Bruno L. Garzon | Chicago,IL | 05/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD of Mozart's Don Giovanni is a really good one by my standards. The top-notch cast, brilliant scenery and costumes, and wonderful orchestra make this one of my favorite Don's ever. I personally don't like Herbert von Karajan, but I learned to tolerate him. Samuel Ramey as the vile Don was a great casting decision. He blends vivacity and vileness it one very impressive package. Anna Tomowa-Sintow is a brilliant Donna Anna. Her high notes are absolutely stunning and sings with a firm foundation. The Don Ottavio of Gosta Winbergh is stunning, but he lacked something. Nevertheless he was very pleasing. The Commendatore of Paata Burchuladze is good for all that he's in. Now for the best: Julia Varady as Donna Elvira. I think she was Karajan's substitute for Agnes Baltsa but Varady surpasses her in EVERY way. She is velvety-voiced and gives light to the aguishly played Elvira. The Leoporello of Ferrucio Furlanetto is very pleasing. Kathleen Battle as Zerlina was also a good casting call. Alexander Malta as Masetto is a little guff now and then but gives a solid performance. A good DVD for an expert or a beginner."
A beautiful video of a beautiful production!
H. Buehler | Rochester, NY, USA | 05/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been familiar with Herbert von Karajan and the singers on this DVD for a long time before finally seeing them in action, and I must say, not one of them failed to impress, and each one of them is just as amazing as I had always expected. This is absolutely one of the greatest productions of Don Giovanni, which just happens to be my favorite opera, in this whole world. Von Karajan seems to be still at the peak of his power with the baton, and I just cannot say enough great things about the cast, especially Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Samuel Ramey, Julia Varady, and Kathleen Battle. This is a must-have in the collection of any opera/Don Giovanni lover!"
H. R. Westerman | 04/18/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The entire cast is excellent. It is among the best versions of the Don that I have ever heard. However, the recording uses both sides of one DVD, which means handling to avoid possibly oily fingerprints somewhere requires considerable care. The most serious problem, however, is that no subtitles appear on Side Two, which for me limits my appreciation. This lack is not unique to the copy I received from Amazon. I had had a copy of the identical selection and that had the same problem, which is why I ordered another. It's a shame,because the performance is so good."