Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart - Don Giovanni |
Salzburg Marionette Theater
Actors: Peter Ustinov, Cesare Siepi, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Fernando Corena
Director: Erich Leinsdorf
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Delightful, but not playable on US DVD players!
E. Fittin | Morristown, NJ United States | 07/01/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Salzburg Marionette Theatre is a must for anyone visiting the magical city that gave us Mozart, Haydn and "The Sound of Music." After about 5 mins. you forget you're watching puppets. The music is a 1st-rate recording and slightly edited. Unfortunately the DVD is "PAL" and therefore not playable in the US (not well indicated). I watched it on my laptop, though hardly a good way to judge. I have seen about 6 different productions, and continue to be enchanted. Pity the DVD isn't viewable on a TV, so those unable to go to Salzburg can enjoy a glimpse. The late Sir Peter Ustinov's commentaries punctuate the performance and help the viewer follow the story (There are no subtitles, unfortunately). The special features tell you about the theatre and behind-the-scenes peeks. Regrettably I returned my DVD and wish I could buy more!"
A Charming Surprise!
American Evita | U.S. | 09/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ABOUT THE DVD: Mozart (Don Giovanni): Salzburg Marionette Theater Performance, 1995, Salzburg, Austria. From The Original Recording With Cesare Siepi (Don Giovanni), Fernando Corena (Leporello) Birgit Nilsson (Donna Anna), Leontyne Price (Donna Elvira) Eugenia Ratti (Zerlina) Conductor Erich Leinsdorf
This is a must-have for Mozart opera lovers! The Salzburg Marionette Theater is a world-class institution. The company has a wide variety of marionettes that form the cast of characters in operas but most famously for the Mozart repertoire (Le Nozze Di Figaro, Abduction From The Seraglio, The Magic Flute, etc). This one's one of the best Don Giovannis I've ever seen, and all done by marionettes! The music and voices are taken from the old LP album (from the 1960's) with Erich Leinsdorf conducting, starring Cesare Siepi as Giovanni, Birgit Nilsson as Dona Anna, Fernando Corena as Leporello, Leontyne Price as Elvira and Eugenia Ratti as Zerlina. The voices are in-synch with the marionettes right down to the daintiest movements. The costumes on the marionettes are gorgeous and very much of the "18th century Vienna" period, Mozart's own time, and the backdrops, sets, props and scenery, of which there are plenty, is a sumptuous visual feast. The artwork is brilliant, combining Roccoco elegance as seen in the interiors of the palazzos and the exterior scenes of streets, villages and the graveyard at night. There is a sense of real theater in this production and I would love it if this art direction was repeated in current Don Giovanni productions. The finale, in which the licentious Don is dragged into Hell, is absolutely chilling. The lights go off and on, there is smoke and dazzling displays of colored lights, windows that break on their own and the dinner table breaks in half before the Don falls into the pit of Hell. Such time and care was given to this production and it shows. A more fascinating Don Giovanni you're hard pressed to find.
Peter Ustinov narrates and provides comedy as he tells the story of Don Giovanni, converses intelligently with the Leporello puppet and teaches a few things about the decadent time Don Giovanni is part of, as well as providing insights as to what motivated Mozart to write this great opera. The DVD also features a behind-the-scenes, backstage look in brief documentary form on how the Salzburg Marionette Theater operates. The puppeteers are interviewed and we get a look at just how these gorgeous puppets are designed and made and how the operas they perform are put together (in the documentary it's Abduction From The Seraglio). There are biographies on the singers and a history of the company. I only wish this sort of "marionette opera" could be performed here in the States. Los Angeles has a Marionette Theater. How I wish their repertoire would include opera! This is a very wonderful DVD but it's hard to find and very few companies outside of Amazon have it in stock. Amazon.com too doesn't always have it. But it is worth looking for!"