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The Met’s most recent Wagner, transmitted live to cinemas worldwide exactly a year ago, is now on DVD. It would have been better on CD, where its musical virtues could be properly appreciated: the cast is excellent. Film lays bare the vacuity of Girard’s staging, beholden to the Met’s anti-intellectual aesthetic, but Kaufmann fans should note it also lays bare the star German tenor’s chest, specially waxed for the occasion.
Despite this and René Pape’s justly renowned Gurnemanz, there are better options: try the 1992 Kupfer/Barenboim production, or Wolfgang Wagner’s no-nonsense version from Bayreuth.
Jonas Kaufmann/Metropolitan Opera