Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro [Blu-ray] [2006
According to Stage Director David McVicar the special thrust of this fine production is the wedding of Figaro representing freedom of choice and not purely contractual considerations as contrasted by Figaro's obligations under his loan agreement with Marcellina: personally I did not notice this emphasis in practice.
The action is placed in post revolution France in 1830, with fairly traditional staging and fine costumes, my only question is that the excellent Susanna of Miah Persson is slightly undermined by elaborate costumes and jewellery that are completely inappropriate for a ladies maid.
The singing is superb, always in sympathy with Mozart's intentions rightly expressed as "a miracle of music" by conductor Pappano in a rather inadequate "making of" documentary.
Erwin Schrott portrays Figaro as a warm and engaging character, costumes apart Miah Persson is a lovely and lively Susanna, and Gerald Finley as Almaviva provides just the right levels of aggression in his callous treatment of his Countess and in his passion for Susanna. Rinat Shaham gives a fascinating performance of the aria "voi che sapete" bringing out all the adolescent longing and uncertainties with a success I have not encountered before.
Another great performance of the Countess by Dorothea Roschmann, she recorded this traditional performance in February 2006 and the riveting Salzburg version in July 2006 where "Nozze" is directed as an Ibsen or Strindberg play or an Ingmar Bergman film: there the Act 11 confrontation between the Count and Countess is an electrifying clash between two people locked in a volcanic love hate relationship of overwhelming passion. This Salzburg 2006 version is a revelation and a wonderful companion piece to this lovely performance.
Finally the Blu ray HD glows on the screen, stereo sound on my "AKG K240 Studio Professional" headphones was adequate with the singers always in focus, (sound is criticised on some of the DVD reviews).
Not to be missed.