The Wagner Journal

Directors’ Decade: Matthew Rye finds plenty to enjoy in a bicentennial set that brings together recent interpretations of all ten of Wagner’s canonic music dramas

Directors’ Decade: Matthew Rye finds plenty to enjoy in a bicentennial set that brings together recent interpretations of all ten of Wagner’s canonic music dramas

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Review of The Wagner Edition (Opus Arte, 25 DVDs): Der fliegende Holländer, directed Kušej, conducted Haenchen, Amsterdam, 2010; Tannhäuser, directed Holten, conducted Layer, Copenhagen, 2009; Lohengrin, directed Lehnhoff, conducted Nagano, Baden-Baden, 2006; Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed Kupfer, conducted de Billy, Barcelona, 2003–4; Tristan und Isolde, directed Lehnhoff, conducted Bělohlávek, Glyndebourne, 2007; Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, directed McVicar, conducted Jurowski, Glyndebourne, 2011; Parsifal, directed Lehnhoff, conducted Nagano, Baden-Baden, 2004.

July 2013, Volume 7, Number 2, 63–7.

Anniversaries provide an opportunity to exploit back catalogue as much as to appraise a composer’s lesser-known work, and big boxes are now de rigueur. Opus Arte’s Wagner Edition is bigger than most, bringing together performances of the ten canonic stage works from the DVD company’s archives (including a Tannhäuser licensed from Decca), many of which have already been reviewed – on stage or video – in these pages. Unlike, say, Warner’s Barenboim CD edition, there’s no single creative figure unifying the set (beyond Wagner himself), but an accompanying booklet article by Chris Walton reveals how it explores a decade’s worth of European Regietheater. Yet the result only goes to show what a broad-brush term Regietheater is. 

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