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Strauss, Richard - Daphne
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Daphne - June Anderson
Leukippos - Roberto Saccà
Apollo - Scott Mac Allister
Peneios - Daniel Lewis Williams
Gaea - Birgit Remmert
Erster Schäfer - Dominik Eberle
Zweiter Schäfer - Stefano Ferrari
Dritter Schäfer - Giuseppe Accolla
Vierter Schäfer - Emanuele Pedrini
Erste Magd - Liesl Odenweller
Zweite Magd - Dorothee Wiedmann
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro La Fenice di Venezia
Conductor: Stefan Anton Reck
4.05.2005 , Venezia,Teatro de la Fenice*Orchestra del Teatro de la Fenice
Dir. Stefan Anton Reck *
Reg. Paul Curran * Bühne Kevin Knigh,
Daniel Lewis Williams -Peneios
Birgit Remmert - Gaea
June Anderson - Daphne
Roberto Saccà - Leukippos;
Frank Porretta - Apollo
Roberto Saccà hat schon mit Erfolg weltweit den Leukippos gesungen, aber für June Anderson ist dies eine gelungene Premiere.
Die Stimme sonst in anderen Gefilden zuhause ist hier eine echte Idealbesetzung. Auch die anderen Protagonisten sind gut besetzt und der Dirigent überzeugt.
Das Werk wird als solches gegeben - ohne Regiemätzchen.
114 minuten Strauss pur !
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FIRST, I am not a rabid June Anderson Fan! Yet, she is the REAL Reason to own this DVD. She is Magnificent as DAPHNE! Both Tenors, Sacca and MacAllister are only a bit better than acceptable; especially when compared to Wunderlich and King who are in the German Film of DAPHNE filmed in the Television Studio in 1964 in an excellent Traditional production in Black & White. I hope this is tempting you! Then Williams as Peneios and Remmert as Gaea are just barely adequate when compared to Gottlob Frick and Hertha Topper in the 64' Film. This new Dvd has excellent sound and the production is a minimal set with some Stunning lighting effects. The really big disapointment is the Transformation scene - nothing happens! Anderson is wonderful here and she sings and acts very well; BUT, SHE NEVER BECOMES A TREE!!! Now in 2004 I saw a New York City Opera Production of DAPHNE with Elisabeth Frutral as Daphne and two wonderful Tenors. It also was a minimal set ; they at least did a token gesture Transformation with a hydraulic lift. Shades of an oil change. Stefania Woytowicz sings a wonderfull DAPHNE for German Television but with the magic of camera overlays is really transformed into a tree and quite believably. Conductor Stefan Anton Reck and the La Fenice di Venezia orchestra do a fine job on this new DVD. Joseph Keilberth and the Bayersichen Rundfunks are just as good as Bohm on the DGG CDS with the Weiner Symphoniker. I will watch this DVD again because June Anderson is a GREAT DAPHNE; however, I will much more often watch the ENCORE DVD #2548 because of the entire cast, conductor, production, transformation even in Black & White.
There are a few problems with this ENCORE tape to DVD transfer. There are one or two pops and tics. For one or two seconds there is a problem with a damaged stretched tape that was not able to be repaired. It is B&W. The Audio was prerecorded in the studio in excellent mono and the lip sync is not always dead on; especially with James King. However, the Set, costumes, singing, conducting, playing, choreography, sound and especially the CAST make this a must for Fans of these singers. Fritz Wunderlich on film is a treasure as well as King's Apollo. Lighting effects are also good. ENCORE DVDS are for people who are not afraid of older Technology and some Flaws. They are Private Transfers as far as I can tell. This One except where noted is very Good. I got mine at Berkshire Record Outlet which deals with cutouts. IT IS WORTH LOOKING FOR! The ENCORE DVD does not have Subtitles or Tracking Nos.
The conductor, Stefan Anton Reck, was unknown to me, but he does a fine job, pacing the opera convincingly and drawing beautiful playing from the orchestra. June Anderson is a wonderful Daphne. In the world of ideals she is too old for the part, but she sings beautifully, spinning out those high lines with ease. And she moves with remarkable grace and poise. She is well partnered by Roberto Saccà. Leukippos is one of Strauss' more singable tenor roles, and Saccà makes good use of his lovely lyric voice and good dramatic skills. By contrast, Apollo is on of Strauss' impossible tenor parts, requiring Wagnerian power in a cruelly high tessitura. Scott Mac Allister sings it so convincingly that it might seem churlish to complain that he doesn't look very godlike and that his acting is stiff. Birgit Remmert is a lovely Gaea, making the part more than a study in low notes. Daniel Lewis Williams is a solid Peneios. It is a pleasant surprise to have the Shepherds and the Maids cast with such fine voices.
I rather like the minimal/abstract production. The costumes are lovely; the stage, with its movable concentric circles, is intriguing; and the lighting is imaginative. Some reviewers complain that there is no tree for the transformation scene, but I really don't mind. It seems to me that suddenly introducing such an elaborate piece of stage machinery would clash with the rest of the production, with its temporally non-specific costuming and lack of representational scenery. Anderson's beautifully choreographed movement complements the orchestral postlude, which features Strauss' orchestral writing at its most magical.
In comparing this DVD to earlier audio recordings some invoke the 1964 Deutsche Grammophon recording, which I never liked much. The best thing about it is the beautifully sung Leukippos of Fritz Wunderlich; the other leads are less good. I always loved Hilde Gueden, and she was probably a good Daphne a decade earlier; she was past her vocal prime for this performance, and her singing is labored. James King makes heavy weather of Apollo's music; fine singer though he was, the role sounds uncomfortably high for him. Karl Böhm conducts the opera well - after all, it was dedicated to him! But he also makes large and damaging cuts, most seemingly intended to make things easier for Gueden and King. The standard-setting audio recording is the 1983 EMI album, well-conducted by Bernard Haitink, with a fine cast. Lucia Popp never sang Daphne on stage, but the role suited her to a T; her rapturously beautiful singing is unmatched. Peter Schreier was also in top form as Leukippos; he is second only to Wunderlich, who had a more intrinsically beautiful sound. Apollo is one of Reiner Goldberg's better efforts. He sensibly sings lyrically, never pushing beyond his comfort zone; but as usual, he rarely seems to know what he's singing about. Ortrun Wenkel is a sonorous Gaea and Kurt Moll a bluff, powerful Peneios. It is shameful that this fine recording remains out of print!
Update: The Haitink "Daphne" has been reissued by Arkivmusic.com. It's well worth checking out.