Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart - Die Zauberflote|
Actors: Dorothea Roschmann, Piotr Beczala, Matti Salminen, Desiree Rancatore, Uwe Peper
Director: Benno Besson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A TRULY SPECTACULAR AND MAGICAL FLUTE
R. Olsavicky | Butler, Pa. USA | 01/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD instantly goes to the the top of the list of great DVD MAGIC FLUTES. This is going to be an easy review because everyone and everything is just right:
1) Tamino-Piotr Beczala is a new tenor to me. He has a sound that has a little bit of Fritz Wunderlich in him; not always consistent, but it is there none the less. I cannot imagine anyone singing it any better today.
2) Pamina-Dorothea Roschmann even outdoes her earlier DVD performance with Colin Davis. She is more involved in this magnificent production.
3) Queen of the Night-Desiree Rancatore is up there with all my favorite Konigins; and I mean Damrau on DVD and Berger, Moser, Deutekom, Popp on CD. She is just as dramatic as Diana Damrau.
4) Papageno-Detlef Roth has a little of Herman Prey in his vocal color. Great singing and acting.
5) Sarastro-Matti Salminen is just perfect.
6) Conductor-Ivan Fischer one of the great interpretations!
7) Sets & Costumes-truly magical. A traditional Magic Flute with tons of high tech special effects. The stage director-Benno Besson and the set designer and costume designer-Jean-Marc Stehle truly get it ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. There is true magic in the costumes, sets, staging, and ALL SPECIAL EFFECTS!!! There are so many magical effects it is hard to single them out but , here is one: watch the transformation of the Old Hag into Papagena."
Barry J. James | Honolulu, Hawaii United States | 04/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was intrigued about the references to special effects in the two reviews already posted and, as these are features I like to see in movies as well as opera I decided to go ahead and get this version of The Magic Flute. I have had the version from The Metropolitan Opera House for many years and acquired the Covent Garden version as soon as it became available. It immediately became a great favorite of mine and I was impressed by the performances of Simon Keenlyside, Dorothea Roschmann and none more so that Diana Damrau as the Queen of the Night.
I have had the opportunity to view this latest version several times and think that in almost all respects it is a more interesting and enjoyable interpretation to see. I love the clarity of the orchestra, the clever and artistic stage-sets, the special effects, the fantastic (in the true sense of the word) costumes and agree with one of the other reviews that almost all of the singers give truly outstanding performances. I would beg to differ about only one of the singers and that is Desiree Rancatore who, while giving a perfectly adequate performance, is nowhere near as impressive and completely in charge of her role as Diana Damrau. It was also good to see Dorothea Roschmann advance from the smaller part of Papagena (which she did with great comical flair) at Covent Garden to the more substantial role of Pamina in this one.
This is a wonderful DVD which I imagine will be of great appeal to young and old, novices and opera devotees, alike.
The best traditional Zauberflote
D. Layman | Elizabethtown, PA United States | 12/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best traditional staging of Die Zauberflöte I've seen, that captures both the high-minded Freemasonry and magic/mysticism of the play: I recommend this above the Met with Battle/Araiza Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) / Levine, Battle, Serra, Metropolitan Opera or Bayerische Staatsoper (Popp/Araiza) Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
The scene of Tamino/Pamina going through the tests almost makes it dramatically convincing--although it takes the energy and joy on Roschmann's (Pamina) face to add the final touch. (A director can only do so much with the limited time the music gives.)
No superlatives are too great for Roschmann as Pamina; the 3 boys are also outstanding--as good as actors as the adults. Beczala as Tamino is new to me; not a great actor, but a clear tone.
Detlef Roth as Papageno is not the funniest I've seen, but that's not a detriment here; the final scene where he meets and plans a family with Le Roi as Papagena is not as erotically charged as some other productions; however, Le Roi is excellent, gazing up at him with love and erotic desire.
Salminen is of course excellent as Sarastro, although I don't know why they put him in that fake enlarged brain.
Désirée Rancatore as the Queen of the Night is young for the role (relative to her "daughter" Roschmann), but sings superbly and acts with vigor (especially when limited by a robe that enwraps her arms. The special effects accompanying her appearances are excellent.
Monostatos' body suit is well-designed; he acts well, but seems to run out of energy at the end.
The animals are exceptionally cute, considering their dramatically limited role.
In sum, if you want a traditional staging, this is it."
An Enchanting Flute
David D. Dollinger | Pasadena, CA | 12/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is indeed an enchanting Magic Flute. Does it trump the Colin Davis ROH performance? No, but it is a matter of swings and roundabouts. A major weakness in the Davis set is the Tamino. It is simply not an attractive voice when compared to other Taminos. The Paris Opera boasts a young tenor from Poland, Piotr Bezcala who not only sings well, but is attractive and musical. They both share the same Pamina, Dorothea Roschmann. She is clearly the Pamina that trumps all other contenders. If the voice is not idiosyncratic, it has that wonderful creamy sound that only seems to come from Central Europe. The Papagano is Detief Roth; perfectly satisfactory but Davis has Simon Keenlyside, one of the most charismatic baritones currently singing. Roth doesn't sings badly, it is just that Keenlyside has the voice the looks, the physicality and panache that make for a really great singer; in short he is incomparable. The Queen in the David set is also superior, Diana Damrau. The role is essentially thankless. Mozart provided two of the most difficult arias for a high soprano, a miniscule amount of dialogue and no involvemnt with the other characters. This is not to say Rantore doesn't sing well, but Damrau is clearly the superior technician and being German provides her with an edge. To be frank I would never base my decision to buy a Magid flute on the QofN, but it does end up in the plus column at the end of the day.
The production for thie set is wonderful and quite imaginative and totally traaditional. Which brings me to a comment made by a previous reviewer of this set, mainly that it succeeds because it is French. I have no idea what was meant by this comment. The director (regie) is Swiss, and trained under Felsenstein in East Berlin. the cast is from central Europe. Of course the orchestra is French and the three ladies are French--at least two are. No Paris is simply another house on the main European circuit. There is no more French style; France has provided two artists who have attained "star" status, Natalie Dessay and a wonderful lyric baritone, Ludovic Tessier who deserves to be better known. The days when the French repertoire was an essential core rather than the "odd" man out (Carmen, Manon, Werther, Faust and Pelleas and possibly Hoffman)have long since vanished with the artists who sang it.
The one artist I have not mentioned is the conductor, Ivan Fischer; he favors sprighly tempos on the fast side when compared to Davis. But he is not superficial or glib and he clearly loves this opera; it is simply that he has one eye on the 18th century while using contemporary instruments. Davis takes a more measured path but at no point do you find yourself wanting Davis to "get going". Davis has enjoyed a high reputation as a Mozartian and his Flute does nothing to weaken that reputation.