I have one other version of Tannhauser, it is modernistic, the venusburg is inhabited by overgrown writhing caterpillers, and the strange rigid uniforms of practically all the characters detracted from the music. I had a job to work out who was who. Seeing this on my perusings, and being an ardent admirer of Gwyneth Jones. ( she does a wonderful Brunhilde ) I thought why not?
From the ballet in the beginning, beautifully choreographed, I was entranced. I have always thought that Tannhauser contains the best of Wagners themes and orchestrations, the interpretations are fantastic. Wenkoff has a most expressive voice, and a delightfully haunted look, although if Venus sang to me like she does in this production, I would have stayed in the Venusburg.
Weikl as Wolfram is an excellent tenor, he has a purity of tone which I found very pleasing. This is not to detract from the other main characters, all of whom are more than adequate.
The chorus are crisp and clear, light and shade are just right, as is the orchestra.
Costumes are in keeping, the militaristic dress of the Knights reveals the anomolies of their philosophy.
The booklet is informative with headings and timings, background information, amd act by act synopsis.
I would hesitate to try another version for fear of disappointment.