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Strauss - Salome (Malfitano, Terfel, Riegel, Silja) [DVD] [2002]

Catherine Malfitano , Bryn Terfel , Hans Hulscher    Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £13.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Strauss - Salome (Malfitano, Terfel, Riegel, Silja) [DVD] [2002] + Bohm conducts Strauss Elektra [DVD] [2005] + Salome: Wiener Philharmoniker (Bohm) [DVD] [2007] [NTSC]
Price For All Three: £48.28

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Product details

  • Actors: Catherine Malfitano, Bryn Terfel, Kenneth Riegel, Anja Silja, Robert Gambill
  • Directors: Hans Hulscher
  • Writers: Hedwig Lachmann, Oscar Wilde
  • Format: Anamorphic, Classical, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Mar 2003
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068UXG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,551 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Catherine Malfitano stars as Salome in this production of Richard Strauss's opera, recorded live at London's Royal Opera House in 1997. Bryn Terfel, Kenneth Riegel and Anja Silja also star, with the orchestra conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi.

Product Description

cast: anja silja (cantanti) bryn terfel (cantanti) catherine malfitano (cantanti) christoph von dohnanyi (direttore) kenneth riegel (cantanti) richard strauss (compositore) royal opera house (orchestra

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOST ENJOYABLE MALFITANO 26 Aug 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I did buy this because firstly I like the opera as it has great passion in the the music from the composer, secondly having two other versions which disappointed, and one which excelled, I felt in need of another good one, and thirdly the 5 star ratings of the other reviewers seemed a good indication.
The set is dark and ominous, and in keeping with the darkness of the opera. The costumes are ageless, not really setting a fixed period in mind, but all the same appropriate. The unillustrated booklet gives an interview with the producer, a history of the opera and a synopsis. Quite good.
The performers, Bryn Terfel is fantastic as Jochanaan, by far the best of the three versions that I own, both in singing and acting. I have never heard him sing any role better than this. Malfitano is brilliant, her voice is marvellous, facial expressions and acting superb. Other leads and minor roles are up to the job, but Silja, as other Herodias I have heard tends to shout/sing. This is equal to the Maria Ewing Salome, though the presentations are very different. If you are a Strauss, Salome fan I think that you should own both.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect performance 14 April 2003
This performance of Strauss' opera Salome, recorded in London, but based on an earlier performance at the Salzburg Festival, could be the perfect Salome on DVD for several years to come.
In the first place the casting is superb. Malfitano and Terfel as Salome and Jokanaan are not to be surpassed in the next years. Malfitano does the Dance of the Seven Veils herself, which gives the performance an extra thrill. Herod is good too and as a bonus we see Anja Silja as Herodias, a well-known Salome herself in her younger days.
The setting is as it should be: Classical but simple. It follows the directions in the libretto quite well.
The scene with the head of Jokanaan is not too sensational (as one sometimes sees), though blood chilling enough.
Is there no criticism at all then? Yes, the sound quality is not what I am accustomed of on CD, as happens more on live DVD's but the fact that here we can see what happens in a first class performance fully compensates this.
I dare say that Malfitano will remain the "standard" Salome for several years, not only in het singing, but in her acting too. The DVD is widescreen (16/9).
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable production 13 Jun 2005
A record of a live performance at the Royal Opera House of what was a truly remarkable production.
The simplicity of Luc Bondy's classical setting, beautifully lit, focuses the work almost totally (and as it should) on Salome herself. In Catherine Malfitano's performance there is a worthy star to hold the spotlight.
Her almost balletic movements through-out (culminating in the famous Dance of the Seven Veils)create a trance like feel for the characters' obsessions, as well as retaining the feel of a young girl. Her voice has hardened over the years but has tremendous dramatic and musical power - as well as the full range required for the part. There are many dramatically telling moments - not least when the Prophet unconsciously sits beside her whilst relating of Jesus baptism and she can barely control her physical desire for him - to one of the most gorgeous and tranquil melodies in the piece.
The supporting cast is equally remarkable - Bryn Terfel's Jokannan is one of his finest creations - and he is totally in command of the role - a giant dwarfing the tiny figure of this Salome. Riegel excels in the role of Herod, almost matching Salome in his paranoia and obsessiveness - and wonderfully partnered by Anya Silja's majestic, alcoholic Herodias - gradually sobering as the realization of her daughters actions sinks in.
Orchestrally this is a triumph - with Dohnanyi conducting an almost chamber like performance - supporting his cast rather than drowning the voices.
Over ten years on this is still an unmissable version of this great work.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opera at its very best. 9 May 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Richard Strauss's music in Salome and Elektra is unsurpassed in tender beauty in places and unmatched in savage violence. Makes The Rite of Spring seem suitable for the vicarage garden party.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Keep the Laser Disk 21 Sep 2003
By Flying Mouse - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Gorgeous soprano Cathy Malfitano delivers a tour de force performance of Salome which graphically depicts the Hebrew princess's journey from curiosity, through infatuation, and culminating in insanity in her amorous pursuit of the ultimate party pooper John the Baptist. Her Dance of the Seven Veils was sensual, erotic, revealing, and mesmerizing. But, unfortunately, that's not the performance on this DVD. Her stellar performance was with Deutsche Oper Berlin and that is available only on VHS and Laser Disk. This DVD recording of a Covent Garden performance has some artistic merit but just isn't in the same league.
The Dance of the Seven Veils in this London performance is simply called Salome's Dance which was appropriate since we are shortchanged about 5 veils. Cathy spends a great deal of time running on and off the stage reminiscent of the Peter Sellers movie After the Fox in which Sellers directs Britt Ekland and Victor Mature to run aimlessly up and down the beach in a search for the meaning of life. At one point she was writhing on her back like a bug that had just been hit with insecticide. Not content to just watch, King Herod decided to join in and attempt to help her remove a veil. This pointless experiment with modern dance was tepid and lackluster compared with her Berlin performance.
I have no regrets about purchasing this DVD. First, the audio is excellent. Second, Bryl Terfel is superb as John the Baptist. And, I adore the delectable Ms. Malfitano and would gladly purchase a recording of her singing the phone book. The regret is that since this version is on DVD her real gem probably won't make it and it's worth whatever it costs.
If you want to see a first rate Salome on DVD get the one with Maria Ewing. When she drops the seventh veil you will join with King Herod and shout Wundervoil!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a worthwhile Salome 28 Dec 2006
By LuelCanyon - Published on
5star highlights of this Covent Garden production are the closing twenty minutes of American Catherine Malfitano's singing of the title role -merciless intensity and voracious singing! - and the magnificent performance of Bryn Terfel as Jokanaan. We enjoyed seeing Malfitano's Cio-Cio San in Butterfly in San Francisco in the late nineties, and her singing here is even more engaged, more opened - a real success. There are aspects to her singing that can be bothersome at times; a lack of extravagant vocal reserves creates a sometimes monotonous approach to color, a feeling that she is always using everything she has, although she finds vocal color and drama aplenty in the closing scene. In general, however, It's hard to fault her Salome in this production - she's up to the task vocally and is a superb singing actor, one of the best around. Made for the camera (and the camera work here is unfailingly fine), Malfitano delivers a non-stop performance that exposes every nerve of Strauss' insane Princess. Terfel is as compelling a Jokanaan as I've ever heard - wild and devout and determined, plenty of physical braun and as musically committed a John the Baptist as might be possible. His singing is perfect, and his presence compelling. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Dohnanyi's disengaged conducting and the formulaic blandness of the Covent Garden orchestra leaves a lot to be desired. Some of it seems to be the recorded sound which never rises to compete with the stage action, but I sense a lack of direction on Dohnanyi's part, surprising since I'm an admirer of his orchestral conducting in general. The evocative tension of Strauss' orchestral writing of the last half hour never materializes. Can't explain this misstep, but it noticably diminishes the vibrancy of the production. In contrast to some reviews on this page, Riegel's Herod is ardently sung - the arrogance of Herod's cravenness is striking and convincing, indicating not only acting chops but a bountiful, solid singing technique. If only the orchestra didnt sound as if it were on vacation! All in all, one of the best filmed Salomes available, superior by leagues to the redoubtable Maria Ewing's shouted version at the same house, and in my view, better than the Malfitano/Estes Berlin version, especially in the art design department. Here, the focus is completely on the singing drama, and is the better for it. After Deborah Voigt's very recent Chicago triumph in her first staged Salome, we can hope she will commit a performance to video disc. Don't hesitate with this one, however. It delivers the goods.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salome as Expressionist nightmare 6 April 2008
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Others have praised this Covent Garden Salome for its dramatic impact, and with good cause. The direcotr, Luc Bondy, has translated the opera into tortured terms that the painter Egon Schiele would recognize; the sexuality is masochistic, frenzied, and self-destructive. John the Baptist is no solemn stick of wood -- Bryn Terfel makes him as agonized and writhing as Salome herself. But the brunt of the Expressionist labor falls on the cat-like Malfitano, whose descent into madness is neither campy nor stagey. She's a great actress, and she adapts to the stylized movements straight out of Nosferatu with total conviction. (Only the opening scene is weak, since her girlish figure can't completely disguise that she is considerably too old to be the Judean princess.)

On the musical side, I'm willing to forgive a lot. Terfel is magnificent and dominates the stage with sheer vocal prowess. He may look like a truck driver wrapped in a bath sheet, but all doubts disappear when he turns on the vocal charisma. Malfitano works from the opposite direction. Her voice, let's face it, is completely inadequate to the role except in terms of daring and stamina. She attacks every note fearlessly, even though her voice lacks the gleam, heft, and seductiveness that the role requires (as a result, the accompanying CD set from Decca, made with the Vienna Phil., cruelly exposed her vocal shortcomings). Without her petite frame and superb acting abilities, Malfitano wouldn't stand a chance. As the odious Herod and Herodias, Kenneth Riegel and Anja Silja (aka Mrs. Dohnanyi) are reliable, hammy stage veterans.

As for the conducting, Dohnanyi makes the Covent Garden orchestra play like gods -- he has always been strong in the opera pit -- but he draws back during the orgasmic outcries of Salome, in both the first and last scene. I imagine part of his reticence was an attempt to make things easier for Malfitano, but we the listeners are the losers.

With all these musical reservations, I sitll give five stars because of Terfel and the utterly convincing stage direction. This was one of the most gripping opera DVDs I've seen.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spellbinding! 14 Nov 2006
By Romualdo A. Monteclar - Published on
The performances are truly magnificent, most especially that of

Miss Malfitano. Well, I had no idea that John the Baptist could be

intensely fascinating and (pardon the word) SEXY as played by Terfel.

Highly recommended!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salome 29 Aug 2005
By R. Dean Sever - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Can highly recommend this equisite production of Strauss's Salome. Malfitano in my opinion is the most gifted artist to ever play the role of Salome; her dramatic ability, dancing and voice are unparalled. She completely assumes the role as Strauss would have wanted.
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