Walter Felsenstein Edition

Release Date: 11/25/2008
Label: Arthaus Musik
Catalog Number: 101345
Number of Discs: 12

Physical Format:

In Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Deluxe Edition with 104-page book also available

"A treasure ... a fascinating glimpse of an important moment in operatic history ... prov[ing] that Felsenstein was one of 20th-century opera's most influential and creative geniuses." – Peter G. Davis, The New York Times [May 18, 2008]

"A significant new box set of DVDs that should be required viewing for anyone who really loves opera.... The set is a time capsule that offers, if not a definitive statement, at least a number of revealing glimpses into what made Felsenstein's work so extraordinary." – Anne Midgette, The Washington Post [July 6, 2008]


Beethoven: Fidelio (1956)
Janá?ek: The Cunning Little Vixen (1965)
Mozart: Don Giovanni (1966)
Verdi: Otello (1969)
Offenbach: Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) (1970)
Offenbach: Barbe-bleu (Bluebeard) (1973)
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) (1975-76)

All Opera films are sung in German.

Artists: Anny Schlemm, Irmgard Arnold, Hanns Nocker, Rudolf Asmus, Christa Noack, Werner Enders, Ursula Reinhardt-Kiss, Melitta Muszely, Magda Laszlo, Vladimír Bauer

Picture format: NTSC 4:3
Sound format: PCM stereo
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Menu languages: English, German, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
Running time: 18 hours 20 mins

Walter Felsenstein (1901 - 1975), founder and general director of the Komische Oper in Berlin, was one of the twentieth century’s greatest creative theatre directors, who played a hugely important role in the revival of opera as a theatrical art form. A brilliant artist who directed over 190 productions during the course of his career, he was equally committed to the works, their creators, the ensemble and the audience. This unique edition brings together 7 opera films in a rare documentation that offers an insight into the theatrical work of a man whose legendary productions fascinated international audiences for decades. The films can now be experienced for the first time in carefully restored digital form. Felsenstein’s consistent development of the musical/visual language of opera film remains a source of inspiration even today. Opera on film – opera as film – however one describes them, his productions continue to astonish with their clarity and intensity.

Works on This Recording
1. Fidelio, Op. 72 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Georg Wieter (Bass), Magda László (Soprano), Sonja Schöner (Soprano), Richard Holm (Tenor), Kurt Equiluz (Tenor), Heinz Rehfuss (Bass Baritone)
Conductor: Fritz Lehmann
Orchestra/Ensemble: Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1804/1814 ; Vienna, Austria
2. The Cunning Little Vixen by Leos Janácek
Performer: Herbert Rossler (Bass), Irmgard Arnold (Soprano), Christel Oelhmann (Soprano), Rudolf Asmus (Baritone), Werner Enders (Tenor), Ruth Schob-Lipka (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Václav Neumann
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1921-1923 ; Brno, Czech Republic
3. Don Giovanni, K 527 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Fritz Hübner (Bass), Anny Schlemm (Soprano), György Melis (Baritone), Eva Maria Baum (Soprano), Herbert Rossler (Bass), Rudolf Asmus (Baritone), Klara Barlow (Soprano)
Conductor: Zdenek Kosler
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1787 ; Prague
4. Otello by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer: Hans Günther Nöcker (Bass), Erich Blasberg (Bass), Herbert Rossler (Bass), Hans-Otto Rogge (Tenor), Peter Seufert (Tenor), Hanna Schmoock (Mezzo Soprano), Vladimir Bauer (Baritone)
Conductor: Kurt Masur
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1887 ; Italy
5. Les contes d'Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach
Performer: Uwe Kreyssig (Baritone), Melitta Muszely (Soprano), Vladimir Bauer (Baritone), Hans Günther Nöcker (Bass), Alfred Wroblewski (Bass), Horst-Dieter Kaschel (Bass), Werner Enders (Tenor), Sylvia Kuziemski (Mezzo Soprano), Heinz Kogel (Baritone), Rudolf Asmus (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1881 ; Paris, France
6. Barbe-bleue by Jacques Offenbach
Performer: Anny Schlemm (Soprano), Eva Maria Baum (Soprano), Hans Günther Nöcker (Bass), Ute Trekel-Burckhardt (Alto), Hans-Otto Rogge (Tenor), Rudolf Asmus (Bass), Werner Enders (Tenor), Ruth Schob-Lipka (Mezzo Soprano), Helmut Polze (Baritone), Ingrid Czerny (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1866 ; Paris, France
7. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Uwe Kreyssig (Baritone), József Dene (Baritone), Barbara Sternberger (Soprano), Ute Trekel-Burckhardt (Alto), Rudolf Asmus (Bass), Helmut Volker (Bass), Werner Enders (Tenor), Ruth Schob-Lipka (Mezzo Soprano), Ursula Reinhardt-Kiss (Soprano), Magdalena Falewicz (Soprano)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
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