Running Time: 159 min
Picture Format: 16:9
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Menu Languages NTSC: GB
Subtitle Languages NTSC: D, F, GB, I, SP
DVD Video - 2 discs
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Directed by Ruth Berghaus, Set Design by Hartmut Beyer & Costumes by Marie-Louise Strandt.
Arthaus Musik presents a DVD release of Weber’s masterpiece Der Freischütz in a production by the legendary director Ruth Berghaus. Chorus and orchestra of the Zurich opera are conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, universally celebrated for the structural transparency of his interpretations, his intellectual penetration and his emotional understanding of both music and opera plot. An all-star cast made this production a highly memorable event, which was hailed by international music critics as a reawakening of this romantic opera by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826).
Berghaus created this Freischütz for Zurich Opera in 1993 and its revival in 1999 provided an opportunity to recapture a vivid example of her work. Her style often negated naturalism - she considered imagery, sign, gesture and visual contradiction more important than narrative. With sets by Hartmut Meyer and costumes by Marie-Louise Strandt, Berghaus’ staging eschews the local peasant colour conventionally associated with Weber's opera. Regimented, black-clad villagers people a stage defined by monolithic planes and blocks of coloured light emphasises geometric patterns, creating stage pictures that evoke the art of the Russian Constructivists.
Weber’s glorious Romantic work was first performed in Berlin 1821 and was an immediate success. The famous chorus of the huntsmen is still a favourite with male choirs and performances of the opera have continued to captivate audiences with the work’s outpouring of grand and memorable music, its atmosphere of mystery and its dramatic depiction of good and evil. It is a gripping theatrical experience and this DVD recording provides the viewer with just that.
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