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contemporary stagings of opera on dvd

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Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 18, 2008 9:37:20 PM PST
Bellemare says:
I am looking to buy opera DVDs with contemporary, innovative staging. suggestions?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2008 12:30:18 PM PST
One place to start might be Peter Sellars' Mozart operas, or his Handel (Theodora, Giulio Cesare)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2008 3:38:19 PM PST
Rodelinda, Theodora and Rinaldo (all from Kultur) are definitely innovative. My favorite is Rinaldo with David Daniels and Deborah York - who is fabulous. But the other two are excellent also.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2008 8:34:08 AM PST
scarecrow says:
Faustus of Pascal Dusapin
Three Sisters, Peter Eotvos
Hamletmachine, Wolfgang Rihm also Heiner Goebbels, Robert Wilson

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2008 2:53:59 PM PDT
cedart says:
You may want to look into the 2007 Eugene Onegin performance at the Metropolitan Opera with Renee Fleming and Dimitri Hvorostovsky. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience that afternoon and thought the music, singing, and acting were excellent. To me, the stark sets contrasting with the period costumes and romantic music were a bit jarring and detracted from the opera, but if you enjoy minimalist sets, you will probably enjoy this very much.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2008 2:06:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 27, 2008 6:54:38 AM PDT
"I am looking to buy opera DVDs with contemporary, innovative staging."

Good Lord, why? In an era that is only just beginning to recover from the binge of Eurotrash Regietheater, what is the point of extending the hangover?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2008 6:09:35 PM PDT
pohaku says:
A strong second on Handel's Rinaldo (with Daniels, York, et al from Kultur). We watched it again last week and were charmed by its outrageous but winning weirdness. The champion in this vein is the Glyndebourne Giulio Cesare, which is probably the best opera DVD we know of.

In another vein entirely, see Saariaho - L'Amour de Loin / Dawn Upshaw, Gerald Finley, Monica Groop, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Finnish National Opera, Helsinki. It's serenely dramatic, if that makes sense; a passionate ritual.

We love Handel, so I'll also mention Handel - Hercules / Shimell, DiDonato, Spence, Bohlin, Ernman, Kirkbride, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Luc Bondy (Opera de Paris 2005). Very well done, very serious, very affecting.

Check out Monteverdi - Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria / William Christie, Les Arts Florissants, Adrian Noble (Aix-en-Provence Festival) for a charming, dramatically meaningful, and gorgeously sung performance. The entire Monteverdi set directed by Pierre Audi is also fantastic.

Try R. Strauss - Die Frau Ohne Schatten by Wolfgang Sawallisch, Luana DeVol, Peter Seiffert, and Janis Martin for a Kabuki staging, filmed in Japan, of this bizarre tale. Very well done.

If you want creative staging--plus good music--don't miss several operas by Rameau now on DVD. Platee, Les Boreades, Les Paladins, Les Indes Galantes, and Zoroastre are all fantastic.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2008 5:56:10 PM PDT
The recently released "La Pietra del Paragone" (Rossini) on naive got raves. Looking forward to watching it myself.

Just recently saw Rossini's "Viaggio" on Opus Arte with Gergiev's Mariinsky singers. Nothing especially challenging about the production, but it's new, and good, and the singers are really good.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2008 6:06:03 PM PDT
pohaku says:
Yes, "La Pietra" is fun. The director reveals an interview that he built the set to match his own villa on the Italian (?) coast.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2008 5:08:10 PM PDT
I have to second pohaku's recommendation of the Rameau operas. My favourite is Les indes galantes (what a fun opera, crying out for modern interpretations around the world!), but for sheer innovative brilliance in staging I'd have to recommend Les paladins... I'm still trying to work out how some of the staging effects were done!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2008 12:45:29 AM PDT
pohaku says:
Yes, Les Paladins is full of effects that leave us shaking our heads every time we see it. Plus, it has the wonderful and funny (!) Sandrine Piau and Laurent Naouri.

We're watching Les Boreades (Rameau, cond. Christie) again now and enjoying it even more than the first time. It's not as wild as Les Paladins, but there's a coherence and development of the director's vision, a sparkle to the execution by the singer/actors and the dancers (not to mention the orchestra), and a certain wit to the whole thing that is very compelling. Plus, the music is fantastic. One of our personal favorites, Paul Agnew, is great in this one, as he is in Rameau's Platee, where he plays what I'm sure is the only frog-diva in all of opera.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2008 3:19:14 PM PDT
If Mozart is to your taste, as he is to mine, the DVD that seems made for you is Cosi Fan Tutte staged by Doris Dorrie, conducted by Barenboim at Berlin. Werner Gura sings the best Ferrando (of the 18 or so on recordings I know well) and the dvd illuminates the text in fascinating ways.

Posted on Jan 23, 2012 10:47:53 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 31, 2012 5:26:41 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 9:27:49 AM PST
Oh, jolly! I just saw DG and was crazy about it. Sellars even had the libretto tweaked to reflect the here and now. Unlike that dreadful McVicar Salome which had a number of anachronisms. The highlight was the naked guy. LOL At last he was correct: Skin is easier to launder than cloth; therefore, when killing someone where there's bound to be blood...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 1:25:06 PM PST
Too funny. I understand, and yet I very much enjoyed Sellars Da Ponte on DVD. Yes, that shocked me, as well. Yet here I am, admitting to one of the classiest reviewers on Amazon...

Posted on Jan 31, 2012 1:39:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2012 1:40:35 AM PST
I second the Rameau recommendations, particularly Les Paladins; also Hercules and the brilliant Aix Ritorno and the Met Eugene Onegin . But I thought the staging for Rinaldo was plain silly and added nothing.

Giulio Cesare from Glyndebourne and The fairy Queen from the Royal Opera House are my all-time favourite DVDs, and fresh takes on gorgeous classics. Another interesting staging of Handel is Admeto staged by Doris Dörrie.

An interesting Don Giovanni is the staging by Claus Guth with Christopher Maltman.

Looking further afield the Copenhagen Ring is fairly controversial but very engaging, and I found the Lohengrin with Kaufmann and Harteros absolutely gripping. Copenhagen have also done an intriguing Tannhauser and De Nederlandse Opera a challenging Flying Dutchman.

Finally in contemporary opera I recommed the Minotaur by Harrison Birtwistle.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 11:13:43 AM PST
Mathew J says:
Your reply is most apt; couldn't agree more.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 11:31:48 AM PST
Thank you. I don't shy away from offending those whom I believe might benefit from it (opinions being what they are), but friendly exchanges are ever so much more palatable.
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Discussion in:  Opera forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  Jan 18, 2008
Latest post:  Feb 8, 2012

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