Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
Ripley, the Vampyr:
I don't want to stoop to violence, but if forced to then I will!
That B-movie crap is bollocks! Tell me now, you bastard, who in hell you really are!
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'Der Vampyr: A Soap Opera' was a surprisingly fang-tastic treat, and is a great chance to get acquainted with a rarely performed opera and composer.
It's not for traditionalists. Marschner's 'Der Vampyr' has been thoroughly modernised and revamped, and with the nudity, sexual scenes, violence and crude language it's more explicit. However, despite how this all sounds, reading about it is enough to make you think this could be a disaster, this all adds to the atmosphere and the opera's allure, which is actually entertaining and adjusts well to being modernised. More importantly, the basic story is never lost.
The glitzy production values look glamorously colourful and darkly sinister, all captured beautifully by the clever and sometimes cinematic-looking photography and surprisingly excellent special effects (especially for opera). The staging is hugely entertaining and has a lot of spooky atmosphere at the same time, complete with some legitimately funny and smart moments in the dialogue.
Musically, it is spot-on, with full blooded and lavish orchestral playing, while also with a suitably light touch that goes wonderfully with Marschner's music, and superb conducting by David Parry. The performances are better than one can ask for, especially from an outstanding in every way Omar Ebrahim as a deliciously evil and seductive Ripley, Richard Van Allan who provides for a typically authoritative father figure and a strongly characterised Phillip Salmon.
Fiona O'Neill, Willemijn Van Gent, and Sally-Ann Shepherdson in the main female roles are no less fine either, while the sound quality is excellent.
All in all, modernised Marschner that works brilliantly. Well worth tracking down. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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