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MA 30 Movers & Shapers: Bernhard Fleischer
By John Fleming
December 5, 2017
A native of Salzburg, Bernhard Fleischer as a boy attended the city’s famed festivals, remembering in particular the first Carmen he saw at age 14 in 1985 when Herbert von Karajan was the artistic overseer.
It seems fitting, then, that in 2006 Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images’s biggest project to date took place at the famed festival. It was the celebration of Mozart’s 250th birthday, and BFMI was there to film Salzburg’s productions of all 22 of the composer’s operas. The mammoth undertaking, a collaboration with Unitel, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, and TDK, was recorded in HD and surround sound and released that year as Mozart 22, a boxed set of 33 DVDs. “Mozart 22 was a great milestone where we could prove our logistical and artistic reliability, delivering 22 operas within three months to the broadcasters and labels,” Fleischer said.
BFMI, founded in 1998, has more than 200 productions to its credit, ranging from a 2003 TV special on Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, The Woman—The Voice (which Fleischer considers his “breakthrough”), to the LA Phil Live series of concerts in HD transmitted to movie theaters in 2011 and 2012, to a Baroque musical journey through crime novelist Donna Leon’s Venice. For a video of Lang Lang’s 2013 recital at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the company was one of the first classical music producers to use 4K cameras, a format that provides much higher picture resolution than HD.
“We are seeking projects that have the potential to be watched and appreciated not only by the classical target audience, but by a broader group of potential viewers,” Fleischer said. “We see no reason why a music or performing arts project should be less interesting by its nature than other genres.”
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