WAGNER Rienzi. Der Letzte Der Tribunen. Torsten Kerl, Kate Aldrich, Camilla Nylund, Deutsche Oper Berlin / Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Ulrike Siegrist, Philipp Stolzl. Arthaus Musik DVD

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RICHARD WAGNER

Rienzi – Der Letzte Der Tribunen

Rienzi - Torsten Kerl

Adriano - Kate Aldrich

Irene - Camilla Nylund

Deutsche Oper Berlin / Sebastian Lang-Lessing

Directed by Philipp Stölzl

Set Design by Ulrike Siegrist, Philipp Stölzl

Version in two parts by Philipp Stölzl and Christian Baier

Live Recording From The Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2010

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 Stölzl, 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, Stölzl sets it somewhere in the recent past. The topic “anticipates the history of the 20th-century in a visionary way”, says Stölzl, adding that “one can make surprising analogies to many despots of this time: Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Ceausescu…” Since fi lm was a central propaganda tool of 20th-century totalitarian systems, Stölzl 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 fi lms that Stölzl began his career: directing video clips for Rammstein and 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” (Süddeutsche Zeitung). Also worthy of lead-role status is the chorus, which masters its demanding part with stunning presence and accuracy. The orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin is led with exuberance and precision by young conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

“…spectacularly thanks to brilliant pseudo-historic footage in the style of Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda films…The production is a knockout.” The Sunday Times

Perhaps one of the strengths of this evening is that it helps one to be distrustful“ Die Zeit

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: 2 x DVD 9, NTSC

Subtitle Languages: GB, IT, DE, FR, ES, JP

Running Time: 156 mins (Opera),

26 mins (Making Of)

FSK: 12

Region Code: 0

Arthaus Musik DVD 101521

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