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  • Mozart: Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail [DVD] [2006]
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Mozart: Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail [DVD] [2006]

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  • Actors: Gianluigi Gelmetti, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orch
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Colour, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: 3 April 2006
  • Run Time: 156 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,361 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Soloists Ruth Ann Swenson and Kurt Rydl head the cast of Michael Hampe's production of Mozart's Singspiel, recorded live at the Schwetzingen Festival in 1991. Gianluigi Gelmetti conducts the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. J. Bonsor VINE VOICE on 21 Dec. 2006
Here is a little gem of a production, from a little gem of an opera house at Schwetzingen that lends its own exquisite charm. This is clearly a uniquely warm performance space, its intimate acoustics are perfect for this opera which is about the disparity between freedom of the spirit and physical incarceration.

It's almost impossible to find fault with this production: I was completely entranced by it. The stage design is a triumph, suggesting with clarity and economy an Arabian setting on the fringe of the sea. We even have the artificial perspective of a sea vista with moonlight shimmering across waves and a dhow sailing along the horizon. However, the lines are clear and uncluttered, allowing the singing and acting room to breathe.

We have come a long way from the old style `stand and sing' opera productions of the past. It is now the norm for singers to act, rather than simply relying on the music to do the work, and this is a cast which both acts and sings to perfection.

The central role of Pasha Selim is the only non singing part in the singspiel, and for once we have an actor who makes the most of it. Matthias Habich provides a fully fleshed out character with whose vacillations we can empathise, rather than the bad-guy cardboard cut-out which frequently appears.

Under Michael Hampe's sure fire direction the balance of singing voices is carefully measured and distinctly characterised. With the minor exception of Malin Hartelius's Blonde who is occasionally- and I emphasise occasionally- slightly insecure on the higher notes, there is a satisfying wholeness to this production. Nothing jars, setting, direction and performance all work together.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By njdj on 26 Nov. 2007
This is a thoroughly enjoyable performance. Musically, it is excellent, and the staging is very well done and adds to the enjoyment of the whole. Too often nowadays one sees classical operas presented with "innovative" staging, that has little or nothing to do with the libretto and that distracts with irrelevancies. That is not the case with this production. The only nit one can pick is that the audience (it was filmed at a live performance) applauds too often; but it would be churlish to deny this fine DVD 5 stars for deserving too much applause!
Look no further. You will enjoy this performance again, and again, and again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By Jesse Knight - Published on
I was able to borrow the Mehta DVD with Eva Mei as Constanza. Unfortunately that production while traditional, struck me as having a low budget look at times, typical of a high school play. Second, the voices wandered left to right in a meaningless way which is annoying for us headphone listeners.

This production staged by Hampe is beautiful in every way. Ruth Ann Swenson is a great constanza with more personality than Schafer or Mei. Rydl,as Osmin, is much more focussed in pitch here than he is with Mehta. Hartelius is Blonde on both this DVD and the "regietheater" version from Salzburg. She is a versatile singer who makes the most out of both productions, thus giving some insights into how "regietheater" affects how a singer changes their style. The two tenors are fine. There is some distortion in the sound but it is infrequent enough not to be annoying, putting this DVD almost on the same sonic level as the Salzburg and above the newer one with Mehta.

Gelmetti takes a slower pace than Minkowski did in the Salzburg DVD, which gives the singers more time to form each note. This results in a more poetic but less exciting performance than the Salzburg.

If you are not familiar with this opera, The Hampe production with Gelmetti conducting is the best choice of the three. On the otherhand, if you are familiar with the story, and want a very clever updated staging, get the Salzburg with Minkowski conducting. Owning both is a very rewarding experience for anyone who wants to do a serious study of regietheater vs traditon using two excellent DVDs.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By R. Olsavicky - Published on
Verified Purchase
If you love Mozart here is a beautiful production of this lovely singspiel. All the singers are first class. Two fine tenors. A great Konstanze in Ruth Ann Swenson. An exceptional Blonde in Malin Hartelius. A fun Osmin in Kurt Rydl. Now add to the mix lovely sets, costumes and creative directorial touches like the Olive eating scene with Blonde and Osmin and a truly motivated "Martern aller Arten." Complete the recipe with fine conducting and orchestral execution and you have a fine performance of a great early masterpiece by a teenage genius - Mozart. It is hard to imagine that a teenager could get so much emotion and detail just right as in this delightful score!

You might also want to try the DVD with Edita Gruberova.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Yet another reason to love Mozart! 24 Jan. 2007
By Mr John Haueisen - Published on
Verified Purchase
There are several great productions of Mozart's "The Abduction from the Seraglio"--we are so fortunate to have many from which to choose.

This one has very good singing, with the bonus of wonderful costuming and imaginative staging and scenery which add to the effect.

OK, here are some specifics to support the above praise:

The famous "Traurigkeit" aria is staged among the palm trees and sand under a setting sun's diminishing glow--very effective touch.

The Pasha seizes and kisses Konstanze as he threatens her with torture. She faints and collapses, remaining lifeless until her famous aria, "Marten alle Arten." During this passionate plea, the Pasha collapses in frustration and cultural shock, and hides his face under his robes throughout her spirited exclamation that she will welcome death, which will set her free. (Her sustained notes toward the end of the aria should make you fall on your knees at the genius of Mozart!)

It seemed to me a nice touch that Osmin (Kurt Rydl) snaps his fingers when he wants Blonde (Malin Hartelius) to feed him another olive. He does this from a relaxed position, lying in a sort of hammock, from which Blonde finally dumps him, trying to teach him that you win love through tenderness and coaxing, rather than by barking orders.

Pedrillo (Manfred Fink) and Osmin (Kurt Rydl) dance to the spirited "Viva Bacchus," and Osmin gathers some laughter from the audience when he holds to his chest the two wine jugs, as he speaks of his beloved Blonde.

This is a very fun production that should remind you of why so many dearly love Mozart.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An excellent performance 29 Sept. 2008
By A. BOSS - Published on
First, I should say that Abduction is not one of my favorite operas. Is spite of this, I very much enjoyed this performance.

The singing and acting are excellent. Although, as another reviewer commented, the conducting is a little slower than many productions of this opera, I think the slower pace improves the opera. Scenery and staging are traditional and very good.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Definite Contender 7 Aug. 2010
By DDD - Published on
Verified Purchase
I never intended to acquire five Abductions! The one previous to the one under consideration was purchased primarily for Malin Hartelius' Konstanze. She is a supreme Mozart singer and a beautiful woman. The DVD howevver was a major disappointment though not because of her. As a paliative I decided to go for the one under consideration and with its many overall excellent qualities I would rate it as one of the best. Swenson sings well but she is an artist without sufficient charisma to make it a memorable performance. Yes, she has all the notes although one would wonder how it would go in a theatre larger than the one the performance takes place. As far as I know this is the only role she has sung in German; she does not have much dialogue and what there is is minimal. I can't imagine that she is comfortable in the language. Her partner, Hans Peter Blochwitz is, of course, comfortable in his native language and he does possess that wonderful sweetness that only a lyric German tenor has. What he doesn't have is a grounded technique that allow for fluidity of tone, a central core of strength. i believe he sang some years ago at the Met and there was a broadcast of Don Giovanni; he was the Ottavio. The Dalla sua pace was fine but he came to grief in the Il mio tesoro. To his credit here he sings the Ich baue ganze which is frequently omitted. It is a satisfactory peformance but not one of distinction.

No, the real reason for this set is Kurt Rydl. At the time of this performance (1991) his voice was rock steady, rich and capable of singing all the notes without having to growl out the lower ones. Add to that a superb piece of acting and without doubt he is truly the star of the production. The audience acknowledges this at the end. A pity since within a short time he developed a wobble that was present in the Audi Gotterdammerung and almost destroys the Rosenkavalier (from Dresden but taped in Japan). At this point he is clearly the best Osmin since Kurt Moll.

At this point in her career, Hartelius was the soubrette. Blonchen. Truth to tell she does not have the high E (most Blonchen don't); she was still singing this role in the later 90's as evidenced by the Salzburg performance with Christine Schaffer. Even so she sings the arias well, and is a superb singer/artist; for evidence of ther growth watch her Fiodiligi in the Recent Cosi from Zurich.

For those for whom such matters, this is not a HIP; the orchestra is from Radio Stuttgart, the conductor Gianluigi Gelmetti, not a conductor I would associate with this repertoire. Even so the performance has a lot of energy and brio. If one can only have one Abduction I would opt for this performance.
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