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Thread: Operas by Mozart on DVD, blu-ray, and CD

          
   
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  1. #31
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Goodness I was getting worried at the rampant lack of cleavage jokes. Alma's himself again.
    Natalie

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  3. #32
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    As the construction work approaches its end, I'm relaxing and thinking of my favorite cough cough *assets* again.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #33
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    As the construction work approaches its end, I'm relaxing and thinking of my favorite cough cough *assets* again.
    Thank goodness. Does this mean we can start a 'sexy baritone' thread? And in this case to celebrate Mozart's genius (of course).

    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  5. #34
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Thank goodness. Does this mean we can start a 'sexy baritone' thread? And in this case to celebrate Mozart's genius (of course).

    Hmmm.... if it's really hidden behind some very innocent title... let's see... "chest voice"
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  7. #35
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I watched this wonderful opera twice in the first week I got it, and it's still one of my favourites:



    The cast of young singers is gorgeous, particularly Ruth Ann Swenson as Constanze, the Osmin is suitably swaggering although quite touching when he realises he is going to loose his Blonde, and the non-singing part of the self-renouncing Pasha Selim is a revelation in terms of committed stage acting. Just watch his face when he realises he has the son of his greatest enemy in his power.

    The staging and costumes are traditional, in the intimate setting of the Schwetzingen Festival house. Add to that Mozart's music, rollicking and lyrical in turns, and it's a winner.
    Natalie

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  9. #36
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    I was in Rome recently and of course I couldn't walk out of Feltrinelli empty handed.. I was curious about this one because
    1) I've seen clips of it on youtube and being a Jonas Kaufmann fan I wondered how he would tackle Mozart - I was surprised that the production was from 2007 as I thought he had only done Mozart when he was younger and had a lighter voice
    2) I had seen Vesselina Kasarova in the same role (Sesto) in the Salzburg production on youtube (where she impressed me because I had previously only seen her in Carmen, which was a disaster) and so I expected her to be good
    3) I like modern productions/stage sets/costumes so I was intrigued by the bits and pieces I had seen

    In terms of vocal performance I suspect that Jonas Kaufmann would indeed have sounded better with his "younger voice" for certain passages - however if he missed a few notes in coloratura he made up for it with the two qualities which I always admire in him - dynamic, nuanced vocals and great acting skills. The latter came especially in handy as all the recits in this production were in fact spoken.

    Vesselina Kasarova also proved to be a good actress and I felt she played Sesto more convincingly than she played Carmen (although it may not sound like a compliment that she's better at playing a man than a seductive woman...), and I did get impressed by her big arias. However there is still something about her voice that bothers me, I suppose it is the tone of her chest voice that doesn't appeal to me, however in the higher register the tone is much more pleasant.

    I have to say though that vocally she was, to my ears, overshadowed by Eva Mei, who up until now had only been a name to me. She could easily make my favourite sopranos list.

    Overall the production left me with a very positive feeling; a combination great music, great cast, interesting stage production and a way of communicating a story in an engaging way made me want to see it again shortly after I'd seen it the first time.

  10. #37
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    The cast of young singers is gorgeous, particularly Ruth Ann Swenson as Constanze, the Osmin is suitably swaggering although quite touching when he realises he is going to loose his Blonde, and the non-singing part of the self-renouncing Pasha Selim is a revelation in terms of committed stage acting. Just watch his face when he realises he has the son of his greatest enemy in his power.
    YES! The Pasha and Osmin are really unpaired in this.

  11. #38
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Glyndebourne Cosí fan tutte

    So I've just finished watching the Glyndebourne Cosí fan tutte as the part two of my Winter Holiday Operavaganza, and I have the following to say about it:



    Wow. Just wow.

    Ivan Fischer conducted the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, and it was really quite wonderful. Tempos were generally on the fast side, especially the overture and the first act. There was, however, a feeling during the beginning of the first act that Fischer rushed the performance along, not allowing for a few seconds of silence, and taking the recitatives just a tad too quickly at times. But that's very picky nitpicking. Generally, the orchestra was a true delight. Also, major kudos to whoever played the natural horn obbligato during Per pietá, ben mio, perdona. That can't have been easy. Also, they get massive waffle points for using a pianoforte for the recitatives.

    The singers are all great, also young and rather good looking, all of them.

    Miah Persson sang Fiordiligi, a role that seemed to fit her like a glove. She went straight for the very demanding coloratura passages, at times at breakneck speed - as evidenced by a Come Scoglio that made my hairs stand on end - and didn't miss a single note (why doesn't this lady sing Rossini?). The rest of the role was equally well served, although I did wish for a little more powerful chest voice. Her acting was nothing short of absolutely wonderful, and she looked like she was having a lot of fun.

    Anke Vondung sang a somewhat hysterical Dorabella. Like Miah Persson, she sang very well indeed, and I just need to say how amazed I was at her and Miah's coloratura passages in parallel thirds. Amazingly executed and remarkably in tune, which is no small feat, especially not at that tempo. Her acting was somewhat (as in very) over the top, especially in the first act, but it all worked.

    Topi Lehtipuu sang Ferrando, and sang it very well. It is a shame that he doesn't have a trill (are there any tenors apart from J-Flo who have one these days?), but apart from a slightly disappointing ending to Un aura amorosa, he sang very well. His acting was very good.

    Luca Pisaroni sang Guglielmo, and was, unexpectedly, brilliant. Like the rest of the cast, he delivered an amazing performance. His singing was very good, as was his acting.

    Despina was sung by Ainhoa Garmendia. Her singing was very good, but I think she lacked the necessary chest notes for Despina. Especially the first act finale and her first act aria came off as a tad underpowered. But she more than made up for it with a cynical, deliciously sardonic and brilliantly acted Despina.

    Nicolas Rivenq sang a surprisingly friendly Don Alfonso. His singing was very good, as was his acting.

    The production was as traditional as traditional gets, but the show was very well-directed and there was never a dull moment. As it shares a third of the cast with the Salzburg Cosí, I think a little comparison is called for. The Glyndebourne is generally much more comedic than the Salzburg, and I'd say it is also better sung (really, only because Bo Skovhus is missing). Also the costumes are much prettier in the Glyndebourne version. I do think, however, that Klaus Guth's more serious and much more cynical modern take on Cosí is much more interesting than this one.
    But it's still an amazing, amazing production of an amazing, amazing opera, featuring very good young singers that all should have. Get it.

  12. #39
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Fischer running a bit too fast - it happens. It's live theater. You shouldn't hold it against him. It's rarely perfect, and this one was very close to being perfect.

    Anke Vondung over-acting: not a problem. This is a kind of farce. She got a good reading on it.

    Luca Pisaroni, *unexpectedly* brilliant? Why weren't you expecting it? Luca Pisaroni *is* brilliant!

    Ainhoa Garmedia - vocally the weak link, but yes, great actress.

    Salzburg - yes, conceptually a bit more advanced, but the second act just didn't work. At one point I'd considered the Salzburg one to be superior, but then I changed my mind.

    I still hold this Glyndebourne Così as the best one ever, and a lesson on how to stage opera. The dynamic use of space, the relatively sparse setting but extremely effective and beautiful, the formidable comic flair, the spectacular total immersion of these actors/singers who believed in their roles and were having a great time, the outstanding period orchestra... This is something that Mozart and da Ponte would have loved to see. This is opera at its best. This is one of the best operatic videos of all time, and a must have for any serious opera lover.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); February 21st, 2012 at 12:45 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  14. #40
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Luca Pisaroni, *unexpectedly* brilliant? Why weren't you expecting it? Luca Pisaroni *is* brilliant!
    I was expecting him to be brilliant. It may be because it's way past my bed-time here, but what I meant was that I wasn't surprised when he turned out to be amazing.

  15. #41
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    I was expecting him to be brilliant. It may be because it's way past my bed-time here, but what I meant was that I wasn't surprised when he turned out to be amazing.
    Yes, he's great; unfortunately, a bit under-rated. He deserves more recognition as one of the best singers/actors of his generation.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  16. #42
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    I liked this production a lot too, but my complain is that the two ladies did produce some annoying and overdosed laughter in few scenes.

  17. #43
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Yes, he's great; unfortunately, a bit under-rated. He deserves more recognition as one of the best singers/actors of his generation.
    I think he's getting it, or at least is starting to get it, especially with his two appearances at the Met this season, which I do believe thrust him into the spotlight of many (myself included).

  18. #44
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Just watched the 2011 MET Don Giovani with Kwiecien as Don G......recently posted on MET player website

    I cannot recommend this dreary production despite a high quality cast. The stage set consisted of 3 story high set of paint peeling shutters and old doors looking like a run down back alley, combined with dimly lit stage produced a most unpleasant oppressive backdrop for our singers, waste of singing talent here unfortunately in this production. A couple short scences the large shutter walls opened partially to allow some light on things for indoor cheery party scences but these were brief respites of relief.

    During the final descent of Don G to hell some ghoulish figures appear in the shuttered window areas lending a thread of rationale for stage design but this is only 1% of the opera, the remaining 99% of opera is saddled with this dreary set that I did not like

    The same group in a quality creative production would pull it off quite well I suspect.....alas.
    The period costumes seemed very good.



    One more casting oddity that sometimes happens I find distracting, Leporello is much taller than Don G (his master)

  19. #45
    Junior Member Recent member rsmithor's Avatar
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    Kasper Holten's film "JUAN" based on Mozart's Don Giovanni

    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Thank goodness. Does this mean we can start a 'sexy baritone' thread? And in this case to celebrate Mozart's genius (of course).

    You want a sexy Juan... try this:

    Kasper Holten's film "JUAN" based on Mozart's Don Giovanni

    It's Mozart's Don Giovanni, with score and libretto abridged, yes... but it's so much fun watching. Sung in English with subtitles... great, so you won't miss one juicy word of this translation. The story is updated to "now". Instead of Leporello writing down Juan's conquests in a ledger... now he secretly records all encounters (hit and misses) on thousands of videos. I luv the singing, in the streets, in the shower, uptown, downtown, in train stations... everywhere. It fits the style of the whole film. What you do get in this production is no lip syncing. The singers were fitted with blue tooth ear buds feeding them the Mozart score, hi-tech audio mics were used to capture the live vocals and at the same time minimize the street noise. I liked the way voice overs were used, when their characters were deep in thought. (that aspect you don't get in the opera house) This variation of the Don G opera fits the singing, and acting. Filmed in the streets, back drops, of a big city, this film is modern. With it's cell phones, trains, subways, cars, etc... propel the story along. The score and text are trimmed, but the action is non stop. It feels sexy, dark, with danger around every corner. We know all about Mozart's Don Diovanni with his class privilege, that he's monied, and is a master opportunist. His list of victims and conquests are a mile long. In this "Juan" you see hundreds of his conquests with their on their own i-Tunes file spinning on Leporello's Macbook... Just watch Zerlina begging for her lover's forgiveness, while she's fantasizing about sex with Juan... The scene feels real, heady, and has bite. The cheeky language fits the film like a glove. "Juan" is a imported Blu-Ray DVD. It's coded for Region 2 - Europe. To play this Blu-Ray in the US, you need a Region Free Blu-Ray Player. "Juan" Blu-Ray will get a USA release date soon. It's been showing up at film festival's around the world... a must see. "Awesome, sexy, fun"...





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    --RS Opinionated? Yes... At least I have one...
    definition (adj. Holding stubbornly and often unreasonably to one's own opinions)

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