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Behind the Scenes
Conductor Sir Colin Davis talks about Die Zauberflöte
Illustrated Synopsis of the opera
The smaller roles are done well, too. Ailish Tynan has a romp as Papagena; the evil Monostatos is done to vocal and acting perfection by Adrian Thompson, the Queens Three Ladies are well-matched and appropriately edgy, and the Temple Priests are convincingly sung and acted. This production of Die Zauberflöte is a dark one. Producer David McVicar and conductor Davis reject the relatively recent transformation of the opera into a Disney-like romp for kids. The comic element in the opera is there, but its philosophical underpinnings--humanitys fitful progress to a higher plane are paramount. There are still plenty of laughs with the fake dragon that pursues Tamino at the operas opening and Papagenos funny business with a bird, among other chuckle-inducing scenes. But the productions Stygian backgrounds make for an oppressive setting. When light enters, as in the pomp of Sarastros entry or the blazing yellow disc of the sun that conquers darkness, the operas meanings are crystal-clear. Most of the characters wear 18th Century outfits, to comic effect as Monostatos heavy makeup, lipsticked mouth, and elaborate wig. But there are occasional incongruities: Taminos smock, the Three Boys knit sweaters and short pants, and Papaganas mangy fur coat, among others. Theyre well intregrated into the staging so they dont jar. Nor, aside from the occasional too-tight closeups, does the video direction. In the special features, Davis speaks of the operas tension between "lighthearted music and the seriousness of the story," and all elements of this production fuse those key aspects in a way that makes this DVD a joy to hear and watch. Dan Davis
Die Zauberflöte is an all-regions 2-disc set in 16:9 ratio. Sound options include Dolby Stereo and 5.1 Surround. Sung in German with subtitles in English and Spanish. Extras include an illustrated synopsis, a behind the scenes feature of the production, and Sir Colin Davis talking about Die Zauberflöte
Diana Damrau and Simon Keenlyside show perfect performance.
Her performance--her singing, outstanding acting, great costume, and unworldly beauty are reason alone for seeing this Flute.
The audio/video quality is excellent for both the DVD and Blu-Ray versions and it looks quite pretty on your screen.
This disc has been difficult for me to rate on the five star scale. There is nothing horribly wrong, and many things are done right, but in the final analysis it is a workmanlike... Read morePublished 14 days ago by ruleman
I'm going to pick some nits about this opera. First of all, everyone says that Sarastro is the good guy and the Queen of the Night is bad. Balderdash! Read morePublished 16 days ago by Daniel1948
Keenlyside and Damrau .. it just doesn't get any better. Röschmann is a very good Pamina and Damrau is the perfect Queen of Night. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Marianna
How can you add much to those earlier reviews that gave this production 5 stars.. I am in total agreement and I love all the DVDs from the Royal Opera House .. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Richard Turnley
What a fantastic performance! Great work by all of the musicians.Published 2 months ago by Robert G.
This opera features one of the hardest soprano roles: the queen of the night. It is sung brilliantly by Diana Damrau who looks absolutely evil. Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. Galishoff