14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best Entfuhrung on DVD with a great star performance, 6 Oct 2005
Glyndebourne's production of Mozart's opera looks and sounds ravishing. The airy sets and gorgeous costumes set a frame for a superb ensemble cast to give of their very best. Top of the list has to be Valerie Masterson's Constanze. She sang the part for her Sadlers Wells Opera debut back in the early 1970s and then developed her interpretation over the next ten years. Here she gives an object lesson in singing, characterisation and stagecraft. She looks as good as she sounds and that is saying a great deal. A figure of simple dignity, she fills out the character of Constanze with great skill and she sings like an angel, plumbing the depths of "Traurigkeit" with wonderful expression and feeling, and then capping that with a fiery, confident and thrilling "Martern alle Arten". She sings gloriously in ensemble and duet. This is a great performance from a great British soprano and should not be missed. Why she was not more recorded or filmed is one of the mysteries of the record industry, so make the most of her performance here - it is wonderful. You can also catch her artistry on DVDs of the ENO's Xerxes and Julius Caesar, and very early in her career in the D'Oyly Carte Mikado. The rest of the cast is excellent: Ryland Davies as a fluent Belmonte (who looks good with Masterson as a convincing young couple); Lillian Watson, a dream as Blondchen; Willard White, a wonderful Osmin and James Hoback as a college-boy Pedrillo. Conducting is loving and expressive but above all don't miss this record of one of the very best sopranos to have graced our stages giving of her very best in this most testing of parts. Masterful Masterson!