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Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte [DVD] [2007]

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Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte [DVD] [2007] + Mozart's Don Giovanni / Raimondi, Opera de Paris, Maazel [Deluxe Edition] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Erin Wall, Elina Garanca, Stéphane Degout, Shawn Mathey, Barbara Bonney
  • Directors: Stéphane Metge
  • Writers: Lorenzo da Ponte
  • Producers: Joseph Strub
  • Format: Box set, Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: German, English, Spanish, Italian, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: EMI Music
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Aug. 2006
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BU997O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,513 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. E. Potts on 8 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just watched this lastnight and I'm looking forward to seeing it again. Good points are; fabulous singing and acting, sound is first class and the camera work is superb as it moves around the actors and the stage giving you a more personal experience rather than sitting static. Harding's conducting is fast paced but slows down at the right moments. This is a very energetic performance and for me perfectly suits Mozarts comic masterpiece.
If you are after a traditional version this is probably not for you as the set has been originaly designed to look like an old turkish backyard for some reason..? The cast are traditionaly dressed however and you soon get lossed in the performances rather than the stage as the use of lighting and the energy of the performances are enough to keep you entertained.
I'm unable to compare other dvd recordings, but have seen this opera live and own 4 recordings including Bohm's classic and I would highly recommend it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 28 Dec. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this version of Cosi Fan Tutte because of the wonderful cast assembled here. I was not disappointed I was totally engrossed from beginning to end and will watch it many times. Buy it! Enjoy it!
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I bought this because of one of my favourites, Elina Garanca ! While I know this is a favourite Mozart Opera, I found this older style
of opera was not appealing to me personally, Compared with the later Verdi and Puccini operas. Unless you can accept this older style, even the presence of Garanca will leave you disappointed!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By great grandad jack on 6 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
unpleasant background scenery but garanca sings and flirts attractively.
I prefer video featuring miah persons where generally less drab .
however elina being willingly seduced reminded me of her amorous performance
in carmen both performances highly delightful , even better than her friend
anna in manon and don pasquale.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 0 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A serious Cosi that works and a Dorabella who steals the show 20 Mar. 2007
By Toni Bernhard - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is not your usual opera buffa production of Cosi Fan Tutte. The director explains his vision of the production in the DVD notes: "Why shouldn't Cosi be something other than bubbly and light-hearted? And why shouldn't one take seriously everything that Mozart and Da Ponte wrote? For Cosi deals with complex issues, speaking to us of the all-pervasiveness of desire, showing us that one can have love for more than one person at a time and that there is infinite sorrow in discovering this, and some little sweetness in accepting it, and furthermore that Alfonso knew all this, and that he had a natural vocation to torture those unhappy souls who did not know it..." I've seen other productions that focus on the dark side of this opera (e.g. the Zurich Opera production from 2000 with Cecilia Bartoli), but this is the first one that works for me because, although the production is serious in tone, it's not cynical. The final scene will touch your heart, as the disillusioned and bewildered players wander aimlessly around the stage during the final chorus, only to take refuge in each others' arms.

The highlight of the production is Elina Garanca as Dorabella. She possesses a rich mezzo voice of great flexibility and deep beauty. In a word, it's luscious. Because Dorabella is a true mezzo here (so often not the case in casting Cosi), her duets with Fiordiligi make for the most sublime harmonies. Their mezzo and soprano voices contrast and blend beautifully. Even the recitative between them is more musical than "dry." As Fiordiligi, Erin Wall has a expressive and smooth soprano voice, but she suffers in comparison to Garanca both in singing and in acting. I found myself wishing that Mozart had composed two arias for Dorabella that were as challenging and stunning as those he gave to Fiordiligi (but such is still the reward in the opera world for being a soprano). Whether it was due to the strength of Elina Garanca's performance or whether it was part of the director's vision, this Dorabella is not Fiordiligi's usual silly sister. In this production, Dorabella is the more sophisticated and assured of the two sisters; she's just also more driven by desire, so she "falls" first. It's a different take on the sisters' relationship, but it works.

I greatly enjoyed Ruggero Raimondi as Don Alfonso. Like many who find themselves cast in this role, he's past his prime as a lead (he was once a fine Don Giovanni) but, unlike many others in this role, Raimondi's voice is still robust and expressive. The other performers are very good; they just can't compete with Garanca's Dorabella. (You can hear her voice above the others in the ensemble pieces, not because it's too loud, but because it's of such high quality.)

Unfortunately, there are times when the pace is off in the ensemble pieces. (Perhaps it's because the production takes place outdoors and the performers can't always hear the orchestra well enough.) The result is that some of the ensemble pieces (so vital to this opera) sound a bit ragged and don't build in intensity the way they should.

All in all, this DVD is definitely worth owning, although my favorite Cosi remains the 1992 Theatre du Chatelet production conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. That production succeeds in finding the right balance between the serious and the comic side of Cosi, while never forgetting that the focus should be on its heavenly music.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Chereau at his best--gripping and moving 31 Oct. 2006
By C. Harbison - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The singers are all good, the orchestra light, lively and evocative. But it is above all Patrice Chereau's direction that makes this production one of the best filmed opera experiences I have had. This is a fairly long opera (about 3 hours), but it flies by in this version with rapid and telling movement on stage and in the pit, and with a constantly moving camera. Chereau's is an expectedly dark interpretation, both modern and classical, that refuses to play up the buffo elements and achieves a remarkably heart-rending, bittersweet effect. The singers are all well-coached actors; we are never allowed to forget that we are watching a performance (occasional views of the conductor in the pit) but that doesn't mar the emotional impact of one of Mozart's most touching scores. Period costumes on what is made to seem to be a bare, ancient Italian stage.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Running Thirds Have Hardly Ever Been More Wonderful 26 Aug. 2006
By Brett Hanisko - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not everything here deserves five stars (more on that later), but the amazing vocal offerings here keep me from rating it any lower. The best elements are Erin Wall and Elina Garanca who sound absolutely marvelous together; also, their respective arias are definite highlights. Erin Wall's soprano is silvery and shimmering--powerful at the top and surprisingly audible below the staff; the middle voice is smooth yet textured. Also, every syllable is colored with emotion. As did most of the cast, she got better dramatically and vocally as the night proceeded, but "Come scoglio" is by no means a disappointment, though her "Per pietà" is better. I wish I could make it down to the Lyric Opera of Chicago this season to see her Fiordiligi there. Elina Garanca is never any less than fabulous as Dorabella. The voice is large and opulent but high-reaching and agile; she is dramatically captivating at every moment and never drains the tension. Barbara Bonney sounds kind of odd to me below her thrilling high register, but she continuously acts as saucy as Despina should, borrowing (never stealing) the show when necessary. Of all the cast, she ornamented the most, but Mozart is supposed to be ornamented. She made it work. Tenor Shawn Mathey wasn't intensely engaging as Ferrando, but he was no less enjoyable, making "Un aura amorosa" a high point. Stéphane Degout inhabited Guglielmo and managed to make "Donne mie, la fate a tanti" more exciting than boring, though I suspect conductor Daniel Harding had a literal hand in this--he kept Mozart's score vibrant and dynamic as it should be (however, the cast occasionally fought him for tempi, though it can be tough to coordinate orchestra and singers in an outdoor theater; also, some delicious cadences are glossed over). Some people seemed to like him, but I couldn't stand Raimondi's Alfonso here. His physical mannerisms--hands flailing at the sides, wide eyes, spread mouth--grated and too much flatness pitchwise proved obnoxious, though, fortunately, he managed not to mar the transcendent "Soave sia il vento." Plus, most of his music isn't that beautifully written, so no huge loss if his voice isn't as fresh as it used to be--he plays an old character, after all. As for the direction, some of it really worked and allowed for opera to be sexy (and not crude, either), while some of it was hopelessly abstract and / or anachronistic if not saliently so. Also, I get the impression that not all his demands were not the most vocally compatible, yet the cast, as a whole, coped and sounded beautifully. The relatively young age of the four lovers probably helped in this department. One more item: The recorded sound seems pretty true to the voices and orchestra, but the instruments are more closely miked (due to the theatre layout) and occasionally overwhelm the singers. All in all, I highly recommend this DVD for its musical and textual accomplishments.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VIETATO FUMARE! 16 Sept. 2007
By P. Sutherland - Published on
Format: DVD
Vietato fumare! That means, "No smoking." What's that got to do with Cosi Fan Tutte? you ask. It's featured in prominent letters on the back wall of the set. Along with telephones and fire extinguishers that nobody bothered to cover in this period rendition of Cosi Fan Tutte. We can thank Richard Peduzzi for the sets. What sets??? Where is the scenery? Sheesh!!! I think this is an insult. Along the lines of "Too many notes..." I wonder if the people in the audience got a discount on their tickets to compensate for the missing essential element. A minimal set would have been okay. This was no set at all!!!

I found this very distracting. I've seen many Cosi's and so I knew there was a boat and a sea and a garden and rooms, etc., but what if you were seeing this for the first time?

Fortunately, Mozart's music is beautiful in any setting and the singers in this production were all good. I particularly liked Erin Wall as Fiordiligi and Shawn Mathey as Ferrando. Barbara Bonney as Despina seems an odd choice. She sang it well enough but she didn't make me laugh. Actually, nothing about this opera made me laugh, including the usually funny, slapstick poisoning scene.

This production is okay for the music and singing but I already have a good Cosi cd. I will probably never watch it again, so I can't recommend it to anyone else. There are two super Cosi's available if you need a suggestion: The Gardiner Chatelet production with Amanda Roocroft and Rodney Gilfry and the Hytner Glyndebourne Cosi with Luca Pisaroni, Topi Lehtipuu, Miah Persson, etal. They both offer the complete spectacle of opera: music, singing, acting, scenery, direction. And you can smoke if you like.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good singing and acting, awkward sets. 17 Oct. 2011
By Abert - Published on
Format: DVD
This production is controversial visually, audibly great, and dramatically effective.
The visual controversy comes solely from the bare sets, and for me who neither reads nor write French, would bear it much better than the literate viewers, though the fire-extinguishers are a global device irrespective of the language.
That said, those relatively small problems would in no way hamper the real music lovers' enjoyment of this very good to wonderful performance.
The six leads are all good, with eminent and veteran ones in the persons of Raimondi and Bonney, and the highly popular and critically acclaimed Garanca in the role of Dorabella.
All the six characters not only sung well; they also acted well. Probably the major drawback of this performance was not in its sets, but in its performance setting.
The actors/singers begin singing off the stage. Indeed, the characters stay off stage a good portion of the time during the performance, and it is easy to hear the imperfect accoustics and the impaired ensemble work resultant from this weird performance setting.
Apart from the 'bad parts', the goodies are still aplenty.
Barbara Bonney no longer in her prime, but she acted well and sung impeccably and convincingly as the sly Despina. Erin Wall is young and elegant, and she sings with conviction. Her role as Fiordiligi is by no means easy, as she has as a major vocal partner the star mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, who not only has an exceptionally full voice, but also great musical and dramatic intelligence. I totally agree with one reviewer here that owing to the 'true' mezzo timbre of Garanca, the ensemble works between Fiordiligi and Dorabella were being shown to greater musical advantage than other combinations. And visually, too, both tall and elegant singers make a striking pair of sisters on stage.
The male duo is effective, if not outright brilliant. Both are vocally sound and dramatically alert, but one misses the star pair of Ferrando/Gugliemo in the Vienna production 10 years before this, with Schade/Skovhus as the two fiance-soldiers.
Ruggero Raimondi still shines despite his age, and he is perhaps one of the most convincing 'grey-haired' Affonso whose wit and slyness played the pivotal part in the movement of the entire plot.
Daniel Harding was very young when he conducted this performance, but despite his youth, he displayed ample potential to rank among the best young conductors of the 21st century.
For fans of Garanca, a must.
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