Requiring 38 soloists, chorus and large orchestra, "Palestrina", Pfitzner's "most important" work (Süddeutsche Zeitung), is a challenging opera to stage. Christian Stückl's lively and colorful interpretation at the Bavarian State Opera is wonderfully served by conductor Simone Young, who cultivates a silky, organic orchestral texture.
Heading the many outstanding soloists are the imposing Christopher Ventris as Palestrina, the mighty Bayreuth regular Falk Struckmann, the velvety-smooth baritone Michael Volle and the most promising young singer of 2009 (survey held by Opernwelt) Christiane Karg.
Christian Stückl is well versed with the ecclesiastical subject because of his productions of the Passion Play in Oberammergau. His worldwide reputation is based on his annual restaging of the Jedermann in Salzburg since 2003. Together with André Heller, Stückl was responsible for the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006.
Sounds formats DVD: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1
Region code: 0
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Subtitles: German, English, French
Running time: 197 mins + Bonus ca. 10 mins
“Christian Stuckl's fine staging is fully worthy of Pfitzner's conception...Simone Young directs a flowing and nicely paced account. Christopher Ventris is sensitive, achieving exhausted nobility as the composer, and Falk Struckmann provides a rounded portrayal of the subtle Borromeo.”
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