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Wagner: Rienzi / Lang-Lessing, Kerl, Aldrich [Blu-Ray]

Album Summary

>Wagner, Richard : Rienzi
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Richard Wagner's early opera 'Rienzi' is stylistically closer to Meyerbeer and bel canto than to Wagner's later masterworks. Yet even this early work - especially as presented in this recording - is "so fantastically beautiful that it takes one's breath away" (Berliner Zeitung). And in this staging by Philipp Stolzl, who condensed the five-act opera into a little over two hours, "Rienzi" becomes a startlingly powerful and timeless parable of power and abuse. Though the story of the rise and fall of a charismatic leader and his totalitarian regime takes place in 14th-century Rome, Stolzl sets it somewhere in the recent past. The topic "anticipates the history of the 20th-century in a visionary way", says Stolzl, adding that "one can make surprising analogies to many despots of this time: Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Ceausescu..." Since film was a central propaganda tool of 20th-century totalitarian systems, Stolzl uses film projections to make the "tribune" Rienzi tower above the masses or, in the style of old newsreels, to show a utopian "New Rome". It is, after all, with films that Stolzl began his career: directing video clips for Rammsteinand Madonna, then directing feature films ("North Face", "Goethe!") and staging operas at major venues, including the Salzburg Festival. Tenor Torsten Kerl, who has visibly studied the gestures of the 20th century's major dictators, gives a brilliant and eloquent Rienzi; his dutiful sister Irene, sung by Camilla Nylund with great lyrical intensity, is paired with a lover, Adriano, interpreted by the luminous mezzo Kate Aldrich, "the discovery of the evening" (Suddeutsche Zeitung).

Torsten Kerl, who sings Rienzi on the Deutsche Oper DVD, evokes these same qualities with his gracefully proportioned, polished singing... Wagner considered Schröder-Devrient to be among the greatest singers with whom he ever worked.

American Record Guide
The musical performance is spectacular. ... it is Aldrich who is the vocal star of the show in the pants-role of Adriano. The rest of the cast is quite strong as singers and actors. Much praise to the chorus for their powerful singing. Lang-Lessing has his forces well under control and leads the show for all the dramatic power he can pull out of the music.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 182 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: Blu-Ray, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian


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Works Details

>Wagner, Richard : Rienzi
  • Performers: Kate Aldrich (Soprano); Clemens Bieber (Tenor); Stephen Bronk (Bass); Ante Jerkunica (Bass); Torsten Kerl (Tenor); Camilla Nylund (Soprano); Krzysztof Szumanski (Bass)
  • Conductor: Sebastian Lang-Lessing
  • Ensemble: Deutsche Oper Berlin Chorus
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1838-1840