Kurt Rydl - The Gladiator


TV-documentary, 53 min german, english or french subtitles, 2003

Starring: Kurt RydlZubin MehtaPlácido Domingo, Christiane Rydl, Werner Boote and many others.

NOMINATED EMMY AWARD 2003, Austrian TV award IMZ

NOMINATED "Europaen TV Award FIPA" category art documentary

Presented at the filmfestival IDFA Amsterdam



Watch the Trailer



They call him “Pavarotti of the deep notes” and he is, in fact, one of the most sought after basses in the operatic world: the Viennese singer Kurt Rydl. For a whole year, director Werner Boote followed the witty, energetic singer on his travels throughout Europe.


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The film portrays Rydl not only as a private person but also as a kind of popstar of the modern opera world, jetting from stage to stage with hardly a day of rest in between. He just loves his role as one of the great gladiators - on stage and in real life.


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Parsifal: Kurt Rydl and Plácido Domingo, colleagues and friends 


Kurt Rydl not only sings the roles of the gladiators in the operatic works but in real life he simply acts like one. Kurt Rydl is The Gladiator of the Operas 

A titan in the Circus Maximus of the opera. With more than 100 parts in six languages and more than 3000 performances (!) in 35 years on stage.

Boote shows a side of opera singer Kurt Rydl which is rarely seen. Obsessed with his career, he wishes he could simply beam from one opera house to the next. This intimate portrait also shows the great loneliness and solitude burdening this driven man.


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Kurt Rydl always knows the cheapest and fastest way to the operahouse 


Director Werner Boote accompanied Kurt Rydl for 8 months and created an Emmy-nominated masterwork out of 300 hours of material.

Watch another Trailer


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 Kurt sings "König Heinrich" in "Lohengrin"


Worldsales by ORF                                                  Buy the film at Amazon


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 Kurt Rydl - The Gladiator



An Austrian TV documentary on the Wagnerian singer Kurt Rydl, renowned not only for his magnificent bass voice but also the almost unbelievable number of engagements he has so far taken all over the world and sung to a most admirable standard.


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After the rehearsals in Florence, Italy, he needs to hurry up for the evening show.


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Kurt misses the train and calls the operahouse to wait. The overture starts as soon as he enters the building.



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Kurt Rydl as Hagen in Richard Wagners "Götterdämmerung"



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Writer-Director: Werner Boote

Cinematography: Thomas KirschnerHans SelikovskyOliver SchneiderWerner Boote

Sound: Dieter Draxler, Bernhard Schmid, Franz Moritz

Editor: Tom Pohanka

Producer: Dieter Pochlatko

Coproduction: epo film, Vienna/ORF/BM:BWK 2003

digibeta, 16:9



Period of shooting (Start/End): November 21st 2001 - Oktober 21st 2002

completed: November 13th 2002 

supported by: Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur



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Kurt Rydl at his Finca in Mallorca, Spain 


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Kurt Rydl in the Vienna State Opera where he receives an award from the State.

Verleihung des Österreichischen Ehrenzeichens für Wissenschaft und Kunst



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Boote: "If he could beam himself from one operahouse to the other,

Kurt would even sing four operas on one day. Not two!"



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Stagefright? - Kurt Rydl on the day of the premiere of Pierre Audi´s "Der Ring des Nibelungen" in Amsterdam 


Order your DVD at the production company epo film  


For more information please watch the trailer (Youtube) or contact us.



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