesn't sing and play the role admirably, or that he's not killer in other parts (wotan, boris godunov, etc.). its just that i prefer a lyric heldenbaritone (ie. brendel, weikl, otto edelmann) as sachs, not a bass. based on that, i don't feel like i can fairly judge the man's performance here.

ok, that said, this a masterful recording of wagner's most human music. if you are a fan of opera generally and a fan of wagner specifically, buy this DVD soon.

here are some of the selling points, working from the top down:

heppner as walther: fantastic. maybe he's not everyone's textbook definition of a heldentenor .. but who cares. he has a big, shiny voice that sounds fresh right through the punishing end of the opera, and keeps this nice lyrical momentum pulsing through all of walther's ardent music.

mattila as eva: also world-class. totally immersed, believable acting, gorgeous voice and looks, passionately musical. she sheds some new light on how to sing and play the part, which at worst can be thankless, numbskulled tone-machine.

thomas allen as beckmesser: right on. a little evil, and still willing to 'sing' (gorgeously) when the music calls for it. when not, sticks to typical half-bark/parlando beckmesserism.

pape/polenzani: the monologues of pogner and david are usually snoozers, but not so here.

its no big secret that the mets sets, costumes, orchestra and chorus are unmatched in grandeur and detail, so it doesn't bear repeating here. one could argue that levine keeps the orchestra a little too tightly reined-in (just a moment or two of wild bombast would be nice ..
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Pupil on October 15, 2006
Verified Purchase
All Wagnerian elitism aside, if you can or are willing to purchase only ONE copy of Wagner's quintessential tragi-comedic, then I urge you to make it this one!

With gorgeous traditional staging, world-class singing, heart-felt spontaneous acting, extremely logical and effective character development, and highly efficient subtitles, this production is an absolute joy to watch and hear from start to finish.

In an age of rising artistic perversity and pseudo-intellectual liberties, Levine and the Metropolotain Opera Company prove once again, that only *faithfulness* and *humility* can bring us to the doors of the ultimate expression of Art.

Unequivocally recommended!
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Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg / Heppner, Mattila, Morris, Pape, Allen, Polenzani, Levine, Metropolitan Opera
This item: Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg / Heppner, Mattila, Morris, Pape, Allen, Polenzani, Levine, Metropolitan Opera
Price: $39.98
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