02 July 2008

Katharina Wagner and her Meistersinger on DVD

Via Mostly Opera I read that United Motion is planning to re-edit the live footage of Katharina Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for release on DVD in November. The filming will be done by eight remote-control cameras.

I am a bit surprised that this production will be released on DVD so soon. After all, this is only the second season it runs. Usually it takes a couple of years for a production to find its form in Bayreuth. It is also strange that the premiere will be used as raw material for this DVD release. The second and third performance will most likely be of a higher artistic quality than the premiere, at least according to some commentators I have spoken with.

Bayreuth Festival
Bayreuth Festival 2008 programme and cast


mostly opera... said...

Well, in my opinion the timing of the Meistersinger transmission makes completely sense: The publicity surrounding Katharina Wagner has never been higher than now as the designated new leader of Bayreuth and the interest surrounding her person is probably considerably lower next year. Thus, from a publicity point of view, this year is the year to make the transmission.

And the 27th makes sense as well as it is the only Meistersinger performance to take place on a Sunday (thus vastly maximizing the potential live audience) and furthermore the buzz around Bayreuth is highest at the beginning of the Festival.

I wouldn´t expect the subsequent performances to differ much from the first one, as almost all singers + the conductor participated in the production last year.

O Weh! Die Spange! said...

Dünkt dich das? Ich weiß es anders. :P

I tried to write about the DVD release, not the Internet transmission.

If Chéreau's Ring had been released on DVD the first year, it would have been a terrible flop. At least according to Chéreau the first year was a disaster.

Publicity is one thing; quality another. Internet transmission is one thing; DVD release another. I am sure Katharina's Meistersinger will develope the next years. Productions must grow and mature.

mostly opera... said...

As I see it, it is of the utmost importance for the consolidation of Katharina Wagner´s future position as Bayreuth Festival Leader to demonstrate a capability to generate income to the Festival, independent of the State of Bavaria. Much more important, I´d say, than to wait for a small quality lift of the production, which may or may not come..Tactically, thought perhaps not artistically, they are, imo, making the right decision with the release this year. Especially if Thielemann´s Vienna Meistersinger is to be released next year as rumoured (I´m not certain a final decision has been made on that yet).

A major quality lift of the production may only come with changes in some of the cast or conductor, imo (didn´t Chéreau´s 1976 cast differ on some crucial points from the DVD cast?)