Customer Review

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Musically superb, Staging spiritually poor and grossly distorted., 20 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Handel : Theodora [DVD] [2001] [NTSC] (DVD)
Musically excellent. In all fairness the concept and staging by Sellars does have moments of illumination, but since Theodora is about Christian martyrdom, i.e. a religious work,(it is not about political tyranny,as Sellars interprets it, even though perhaps Sellars may be trying to say that American politics are a form of state religious tyranny), this interpretation by Sellars is spiritually poor, pagan and godless. This interpretation has stripped the work of every hint of its delicate religious, mystical and spiritual passion. Buy it for the music, (you can basically and easily ignore the staging most of the time) and to see how culturally and spiritually poor our period is, so that when this work is properly done by someone who understands what it is all about, and feels its spiritual nobility, you will have a basis of comparison. It is quite significant that the final chorus to be sung by the Christians is instead sung by the heathens in this staging!

Some general ideas of mine and quotes applicable to this staging:
1)Sellars is one of those stage producers who is ignorant of Barogue theatre practice and the art of Baroque music in general, and this staging is an example of this ignorance.
2)This production is an example of self-indulgence and the urge to shock which obstructs the appreciation of Handel. The staging is an expression of a bloated ego, which thinks it is more important and greater than the genius Handel himself.
3)The antics of this modern stage producion "stem from ignorance, cynicsim, and the lust to exploit a hyperactive ego. The results are the defamation of the work of art as by Graffitti, the servant is exalted above the master, and the public is sold damaged goods" from "Winton Dean Production Style in Handel" Cambridge University Companion to Handel.
4)Irrelevant stage distractions as those abounding in this production produce a "desolating vulgarity and CONTEMPT for the work of Art" Winton Dean, ibid.

"If one is to believe the historians of the seventeenth century, stage directors did not yet exist. What a fortunate age! One could attend an opera without having to close one's eyes. One could take delight in it, listen to it and watch it at the same time, without feeling welling up within oneself, scene by scene, that dull anger which is very bad for one's peace of mind." Philippe Beaussant (La Monde de la Musique, April 2005)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Feb 2015 08:23:20 GMT
Hello, Marcolorenzo. About the final chorus, it was a near impossibility to have it sung by the Christians because of the time-consuming costume change, since both choral groups were sung by the same chorus members. However, I think that Sellars's point is that even the Heathens (including Valens himself) are moved by Theodora and Didymus's fate, which is evident in their own chorus 'How strange their ends', where they express admiration for the two martyrs, so the final chorus being sung by them makes sense. I saw this production live and found it absolutely riveting.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2015 10:10:01 GMT
Marcolorenzo says:
Glad you liked this production. Tastes in everything are extremely different, since they are influenced by a hosts of factors. For me this still remains an unwatchable performance and Sellers a terribly musically ignorant, egotistical and vain director.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Italy

Top Reviewer Ranking: 716