Let me start off by mentioning what bothers me most about this "film" (basically a recorded stage opera): as one other reviewer mentioned, the Joan Sutherland tribute is totally out of place in the middle of an opera which is in full bloom. This part should have been done as an encore, at the end of the night. But maybe they feared not many people would have stayed to see it. I wouldn't, because I'm not a fan of Sutherland, who is (was) technically fine but severely lacking in emotion. Now, let's talk about what the film is really about: Die Fledermaus. This is an utterly entertaining opera, with tons of enchanting melodies and very funny situations. I have to admit that all the main roles are excellently sung, except for Orlofsky, whose lines are hard to understand. Add to that the lavish production and excellent orchestra, and you have a winner...you would think... But...I just don't buy this opera in English. "Die Fledermaus", it just rolls off your tongue, and it summons up dark, yet romantic images. Compare that to "the bat". Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the English language, it's absolutely perfect for pop/rock music, or even for more serious genres (Les Mis comes to mind), provided however that it's the language the lyrics were originally written in. Strauss' masterpiece was off course written in German, and that's the way it should be sung. "My dear, my dear, how sad this is" just doesn't hold up against "O je, o je, wie rührt mich dies". So on this point I have to thoroughly disagree with one of the other reviewers who seems to prefer the English spoken versions. Never more so than where he claims the German jokes fall flat. On the contrary, it is this version of Die Fledermaus where the whole third act is inferior to every German version I have seen. Yes, John Sessions is witty ("Before you can count to ten, I'll make you a counter tenor"). But he is addressing the audience...and that is NOT what Frosch should be doing. Instead he should be drunk, and doing (not telling) funny things, like removing the calendar leaf saying December 31st, only to reveal the next one, stating: December 32nd. This third act is where this, otherwise fine, version of Die Fledermaus falls flat compared to the German versions I've seen. But again, Howarth, Gustafson, Otey, Bottone, Michaels-Moore, they all sing and act very well, so I'll give it 7 out of 10.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?