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Mozart - The Magic Flute / The Australian Opera, Yvonne Kenny, Donald Shank

Yvonne Kenny , Donald Shank , Goran Jarvefelt  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yvonne Kenny, Donald Shank
  • Directors: Goran Jarvefelt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000RO6K1M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,285 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Mozart's The Magic Flute is part fantasy, part parable, part comedy and all heart. The tale of Prince Tamino s quest for love, truth and beauty is set in a mysterious forest and features wild, exotic beasts. Radiant performances from the outstanding cast enhance the magic of Mozart s lyrical score.

...the most believable and simply beautiful production of The Magic Flute you are likely to see anywhere. The Melbourne Herald

Featuring: Yvonne Kenny, Gran Wilson, John Fulford, Christa Leahmann, Donald Shannks The Australian Opera Chorus, The Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra

Conductor: Richard Bonynge

Director: Göran Järvefelt

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY MOVING MAGIC FLUTE January 8, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a magic show and traditional scenery suitable for children, pass this up and head for the Bergman film on DVD. On the other hand, if you want an uncluttered staging with superb singing and character development, this Zurich production will be hard to beat. No single production can fully define this complex and confusing opera.

Opera has always been a place to express subversive ideas as it wraps them in a fantasy that tends to fool the censors, at least temporarily.

Just below the fantasy is a blatantly racist anti feminist plot that has prevented many from getting to the third level where Pamina, a princess is subjected to Masonic testing and found to be altruistic, truthful, willing to die for her prince(Tamino), and ultimately wise. Pamina to some extent leads Tamino though the final two Masonic tests of fire and water. The "noble couple" are welcomed into the temple. Mozart has pulled a fast one here that has given rise to many books that speculate on Mozart's views on women's rights. He has made the suggestion that some women are capable of becoming leaders, a very dangerous proposal for his time. None of Mozart's prior female characters were pure enough in spirit to meet the the Masonic requirments. In "ordaining" Pamina He did not want to suggest that the Masonic lodge needed a major upheaval, just someone who would take some rough edges off the male only leadership. Someone who could demonstrate,without revenge and at her own peril, the harm that men's games can inflict on women.

Malin Hartelius does not bring any sexy moves from her Melanto,Blonde,Fatime,Sophe,Eurilla or Annchen, into her Pamina and this will dismay some people. Hartelius brings just a hint of Gretel to the role near the beginning, which is delightful and proper.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph October 1, 2005
A memorable performance. Franz Welser-Möst conducts in a superb way, using fast tempi, in a "Gardinerian" manner (but with no any lack of humour). His orchestra is very good, also his choir.
Salminen makes a very human and wise Sarastro, with perfect low notes; Mosuc is quite good, not troubled by the hard task of singing coloratura in so fast speeds (Damrau and Miklosa have more precise "agilità" and "sovracuti", but Mosuc don't disappoints the viewer). Beczala is superb: a pure, innocent Tamino, enthusiastic in the role. I can say the same thing about Hartelius' Pamina.
Scharinger is probably the best Papageno in video, although he sings the last part of "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" completely drunk... the effect is very fun. Comprimarii are capable.
The set is a library, with little changes all over the opera. Not a traditional set, but is very effective. Probably, Miller's intention is an association between "Die Zauberflöte", Freemasonry and the Enlightenment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The magic flute March 13, 2008
The music of Mozart is so easy to listen to, that even not musically talented people can enjoy it. many reviewers over the centuries analyzed the libretto and read many hidden meanings into it. Schikaneder, the actor who wrote the libretto never would have been known, were it not for Mozarts music. The magic flute is so much fantasy and so colorful, that all opera-houses compete to bring something different to their production. With DVDs you can watch performances from all over the world. This one is neither imaginative, nor colorful, which is disappointing to me. Therefore I give it just 3 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impeccable recording, even for English January 20, 2011
If there is a reason to purchase this DVD of Mozart's masterpiece "The Magic Flute" it's to hear the phenomenal singing put forth by these vocalists. I highly recommend purchasing this for the sole purpose of hearing American tenor Gran Wilson portraying the role of Tamino. A remarkable voice, it's unfortunate that there are not more recordings of his singing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Magic Flutes March 6, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Before anything else, despite some quibbles, four stars.

I would love to give it 5 stars but being sung in English is disconcerting. But strange as it may seem, being sung in English w/o the care of following along with the subtitles actually allows one to listen more closely to the marvels of Mozart's masterpiece. However, that said, I still prefer hearing the Flute in the original German.

The singing is absolutely excellent with the possible exception of Donald Shanks (Sarastro) who's not always on pitch. Pamina (Yvonne Kenny) wonderful to look at and listen to. Three boys, Anthony Phipps, Andrew Wentzel and Cameron Phipps, a positive joy. Christa Leahmann (Queen of the Night) a knock out. Camera work and staging excellent. Richard Bonynge's conducting brings out every nuance of the Flute and is equal to the marvelous Claudio Abbado's Flute on CD.

I say all of this considering the other fine DVD versions: the superb Horst Stein 1971 with the top notch Nicolai Gedda and the luminous and - lovely to look at - Edith Mathis (Art Haus), the excellent Sawallisch 1983 (Deutsche Grammophon), Levine's 1982 Salzburger (TDK) & his 1991 Met ( Deutsche Grammophon), Ivan Fischer's 2001 (TDK) and Colin Davis's 2003 (Opus Arte ).

Stay away from Arnold Ostman's/ Drottningholm and Bernard Haitink who use three women instead of three boys for the three spirits -a sacrilege- completely missing the other- worldliness of young boy's voices. Also stay away from the overrated Ingmar Bergman with ponderous tempi followed by stop and start film inserts along with " reaction shots" of members of the "audience".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A but strange but it works
I simply don't care for the Zauberfloete. I know, I know it is a masterpiece but that fails to convince or convert me. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Steffi B. Rath
2.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for...
Worth about $18.00, but not much more.

Firstly, the picture quality is quit grainy on my 42" 1080 HD TV...probably shot on non HD Video. Read more
Published on March 7, 2012 by Chuckroast
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad sets. Egyptians garbed like Catholics
What happens on the stage has none of the fun you look for. A bare-breasted woman hauling in a snake? Read more
Published on April 4, 2011 by Stanley Beattie
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Sarastro
"The Magic Flute" is magic, and the opening
through the Queen of the Night's revenge aria
is as dense a stretch of great opera as any
for me. Read more
Published on February 12, 2011 by Robert J. Ackermann
2.0 out of 5 stars Lackluster
No, this performance is not horrible, but it's lackluster, even boring.

Matti Salminen is the best there is, maybe the best there ever has been, at some roles (Hagen,... Read more
Published on December 28, 2008 by Theodore Shulman
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
Both musically and theatrically, this is a wonderful production. I would recommend this version to anyone wanting to see a staged opera.
Published on November 25, 2008 by Geoffrey Geiger
3.0 out of 5 stars Much like a concert rather than a fully realized stage version
I'll take my position midway within the range of previous reviewers. This is a quite workmanlike performance with little effort made to create the effects of imaginative staging. Read more
Published on October 31, 2008 by drkhimxz
4.0 out of 5 stars Mozart's Magic Flute
The Magic Flute by Mozart must be one of the most difficult operas to stage because its story line is so uneven and in places contradictory; Why is the Queen of the Night in the... Read more
Published on March 26, 2008 by Robert Bar-chaim
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Great singing, great recording and filming, and above all great concept! Mozart was deep, not merely witty, both musically and intellectually, and this staging plumbs his depth.
Published on August 28, 2007 by familypractitioner
5.0 out of 5 stars Different Strokes
The previous reviewers of this performance have given ratings from 1-star "horrible" to 5-star "moving". I side with the fivers, but for different reasons. Read more
Published on April 9, 2007 by Giordano Bruno
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