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Le Nozze di Figaro [Blu-ray]

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Editorial Reviews

David McVicar's spellbinding production of Le nozze di Figaro is
set in 1830s post-revolution France, where the inexorable
unravelling of an old order has produced acute feelings of loss. In
the relationship between Finley's suave, dashingly self-absorbed
Count and Röschmann's passionately dignified Countess, which
lies at the tragic heart of the opera, the sexy ease between a
feisty Figaro (Erwin Schrott) and a sassy Susanna (Miah Persson)
is starkly absent, the tenacious spark between Marcellina
(Graciela Araya) and Bartolo (Jonathan Veira) suggesting what
might be rekindled. The production is superbly complemented
by the beauty of Paule Constable's lighting and Tanya McCallin's
evocative sets. Antonio Pappano conducts (and accompanies the
recitatives) with invigorating wit and emotional depth.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Erwin Schrott, Miah Persson, Gerald Finley, Dorothea Röschmann, Antonio Pappano
  • Directors: David McVicar, Jonathan Haswell
  • Writers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lorenzo Da Ponte
  • Producers: Sue Judd, Royal Opera House Covent Garden
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (PCM 5.0), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 202 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0028O34SG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,994 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 39 customer reviews
He combines this with great acting.
Toni Bernhard
If it works then I can live with it and with this glorious cast I have no problems.
Presented in much better sound and video quality than the 73 or 94 versions.
Dan Rincon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Bob Epstein on May 19, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A David McVicar production practically guarantees creativity and excitement and this maverick director's 2006 Royal Opera Figaro magnificently fulfills the bill. While it's true this Figaro has several innovations - updating the time to 1830s France, some men in top hats, servants all around (like in his Manon, eavesdropping), a strong emphasis on sexuality and the Count's violent nature - what truly makes the Figaro memorable is the synergy, the chemistry McVicar has brought out in the acting and vocalizing, and in the pit from conductor Anthony Pappano. This is simply the best of the half dozen DVDs I have seen of this masterpiece.

McVicar has displayed how successful he is in this regard in his compelling Rigoletto and Manon (I haven't seen his Magic Flute and Giulio Casare and I had mixed feelings about his Carmen). Here too, the ensemble, the interrelationships between characters, the personalities of the protagonists are so strongly etched. This is the most theatrical, physical, earthy Figaro I have ever seen.

In his notes to the DVD, McVicar downplays performers' emphasis in Figaro on "rococo charm," but if not rococo, this production has no lack of charm when called for. And a Figaro without charm is not a complete Figaro. Conversely, McVicar's ample toughness and darkness are also appropriate, since the opera has many moments of seriousness, duplicity, mistaken identity, confusion and hearts being broken.

There are many moments to savor in this production, and McVicar's rethink of certain events is largely treasurable. The sarcasm between Susannah and Marcellina in Act one doesn't drip it flies, it pours. Delicious! Their interaction at the end of Act 2 I've never seen more powerfully done.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Toni Bernhard on May 21, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One strength of this Covent Garden production is that it puts equal emphasis on acting, stage movement, and singing (which only works when the latter is of high quality which it is here). Credit goes to David McVicar's directing for successfully combining all these features. He even uses the overture to highlight the class distinctions of the characters, as servants go about doing their work (and comically avoiding their work) in perfect time to the score.

Erwin Schrott, as Figaro, has a rich and deep baritone voice that literally booms out, but is flexible enough for the lyric demands of Mozart. He combines this with great acting. In fact, such is his focus on acting that he tends to speak his recitative. It sounds strange to the ear at first, but he has such a larger-than-life charismatic stage presence that, when combined with his superb singing, the speaking simply becomes Schrott's way of making the role of Figaro his own.

Miah Persson (Susanna) possesses a beautiful soprano voice, but she's not a natural comedienne and doesn't have a strong stage presence. The latter is only a problem because Susanna is the dramatic link to all the characters (another way of saying that she's really the star of the opera). I thought Persson was not quite up to the task. Mozart gave Susanna only one stand-and-deliver aria: "Deh vieni." Persson gives a beautifully nuanced performance of this exquisite song of hope and longing. She deserves the close-up camerawork she's given throughout the aria.

This is the second DVD featuring Dorothea Roschmann as The Countess (Salzburg's 2006 being the other). As always, her creamy soprano voice is rich and expressive. In particular, her "Porgi, amor" is performed with great pathos and is deeply moving.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Archie (Ottawa Canada) on May 22, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
He who procrastinates finds that others get in first. I was waiting for the weekend to review this wonderful production only to find that Toni Bernhard and Bob Epstein have written much that I would have. So I will content myself with only a few remarks.

David McVicar is indeed a wonderful director. Judging from the "Bonus" on the DVD of his "Manon" of him directing, he is very much hands-on. He knows what he wants and does not stop until he gets it, usually acting it himself for the performers. His concepts are inventive and give a different view from the usual without being outrageous, unlike those of some directors I could name. Mind you, it will not work unless he starts with singers who can act as well, and I suspect that he has a say in the casting. Certainly all the performers here are wonderful.

I was not all that happy with Gerald Finlay playing the Count as such a one-sided brute until he slapped the Countess across the face -- and then the penny dropped. She is an abused wife, and that makes it all (particularly the forgiveness at the end) much more understandable. The happy ending is only temporary for the Count and Countess. In the third play of the Beaumarchais Figaro trilogy, The Count has an illegitimate child; and the Countess has one with Cherubino!!

I did not think that the sound was uneven. My impression is that there was a conscious decision to have the orchestra playing more up-front than as it is usually done. It did not mask the singers who were always clear, and I was pleased to be able to follow the wonderful orchestration with ease. Mozart and Pappano make a great combination.
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Le Nozze di Figaro [Blu-ray]
This item: Le Nozze di Figaro [Blu-ray]
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