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Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

4.2 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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(Dec 12, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Opera conducted by James Levine and featuring the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Stars Kathleen Battle, Luciana Serra, Francisco Araiza and Barbara Kilduff.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kathleen Battle, Francisco Araiza, Manfred Hemm, Kurt Moll, Luciana Serra
  • Directors: Brian Large
  • Writers: Emanuel Schikaneder
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: German (PCM Stereo), Unknown (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Chinese
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: December 12, 2000
  • Run Time: 169 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000050X31
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,611 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I am a long time magic flute lover, who has heard or owned most of the major recording out there. Recently I started buying Mozart opera DVD's as they were good to introduce friends to the operas. I first bought the recent Davis/Royal Opera version, but found it a very mixed bag, so I decided to go for this one since Kurt Moll was always my favorite Sarastro on record and he sings the part here (The Sarastro on Davis was very dissapointing).
The bad news is that Moll is not in quite as good voice as he was in either his Solti or Davis CD audio only performances. The good news is that he is still magnificent, and this is the best Zauberflote I have ever heard!
I never had much respect for James Levine as a conductor. Well that has changed. For reference, my favorite flute's ever were 1)Christie on Erato 2)Klemperer on EMI 3)Beecham on EMI. All had there problems, but Christie I found to be the overall best flute I knew including all cast, conducting, acting, and recording. And it has been replaced by a DVD flute!
What I loved about this performance:
First of all the conducting is very fine. It is very sharp and disciplined performance with precise singing (litte romantic sliding of notes) and there is, best of all, a wonderful sense of listening between all the singers and the orcherstra. It was obviously meticulously rehearsed for the 1991 Mozart celebrations. Mozart is the most difficult music to perform because you cannot get away with any emotional sloppiness, which means a luminous precision is always called for. This performance has this quality better than any other I know.
There are some weak bits in my opinion however. A few of the arias really drag their feet in a failed attempt for the conductor and singer to find the right inspiration.
Read more ›
4 Comments 89 of 97 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
Artist David Hockney's set design adds a wonderful dimension to this production (which premiered in San Francisco with a mostly different cast). Given that "The Magic Flute" is a fairy tale, I found the imaginative and whimsical sets very pleasing. The cast is wonderful too. Kathleen Battle's Pamina is beautiful to behold and wonderful to listen to -- her voice is sweet, never shrill. Manfred Hemm as Papageno is just cute enough, nicely engaging and the perfect comic actor for this role. The stately Kurt Moll as Sarastro the high priest sings with the voice of God himself (as well he should in the aria 'Im diesen heilgen Hallen'). Luciana Serra simply IS the Queen of the Night. If I don't mention the others, it's for lack of space. James Levine's orchestra is topnotch (well, this is the Met, so what else would it be?). Subtitles make the "singspiel" libretto accessible to us English speakers. If you want a definitive version of "The Magic Flute," take my advice and buy this one!
Comment 37 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on July 3, 2004
Format: DVD
I am a long time magic flute lover, who has heard or owned most of the major recording out there. Recently I started buying Mozart opera DVD's as they were good to introduce friends to the operas. I first bought the recent Davis/Royal Opera version, but found it a very mixed bag, so I decided to go for this one since Kurt Moll was always my favorite Sarastro on record and he sings the part here (The Sarastro on Davis was very dissapointing).
The bad news is that Moll is not in quite as good voice as he was in either his Solti or Davis CD audio only performances. The good news is that he is still magnificent, and this is the best Zauberflote I have ever heard!
I never had much respect for James Levine as a conductor. Well that has changed. For reference, my favorite flute's ever were 1)Christie on Erato 2)Klemperer on EMI 3)Beecham on EMI. All had there problems, but Christie I found to be the overall best flute I knew including all cast, conducting, acting, and recording. And it has been replaced by a DVD flute!
What I loved about this performance:
First of all the conducting is very fine. It is very sharp and disciplined performance with precise singing (litte romantic sliding of notes) and there is, best of all, a wonderful sense of listening between all the singers and the orcherstra. It was obviously meticulously rehearsed for the 1991 Mozart celebrations. Mozart is the most difficult music to perform because you cannot get away with any emotional sloppiness, which means a luminous precision is always called for. This performance has this quality better than any other I know.
There are some weak bits in my opinion however. A few of the arias really drag their feet in a failed attempt for the conductor and singer to find the right inspiration.
Read more ›
Comment 45 of 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Of course, this made-for-VHS production (which possibly aired on PBS at one point) does not have the video quality of some films on DVD, but it is quite crisp and vibrant, and has the special touches (wonderful costumes/props/sets) of a Met production. The Met touch is especially nice for Zauberflote, as it frequently receives a "minimalist" staging. Manfred Hemm is excellent as Papageno and Kurt Moll is an incredible -- if slightly unconfident in the lower register at times -- Sarastro. This is an opera that even people who hate opera will love. Spoken dialogue is included, so the plot is intelligible (especially with German, French, Chinese and English subtitles). The performance rivals the best I've heard, and you are not liable to find a better DVD edition.
Comment 25 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
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