J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A gutsy, beautiful looking film, a score which if not Britten's greatest opera is easily one of the most beautiful, a tested and sympathetic conductor, and the great John Shirley-Quirk reprising the Traveller opposite Robert Gard - what's not to love! Palmer makes customary magic with every determining motive behind the camera. Nothing stops his vision. The colors of the film evoke Visconti's, as they might; Aschenbach's Venice isn't changed. What music! Here's an opera that ought to be taken up and done regularly. Britten is misheard in his operas in America, to some extent. We needn't a revival so much as first and true consent. This is one of the last century's greatest operas, which if not neglected remains misapprehended, perhaps, despite Visconti's evocative film. The orchestral forces positively slither out of the orchestra pit. Recording balances are fine, with shimmer and intimacy. Steuart Bedford's ardent gifts thrive in nuance after nuance. He's a master at opening an orchestra's sound from the inside out, and Britten's bounty of gorgeously seductive music provides a glistening canvas to fan. I agree the Tadzio actor is not compelling, but Gard sings Aschenbach masterfully, with real lights about who the character is for Mann. Robert Tear's Aschenbach is winningly sung, but this production packs everything that only Palmer brings to a film effort. He's a filmmaker who deeply understands music. It makes all the difference. Huge recommendation for a grave and wondrous score, and a film worthy of Britten's last, great opera."
Rob L | London United Kingdom | 08/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent production, and wonderful dvd.
To answer a question raised in other reviews, Tadzio is played by British actor Julian Rhind-Tutt, more recently seen in the British hit comedy, "Green Wing"."