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Wagner: Ring Cycle (Der Ring Des Nibelungen) (Hartmut Haenchen ) (Opus Arte: OA1094BD) [DVD]  [NTSC]
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This 1999 production of The Ring was the first to be based on the definitive complete edition of Wagner's music. Pierre Audi's production for the Netherlands Opera blends the lyrical, mythical and philosophical qualities of Wagner's tetralogy into a profound unity. Amazing sets by George Tsypin and wonderful costumes by Oscar-winning Eiko Ishioka complement singing and playing of great intensity from the cast under the baton of Hartmut Haenchen, who leads an unusually flowing, texturally sensitive interpretation, creating a vigorous yet often intimate impression that comes closer than many modern performances to the scale of Wagner's original conception.
"A blend of transparent stage direction, powerful images and colourful orchestral playing. Perfect. (Die Walküre)" (Trouw, NL)
"Pierre Audi's Ring really shines! (Das Rheingold)" (Wagner Society)
"In the timeless archaic costumes by Eiko Ishioka most of the cast reach great heights, especially Wagner specialists like Reinhild Runkel and Graham Clark. Henk Smit is an Alberich with a lot of dramatic power. An exciting start to a Ring with which De Nederlandse Opera will draw international attention once again." (De Telegraaf - Rheingold)
"It is breathtaking to experience how well the technical and spatial possibilities of Het Muziektheater are being used; and even more overwhelming to see the focus on the individual in all this excitement. Het Muziektheater had a premiere without any equal..." (Het Financieële Dagblad - Die Walküre
"Hartmut Haenchen builds on the New Wagner Edition and the Orchestra in outstanding form: a leaner, more elegant and ever thundering Wagner sound makes this production a rich experience." (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Siegfried)
"Audi and designer George Tsypin work with a varying series of thrillingly lit (Wolfgang Goebbel) acting areas, Hartmut Haenchen's orchestra(s) constantly visible in a manner reminiscent of Baroque theatre." (Gramophone - Götterdämmerung)
CastJohn Bröcheler (Wotan)John Keyes (Siegmund)Nadine Secunde (Sieglinde)Jeannine Altmeyer (Brünnhilde)Heinz Kruse (Siegfried)Henk Smet (Alberich)Kurt Rydl (Hagen)
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (Götterdämmerung & Die Walküre), The Hague Philharmonic (Das Rheingold), The Hague Philharmonic (Das Rheingold); Hartmut Haenchen
Stage Director: Pierre Audi
Catalogue Number: OA1094BDRunning Time: 1008 minutesSound: LPCM Stereo & 5.1 DTS (except Der Fliegende Holländer: Dolby Digital 2.0 & 5.1 DTS)Aspect Ratio: 16:9 AnamorphicSubtitles: EN, FR, DE, ES, NE (Der Fliegende Holländer); EN, FR, DE, ES, CA, IT (Der Ring Des Nibelungen); EN, FR, DE, ES, IT (Lohengrin); EN, FR, DE, ES, DA, CH (Tannhäuser); EN, FR, DE, ES, IT (Parsifal); EN, FR, DE, ES, IT (Tristan und Isolde)Label: Opus Arte
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The complete production (2 cycles) in Amsterdam will be presented in january and February 2014 and I advise any Wagner afficionado to see it live.
works (including those not available in this country and a unique Japanese language production) I am impelled to disagree with the negative comments about the singers in this production. Of course, few will ever match the golden era of the Wagner sangmeisters (in my opinion but probably biased by my first aural introduction). I was much enthralled with the majority of the singing ability of the artists in this production. As the master noted, a little hoarseness and croaking give reality to the gods (paraphrased). I prefer that you ignore the critics and snide jibes to judge for yourself. Check out YouTube and excerpts available online and YOU BE THE JUDGE as to what you like in performance, letting neither other reviewers or me prejudice you. Purists always live a life in desperate misery in a vain search for the unobtainable. I gave that up long ago to just immerse myself in the pure pleasure of the experience and let the occasional screech fail to disrupt my pleasure. Of course, there are really BAD performances out there, but if they capture a young one's desire to hear more opera, then let the BAD lead to the GOOD. In the aural and visual realm, YOU BE THE JUDGE.