A VERY mixed bag. Excellent singing, but mixed recording and
Mr. John A. Coulson | Australia | 05/12/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is a difficult production to review.
First up the positives - Excellent singing and acting, especially Kurt Rydl singing the role of Osmin and a very good looking Mojca Erdmann as Blonde. Great orchestral playing with some very tuneful items - it IS an attractive opera.
BUT this is a compilation of 3 performances and the echo of singing and dialog in parts is puzzling and most distracting often putting the balance between soloists and orchestra completely out of whack. It is almost as if performed to an emty theatre but this is not the case.
And the costuming is weird with Osmin and the chorus in old style Turkish garb yet Bassa has mostly modern rather than turkish harem costuming, Blonde wears a mini skirt and the other Westerners appear in modern dress. More confusion in the sets with an shiny aluminium ladder appearing + a lovely modern leather reclining sofa set!!!
And the staging in the final act has me baffled. The role of the guard in T shirt and jeans is incongruous as is the symbolism of the collapsing scenery, possibly signifying how the Bassa has an 180 turn around in attitude?
An effort has been made to interpret this opera differently as is described in the interesting booklet which comes with the disc. There is discussion about how the affections of Konstanze could be in conflict, this putting a more serious aspect to the opera which in some productions can degenerate into farce.
So I'm really not sure whether or not to recommend this disc as it is such a mixed bag. It has a lot going for it and on the basis of the music is very successful but the staging and costuming + the variable mic capture of some solo singing and dialog can be distracting. No doubt more Blu Ray releases of this popular opera will be forthcoming and it will be interesting to see how they compare."
An Essential Mozart Production
Ernest Alba | Cambridge, MA | 01/29/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a worthy purchase for any opera fan because of the overall quality of the production: both in the music and the stage direction. It is essential, though, for Mozart fans and, in particular, fans of Abduction because it significantly adds to our cultural understanding of the opera. It is the first production I have seen that doesn't treat Abduction like a farce. The scenery changes dramatically over the course of the opera as we begin to realize that we are not looking at a clash between European and "Turkish" cultures, but an internal struggle between opposing forces in European culture. By the end of the opera, the last of the "Turkish" scenery has toppled over, and we see men and women in modern European clothing on a black stage. It's a very moving production that, to understand fully, requires some knowledge of the reasons Mozart's rescue opera is problematic. In any case, Mojca Erdmann is smoking hot in this production. She alone makes this worth at least renting on Netflix."
J. Zavaleta | San Jose, CA | 11/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
".... I prefer the traditional version. Good singing, the performances are good, the acting is just not my style or what I expected. Some might like it though :-)"