Taymor, the innovative stage and opera director who staged The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera this past season, also designed the costumes for Oedipus Rex; her longtime collaborator George Tsypin created the sets.
Langridge sang the title role, Norman was his wife, Jocasta, and a 26-year-old Terfel was Creon. Butoh dancer Min Tanaka doubled the role of Oedipus, silently acting the role as Langridge sang; Kayoko Shiraishi narrated in Japanese. Seiji Ozawa conducted the Saito Kinen Orchestra.
In a 1993 review of the film, New York Times critic Edward Rothstein wrote, "The masks and puppets, Oedipus's dancing double, the echoes of classical Japanese drama in most of the costumes by Emi Wada and make-up by Reiko Kruk, along with the Japanese narration, give this opera, usually staged as little more than an oratorio with costumes, extraordinary power."
The DVD includes interviews by Taymor of Norman, Ozawa, and Tsypin; a gallery of production photos; and a director's note by Taymor.