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Mozart - Die Zauberflote


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Editorial Reviews


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rene Pape, Diana Damrau, Paul Groves, Franz Grundheber, Christian Gerhaher
  • Directors: Pierre Audi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 176 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ICL3Q0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,231 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Todd Kay on January 14, 2007
Verified Purchase
This FLUTE, super-complete in its inclusion of spoken dialogue (2 DVDs, 176 minutes), features a staging by Pierre Audi that is apt to divide viewers. It resembles a children's television show (and may, therefore, have some appeal as family viewing), with its searingly bright colors, playground-like sets heavy on geometric designs, and all manner of wild costumes and props, though the stage is never truly cluttered. Papageno makes his first appearance in a toy car, attended by playful supernumeraries in yellow bird costumes; they resemble something you might see strutting around at the opening of a chicken fast-food restaurant. The three boys travel overhead not in the usual hot-air balloon but in something like a World War I fighter plane. There are some arresting images (such as Sarastro's followers, in mime-like make-up, solemnly marching onto the darkened stage carrying glow sticks) amidst much silliness, and real fire and water are used in the ritual scenes. Whether the production succeeds may depend on whether one comes down on the side of "fanciful" or "garish."

About the musical portion, I find very little to fault, and would have no problem placing this in the very front rank on DVD (the brilliant cinema of the Bergman film should be considered as just that -- a cinematic achievement, not a typical opera DVD). It even holds its own against the best on records. None of the singing is less than acceptable, and most of it is superb. Four singers merit individual mention. Genia Kuhmeier follows on the heels of Dorothea Roeschmann (the heroine of Abbado's recent CD recording) as another stunning modern Pamina, a winsome presence who achieves new heavenly things every time she opens her mouth; she even plays well in close-up.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bob Epstein on September 6, 2007
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This joyous, delightful performance jumps to the top of the list of Zauberflotes I have seen on DVD, six in total. The brilliant Crayola-bright staging of Pierre Audi and set design of Karel Appel seem to have divided viewers, but I found them insightful, touching and thoroughly winning. This is simply a joy to watch and listen to. Yet the seriousness and profundity are not lacking. It is not only delightful but eloquent.

The voices and characterizations are top-notch and the Vienna Philharmonic sounds golden under a sensitive Riccardo Muti. There are no weak links in the casting, from a brilliant, demonic Diana Damrau as Queen of the Night to a touching Tamino (Paul Groves), sweet Papageno (Christian Gerhaher) and eloquent Pamina (Genia Kuhmeier). Audi gets the most out of his actor singers.

Of the remaining five Zauberflotes I have seen, here are some summaries, in order of my preference. (I have not seen the Sir Colin Davis, Covent Garden DVD nor the Wolfgang Sawallish, Bavrian State Opera DVD - other major video contenders).

4.5 stars: Arnold Ostman and the Drottningholm Court Orchestra. A real winner, with tremendous ensemble, verve and spirit, marred only by a vocally poor Queen of the Night (Birgit Louise Frandsen). These lesser-known singers bring off the drama and the fun, with interaction that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

4 stars: James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera. The stars of this winning performance are the charming, delightful sets of David Hockney and the beguiling Manfred Hemm as Papageno. Some of the acting is a bit stiff (Francisco Araiza as Tamino, admittedly a rather priggish character anyway), and Kathleen Battle as Pamina.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Niel Rishoi on March 10, 2007
This DVD release of the Salzburg production doesn't coalesce. The stage

design by Karel Appel and costumes by Jorge Jara is a

jumbleshop between Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse and a

deranged version of Romper Room. Too-cute oversized toys

mixed with ugly jungle-like symbols. Unlike in the MET's Taymor's

production, the touches in the Salzburg staging seemed

ponderous, forced and gimmicky. Sarastro is made to look

like a ghoul. The Queen of the Night, in her first costume,

looks like she'd been hosed down with Lime-Jello

Marshmallow Surprise. Tamino looks like a WW II refugee;

Pamina looks better. Papageno in dreadlocks. Some weird

staging concepts: At the end of Act One Papageno and

Monostatos are tied up in these sacks, and hooked onto

these huge fish hooks which are lowered down onto the

stage, and away they go, they are hoisted up. Nothing

coalesces as a unity in this production, and all the

opera's charm, fatally, has been zapped away: a cynical,

un-Mozartian view. Get the Ustinov DVD to realize the opera's true magic.

A pity too: this is one of Riccardo Muti's greatest

successes as a conductor. He is relaxed, and, eliciting

inspiration from his orchestra, the score sounds simply

gorgeous. Textures are crystal clear, and there is a

beguiling warmth in all his work - what a relief to see

this side of him. Pape is much as on the MET telecast, his

character once again hampered by an oxyMORONIC concept.
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