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The Marriage of Figaro [Blu-ray] [2011][Region Free] [2012]

Teddy Tahu-Rhodes , Taryn Fiebig , Patrick Summers , Neil Armfield    Exempt   Blu-ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £29.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Teddy Tahu-Rhodes, Taryn Fiebig, Peter Coleman-Wright
  • Directors: Patrick Summers, Neil Armfield
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opera Australia
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Jun 2011
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B004T6B9Q0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,542 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Charming, lighthearted and fizzing with subversive wit, Neil Armfield's sparkling production of The Marriage of Figaro masterfully captures Mozart's most popular comedic opera.

In this classic performance, recorded live at the Sydney Opera House, Patrick Summers conducts an energetic fresh-voiced cast, headed up by baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Taryn Feibig who make a vivacious, appealing pairing as Figaro and Susanna, while Peter Coleman-Wright triumphs as the lascivious Count Almaviva.

Please Note: This is sung in Italian, with English, French, German, Spanish and Italian Subtitles.

Product Description

Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Figaro) - Taryn Fiebig (Susanna) - Peter Coleman-Wright (Count Almaviva) - Rachelle Durkin (Countess Almaviva) - Warwick Fyfe (Dr Bartolo)... - Opera Australia Chorus - Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra - Patrick Summers, direction


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marriage of Figaro [Blu-ray] [2011][ 5 Jan 2013
By Malc
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This was a specifically requested gift by an opera lover.
My understanding is that it was exactly what was requested.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Singing from the Principles - Zero Production Value 19 Sep 2013
By Stephen McLeod - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
One of the challenges in in mounting a production of any of the three great masterpieces that Mozart composed with libretti by the great Lorenzo da Ponte (Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte) is to show how deftly the two masters responded to each other's talent in the composition process. Wit abounds, and you don't have to have an 18th century mind to appreciate it. You just have to have good musicians who understand what they're singing, and a production that, at least, doesn't get in the way of that. Opera Australia has released a Marriage of Figaro that does justice to most, if not all, of the major challenges this great opera.

First the plusses: All the principles sing well, and a couple, brilliantly. Teddy Tahu Rhodes, in the title role, has a velvety and powerful bass and is mostly very good with the action. He's young and good looking, and the only thing I would ask him to do, were I his coach, is to become more fluent with the Italian. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, it seems as though he is just singing the syllables. His body language is excellent, and really makes me want to believe he understands what he's singing, and he probably does. It's just that his comfort level with the language in the first act seems more strained than it should be. As Susanna, Taryn Fiebig is the most gratifying member of the cast. She looks just exactly like what, in my imagination, Susanna should look like, and she has a full, accurate and agile voice that is unsurpassed in my experience of performed versions this opera. As the Count and Countess Almaviva, Peter Coleman-Wright and Rachelle Durkin sing and act with a deceptive ease and, at times, acidic wit. These young singers, along with almost everyone else here, accept the particular challenge of Mozart and da Ponte's opera as more than just becoming able to sing the notes on pitch. The principle difficulty in performing Mozart's music is to make it sound easy, when it most assuredly is not. This is true for singers, pianists, or just about anybody for whom Mozart composed music to perform. It's especially difficult to pull this off in comedy because the conventions of comedy call for a quick pace in musical as well as theatrical timing. All of the principles were above average as singing actors, and it was gratifying to see singing actors whose age is appropriate to the roles they are singing. In fact, if there is one word that I would use to sum up all the reasons I am glad to own this DVD, it is "youth." Finally, the musical direction, led by an inspired reading by conductor Patrick Summers, puts the seal on the 4th star atop the present review. Now, everything that follows can be considered as under the category of why there isn't a fifth.

My principle objection is that the production, and specifically, the sets and scenery, is practically meaningless. There is nothing, other than the singers, that's interesting to look at, and this opera, at just over 3 hours on this DVD, really needs to provide a visual statement. Instead, it seems that the producers were completely void of ideas. The costumes are identifiable as late 18th century, probably the same ones they used in the last 3 productions; the scenery is often little more than a chair in front of an onstage leather (?) curtain; and the lackluster props and hairstyles border on distracting. The makeup and hair stylings particularly is, in some cases (such as the Countess's terrifying zombie-Bride of Frankenstein coif) so off-putting it gets in the way the formidable music-making going on. These strange a-historical conceits (I get it that people, even rich people, didn't wear their powdered wigs at home, in front of the help, but surely they didn't have hair styles that made them look like they got struck by lightning) combined with some of the barely adequate singing in some of the lesser roles, makes the supporting cast of this opera just feel like little more than baggage (excepting tenor Kanen Breen's Don Basilio, who is satisfactorily amusing in a gay-cliche kind of way). This is especially true of Sian Pendry, who gives us a Cherubino that is barely distinguishable, either theatrically or musically, from just about any other Cherubino I've ever seen. It's the most bawdy performance in the production, which should have given it a little charm, but the problem is, Sian Pendry doesn't justify herself out of an episode of I Love Lucy, and her tiresome sit-com skills are not elevated by distinguished singing. Ms. Pendry is adequate, but Cherubino is supposed to be a distraction. We are supposed to like him, not just put up with him.

To allay the danger of ending on a sour note, I will say that the virtues of this production far outweigh its flaws. In fact, the flaws stand out more because of, not in spite of, the inspired musicianship and mostly good theatrical instincts of the principle cast and crew.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 19 Dec 2012
By R. Rayner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
Videography is brilliant, clear well directed and captures the theatrical element whilst not just being a boring recording of the stage. Sound quality is great with lots of dynamics, not flat and lifeless like others.
The set is well done, on first view it seems fairly traditional and set in the time of the writing, however, every now and again you notice a telephone or something else that fits in visually but is from a different era and adds a bit of 'funk' to the set, really subtle and very clever.
The acting is really good, I've seen this on stage and the recording is very 'alive' and engaging, will keep you hooked.
I've got a bunch of Opera DVD's and this is my 2nd favourite :)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor..... 28 May 2013
By Fair and balanced critic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Do yourself a favor.......buy it! A most enjoyable experience filled with talent, wit and wry humor!

First, 2 caveats: 1) chacun a son gout 2) it is for those not hung up on "big name" talent.
Netrebko, Kaufmann, Florez, et all certainly have been/are wonderful in their own rights.
However, the world is full of little known but excellent talent. Such is the case with this entire cast. Excellent singers, actors--all appropriate to the roles they assume. Most effective!
A relatively tiny stage, sparsely but artfully decorated and timely to La Nozze's period (electric iron and hair dryer notwithstanding).
Fetching costuming, as are the performers.
Love the little touches: Don Basilio's devilish hairdo, Cherubino'd pelvic thrusts, Susanna's wide-open eyes and glances, resounding slaps, etc etc etc...all fitting and fun.
Patrick Summers leads a sprightly orchestra.
Audiovisuals are first rate. Cinematography is excellent..
3.0 out of 5 stars Sublime music let down by poor direction 24 July 2014
By Chris Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
The Australian Opera's revival of this timeless Mozart classic was both welcome and rewarding but here is the rub, only to some extent. Under the direction of Patrick Summers fresh from Covent Garden, the music as we have come to expect from the AO orchestra was sparkling and delivered crisply. The DVD production is technically excellent with many on-stage noises excluded,although Australian audiences are wont to clap too often after each aria or duet. The plot is well known to audiences world-wide and demands a level of knowledge of the context of aristocratic life in the 18th century. Da Ponte's sparkling libretto gives full space for the romantic interests of the central characters of Figaro and Susannah and in this production the comic characters of Dr Bartolo and Don Basilio are drawn out well indeed both musically and visually.

The selection of artists in this production was very good indeed. Teddy Tahu Rhodes,originally from New Zealand,is well suited vocally to this Figaro role although his giant size meant he was not quite so nimble on stage. Tara Felbig sang an excellent soprano role in Susannah and Peter Coleman sang very well as a basso and brought gravitas to the Count's role. Rachelle Durkin is stunning as the countess with looks to match.

Yet a number of artistic and directional issues did not sit well and, in my opinion,spoiled the production overall. Supposedly set in an 18th century aristocratic Spanish house,the first act looked like we were transported to a Neanderthal European cave with a pale brown-leather backdrop. It was a silly decision to save money on poor set design. Instead of portraying this opera, as Jonathon Miller once said, as a play about(18th century) manners, the director Neil Armstrong included examples of crass stage moves from Cherubino with overt sexual innuendo. Armstrong also sought cheap laughs by having electrical appliances as props scattered around the place plus a very shiny 21st century chesterfield around which the story evolves. And why place the Count in an red English hound - hunting jacket?

There are better interpretations of this sublime opera around on DVD. The AO has developed a highly competent ensemble cast here, with excellent supporting musicians, but if it aspires to being a world class opera house,then it has to ditch these two mediocre directors. Don't waste your money on this DVD.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars splendid 21 May 2012
By Santa Barbara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Taryn Feibig's Suzanna is absolutely astounding,! Even if you have heard dozens of Suzannas, Taryn Feibig is a new , huge treat. All the singers are great! I bought it to hear Teddy Tau Rhodes, proclaimed as a rising star internationally, and enjoyed his Figaro. The staging is fun, traditional-ish with amusing deliberate anachronisms.
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