Walter Felsenstein Edition [Deluxe Limited Edition]

Release Date: 2/26/2008
Label: Arthaus Musik
Catalog Number: 101305
Number of Discs: 12

Physical Format:

Low Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews
"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)

Limited Edition with 12 DVDs
Book with 104 pages, facsimile prints and 7 inserts for each opera film

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

Special Features:
- Original manuscripts of Walter Felsenstein
- Original staging piano reductions with audio examples
- Drafts of the stage design, figurines, sketches and drawings
- Historical audio material with speeches and interviews with Walter Felsenstein
- Rehearsal film of Don Giovanni and newsreel footage from The Tales of Hoffmann
- Footage of Felsenstein stagings 1945 – 1961
- Script excerpts, conceptual scripts and picture galleries

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