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21 Reviews
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 (16)
4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
I have seen this production at the Royal Opera House a few times, and always enjoyed it. But the first time I saw it Miss Damrau stole the show, just the best Queen of the Night I have ever seen. A magnificent cast all round , Allen, Keenlyside et al, a joy to watch over and over again [and I have]. A good production enjoyable to watch, neither too realistic nor to...
Published on 29 Nov 2009 by A. R. Mash

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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good singing but a pity about the rest
Keelyside and co all sing well, mostly very well, so there's a positive. Also a positive is that for once Davis doesn't sing (or hum) too. Sadly, the other news is not so good.

The sound is limited and seems both monaural and compressed. The soundtrack is presented in LPCM 2.0 or 5.1 but the lack of any directionality or surround staging in 5.1 suggests that it...
Published on 4 Feb 2011 by P. SIMPSON


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Production, 26 Feb 2012
By 
John A. Garrett Esq (Gosport UK) - See all my reviews
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It does not get much better than this, with a superb cast and Colin Davies in the Pit. Special mention for Simon Kennlyside and Dorothea Roschmann and of course Diana Damrau, but the whole was brilliant. To top it off we have David McVicars producing it. This recording is highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first one, 16 April 2009
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P. Beard "Music student" (Northampton UK) - See all my reviews
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I went to see an opera at a local theatre 'Aeida' and was very dissapointed. In another attempt to understand why others love opera, I bought this Blu-Ray DVD of the Magic Flute. I was blown away by this opera. Watched and listened straight through. Now I understand!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Magic Flute, 2 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: Die Zauberflote [DVD] [2010] [NTSC] (DVD)
I'm getting to know this opera and it's growing on me. A very long first act means I broke off and have n't finished watching the whole production but so far, so good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Happy!!, 21 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Mozart: Die Zauberflote [DVD] [2010] [NTSC] (DVD)
I bought this as a present and found it very hard to get. It was delivered quickly and was as advertised for a very competitive price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Die Zauberflote DVD Scintillating performances, design and costumes, 30 Dec 2012
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Rose "The Lucky One" (The Black Pearl - I wish!) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Die Zauberflote [DVD] [2010] [NTSC] (DVD)
Love this version, the staging, design and costumes added to the fabulous singing make for an absolutely satisfying cultural experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 13 Mar 2011
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I saw a recent production of this version of the Magic Flute at Covent Garden recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. This blue ray is exceptional. It all has all the merits as if you were there. Too often opera filmed versions pander to the director's whim to do mart camera work. For the most part the close ups are at the right time with sufficient ling shots for one to get the full benefit of what is a beautifully staged production. Keenleyside steels the show as Papagaino. Brilliant singing and great comic timing. his range is amazing having just seen him in a gritty version of hamlet from the Met. All of the singing is of high qulaity and the orchestra with things all the way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Die Zauberflote, 22 April 2010
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A very high quality Blu-ray format. The actual production is a well known format with some well known Principals in it. One,therefore,expected top knotch singing. On top of that,in my experience,the acting came over well too.That facet is not always the forte of many Opera singers.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good singing but a pity about the rest, 4 Feb 2011
By 
P. SIMPSON "nucaleena" (North Yorkshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Keelyside and co all sing well, mostly very well, so there's a positive. Also a positive is that for once Davis doesn't sing (or hum) too. Sadly, the other news is not so good.

The sound is limited and seems both monaural and compressed. The soundtrack is presented in LPCM 2.0 or 5.1 but the lack of any directionality or surround staging in 5.1 suggests that it has been spatialised from just a stereo master. The constrained sound also suggests that the track has been simply upsampled from 16 bit/44.1 herz. I could be wrong on both counts. Certainly the date of production (2003) preceeds and precluded DTS HD reording.

Also, in this age of multi-miking and hi-res recording, why is it not possible to mike the orchestra to provide better sound than the boxed-in and boxy orchestral sound we're given here. The woodwinds (other than the flute's solo spots) might as well not have bothered turning up.

The picture is fine but doesn't have much to do. The stage is basic and severe and usually in semi-darkness. No need for detail. And the tableau like nature of many (literally) set pieces means that picture resolution is not challenegd by movement. My guess is that the picture was low-res as per 2003 standards, and is simply upscaled to provide "higher" definition.

Basically, and in sum, this feels like an ordinary, limited DVD masquerading as a Blu Ray.

As significantly, the production is inconsistent and, at times, silly. To begin with, there are some pointless bits of staging, such as Tamino entering a door to nowhere in the overture. Also in the overture, two people portentously enter the stage with glowing bowls? Why? - they never re-appear.

The Queen and her ladies look ludicrous in their space-opera headgear. They resemble a cross between Macbeth's three witches and Mimbari from Babylon 5.

Monastotos is simply a buffoon, - no menace here. His minions are surely too numerous and wicked for Sorastro's perfect kingdom. Not to mention that they look like extras from George A Romero zombie flick set in the French revolution.

Pamina and Tamino and Sorastro look like they at least come from the same period as that, but inexplicably Papageno looks like a 1930's tramp with a duck on his head and the three boys look like they've stepped from the same 1930's milieu. I won't mention Papagena as old lady come 60's British comedy tart, - its just too sad for words. And too silly for words is that in this otherwise Enlightment era mileau and staging, the three boys move across the stage in a flying billycart.

The "dances" of fire and waves in the Finale look like something as professional as a high-school musical.

"Business" on the side and the use of the extras involved in it is often mystifying and random.

Sadly, whilst everyone can sing well, few can act and performances are generally either fruity or wooden. The tableau like presentation doesn't help counter this impression. Any "humour" is strictly of a pantomime nature and level.

In conclusion, the singing is excellent and that's what opera rides on, BUT I have seen much better in the Opera House and heard much better sound on disc. As for David McVickar's "direction", that term is surely a misnomer. My advice would be to wait till a better version comes along on blu-ray, as it surely must. This may do until then but I think i'll be playing my RB and SA CDs instead of it.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mozart ;Die Zauberflote(Blu Ray) (2003), 9 Feb 2010
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Altho' Mozart Can Do Nothing Wrong As Far As I'm Concerned, this Blu Ray recording only gives half the true Blu Ray experience, and that is,that the picture quality being exelent, as expected but the sound is recorded at a very low level and is no better quality than it would be on a ordinary DVD. I have informed "OpusArte" of my
views and they are looking into the problem.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent..., 6 Oct 2009
...will be be in Vienna next month to toot that flute. If the production is as good as this I will be well pleased...
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Mozart: Die Zauberflote [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
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