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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 Queen’s 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--humanity’s fitful progress to a higher plane – are paramount. There are still plenty of laughs with the fake dragon that pursues Tamino at the opera’s opening and Papageno’s funny business with a bird, among other chuckle-inducing scenes. But the production’s Stygian backgrounds make for an oppressive setting. When light enters, as in the pomp of Sarastro’s entry or the blazing yellow disc of the sun that conquers darkness, the opera’s 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: Tamino’s smock, the Three Boys’ knit sweaters and short pants, and Papagana’s mangy fur coat, among others. They’re well intregrated into the staging so they don’t jar. Nor, aside from the occasional too-tight closeups, does the video direction. In the special features, Davis speaks of the opera’s 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 Blu-ray disc a joy to hear and watch. --Dan Davis
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 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 27 days ago by M. Galishoff
I never cared for Mozart's "The Magic Flute" much .... until I saw this version. Wow.Published 4 months ago by DLMA