This Rienzi should, surely, kill Wagner's poorest opera for good. The overture is, of course, wonderful, but there it ends. The singing is far from good enough, save for the lovely voice of Jennifer O'Loughlin as the Messenger of Peace. Torsten Kerl does his best with a very difficult part, but, with his hard, piercing voice he makes it sound impossibly difficult. It is a part that is clearly beyond his abilities. Other solo parts are no batter; the singing of the chorus is at best adequate and at times, particularly in the lower parts, of indeterminate pitch; the orchestra sound is thin and badly balanced; and as for the set and costumes - words fail me other than to say they are a distracting irrelevance; as is the succession of video clips during the overture. Yet another production team of would-be artists spoiling the work of another who, even in this rather poor work, is far away their superior.
If you want to prove to a friend how awful Wagner can be, this is the recording you need. Wagner: Rienzi [Blu-ray]  [Region Free