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Zimmermann: Die Soldaten

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Die Soldaten set new dimensions to the concept of opera and has been called one of the chief works of modern music theatre in the 20th century. This widely praised production was a highlight of the Salzburg Festival in 2012 featuring an ensemble of 170 musicians including the Wiener Philharmoniker led by German conductor Ingo Metzmacher.

Review

"On all fronts, this production of Die Soldaten is worthy of the highest praise." --Opera News, December 2013

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English, German, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2013
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CXKOJYI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,236 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bertie Wooster on October 4, 2013
Format: DVD
In reality, this production probably deserves 4.5 stars because there are a few problematic points in the stage directing. However, a certain ignorant reviewer decided to give this DVD a ridiculously low rating. This skewed the star-rating that this work really deserves, so I rounded up to 5 stars instead of rounding down to 4 so that the average star rating would better reflect the quality of this production.

This cast is just incredible, and they wholeheartedly embrace the "dirty" aspects of this story that this production emphasizes. There is both literal and figurative "rolling in the hay," masturbating soldiers, a striptease, and giant projections of turn-of-the-century pornography (don't watch this DVD with your kids around!) While this kind of over-the-top sexuality is often injected into other Eurotrash productions only for shock value (especially in Mozart opera, for some reason), I found it entirely appropriate for "Die Soldaten."

As another reviewer noted, the principles who play Marie (Laura Aikin), Stolzius (Tomacz Konieczny) and Desportes (Daniel Brenna) are superb in their portrayals. But even the singers in small supporting roles stand out (this is, of course, an ensemble piece).

One interesting bit of info--Zimmermann called for a film in his libretto for the fourth act (a la Berg's "Lulu.") However, this production gets rid of the film and, instead, has all of the singers come out on stage and sing their parts seated or standing still and staring out at the audience. While a film wouldn't have made sense in the context of this production (linear narrative action is replaced with abstraction), I found this scene to be a bit awkward.

One note: the soprano who plays Marie DOES NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT tightrope over the stage as one particular reviewer has suggested. This is a stunt double. I'll allow the reader to make up their mind as to how this mistake colors that reviewer's assessment of the DVD...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 22, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Die Soldaten (The Soldiers) 122 minutes
Recorded live at the Salzburger Festspiele, August 2012
Wiener Philharmoniker, Ingo Metzmacher conductor
Alvis Hermanis, stage director and set designer
Marie -- Laura Aikin
Stolzius -- Tomasz Konieczny
Desportes -- Daniel Brenna

This is a fantastic video of the recent live performance of Zimmerman's "Die Soldaten" in Salzburg. I've been listening to it for years, and now I have finally seen it as well! Incredibly, the music is performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic), led by Ingo Metzmacher. The singing and acting are excellent. The principals are all compelling -- Laura Aikin is vulnerable and sympathetic as Marie, Tomacz Konieczny is convincing as the hapless Stolzius, and Daniel Brenna is thoroughly despicable as Baron Desportes, who ruins Marie. The huge cast of soldiers is appropriately and realistically menacing.

Alvis Hermanis's staging is quite dramatic and certainly not strictly realistic. The 40-meter stage is used to the fullest, with three scenes side-by-side, and the actors sometimes watching, talking, and moving between them. Behind is a glass wall, and behind it there is more action, including mainly the soldiers in their barracks leering at Marie, but also later horses being led back and forth carrying prostitutes, eventually including Marie.

The story is R-rated, and the viewer should be prepared to feel uncomfortable at times. This is a story of male brutality against women. Actually the sex is depicted somewhat symbolically, with the use of large amounts of straw-like material and a rotating glass box to simultaneously focus attention on and hide most of the acts of sex involving soldiers and prostitutes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David E. Gregson on December 14, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Incredible Salzburg Festival production that utilizes the vast stage of the Felsenreitschule. Virtually x-rated performances, though no nudity. Not for the faint of heart or ear. Twelve-tone to the max, with strict neoclassical structures modeled on Berg's "Wozzeck." It's an essential late 20th-century masterpiece, and allegedly anti-war -- although it seems anti-human being to me. No doubt the innovative stage director, Alvis Hermanis, takes enormous liberties with the material. The singers (of whom I have never heard before) are superb.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By philippe hislaire on October 18, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am not a huge fan of mordern opera works. However, I really enjoyed this opera I did not know. It takes a couple of minutes to get into but overall, it's a great work and a fine production.
Singers are very good. Too bad that Zimmerman carrer was so short.
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