HEUBERGER, RICHARD Der Opernball (The Opera Ball) Helen Mane, Maria Tiboldi, Tatjana Iwanow, Christiane Schroder, Heralds Serafin, Maurice Besancon, Heinz Erhardt, Symphony Orchestra Kurt Graunke, Munich / Willy Mattes. Arthaus Musik DVD

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RICHARD HEUBERGER

Der Opernball

OPERETTA FILM FROM 1970

Angèle HELEN MANÉ

Marguérite MARIA TIBOLDI

Palmira TATJANA IWANOW

Hortense CHRISTIANE SCHRÖDER

Paul HARALD SERAFIN

Georges MAURICE BESANÇON

Caesare HEINZ ERHARDT

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA KURT GRAUNKE, MUNICH

Conducted by WILLY MATTES

Directed by EUGEN YORK

Richard Heuberger (1850–1914) came from a wealthy, art-loving Graz (Austria-Hungary) family. After working as an engineer, he decided to devote himself completely to music, working as choral director of the Vienna Singakademie, composer of instrumental music, ballets, cantatas and operas, music critic and music journalist.

Shortly before the turn of the century, he tried his luck with operettas. Only his first work, the delicately orchestrated, splendidly hued Opernball (Opera Ball ) of 1898 – a beautiful and substantial echo of the Strauss era – has managed to maintain its position in the repertoire. In this work, Heuberger tried to create a new operetta style, the “comedy operetta”. He eschewed spectacular costumes and choruses, sentimentality and drama by picking up where Offenbach had left off in La vie parisienne and Strauss in Die Fledermaus. According to the great Viennese music critic Eduard Hanslick, he succeeded in “preserving the purity of the Viennese operetta. The Opernball was a popular, witty piece and Heuberger accordingly avoided the effects of grand opera, both noisy passion and watered-down sentimentality.”

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

Subtitle Languages: DE (Original Language), GB, FR

Running Time: 100 mins

FSK: 0

Region Code: 0

Arthaus Musik DVD 101628

Customer Reviews
Heuberger Richard Der Opernball Symphony Willy Mattes Arthaus Musik Dvd
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Rate: 4

A minor piece of Vienna gold

By Jim D.

Pretty much the sole survivor of Heuberger's small operetta output, "Opernball" may not boast one of the great theatre scores, but it's certainly pleasant enough, and it does have the famous waltz "Im Chambre séparée". The plot is like "Die Fledermaus," only more so: here three women run about in disguise to befuddle their menfolk at the Paris ball of the title. (You probably won't need to be told that all ends well.) For reasons best known to the director--perhaps to justify the cheap-looking sets--framing scenes have been added, in which the painter Toulouse-Lautrec and a model discuss the events of the story. (There are also some anachronistic gags in the dialogue, typical with these 1970s tv productions.) As usual, the singing has been pre-recorded--which would be less noticeable if the acoustic were not so different during the spoken passages. However, the performers are all good, especially Uwe Friedrichsen and Christiane Schroeder as the juvenile couple, and there doesn't seem to be another complete version of this piece in any format. Clear subtitles, stereo sound, nice booklet.

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