I'll agree with David that a new DVD of the upcoming Met Salome would be
fascinating, and probably something of a "hit." We know the alliance
between the Met and PBS is (or PBS and any opera company) is a mess (hey,
thanks, PBS!) but the Met already has some stuff on video which I wish would
find its way to DVD and commerial release, chief among them for my interest
would be the Wozzeck of several seasons ago, which (I believe) was to have
been telecast a season or two back.
I've often wondered why the Met doesn't record, market and sell their own
DVD product, burning only what's necessary and selling them at the Met shop,
selected retail and through their own web site.
I for one would be first in line for the Troyens of this past season. While
some have argued over the production, I enjoyed the production far more than
the available Salzburg Festival Wernicke production, where, despite a
stunning performance by Deborah Polaski, and Russ Braun's beautifully sung
Choroebus, the production felt stagnant (and with absolutely not a DROP of
passion between Jon Villars Enee and Polaski's Didon), and even cutting out
all of the dance sequences, still felt longer than the Met's. Visually,
too, the Met's production was fascinating, better costumed (The Wernicke
production features almost everyone in identical costumes - formal evening
wear, with some silly turbans for the women of Carthage - everyone holding
champagne flutes for much of Part II).
Dead Man Walking (of which PBS had a nice hour long documentary on the
making of, but no commitment to showing the entire opera) has earned enough
fans in the U.S. (and possibly interest outside the States) that I'd think a
DVD of it would do far better than the released CD. I'd chose the current
"touring" production with the cast heading New York City Opera (Joyce
DiDonato simply magnificent).
The Met's terrific telecast of Lulu with Julia Migenes as (literally) a last
minute sub for Stratas (I can't begin to imagine an artist giving up a
telecast of a role she's so identified with) has never been shown again. I
still have shivers from that performance.
Staying with Berg, the Frankfurt production of Wozzeck (available on pirate
DVD) with Dale Duesing and Catherine Ciesenski is brilliant in every way.
What's really odd about Wozzeck on DVD is that the only commercially
available DVD of Wozzeck (the equally amazing Vienna production with
Grundheber and Behrens) uses Duesing from the Frankfurt production as the
cover! Anyone waiting for that visually arresting scene (a horror stricken
Duesing carrying bundles of giant sticks) will never see it since its a
different production, with a different Wozzeck. What the heck is THAT all
Another Met DVD of choice (mine, of course) would be the recent magnificent
Speaking of Frau, I can't seem to find Solti's Salzburg Frau with Studer
(stunning!), Marton, Lipovsek, Hale, et al., anymore. Was it ever released
on DVD? Was it pulled? I'll not part with my VHS version til I've one
securely in hand. (This set, terrific as it is, would be alone worth the
price for Studer's dazzling, revelatory and stunning moment when, for the
first time, she sees her shadow . . . it's absolutely shattering . . . and
the final ensemble with Hale and Marton's reconciliation and reunion . . .
uh oh . . . I think I know how I'm spending my afternoon!)
p (off to watch Frau!)