I must admit to not having seen many productions of Tannhäuser on DVD, my main knowledge of Wagner's fable of love and redemption being based mainly on CD. That being said, I quite enjoyed this modern dress version directed by Robert Carsen that takes place in a world of contemporary painters and art dealers. The staging itself is quite minimal, the dark artist studio in acts one and three, and the bright white art gallery in act two. Despite this almost cold atmosphere the staging works well, it places the action in a modern setting without going over the top!
The singing is impressive throughout, with Peter Seiffert a strong and forceful Tannhäuser, while the two love interests of his life are wonderfully portrayed by Beatrice Uria-Monzon, who spends a fir bit of the first act in a state of undress, as Venus, while Petra Maria Schnitzer manages to squeeze every ounce of emotion out of the role of Elisabeth.
All the other soloists give excellent performances, as do the Liceu's chorus and orchestra who are on superb form under Sebastian Weigle. The only drawback is the documentation, as it is an opera do not know well, yes I know who is who in the opera as well as the basic plot line, but I found myself reaching for my opera guides so as to keep up with the story!
However, the lack of meaningful documentation did not hamper my enjoyment of this fine production or my ability to recommend it for anyone wishing to obtain a DVD of the opera.