The Berlin Concert---Live from the "Waltbühne". Stars Plácido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, and Rolando Villazón singing opera favorites at the Berlin Waltbühne, (Forest Theater) in July 2006. Marco Armiliato conducts the Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin. (This show should not be confused with the annual Waltbühne summer concerts put on by the Berliner Philhamoniker.)
Here are the selections performed:
- Verdi Overture to Nabucco
- Cilea "È la solita storia del pastore" from L'Arlesiana
- Puccini "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi
- Massenet "Ah! Parais! Parais, astre de mon ciel" from Le Mage
- Verdi "Già nella notte densa" from Otello
- Bizet Entr'acte from Carmen
- Bizet "Au fond du temple saint" from Les Pêcheurs de perles
- Rossini Overture to Semiramide
- Grever Júrame
- Lehár "Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss" from Giuditta
- Ernesto de Curtis "Non ti scordar di me"
- Puccini "O soave fanciulla" from La Bohème
- Mascagni Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana
- Furio Rendine Vurria
- Bernstein "Tonight" from West Side Story
- Rossini La Danza
- Puccini "Quando men vo" from La Bohème
- Pablo Sorozabál "No puede ser" from La tabernera del puerto
- Verdi "Libiamo ne' lieti calichi" or "Brindisi" from La traviata
- Lehár "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" from Das Land des Lächelns
Directed for video by Frank Hof. Released 2008, disc has 5.1 PCM and 5.1 dts-HD sound. Grade: B+
The Waldbühne, part of the Olympic Stadium complex in Berlin, seats 20,000 in Greek-style outdoor amphitheater discomfort. There's a utilitarian stage topped by a high-tech circus tent canopy---Berlin is famous for these edgy/ugly architectural experiments. To their credit, the producers of this event dressed up the stage quite well, the orchestra wore white tie, and the show looked as elegant as possible outdoors. Still, this one-shot performance had be miked and amped with wires everywhere supporting giant screens with images of the action.
The weather is rarely perfect for these events---this time it was hot and humid with Armiliato about to die from heat stroke. The singers had to mug and ham it up in an effort to connect to the vast sea of ants all over the mountain side before them. All this doesn't mesh too well with the new high-definition cameras showing what everything really looks like.
Well, nobody could complain too much about the 3 stars doing stuff like "O mio babbino caro", and Netrebko is movie-star beautiful in this film. But we still got the impression that our heroes seemed a bit harassed, unrehearsed, and jet-lagged. We note also that the producers included more than a few shots taken with standard definition cameras, and this is anathema to us HDVD fans. If you want to add a singing concert to your collection, we suggest you skip this title and start at Baden-Baden with the Deutsche Grammophon The Opera Gala. But if you can afford two discs of opera arias, you will probably be happy with the Berlin Concert also.
There's a ton of clips about this show on YouTube, but all of them are in poor to fair SD and not worth highlighting here.