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Wagner - Lohengrin (remastered)
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Film director Werner Herzog staged this production under the watchful eye of Bayreuther Festspiele artistic director (and Wagner grandson), Wolfgang Wagner. Herzog was given his marching orders: this production must stay in the repertoire a minimum of five years - "so no trendy antics." By blending the most modern and up-to-date theater technology: smoke, lasers, film back projection, with a deeply traditional stage production, Herzog has essentially created a late 20th century version of a 19th century picture-book world that romantically recreates the primitive 10th century northern-European setting. Nothing exemplifies this more than Lohengrin's sudden, heroic swan-borne entrance through a scrim of laser light and smoke. The effect is electrifying as it is perfectly timed to Wagner's powerful music. Moments such as these work brilliantly in combination with the magnificent sound and exemplary performance of the Bayreuther Festspiele. This time travel telescoping of three temporal sensibilities, crisply focuses (into a slightly more Earthbound vision) Wagner's occasional over-reaching for mythic effects, the very thing that makes his operas so difficult to stage coherently.Read more ›
I purchased the earlier 1982 Bayreauth production (which also features Hofmann and Leir Roar) and after watching both DVD's - the difference was an eye opener. In the earlier Bayreauth production, Peter Hofmann's voice is far more beautiful, his upper notes not as strained as they are 4 years later at the Met. Also, his Bayreauth costumes are far more beautiful and more fitting than the Met ones with their 'Grand ole Opry' rhinesteone gloves and silver boots (ugh!). In addition, the voices of the women (Karan Armstrong and Elizabeth Connell) in the earlier Bayreauth production are less forced, more smooth, more note perfect than the voices of the women (Eva Marton and Leonie Rysanek) in the Met performance which sound strained, almost screeching and even at times off-key.
Yet the Met production is awesome, stupendous! -- while the Bayreauth production almost makes you yawn. The Met production has power, feeling, it has grandeur - from the first moment you are swept up in it, you believe in the characters, you feel their rage, greed, weakness and grandeur. No matter how many times you watch the Met DVD, you still get the goose bumps, the tingle, the joy of experiencing 'Lohengrin' as it was meant to be felt. Hofmann's 'Lohengrin' in the Met is more regal, more pained, more magnificent in his desolation at the end by Elsa's betrayal. And in the Met production Hofmann's piety burns through more powerfully than in the Bayreauth. Marton's 'Elsa' is stunning - she hits her notes with power but it is her acting that blew me away.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm sorry there are only 5 stars. I'd give it 10 if I could. Now, of course, with this being Bayreuth, you sort of expect excellence. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert Avant
This is a great opera in the Romantic tradition. comparable to Weber's magical operas, and distinguished by some of the most beautiful choral music ever written. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Daniel B.
The stage production for The Met version (filmed in 1986) is terrific. I only wish they had Blu-ray technology back then. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
ONE OF THE BEST PRODUCTIONS OF LOHENGRIN. THE SINGERS ARE EXCELLENT AND THE PRODUCTION IS FIRST CLASS TRADITIONAL STAGING. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.Published 7 months ago by John F. Cahill
Outside of the Die Meistersinger this opera of Wagner's is my next favorite. This version of Lohengrin is par excellance with Peter Hofmann, Leif Roar, and Eva Marton as the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by James D. Weinberg
A wonderful Lohengrin. Hofmann, Marton, and Rysanek are all brilliant. Levine and the Met orchestra are magnificent. The production is wonderful. The best Lohengin on DVD.Published 7 months ago by Boz
This Met broadcast from 1986 is excellent. The singers are all top notch with Leonie Rysanek spitting fire and brimstone from the word go. Read morePublished 8 months ago by lleard
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