Benvenuto Cellini
Director: Andreas Morell
Distributor: C Major Entertainment
Length: 165 min.
16:9 shot in 1080i HDTV | stereo & 5.1 surround sound
© 2007, a BFMI production for Unitel in co-production with ZDF - 3sat
What an over­ween­ing opus! Grande Opéra! It´s the story of the lib­ertine Benven­uto Cel­lini, sculptor, artist­ic geni­us, knifer and wo­men´s darling. This di­vert­ing tale finds its ana­logy in a won­der­ful mu­sic which is not only pop­u­lar but also in such a way ima­gin­at­ive and com­plex that Ber­lioz´con­tem­por­ar­ies wer­en´t able to ex­press it. The Wien­er Phil­har­monik­er, lead by Valery Ger­giev, Laurent Na­ouri, Brind­ley Sher­ratt, Mikhail Pet­renko, Maija Ko­va­levska, and Kate Ald­rich can cope with this chal­lenge. Of vi­tal im­port­ance to this concept are the bravura per­form­ances of Burkhard Fritz in the lead­ing part of Benven­uto Cel­lini and the Latvi­an sop­rano Maja Ko­va­levska as Teresa, a “vo­cal de­light“ and “Salzburg dis­cov­ery.“ Ko­va­levska, however, is only one of count­less dis­cov­er­ies to be made in this rous­ing pro­duc­tion.
It´s a fas­cin­at­ing play rarely en­acted due to the im­mense ef­fort which is ne­ces­sary to bring it on stage. The wide scene of the Großes Fest­spiel­haus mean­while is the per­fect place to re­an­im­ate the wild sculptor:

Stage dir­ect­or Philip Stölzl has poured his ex­per­i­ence as dir­ect­or of mu­sic videos (for Madonna, Mick Jag­ger and oth­ers), com­mer­cials and films in­to this pro­ject. The res­ult is “A mix of fu­tur­ism à la ‘Met­ro­pol­is,‘ fantasy à la ‘Bat­man‘ and quotes from Pir­anesi‘s ‘Car­ceri,‘ jux­ta­posed in the form of photo mont­ages, en­hanced with ... ro­bots, a heli­copter, a shark and the winged vehicle of a pop star Pope,“ ef­fuses crit­ic Mari­anne Zel­ger-Vo­gt (Neue Zürch­er Zei­tung).