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6 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific voices, 24 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Ariadne Auf Naxos: Staatskapelle Dresden (Thielemann) [Blu-ray] [2013] (Blu-ray)
I acquired this version of the opera because I wished to hear Renee Fleming, who has the ideal voice for Strauss, sing the two great arias from 'Ariadne'. Robert Dean Smith is as good as you will get these days as Bacchus, able to reach the notes of this high tessitura part. Sophie Koch is excellent as the composer and looks the part. I have heard Jane Archibald in several productions of this opera and she is a wonder. Not only does the voice do what it is supposed to in this part but she is also vivacious and pert to perfection without being in the least annoying, ideal qualities for Zerbinetta. The conductor, Christian Thielemann, is recognised as one of the best conductors of Strauss opera and another strong reason for hearing this performance. He always seems to enjoy what he conducts. I have several Baden-Baden productions on DVD and always find the sets somewhat clinical in design and the direction mannered. This production is no exception but at least it isn't a distraction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling!, 13 Jun 2013
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John Chandler (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Ariadne Auf Naxos: Staatskapelle Dresden (Thielemann) [Blu-ray] [2013] (Blu-ray)
Cricket lovers will understand when I say this new release knocks the earlier Zurich Blu-ray disc for six! The picture and sound are spectacular and the casting and production are equally brilliant. This is a demonstration disc in almost every way. If only the MET could get hold of this technical team and apply them to the Met's own generally under par Blu-ray releases it would do wonders for their business. This all region disc is available in the UK and the US through third party suppliers for a very low price and should be snapped up by anyone with an interest in Strauss. One of the best operatic releases on Blu-ray anywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 15 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Ariadne Auf Naxos: Staatskapelle Dresden (Thielemann) [Blu-ray] [2013] (Blu-ray)
Beautiful performance, hasn't got out of my blyray player since I got it. Fleming, Koch, Archibald, Smith do some great singing. I also loved the mise-en-scene. Totally recommendable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 31 May 2014
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maximus (manchester, uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ariadne Auf Naxos: Staatskapelle Dresden (Thielemann) [Blu-ray] [2013] (Blu-ray)
Timeless setting, very apt for the opera, with a sparkling cast in top vocal form, crisp video and sound from the movie, orchestra nearly perfect, conductor understands this music. The pastiche vs sublime comes across so well in this production, the pastiche heart warming and the sublime ... well.. Sublime and uplifting. I have seen a few predictions live and on video, and this Bluray transfer is tough to beat. From first to last note you will be enchanted.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly surreal staging of Ariadne, 16 May 2014
This review is from: Ariadne Auf Naxos: Staatskapelle Dresden (Thielemann) [Blu-ray] [2013] (Blu-ray)
The vogue for 'updating' mar so many contemporary stagings. The trouble with this modern interpretation of Ariadne is that it sheds virtually no new insight onto the opera. However, it is visually very appealing. The beautifully lit image captures all the colorful costumes and the production design. It is a slightly surreal staging. The stage is like a Broadway musical arrangement and at the back of the stage sits a bewigged and glamorously dressed opera audience.

The Prologue is too chaotic and directionless though the are some nice moments of comedy. The productions greatest conceptual strength is the second part after the Prologue, the coming together of high art and low entertainment. The characters for the buffa comedia dell'arte scenes - Harlequin, Scaramouche and Brighella - wear horizontal striped shirts and bright blue pants doing choreographic business with brightly colored shoes on their hands, but they are not really that funny. The trio of Najade, Dryade and Echo look terrific and they sing beautifully too.

Sophie Koch as the Composer is quite wonderful. Her high register is extremely beautiful but the middle has often too much vibrato for comfort. Jane Archibald is pretty good as Zerbinetta, the coloratura all in place. Robert Dean Smith as Bacchus rises to the occasion. His tone is firm and full throughout. Renée Fleming's silken tones grace Strauss' music with warmth, glamour and sensitivity. Once she becomes Ariadne her vocal and theatrical authority are unassailable. The entire duet is beautifully, often thrillingly sung. Glorious Straussian conducting and playing. The combination of Strauss, Thielemann and Renée Fleming is one of the most sublime musical experiences of our time.

Excellent picture and sound. The Blu-ray looks terrific.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ariadne from Dresden., 21 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Ariadne Auf Naxos: Staatskapelle Dresden (Thielemann) [Blu-ray] [2013] (Blu-ray)
The recording is from a technical point of view the best I have ever seen. The picture is clear and excellent and the colour fantastic.
I am happy that such a recording technique is possible today. Christian Thielemann is my favourite conductor today. He is the finest Strauss conductor we have. I know Renee Fleming peronally. I have made a TV programme with her for the Danish National TV . It was a delight to se her in this role.
Hans Skaarup, Copemhagen
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Ariadne Auf Naxos: Staatskapelle Dresden (Thielemann) [Blu-ray] [2013]
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