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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mozart would have been proud
This performance of Don Giovanni from the MET is probably the best version I have encountered on DVD and I can recommend it wholeheartedly. There are many versions on DVD to choose from, each with their own merits. However, you will not find a version so finely staged, sung or conducted. Terfel as the Don is a real rogue, with the eyes and voice to match. Furlanetto as...
Published on 21 May 2005 by Robert Petersen

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don Giovanni, Mozart
Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, tells the story of the arrogant nobleman, who is a notorious seducer. He angers everyone he crosses without a care in the world. After he kills a Commodore, he eventually he gets what he deserves.

Bryn Terfel is good as Don Giovanni, but it is not one of his best performances. He did not manage to convey the sinister personality of...
Published on 29 Oct 2011 by MRAM


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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mozart would have been proud, 21 May 2005
By 
Robert Petersen (Durban, South Africa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
This performance of Don Giovanni from the MET is probably the best version I have encountered on DVD and I can recommend it wholeheartedly. There are many versions on DVD to choose from, each with their own merits. However, you will not find a version so finely staged, sung or conducted. Terfel as the Don is a real rogue, with the eyes and voice to match. Furlanetto as his sidekick (a Don himself) acquits himself with disctinction, repeating an excellent performance seen earlier with Karajan from 1987. Fleming offers a vivid and exciting performance as Anna with no mannerisms in the singing. Kringelborn's strong voice contrasts well with Fleming as Elvira, reminding me of Schwarzkopf in her youth. The remainder of the cast is strong vocally. The production by Franco Zeffirelli is well conceived. Mozart would have been proud. What more can I say?
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Met production but the Don does not frighten us, 15 July 2005
By 
Jorge Fernandez Baca (Lima, Peru) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is one of the best versions of Mozart's masterpiece presently available in DVD. Its greatest attraction is obviously the presence of Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel. Ms Fleming's interpretation of Donna Anna is truly exceptional: the candor and purity of her voice make a perfect expression of the pain and suffering of that noble woman who's father has been killed by the man who tried to rape her. Bryn Terfel is undoubtely a great singer, but he is not a credible Don Giovanni. His voice lacks that touch of evil that makes of the Don the seductor that everybody admires and fears at the same time, specially when he seduces Zerlina and sings below Donna Elvira's balcony. Mr. Terfel's physical appearance is the other factor that prevents us from believing that he can make harm every person that surrounds him. He is obliged to replace body movements with grimaces. I would have liked much better in the role of Leporello, instead of Furlanetto, who is still a great singer (I saw him last year at the Met playing Mustafa in L'Italiana in Algieri) but he is not anymore the memorable servant who accompanied Samuel Ramey and Thomas Allen in those legendary recordings (also available in DVD). He has really let himself go during the last ten years not only phisically (he has gained much weight) but his voice is not the same that we admired during the late eighties. Solveig Kringelborn is a gorgeous Donna Elvira: her beauty, her voice and her acting make us believe that she is really in love with the devil and wants to rescue him from hell. Paul Groves is great as Don Octavio and the same can be said about Hei-Yung Hong as Zerlina. I was surprised to see John Relyea as Massetto. He was acclaimed at he Met this year for his role of Figaro in Le Nozze. Is a big surprise to see such a good singer in this role. Here you can appreciate him in his beginnings.The sound and image are excellent and the orchestra is superbly conducted by James Levine. Can we ask for more? Maybe a more aggresive Don Giovanni and a younger Leporello.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable account, 4 Nov 2014
By 
John Stone - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is a valuable account of the opera. Mozart has always been a strong suit for Levine but it should also be said that there have been few stagings/film representations in several decades that represent Mozart and Da Ponte's script so faithfully. Tyrfel may not look like Zorro (Ildebrando D'Arcangelo much better no doubt in that department) but he is very plausible, arrogant young gentleman (about 34 when this was filmed). Nothing is forced on the opera, it is well sung, acted and played out naturally (possibly a grimace too many from Solveig Kringelborne as Donna Elvira but still a fine performance). Everyone looks credible, a classic Leporello from Ferruccio Furlanetto, Paul Groves a heroic counterweight to Don Giovanni as Don Ottavio.The statue comes to dinner at the end. Zefirelli's sets are elegant. The lustre and the shade of Mozart's drama are both here, and above all the script, heroically performed by a fine ensemble.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, 9 Dec 2012
By 
R. Verdoold (Eibergen, NL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
Seeing the other reviews, I am well aware that enjoyment of performing arts is a highly subjective thing. So what may work for me will not work for somebody else and vice versa. So when before buying this DVD I did a research on the available versions and settled on this one, it is my subjective opinion of what I find nice in sound and in setting. And even this is a compromise for many things that don't exist joined in one production. Peter Mattei would be my preferred Don Giovanni; however, the productions wherein he has taken part are hard to digest as a whole. I would have loved to see Kurt Moll as truly intimidating basso-profundo Commendatore, but, alas! it was also not available.
So.. yes, this is a safely "traditional" MET production with somewhat heavy conducting. And even if the costumes and decorations look somewhat "with a beard", it is still a decent and evenly balanced version of Don Giovanni, especially in the sense of the cast. My greatest pet peeve is usually the tenors cast for Don Ottavio, the directors seem to disregard this role and cast tenors that sound like cracked bells. Paul Grove might not be the most dashing Don Ottavio, but in the given setting he gives a very convincing performance as loyal and long-waiting lover. Renee Fleming may not a very youthful Donna Anna, but she gives a very dignified aspect to the role, and - oh! - her voice, it took me by surprise. Bryn Terfel is perhaps not quite a looker for the role of Don Giovanni, but also he gives his unique interpretation to the role. I've seen various Don Giovannis, from mere seducers to nearly suicidally gloomy, but this one is a unrepenting, unapologetic villain, a brute without a drop of conscience, true to his essence till the last moment. Ferruccio Furlanetti is experienced in his role and gives us a traditionally cowardly Leporello with his side comments. Solveig Kringelborn gives us a somewhat ridiculous but still loving Donna Elvira, and also the Zerlina and Masetto pair with Hei-Kyung Hong and John Relyea is pleasant to see and hear.
Music of Mozart asks no additional comments and Don Giovanni is the one work where I would dare to use the word "epic" to describe the music. It is magnificent.

So in summary, this version perhaps is lacking the "wow, I love it!" factor, but other than that it is a good version to have for someone to start with Don Giovanni, with a cast of well-balanced voices and a traditional approach to the interpretation. Traditional is not necessarily a bad thing, there's enough of modern interpretations which leaves one with "what on earth were they thinking?" feeling in the end.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don Giovanni, Mozart, 29 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, tells the story of the arrogant nobleman, who is a notorious seducer. He angers everyone he crosses without a care in the world. After he kills a Commodore, he eventually he gets what he deserves.

Bryn Terfel is good as Don Giovanni, but it is not one of his best performances. He did not manage to convey the sinister personality of Don Giovanni in both the singing and the acting, making Don Giovanni a likable character rather then a villain.

Ferruccio Furlanetto is very good as Leporello, bringing the humour of the role brilliantly. John Relyea and Hei-Kyung Hong, as Masetto and Zerlina are also great, especially soprano Hei-Kyung Hong, who's beautifully delicate voice was wonderfully suited for this role.

Renee Fleming voice is incredibly beautiful and it is accompanied with a great performance as the mourning Donna Anna. Her rendition of the aria "Non mi dir" was exquisite. Paul Groves's Don Ottavio was also wonderful, with sublime singing and they both gave the best performances in this production.

Solvieg Kringelborn was a disappointment. Her ridiculous facial expressions were a big distraction. Her singing was good, but not in the same standard as the rest of the cast. Donna Elvira is meant to be pitied and she made it into a comedy act. This role was sung beautifully by Kiri Te Kanawa in the Josef Losey version and after watching her, Kringelborn came across as awful.

However this a great traditional production and I am pleased I purchased it for the performances of Renee Fleming and Paul Groves. If you can, get the Losey film as well, which in my opinion is a flawless interpretation of Don Giovanni.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Casting not good., 9 May 2010
By 
Josephine Kemper "Josi Kemper" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
Casting for the role of the Don went pearshaped.
I am a great admirer of Bryn Terfel but no-one can be excellent in every role - he is unsuitable for this one. His appearance is unbelievable for Giovanni, too jolly.
Another great baritone, a countryman of Terfel, Delme Bryn-Jones, had the same thing said about him.
Bryn Terfel is a great Leporello or Masetto, but not the sinister character of the Don.
The rest of the cast, it goes without saying, is outstanding. Paul Groves, in my opinion, is one of the best Mozart tenors around today. And what a great conductor is Maestro Levine!

Josephine Allen-Kemper
(fellow Gold Medalist at the G.S.M & D. with Bryn - but a long time ago!)
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Willing suspension of disbelief, 22 July 2010
This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is a this is a production typical of a big opera house like the Met. Everything is larger than life including Terfel's larger than life portrayal of a sadistic libertine. Whether this is quite what Mozart intended is a matter of opinion but one can only say that it is superbly sung and acted. The problem for me is that Terfel doesn't really look the part when the attention of the camera is on in close-up, yet that is a subjective opinion. Some women might find him irresistible I daresay. The rest of the cast is fine with the true star being Kringelborn's neurotic and passionate Elvira - superb! OK, Feming looks too old for Donna Anna but then this is opera not true life. She sings well even if Levine does make heavy weather of one of her solos. Zeffirelli's production is huge massive sets that you don't always see on DVD. Levine's conducting is a little too heavy at times for Mozart but he is secretly dramatic in the final statue scene which is superbly done by all concerned. If you like a traditional approach (and this is, after all, what Mozart and DaPonte intended) then this will satisfy you musically although the visual side does take a little willing suspension of disbelief.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Met production but the Don does not frighten us, 15 July 2005
By 
Jorge Fernandez Baca (Lima, Peru) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is one of the best versions of Mozart's masterpiece presently available in DVD. Its greatest attraction is obviously the presence of Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel. Ms Fleming's interpretation of Donna Anna is truly exceptional: the candor and purity of her voice make a perfect expression of the pain and suffering of that noble woman who's father has been killed by the man who tried to rape her. Bryn Terfel is undoubtely a great singer, but he is not a credible Don Giovanni. His voice lacks that touch of evil that makes of the Don the seductor that everybody admires and fears at the same time, specially when he seduces Zerlina and sings below Donna Elvira's balcony. Mr. Terfel's physical appearance is the other factor that prevents us from believing that he can make harm every person that surrounds him. He is obliged to replace body movements with grimaces. I would have liked much better in the role of Leporello, instead of Furlanetto, who is still a great singer (I saw him last year at the Met playing Mustafa in L'Italiana in Algieri) but he is not anymore the memorable servant who accompanied Samuel Ramey and Thomas Allen in those legendary recordings (also available in DVD). He has really let himself go during the last ten years not only phisically (he has gained much weight) but his voice is not the same that we admired during the late eighties. Solveig Kringelborn is a gorgeous Donna Elvira: her beauty, her voice and her acting make us believe that she is really in love with the devil and wants to rescue him from hell. Paul Groves is great as Don Octavio and the same can be said about Hei-Yung Hong as Zerlina. I was surprised to see John Relyea as Massetto. He was acclaimed at he Met this year for his role of Figaro in Le Nozze. Is a big surprise to see such a good singer in this role. Here you can appreciate him in his beginnings.The sound and image are excellent (this comment goes for the german DVD) and the orchestra is superbly conducted by James Levine. Can we ask for more? Maybe a more aggresive Don Giovanni and a younger Leporello.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Bucolic tercel Don is not for me, 27 April 2014
By 
anon! (Ottery St Mary, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
Good production with some fine performancesEXCEPT Terfel. His whole demeanour is more suited to the role of Masetto. I thought his Scarpia was bad enough, but his Don is even worse.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Recording, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Don Giovanni: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] (DVD)
A beautiful recording which is the one wanted by the recipient - personally I prefer the version with Bryn Terfell and Dame Kiri te Kanawa
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