The “multimedia music theatre” Die Soldaten by Bernd Alois Zimmermann – based on a text by Sturm and Drang poet Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz – is the composer’s only completed opera. It set new dimensions to the opera genre when it was first staged at Cologne in 1965. It has been called one of the chief works of modern music theatre in the 20th century.
This widely praised production which was the highlight of the Salzburg Festival in 2012 made full use of the width of the Salzburger Felsenreitschule to give room to the enormous dimensions of Zimmermann’s monumental opera, featuring a massive ensemble of 170 musicians including the Wiener Philharmoniker and led by German conductor Ingo Metzmacher.
The Latvian Alvis Hermanis directed the rarely staged and tragic story of the downfall of the middle-class girl Marie in an expressive representation and achieves to realize Zimmerman’s desired simultaneity skillfully.
The top-flight cast consisting of 50 soloists with Alfred Muff as Wesner and Laura Aikin as Marie received raved reviews by critics for their vocal and dramatical performance.
Picture format DVD: 16:9 NTSC
Sound formats DVD: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.0, DTS 5.0
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: English, German, French
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Running time: 122 mins
Christmas Issue 2013
“Hermanis subverts a savage serialist satire on German militarism into a more generalised attack on men's sexual objectification of women...the unstinting efforts of the Vienna Philharmonic under modernist maestro Ingo Metzmacher ensure that Zimmermann's musical rage comes through loud and clear.”
“[Aikin] accomplishes the superhuman feat of actually *singing* Marie's music, a voice-killer if ever there was one...[she is] convincing as the petulant woman-child of Act 1, and the character's degradation as she proceeds through life is unerringly depicted....The sound engineers and video director have done a miraculous job.”
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