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Mozart Don Giovanni [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]

5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Gerald Finley, Luca Pisaroni, Anna Samuil, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Glyndebourne Chorus
  • Directors: Vladimir Jurowski, Jonathan Kent
  • Writers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Producers: Sébastien Chonion
  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Colour
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: German, English, Italian, French, Spanish
  • 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: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: EMI Classics
  • DVD Release Date: 11 April 2011
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LRPUN0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,725 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Jonathan Kent's production of Mozart's opera for Glyndebourne transposes the work to a Fellini-esque 1950s setting. Vladimir Jurowski conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on period instruments; Gerald Finley, Luca Pisaroni, Kate Royal and Anna Samuil star.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leonardo on 18 May 2011
I remember seeing Glyndebourne's last attempt at Don Giovanni. This was the Graham Vick production, in 2000, featuring a dead horse on a slag heap. I am pleased to see that the company has cut its losses and commissioned a new production for 2010.

Director Jonathan Kent says that he has set this opera on the cusp between the 1950s and the 1960s, a time of huge social change, mirroring the Enlightenment when Mozart's opera was written. This does mean that the production is in more-or-less modern dress but this is not a drawback because Kent tells the story very clearly. Some of the updating is quite effective. The Don kills the Commendatore by smashing him with a brick. Leporello takes Polaroids of all the Don's conquests and illustrates his catalogue aria with a photo album. Other updates do not work so well. I was around in 1960 and I do not remember ever attending a masked ball. Also, the scene where master and servant swap clothes to conceal their identities does not work in modern dress. Come to think about it, who used to go around with a manservant in 1960? Only Prince Charles perhaps.

Gerald Finlay makes a convincingly seductive Don. Possibly seductive is the wrong word since his encounter with Donna Anna is depicted as a brutal rape by a masked intruder. There are strong performances by Anna Samuil in this role and Anna Virovlansky as Zerlina. Luca Pisaroni was vocally effective but I found his Leporello a bit too pusillanimous. Some Leporellos admire the Don, others resent him. This one just did what he was told.

Kate Royal gave a good account of Donna Elvira but this is a thankless role. Her function in the plot is to interrupt the Don whenever he is about to get his leg over, quite literally in the case of his seduction of Zerlina.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Strange on 29 Feb. 2012
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I am not an expert on opera, but i love the music of Mozart and I have opinions about how his music should be performed. This staging of the great opera masterpiece is very good. There are several reasons: To set the story to the 1950 is relevant and give meaning to me. The traditional stage where the action is static is avoided.
Here the acting is realistic but most important is the music. The tempo is faster than in more traditionel versions.

It is interesting to compare the music in this version to the famous version with Karl BÔhm with the Wiener Phil from 1977. Here the tempo is faster ( sometime slower), and the heavy "romantic" conducting is avoided to a more modern interpretation. The orkestra here using original instruments and the music is more dramatic and lyrical at the same time. All the singers here is doing a very professional and good job - and there is also great moments here: Gerald Finley has the needed masculinity but are takeing care of the lyrical lines as well. A couples of his arias is impressing! Anna Samuil is the ultimate diva and is giving us sublime beauty.
Don Giovanni might be a strange opera, but it is a opera buffa and the comic parts are taken care of here. You are offered both entertainment and great art at the same time. Mozart and Da Ponte smiles...T. Strange, Norway
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr Swallow on 14 Jun. 2011
Why do so many modern directors of opera insist on so putting their mark on the piece that it becomes almost unrecognisable from what the composer and librettist originally intended. Although Jonathan Kent's aberrations are relatively mild compared with some of the ghastly productions of this masterpiece we have seen in recent years, the fact is that the production, especially the second half, manages to almost detract completely from what Mozart and da Ponte intended. It gets us thinking less about the drama as to when one of the principals was going to fall off the tilted stage. Why did the producer think the singers could act and sing better when they are trying desperately to keep her balance for most of the time?
The updating did little to help the drama and was mostly destructive towards the original concept which depends on the liberties nobleman and were able to take with young ladies in the time it was set. Added to which the sets, though ingenious, bound up the production in their drabness and general unsightliness. Hopeless!
As to the singing, Finley sings well he is miscast as the Don, at least in this production. He never suggests the sexual allure needed for this part. I was willing him to change places with his Leporello, who looked as though he could play the Don in spades. Of the women, the Donna Anna just doesn't look or sound right and Kate Royal is miscast as Elvira - she just hasn't the voice for it, gamely though she tried.
All in all the production may be summed up by the ending where a zombie comes to life and somehow manages to make the Don bleed to death. Funny, but I thought the two geniuses who actually wrote the piece specified something different. But then, what are the creators' intentions to a modern producer. Horrible!
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Mar. 2011
The concept behind Jonathan Kent's production of Don Giovanni for Glyndebourne 2010 is somewhat tenuous in how its 1950s' setting relates to the pre-Enlightenment years of the opera's original period, but it proves to be not entirely without merit. It's not that Don Giovanni doesn't bear up well to modern interpretations - it's perhaps the Mozart opera most apt and subject to contemporary reworking - it's just that, even with the free-love of the 1960s just around the corner, the production's supposed "Fellini-esque vision of post-war life" doesn't succeed in grasping the spirit of the period or present all that convincing a parallel to the Age of Enlightenment.

The production at least starts off like it intends to make something of the risqué premise of Mozart's opera, with a quite brutal enactment of the rape and murder scene, but thereafter, it settles down to a rather non-committal blandness. The 1950s' setting doesn't really suit the wider European expansive viewpoint of the continental philanderer, but rather closes it down without seeming to bring any exciting or meaningful new ideas to the table in its place. The drabness and unimaginativeness of the setting (although technically impressive) is unfortunately reflected in the performances, which rather lack commitment. Everyone, but everyone - particularly Anna Samuil's Donna Anna - seems to walk around in a trance, scarcely showing any feeling or expression of the predilections and predicaments of their characters.
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