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Wagner - Die Walkure / Gambill, Denoke, Rootering, Behle, Jun, Vaughn, Zagrosek, Stuttgart Opera


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Editorial Reviews

The choreographer Joachim Schlömer was followed by the "psychoanalyst" Christof Nel, as the second of this Stuttgart Ring’s four producers. Nel is an artist concerned to reveal Wagner’s characters, their ambivalences and their conflicts, from the inside. To this end, he has no hesitation in using what he calls "today’s materials". He wants the audience to encounter experiences they recognize. They will find no remote mountain crags, gnarled world ash trees, nor spectacular magic fires in Karl Kneidl’s set designs. But they will find the coordinates of never-ending desire in the direction and sets that are are similarly far from traditional.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: TDK DVD
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 229 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001FR0N4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,176 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By OperaOnline.us on July 10, 2004
Traditionalist Beware! There is a new Ring cycle available on DVD (at least Rheingold and Die Walkure). Each of the four opera's was handed to a separate production team giving us very `individual' perspectives of each of the works. Christof Nel was the producer for this second installment of the cycle.
Throughout the entire Die Wakure I felt as if I were listening to a `version' of the opera and not what Wagner wrote. My Ring's of choice have been the Met's version on DVD and the Solti on CD, so I know what it should look and sound like. I purchased this DVD optimistically thinking that I would see a new spin on what is the most beautiful of all the Ring works. . . and I did, unfortunately I was not impressed. Most of the singers did a good job with Angela Denoke singing a wonderful Sieglinde, she could truly handle the role, and Tichina Vaughn giving us a full voiced Fricka. Robert Gambill gave us a strong Siegmund - a very lyrical portrayal. The disappointments here were in the staring roles (assuming that you believe that Walkure is an opera about a father and his daughter). Jan-Hendrik Rootering's Wotan was just not likable and his singing reflected this. His Act II scenes with Brunnhilde, the most important part of the Ring cycle per Wagner, were simply not moving; not even the orchestra could help here. I don't know a lot about Renate Behle but her Brunnhilde was fair at best. She seemed to be reaching constantly for her top notes. Her Act II opening "battle cry" was not delivered well. She seemed to `clip' the words, and it never seemed to get better. Finally there is the most wonderful and moving music in all of Wagner: the final scene of Act III. . . if they could have pulled this off, then all would have been forgiven. Here is where the production team let us down.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Flying Mouse on June 4, 2004
Verified Purchase
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.
The Good. Wagner's glorious music is presented in 3 formats: linear pcm stereo, surround 5.1, and dts. The conductor, orchestra, and singers all provide a first rate audio performance. It is a pleasure to listen to but watching is much more difficult due to
The Bad. The sets aren't minimalist. They are just absurdly incongruous--comparable to staging the coronation scene of Boris Godunov in a carwash. The props are what I used to win at the carnival when I picked up a duck with the lucky number. But both the props and sets look like one of Franco Zeffireli's masterpieces compared with the costumes. If someone came to my door attired as one of the cast to deliver a pizza they would leave without a tip. At first you think that they might have recorded rehearsal by mistake but when you hear the audience applaud you realize that this is what they wanted you to see.
Not even the ludicrously silly first two acts can even begin to prepare one for the third. Eight women rush on stage during the Ride of the Walkures dressed as the San Diego Chicken, flapping their wings, and shouting war cries through megaphones like college cheerleaders. I haven't laughed so hard during a Wagner opera since Syberberg's Parsifal where the title character gets a change of sex operation between the second and third acts. But it would be tolerable if it weren't for
The Ugly. Siegmund, Robert Gambill, in Act 1 wear shorts and a sleeveless black undershirt. He may be a fine actor and singer but he was not put on this earth to model underwear. Laws should be passed requiring him to be fully clothed 24/7.
Brunnhilde, Renate Behle, reminded me of Oscar Levant's line that "She makes you want to burn ever bed on earth.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Yuval Sharon on June 22, 2004
I'm shocked that people are so against what I see as the best WALKURE available on DVD--but then again, bold interpretations always incense as much as they inspire.
Among the many reasons I think this is a must-see: I have never seen an Act I reveal the entire spectrum of the characters' journey as minutely or believably fleshed out as here; the long stretches of silent communication between Sieglinde and Siegmund are exactly as tense and sexually charged as they must be to succeed. With planks of wood making up the walls of this simple set, furnished only by a few kitchen accessories and an ordinary table, the interplay of the three central characters creates a complicated drama rich in details: Siegmund licks the handful of water off of Sieglinde's fingers, then playfully splashes her with his own handful; Hunding and Siegmund arm wrestle in a polite but aggressive test of their masculinity; and after Siegmund reveals himself to Hunding as his enemy, the two sit head to head and eat the steak that Sieglinde has cooked for them-Hunding's awkward fulfillment of hospitality that adds much suspense to a moment usually treated as a bloated transition.
Nel's creative revelations of the characters are played completely naturally, but Nel has more in mind than psychological realism: from the striking opening tableau, he employs stylized movement and powerful symbolism to excellent theatrical effect. One of the strongest ideas in the production is the appearance of Nothung the sword as a bright white projection beaming through Hunding's dark room. Siegmund steps through the projection as the sword motif resolves his "Wälse" call, and he spends the remainder of his aria grasping at the light. Nothung here is still a promise, a tantalizing desire that keeps eluding his reach.
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Wagner - Die Walkure / Gambill, Denoke, Rootering, Behle, Jun, Vaughn, Zagrosek, Stuttgart Opera
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