[ Deutsche Grammophon / DVD ]
Release Date: Thursday 29 August 2002
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G : - "This performance represents an above-average night at the Metropolitan Opera in the late 1980s: three of its most popular stars, a generally distinguished cast, the house's musical director conducting its great orchestra in one of the works he does best."
Regular 4:3 - PCM Stereo - Colour - 147 Minutes - NTSC
When it was unveiled at the end of December 1962, the staging of Ariadne auf Naxos preserved in this film was the first production of Strauss's opera ever to be given at the Met. Karl Böhm conducted, and the principal roles were taken by Leonie Rysanek, Gianna d'Angelo, Kerstin Meyer and Jess Thomas.
By the time it was taped for television broadcast in March 1988, the production had thus been in the Met repertory for a quarter of a century, and a new and all-American generation of singers had taken over from these illustrious predecessors: Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle and Tatiana Troyanos.
"This performance represents an above-average night at the Metropolitan Opera in the late 1980s: three of its most popular stars, a generally distinguished cast, the house's musical director conducting its great orchestra in one of the works he does best."
(The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Opera on Video, 1997, reviewing the VHS release)
As much as Strauss's music pulls the threads of Hofmannsthal's concepts together, Levine's affectionate conducting is the unifying factor in the performance. If the film reveals of Levine, the opera conductor, little more than his unmissable beat (his eye contact with the singers has to be deduced), his collaborative, supportive work with the cast and coaching of the orchestra result in a performance that aims for the greatest richness of sound: equally a memento of the theatre in the 1980s, and an account of the opera solidly rooted in the Strauss traditions of Europe and America.
With the Met production of Ariadne auf Naxos, Deutsche Grammophon initiates a new state-of-the-art DVD-Video concept making maximum use of what the format can offer.
Conductor - James Levine
Orchestra - Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Primadonna / Ariadne - Jessye Norman
Zerbinetta - Kathleen Battle
Composer - Tatiana Troyanos
Tenor / Bacchus - James King
Music Master - Franz Ferdinand Nentwig
Harlekin - Stephen Dickson
Brighella - Anthony Laciura
Scaramuccio - Allan Glassman
Truffaldin - Artur Korn
Dancing Master - Joseph Frank
Naiad - Barbara Bonney
Dryad - Gweneth Bean
Echo - Dawn Upshaw
Major-Domo - Nico Castel
Wigmaker - Russell Christopher
Lackey - James Courtney
Officer - Charles Anthony