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Richard Strauss: Salome (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 2008) [Blu-ray] [2010]


Price: £29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Nadja Michael, Thomas Moser, Michael Volle, Joseph Kaiser, Philippe Jordan
  • Directors: David McVicar
  • Format: Colour, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: OPUS ARTE
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jun 2010
  • Run Time: 168 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003LRQ0ZS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,665 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

David McVicar's powerful 2008 production of Oscar Wilde's bible-based drama takes the controversially disturbing film Salò as its visual reference, setting it in a debauched palace in Nazi Germany. Strauss's ravishing and voluptuous score adds to the sexual alchemy conjured by an international cast led by Nadja Michael in the title role. Filmed for the big screen with High Definition cameras and recorded in true surround sound.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Egils on 6 Mar 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
"Tanz für mich, Salome"! And you know what will soon take place: A more or less embarrassing strip dance by Salome where she runs around and drops veils in front of Herod and the other men.

Not so this time. "Tanzen" is here an euphemism for something really outrageous. Herod takes Salome for a private session, and what this is about is revealed by a sequence of symbols that are not always totally clear to me, but it is evident that Herod abused Salome when she was a little child, and has then continued to do so all her life. In every phase of her life, symbolised by seven rooms, that man was there, and a totally skewed relationship developed culminating by a waltz. All this is accompanied by Strauss' mesmerising music. Afterwards, Herod comes out exclaiming "Wundervoll!", and a little later Salome stumbles out in a rather bad shape.

To me this scene is deeply disturbing. It is an ingenious and totally credible approach to the drama, and moreover, it may explain why Salome has developed her perverted attitude to sex and to Jokanaan.

I don't mind moving the setting of a drama to a different time and place, but it has to make sense, otherwise the result will be weakened impact. Here the events take place in a basement of a fascist palace in the fourties, inspired by Salò. Because of all the references to biblical persons and events, I am not convinced that this is for the best.

The singing and acting are very good, but not at a level without competitors. The orchestra may sometimes sound a bit dull, but this is well compensated by tremendous heights. Together with very good audio and video quality, and with the somewhat questionable staging, I would give it four stars; however I think it deserves an extra star for the dance scene. I can really recommend this recording.
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12 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Chandler on 9 July 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I watched the 51 minute doco on David McVicar first and was surprised that such an eminent director felt it appropriate to use so much foul language. he came across as a rather vulgar fellow with more talent than manners.
I could not see the point of setting his view of the opera in a Nazi "palace", not least because of all the Jews swanning about! The costumes were not very enterprising either. The famous dance was even odder with sliding walls and a curious selection of add-ons. Both Herod and Herodias were heavily overweight which may be OK for the licentious Herod but his wife is supposedly equally licentious and would not have been at all attractive to all the men claimed by Jokanaan! Not a patch on the evil Astrid Varnay in the old Böhm recording! Salome in the form of the German soprano Nadja Michael was pretty good but was somewhat let down by the direction. The singing was generally good, the video and sound excellent except that in the dance huge out of focus backdrops appeared that rather spoilt the view.
Rent first. I do not think this is one of McVicar's better jobs and that assessment is generous!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
NADJA MICHAEL! Brilliant New Vibrant OPERA STAR. 7 May 2011
By Minnie and Henery Krumb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
NADJA MICHAEL finally brings total meaning to the character of SALOME ~ the others ?
OK, Great, fine for their own specific period, BUT here we have the utterly sublime combination of teen-age confusion about "Love"; an "Object of Love" [dirty, ugly, smelly, yet aloof and seemingly "pure"; the rest? A strange den of depraved World Leaders - thriving and wallowing in their own little worlds of Lust and Corruption until Salome breaks the "mirror".

THE DANCE: FINALLY MAKES TOTAL SENSE - a disturbing, grotesque "Ginger and Fred" inspired waltz - moments leading up to the waltz are quite fascinating to watch ~ especially the "child" seduction, think "Hitchcock waltzing with Grace Kelly" and you'll get the idea.

The back projection during the waltz is also very disturbing ~ a giant alien eye -oe - an ancient Persian demon ... watching?

The severed head sequence is also riveting and must have been exhauting emotionally for Ms.Michael.

This Artist commits to the work totally without any fear - and that's the grandeur of this production!

Be warned - this one has nudity - not female, and gore ~ appropriate gore.

NOT BE MISSED BY THE INTELLIGENT VIEWER.

[Cannot wait for Ms. Michael's "MACBETH" on DVD - the Munich verision].
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATS IN OPERA 18 Jan 2013
By Peter M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I wish I could have seen this mesmerizing production in person.Having appearred in 2 rather boring productions of SALOME, I was hesitant in buying this bluray.I needn't have worried as I have never before seen such a stunning production of an opera in years. Nadia Michael was brilliant.Stunning to look at and above all she really can act-somthing extremely rare in opera. Even if you do not have much of an interest in Opera,then this production will surely make you a life-long fan.David McVicar (the director) - I salute you for this truly memorable production.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Deeply disappointing 12 Feb 2011
By John Chandler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
See the doco first. David MacVicar constantly swears and comes across as a vulgar lout. The setting in this production is tastless and even ridiculous. Jews swanning about in a Nazi palace? The singing was OK but not exceptional. Herod and Herodias are grossly overweight, which might be acceptable for Herod but Herodias is supposed to be equally licentious and I cannot imagine any young Roman stud being interested in this lady. The fabulous Astrid Varnay in the old Böhm recording is also overweight but she carries the role with a fearsome sexual power. The famed dance is a sick miss-hit. This is really a terrible production. Of course the sound and picture quality are good but as an operatic experience the SD Sinopoli and Böhm are vastly better and the ROCG version with Maria Ewing is worth a look despite awful picture quality. We are lucky to have three Elektras on Blu-ray as I write, hopefully we may get more Salome offerings as well. In the meantime save your money on this release or rent if you feel you must see it.
Five Stars 5 Dec 2014
By Jose Lozano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Extraordinary
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A matter of taste. 20 Dec 2010
By Ultrarunner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Oscar Wilde's play on Salome was published in Paris in 1893. Richard Strauss composed the opera and had its first performance in 1905. Now the director David McVicar has had a shot at it. The production is based on Pasolini's 1975 film version of Salo, which in itself is based upon de Sades novel, the 120 days of Sodom(1785). This film shows how the killings mounted in Mussolini's puppet republic of Salo, as Nazi power crumbled. I supposed David wanted to show in his production of Salome, under Fascism, how when all restraints are taken away, a person is capable of anything. I did like Davids documentary. He swears. That means he is a real person, instead of an inane superfical, hello ducky type,who thinks the theatre is all that there is to life. David has obviously lived.

The stage setting in Salome is devided into two parts, the top where a party is taking place. The bottom in a wash room come toilet room. Well in a toilet situation, anybody is capable of anything, especially when disturbed. I like the lighting,Emerald green. But the problem is that the blurb on the back of the case of the opera, states that it is set in a debauched palace in Nazi Germany. I believe it is set in 1938. The problem is that there are Jews in the opera. Surely in this period in Germany, they would have been sent to Concentration Camps. Or at least Jews would have been persona non grata here. Maybe, David should have set Salome in a mythical Fascist State. Another problem is that much to my disappointment, there was no debauchary. A few naked ladies wandering around, all rather harmless really. Harmless as a Nuns tea party. Naked bloke though. Sorry ladies he wears a coat most of the time.He also stands around aimlessly.

As for the singing, Nadja Michael as Salome is bearable, but she does not dance, sort of wanders around, being chased by a fat bloke who cannot dance through seven rooms. God knows why. Some rubbish about finding herself. She seemed lost to me. The tubby bloke looked tired, never recovered. The best singer was Michael Volle, as John. He throws himself around. He is good. I like it when his head is chopped off. Blood drips from the rubber head. Apart from that the conducting is a matter of taste. For me Salome should be conducted briskly, so that it brings out the melody, the tension, so at the end you feel exhilarated. I felt as if I had been to a party I did not want to go to. Phillipe Jordan reminds me of a bloke who goes through the motions, and feels he must give the punters their monies worth, so he builds up the pace, then it is all too much for him and he goes back to slow. Others may disagree with me, as I have already said it is a matter of taste.

Zone Worldwide. Dts-HD.16.9
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