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Wagner: Siegfried [Blu-ray] (2008)

Lance Ryan , Gerhard Siegel , Carlus Padrissa  |  NR |  Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lance Ryan, Gerhard Siegel, Juha Uusitalo, Franz-Josef Kapellmann, Stephen Milling
  • Directors: Carlus Padrissa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (DTS-HD 7.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French, English, Spanish, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 283 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZCUEKC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,317 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In the words of the prestigious German weekly 'Die Zeit,' the stage production of Wagner's 'Rheingold' and 'Walküre' by La Fura dels Baus 'quite possibly shows us the path that musical theater will be taking in the future.' There's no doubt about it: the Catalan city of Valencia is setting new accents in 21st-century opera not only with its spectacular new theater designed by Santiago Calatrava, but also with its visually transfixing production of Wagner's 'Ring' staged by Carlos Padrissa and his theater group La Fura dels Baus. The Barcelona-based Fura blends music, dance, acrobatics and technology into unforgettable stage events of sometimes raw but always captivating power. The Fura made its breakthrough in the classical establishment with its production of Berlioz's 'La damnation de Faust' at the 1999 Salzburg Festival. The Fura's fertile visual fantasy and endless combinations of savvy video technology, lighting and props (often formed of human beings) are predestined for Wagner's visionary expressive world. Wagner's dream of a Gesamtkunstwerk becomes reality as this shape-shifting sequence of tableaux unfolds before our eyes: 3D computer projections that evoke computer games, organic structures built of athletic performers that recall the 'Cirque du soleil,' and much more. In this production, 'the visual codes of the digital era become elemental and dazzlingly employed means of narration' (Opernwelt). Musically, the first two parts of Wagner's tetralogy 'Das Rheingold' and 'Die Walküre' are on a par with productions from historically more prestigious opera houses. Part Three, 'Siegfried,' is scheduled for June 2008, and Part Four, 'Götterdämmerung,' for June 2009. Legendary conductor Zubin Mehta leads world-class Wagner singers such as Peter Seiffert, Petra-Maria Schnitzer and Matti Salminen, and promising young talents that include Jennifer Wilson (Brünnhilde), John Daszak (Loge) and Juha Uusitalo (Wotan), whom the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung hailed as a new 'Number One among the opera gods.' Equally outstanding is the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, an ensemble of top musicians hand-picked by Music Director Lorin Maazel.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ryan is Siegfried March 24, 2010
I don't agree with the previous review about Lance Ryan.

I was there, in Valencia. I attended to the performance. I went twice. I could see Lance Ryan live. He "was" Siegfried.

Maybe he is not the best heldentenor, but Siegfried is an exhausting role, a role that requires a physical strength and a stamina very difficult to reach. Maybe Ryan hasn't the most beautiful voice, but he is, from the beginning to the end of the performance, full of energy, he doesn't shrink back, and in the final duet he is as fresh as at the start. He manages to prevail over the orchestra, he sings without apparent effort. The role is a real threat, and Ryan, very young, a singer at the beginning of his career, assumes it unhesitatingly.

Also, he's quite athletic and good looking, which always helps.

I think that, for this role, stamina and control are more important than a "beautiful" voice (many heldentenors didn't have beautiful voices; Vickers, for example). Ryan sings with vigour and intensity, with self-confidence and authority, he acts properly, he can jump and leap like a boy. He's a very credible Siegfried. A great Siegfried.

In my opinion, Ryan in the lead role of this third part of Wagner's tetralogy is very fine indeed. Ryan as Siegfried is truly excellent.

The first act is sensational, specially when he forges Nothung, the magic sword. Ryan seems to have given everything in this first act, but he will keep the same strength until the end. In the second act he finds heartfelt and soft sounds. In the second and above all in the third act he displays exceptional high notes, a full-blooming tenor voice.
He can be lyric when he sings the questions of his mother, powerful in the forging and challenging in the confrontation with the wanderer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Friends came over last night and we tackled this 3rd Ring 4 3/4 hour Wagner opera. Maybe I was less receptive and too tired, but I found it VERY long and it did not engross me as much as the previous two in the cycle. We all felt the background efforts in Act 2 were overdone and distracting and certainly did not project an image of a tranquil forest scene.

But we remained impressed by the brilliant singing of the part of Wotan by Juha Uusitalo and the good effort of Lance Ryan in the very long and exhausting role of Siegfried. Then there is Jennifer Wilson who thankfully took off the ugly enormous breast plate early in the piece. Her singing is rivetting and very powerful although it was hard to see how she appeared so sexy to Siegfried but I'm getting picky. The singing and acting is what opera is about and she performed the Wagnerian role brilliantly.

Overall no, it was not as enjoyable for me as the first two in the cycle and there remain puzzlement at the symbolism of shadowy bods sweeping the floor and writhing on the floor with some of the background confusing and distracting. So do I recommend it? I guess the answer is yes if you want a consistent set of all the ring operas, but no if you expect "Siegfied" to be as good as the first two.

Viewing the final Ring opera will have to wait quite a few weeks until we can get together again. But at least we are at home in comfortable lounge chairs where we can enjoy the superb audio & video of Blu Ray at our leisure. No doubt attending live performances of The Ring would be unique experiences but I'll opt for home viewing when dealing with operas as long as these.

John
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD, BUT THE OTHER PARTS ARE BETTER. October 24, 2010
When I purchased this blu ray, I already had the other 3 operas. Disappointment is a strong word but all I can say is that Siegried is not in the same league if you compare with the other operas in this Valencia cycle. My complaints are not related to the singers. I think Lance Ryan is a good Siegfried, not the the best I have heard (Siegfried Jerusalem in Barenboim's cycle is much better, not to speak abaout singers from other times, such as Wolfgang Windgassen). Both Jennifer Wilson and Juha Uusitalo are splendid. Only Gerhard Siegel has brought some disappointment, specially when I compare his Mime with the one played by Graham Clark for Barenboim. Mime, in Siegel's performance, has lost some of its comic side that Clark brings to life so splendidly. Maybe the weakest point in this Siegfried is Mehta's conducting. I am not sure that it is his fault or the recording engineers' but I felt that in many moments, mainly in the 1st act, the orchestra sounds pale, low, distant, very different from what you hear in the other operas of this Valencia cycle, when the orchestra really shines. Even so, the Valencia cycle is the best choice for the Ring in blu ray. Excellent image quality.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The fantasy continues May 8, 2010
Rheingold got this Spanish Ring off to a fantastic start which must have sent the traditional Ring Meister, the Germans, running for cover! Although the following operas are far more static, so far the follow on has been pretty good if not perhaps quite as jaw dropping. The singing is universally excellent and the orchestral playing and direction, aided by a fantastic recording is very good. Mehta is no Solti but his team play with great enthusiasm. The casting is generally very good. Uusitalo is amazing. Where do the Finns find these phenominal singing giants? Talvela, Salminen and now the mighty Uusitalo! Lance Ryan is a real find too. At last a hero that looks like a hero and can act and sing to boot. I wish I could be as positive about Jennifer Wilson as Brünnhilde. Her massive physique may be ideal for carrying dead heros but a virginal bride for Siegfried she is not. Back in the days of Hildegard Behrens I hoped that we might be moving away from Wagnerian sopranos who could give Sonny Liston a run for his money but this has sadly proved not to be the case. With the arrival of Blu ray I feel more effort must be made to make the visual casting more fitting. Other operas have done very well and as Behrens showed, glamour and Wagner are not incompatible.

The special effects in Siegfried are not as spectacular as Rheingold and much of the opera has a greenish hue that appears to slightly reduce definition. Some effects such as the opening of Act 3 and the dragon scene are very well done and overall it is about on a par with Die Walküre. Again I do not care for the English subtitles. Pompous and hard to follow. We really need a new edition so we can more easily follow the story and concentrate on the visual and audio side.
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