Cher Public

Just see how I show you my feelings

Clemens Kohl/Henschel VerlagHad I been living at the time Walter Felsenstein’s film of Verdi’s Otello was released in 1969, such then-innovative  elements as the use of color on television and a vernacular translation might have given me new insights into this great opera.

Maybe. Read more »

Blue movie

ritter_blaubartFor those of us newly accustomed to watching The Met: Live in HD cinecasts and similar events in our neighborhood theaters, it is easy to forget that opera as cinema was once a very different experience. Ritter Blaubart, one in a series of seven films by Walter Felsenstein recently released on DVD, shows us the way it used to be — low-budget sets, highly managed direction, and the challenge of pairing up recording-studio singing with on-screen acting. Read more »

The beast with three backs

Among the “auditions” that have come flooding in from the cher public are reviews of three very different productions of Don Giovanni. Your doyenne has taken the liberty of combining the three critiques into a single posting, but she urges you to remember, remember well the names of the authors of this troika of treatises.  Read more »

Regie done right

The joy on my face after opening the plain manila envelope that contained the ArtHaus Musik DVD of Walter Felsenstein‘s 1975-6 Die Hochzeit des Figaro is hard to describe.  I wanted to love this DVD with all my heart, as I have with the three other Nozze DVDs I own. I did, and then some. Now, even before you put the first of the two discs into your DVD player, you could start finding problems:  “I don’t know any of these singers!”  “Singing Mozart in translation?”  “The sets look flimsy!” “Lipsynching?” To which I answer, “Who cares?”  This production shows, […]

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