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Le Nozze Di Figaro

3.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Mar 26, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Le nozz di Figaro is one of the greatest of all operatic masterpieces. Based on Beaumarchais' comedy Le Mariage de Figaro, it tells the tale of the servant Figaro, who is about to marry the maid Susanna. Count Almaviva, keeping an eye on Susanna himself, tries to prevent this marriage with the help of Bartolo, the doctor, but is continually thwarted.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B5UBGU2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,154 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Unlike other reviewers, I really liked this DVD. Two things initially attracted me, one of which you won't see above. First, Rene Pape as Figaro. Second, Digital 5.1 (advertised) sound.
The attractive cast, led by Rene Pape, as expected, is terrific. Pape is reasonably good looking, has a deep rich bass/baritone that actually produces endorphins when I hear him sing, and is an excellent actor. Dorothea Roeschmann's Susanna, Patricia Risley's Cherubino and Emily Magee as the Countess all get five stars for thrilling singing, great looks and perfect ensemble comic form. Roman Trekel is fine, but not as vocally strong as the rest of the cast.
Barenboim holds the score like a cork holds champagne: the music brims and bristles, always contained, always ready to burst. This is exactly right for this great opera. The sound is excellent. I read below that one listener seemed to have trouble with the middle channel. I had no trouble. From my system, the sound was rich and clear.
What can I say about the production? It's not ideal. Some of it seems a little spare and thrown together. There's a lot of unfortunate thumping around on a hollow stage. But it doesn't get in the way of the actors. In a 10 star system, it would lose a star. But this is a five star system, and the production works as a piece of theater where so many traditional productions exist merely to keep the audience occupied during soporiphic proceedings. I can recommend this DVD without reserve as one of the best examples of what can be done with the medium.
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Format: DVD
I knew I would have trouble with a production of Mozart's <Le Nozze di Figaro> as soon as Act I started with Figaro using a magic marker and wearing a modern tool belt while the rest of the cast were dressed in more or less period costume. But even this setting confusion was not consistent, since most modern props (like the Countess's Vogue Magazine) disappeared shortly into Act II. The problem for me is that I cannot have any feelings for characters that are taking second place to some director's "concept" while the music remains glorious.
At any rate, this production is still worth hearing on the ArtHaus Musik DVD (100 017) now available through Naxos. Daniel Barenboim conducts the State Opera and Chorus of Berlin with a very good vocal cast: Rene Pape (Figaro), Dorothea Roschmann (Susanna), Emily Magee (Countess), Roman Trekel (Count), Patricia Risley (Cherubino), Rosemarie Lang (Marcellina), Kwangchul Youn (Bartolo), and the rest. The only visual problem is the rather unattractive Count, who looks a bit like a clean shaven Ming the Merciless rather than the charmer this character should be.
The scenery is sparse, the night sequences in Act IV barely lit at all. Barenboim gives a reading that calls for no complaints nor kudos. But the DVD format makes this a valuable educational tool for music teachers who wish to show this marvelous opera in parts, since the tracking cues (84 in all) are quite generous and intelligently programmed.
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Format: DVD
Le Nozze is one of my favourite operas as this is the only version available on DVD, I snapped it up when I saw it even though the singers are all unfamiliar to me. And I am very glad that I did, at the time of writing this review, this dvd is no longer in print. I am never keen on operas being "updated" with props and costumes from a more modern period than the story itself, I don't find that this excercise ever enhances one's enjoyment of an opera, and so when Figaro walks on stage with a tool belt on I was afraid that the production design was going to spoil this DVD. Fortunately, the music was good enough to overcome the jarring visual quirks. All the performers did a much better job that I had expected from a cast of relative unknowns and soon I was transported by the music and barely noticed what the cast was wearing, except perhaps the count's ridiculous leather coat. If you NEED to see this opera on DVD, you did not have much choice and now you can't even buy this dvd new, so if you cannot wait for another version to come out, seek out this dvd used, it's more than good enough to keep Mozart-addicts happy for long while.
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Format: DVD
This is a very intense and affecting version of Figaro. Overall, the acting is exceptional and these characters truly come to life. It is the predatory and menacing presence of the count that gives this opera so much more weight than usual. His pursuit of Susannah seems frightening and his neglect of his wife takes on added resonance. I did find the opera curiously uneven. It is not a seamless affair, but oh! those highlights! If you love Figaro, you have to see these performers. Pape has an expressive face and the voice to go with it. He is simply extraordinary as Figaro and the rest of the cast are admirable as well. Perhaps the conducting is lacking in Mozartian sparkle, but in the long run the dramatic and spiritual dimensions of this work have been heightened. This is definitely not the production to get if you're looking for fancy costume and set design. But this shortcoming seems inconsequential because of the enhanced emotional values. I don't see how any can fail to be moved and "enlightened" by the end of this brilliant work.
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