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post #181 of 1226 Old 08-18-2009, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Franklin View Post

It would seem to me that you are wasting much of the medium with minimalist opera productions for blu-ray. ... What sumptuously staged blu-ray operas have been released so far?

I tend to agree with your observation...
You can always depend on Franco Zeffirelli for sumptuous staging. A new article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/ar...effirelli.html
His new LaScala Aida production with Alagna should qualify.
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post #182 of 1226 Old 08-18-2009, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Franklin View Post

It would seem to me that you are wasting much of the medium with minimalist opera productions for blu-ray. What sumptuously staged blu-ray operas have been released so far?

Ben,

You make an excellent point. I would cite Giulio Cesare and Aida as the best staging among Blu-Ray operas, but most of the others have been underwhelming.
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post #183 of 1226 Old 08-18-2009, 05:42 PM
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I'm very familiar with Don Giovanni, having studied it in detail in college, seen it twice live, and listened to it countless times on CD. This production on Blu-Ray is very good, but not the best I've known. Its strength is in the female performers, who are all very good, plus the always reliable tenor Ramon Vargas as Don Ottavio. However, I've heard better performances in the key roles of Don Giovanni and Leporello. Fortunately with most Mozart operas, the music is wonderful even if all the performers are not optimum.
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post #184 of 1226 Old 08-18-2009, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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The ROH Don Giovanni was very good, but I did not like it enough to add to my library. I see that I've rented five versions over the years from Netflix and have two DVD versions in the library. The one that I have fondest recollections of is the Met's 2000 production with Terfel, Furlanetto and Fleming. Of course that's not HD. I've seen it live several times, including a staged concert version at the CSO with Barenboim conducting. One of my most vivid recollections is a terrific catalog aria at Chicago Chamber Opera in a theater with about 200 seats with instrumentation reduced to 7 pieces.
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post #185 of 1226 Old 08-19-2009, 03:17 AM
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Since I only list full operas on my site, here are the other Blu-ray tiles coming out in September in the U.S. that might be of interest to followers of this thread. All of them are scheduled for release on the 29th:

* Hereafter - Glenn Gould Documentary (Medici Arts)

* Gala Concert in St. Petersburg (Medici Arts) - Netrebko, Hvorostovsky, Maisky, Virsaladze, Tretjakov; Temirkanov

* The Sleeping Beauty (Opus Arte) - Cojocaru, Bonelli, Saunders; Petipa; Ovsyanikov, Royal Opera House

* Twin Spirits - Sting performs Schumann (Opus Arte) - Keenlyside, Krylov, Burnside; Caird, Royal Opera House

* Romeo & Juliet (Decca) - Acosta, Rojo; MacMillan; Gruzin, Royal Opera House

Cheers,

Bernal

Opera on DVD & BD New + Upcoming + Catalog:
http://stridonolassu.googlepages.com
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post #186 of 1226 Old 08-19-2009, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dneily View Post

Ben,

You make an excellent point. I would cite Giulio Cesare and Aida as the best staging among Blu-Ray operas, but most of the others have been underwhelming.

Cleopatra had some great costumes in Giulio Cesare, but I didn't find the rest of the staging that interesting. William Christie's 3 Rameau DVD productions with his own, Les Arts Florissants, on Opus Arte are really a feast for the eyes as well as ears. Ditto for Gergiev's Russian operas from the Mravinsky Theater, but are any blu-rays forthcoming? And I haven't read about the Bolshoi going Eurotrash, either. Please spare us from more Eugene Onegin from the Met disasters.
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post #187 of 1226 Old 08-19-2009, 12:04 PM
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Mravinsky Theater

Mariinsky Theater, Mravinsky was conductor.
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post #188 of 1226 Old 08-20-2009, 09:45 PM
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The problem is not so much minimalism, but rather the lack of imagination that has plagued so many minimalist productions. Die Walküre (Rattle/Braunschweig) even with all its positives is such an example and I'll have more to say about that is another post. Lohengrin however, is an example of minimalist staging that works well with the music and the dramatic interpretation.

The staging is by Nikolaus Lehnhoff who also staged an excellent version of Parsifal (which would make a great candidate for Blu-ray. Are you listening, Andrew?). Traditionalists may not approve, but I think both these productions serve the timelessness of Wagner's work quite well.

dneily made some apt comments about the "other worldly" voice of high tenor Klaus Florian Vogt in an earlier post. This is a very different tenor role than that of Siegfried or Tristan. It's more like Parsifal. Those who know the story will know that Lohengrin is Parsifal's son even though Lohengrin comes well before Parsifal in the sequence of Wagner's operatic output. As good as Vogt is, the real standout is Waltraud Meier as Ortrud. She owns this role almost as much as she does Kundry and arguably, Isolde as well. Her Act 2 duet with Telramund followed by her confrontation with Elsa is vocally superb. In addition every glance, expression and gesture are so dramatically attuned to the part that she commands our attention throughout.

Check this one out if you haven't already. A few screenshots from an AE3000 are below. The stage lighting gave a bluish tint to most scenes.
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post #189 of 1226 Old 08-21-2009, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by R o d View Post

The problem is not so much minimalism, but rather the lack of imagination that has plagued so many minimalist productions. Die Walküre (Rattle/Braunschweig) even with all its positives is such an example and I'll have more to say about that is another post. Lohengrin however, is an example of minimalist staging that works well with the music and the dramatic interpretation.

....

Check this one out if you haven't already. A few screenshots from an AE3000 are below. The stage lighting gave a bluish tint to most scenes.

OK, I put this into my Netflix Queue. However, based on my past experience, looking at images like that has little value for me over just reading the libretto while listening to a CD.
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post #190 of 1226 Old 08-21-2009, 08:21 AM
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I think you might like this one, Ben. Meier alone is worth the time of the rental. The costumes are a visual treat on Blu-Ray. Elsa is a lovely bride. Lohengrin is adorned in silver glitter to create a celestial appearance. Updated to modern times, he may be more of a knight in a shiny business suit than a knight in shining armor, but either way you can't get that from a CD. Enjoy.
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post #191 of 1226 Old 08-21-2009, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R o d View Post


The staging is by Nikolaus Lehnhoff who also staged an excellent version of Parsifal (which would make a great candidate for Blu-ray. Are you listening, Andrew?). Traditionalists may not approve, but I think both these productions serve the timelessness of Wagner's work quite well.

Hehehe- I can hear you, but I have nothing to do with schedule- I just follow it I can see, that we have DVD with Parsifal, so at some point there will be Blu-ray version released

Btw....it looks like your screenshots are oversaturated and have to high contrast


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post #192 of 1226 Old 08-21-2009, 07:13 PM
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Btw....it looks like your screenshots are oversaturated and have to high contrast


Andrew

Yeah, I'm working on that. It's not the projector. That has been calibrated with a test disc and looks beautiful. It's a camera issue. I'm still not sure what aperture to use and metering and white balance can be tricky.
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post #193 of 1226 Old 08-21-2009, 10:23 PM
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Here finally is a Le Nozze di Figaro with more “normal” staging and costumes. Even though this one lacks Anna Netrebko, I think most of you will like it more than her Blu-Ray release (Salzburg on DGG). Erwin Schrott and Gerald Finley are terrific as Figaro and Count Almaviva, respectively. Their baritone voices are consistently warm and rich … whether during loud or soft passages … in most all of their arias, duets and recitatives. At least five of the female voices are noteworthy. Three of the signature soprano arias are especially lovely: Dorothea Roschmann’s (Countess Almaviva’s) Porgi amor and Dove sono i bei momenti, and Miah Persson’s (Susanna’s) Deh vieni, non tardar. There was only one significant flaw of note: microphone problems throughout Act 4.

BTW, Dorothea Roschmann appears as the Countess in both Blu-Ray versions.
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post #194 of 1226 Old 08-24-2009, 06:40 PM
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Almost all the other BDs I have watched are 1080p24Hz This includes all movies and documentaries, made for TV, like Planet Earth. Does this depend solely on the kind of camera used to film the production? By the way, I certainly couldn't tell which one I am watching without pressing the Info button on my TV remote.
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post #195 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 12:20 PM
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Most performances are shot with broadcast video cameras, hence 1080i60.

--Andre
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post #196 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 01:35 PM
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Most performances are shot with broadcast video cameras, hence 1080i60.

--Andre

So I gather that most opera (and ballet?) performances are initially broadcast in 1080i HD and BDs are derived from those performances. If they had no broadcast planned, would they chose film cameras instead?
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post #197 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Franklin View Post

So I gather that most opera (and ballet?) performances are initially broadcast in 1080i HD and BDs are derived from those performances. If they had no broadcast planned, would they chose film cameras instead?

Probably not. Shooting video is much less expensive than shooting with film. Especially with multiple cameras.
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post #198 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
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So I gather that most opera (and ballet?) performances are initially broadcast in 1080i HD and BDs are derived from those performances. If they had no broadcast planned, would they chose film cameras instead?

I don't think so, because it would cost 10 times more: to shot, scan, grade, edit and archive. There is no need for film. Better solution is to use new digital cameras at 30p (or 60i for ballet).
Most of the opera houses have their own cameras, but they are quite old.
They just need to upgrade them to new ones.


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post #199 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Andrew,
I was under the impression that many, if not most, of the European and British HD opera recordings were shot at 50i, and then converted. True?
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post #200 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 02:36 PM
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Andrew,
I was under the impression that many, if not most, of the European and British HD opera recordings were shot at 50i, and then converted. True?

Yes- they are shot at 50i and than converted to 60i, so we can do one disc for whole world release. With new Alchemist HD results are good, but it would be better to avoid conversion.


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post #201 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 03:21 PM
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I don't think so, because it would cost 10 times more: to shot, scan, grade, edit and archive. There is no need for film. Better solution is to use new digital cameras at 30p (or 60i for ballet).
Most of the opera houses have their own cameras, but they are quite old.
They just need to upgrade them to new ones.


Andrew

Were the Ponnelle opera productions done as video or film?
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post #202 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Were the Ponnelle opera productions done as video or film?

Many answers are here (under technical specs): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0690454/#director
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post #203 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 04:09 PM
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Many answers are here (under technical specs): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0690454/#director

Sorry for being blind. Just where are the technical specs?
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post #204 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Sorry for being blind. Just where are the technical specs?

Click on a production you're interested in.
"Technical Specs" is one of the options on the left side as you scroll down.
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post #205 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 05:19 PM
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Click on a production you're interested in.
"Technical Specs" is one of the options on the left side as you scroll down.

Thanks. It seems that they are 35mm and done with the Spherical process. Does that mean they are best played back at 24HZ? It is possible to force SD playback at that speed on the Panasonic DMP 60/80. I wish some Ponnelle successor would arise to do what he did on blu-ray.
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post #206 of 1226 Old 08-25-2009, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Thanks. It seems that they are 35mm and done with the Spherical process. Does that mean they are best played back at 24HZ? It is possible to force SD playback at that speed on the Panasonic DMP 60/80. I wish some Ponnelle successor would arise to do what he did on blu-ray.

Presumably film was shot at 24fps. I imagine that it would be best played back at an integral multiple of 24fps. It appears that some equipment offers you the option to do so. Judge for yourself what's the best option. My opinion: 24 fps playback is the last thing I'd worry about.
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post #207 of 1226 Old 08-26-2009, 11:47 AM
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For the Wagner fans:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...s9p_QD9AA4KRG0

Quote:


Germany's Bayreuth Festival has agreed to enter a deal with a production arm of Britain's Royal Opera House to produce and sell DVD recordings of composer Richard Wagner's operas recorded at the annual festival.

Hopefully, BDs will be released, too.

--Andre
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post #208 of 1226 Old 08-26-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I would certainly think that Blu-rays will be issued too. If the Bayreuth Tristan is to be released in November 2009, Andrew might already be working on it....
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post #209 of 1226 Old 08-26-2009, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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More on Opus Arte and Bayreuth:

Posting of press release: http://www.kulturkompasset.com/2009/...and-opus-arte/

Commentary: http://wagneropera.blogspot.com/2009...oland-ott.html
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post #210 of 1226 Old 08-26-2009, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
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I would certainly think that Blu-rays will be issued too. If the Bayreuth Tristan is to be released in November 2009, Andrew might already be working on it....

Nope


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