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Herman Prey's Figaro is admirably sung in a firm baritone and aptly characterized. So too, is his antagonist, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as the Count perpetually frustrated by the scheming wiles of Figaro and Susanna, here the perky Mirella Freni, who sings and acts like a dream. The Countess is creamy-voiced Kiri Te Kanawa, and the Cherubino, Maria Ewing, looks just like the horny, teenaged page she's supposed to be. The all-star leads are complemented by worthy supporting singers, the Vienna Philharmonic at the top of its form, and the experienced Mozartian, Karl Böhm conducting a stylishly fleet performance.
The problematic visuals though, don't match the musical attributes of this Figaro. Director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle says film techniques of editing and special effects permit added musical and interpretive components. So we get nervously irrelevant camera movements, distorted close-ups, jump-cuts that place singers in impossible places during arias, and--most distracting of all--arias on the soundtrack while the "singer" stares close-mouthed at walls, ceilings, and furnishings. Try Te Kanawa's beautifully sung "Porgi amor" to see how this distracting technique subverts the music, rather than "complementing" it. Of course, this may not bother many but others will prefer to listen to the glorious soundtrack and give Ponnelle's directorial hubris a pass. --Dan Davis
She is beautiful and sings beautifully, richly and with a lot of expression.
Add in also the fact that the 4 principals in 1976: Prey, Freni, Te Kanawa, Fischer-Dieskau, are handsome/beautiful (as the case may be) + great singers.
Here we have one of the greatest Mozart conductors of the 20th century - Karl Bohm.
An interesting and well performed opera, with a great cast. Hermann Prey is especially good.Published 1 month ago by Kenneth L. Johnson
I heard Karl Bohm, the conductor of the music for this film, did not like what the producer, Ponnelle did to his and his orchestra's performance. Yes Ponnelle doctored it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sidney Woo
I had rented another Nozze di Figaro on Netflix several years ago and loved it, but I didn't remember which one it was. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Thanks to Karl Baehm and the Wiener Philarmoniker, the music is outstanding. The staging is very precise; for example at the very beginning during the Overture, the camera zooms on... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jean-Jacques Malosse
I saw this on TV many years ago and just loved it. I was so pleased to be able to find it again and really enjoy the whole score.Published 12 months ago by Wisdom0516
I saw this when it was broadcast on PBS in 1977 and was transfixed. I thought the 'thinking arias' concept was an utter stroke of genius then, and still do now. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Brent Peterson
Filmed in 1975 with an outstanding cast of singers this is the best of the many live and recorded performance of Mozart's masterpiece which I have seen. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mr G E Heggs
GREAT PIECE OF MUSIC WITH A FIRST CLASS CAST. CAN'T GO WRONG. THE ONLY DRAW BACK IS THE LIP SINKINGPublished 14 months ago by joseph olive