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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glyndebourne's 1980 Production, 4 Dec 2005
By 
J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail [DVD] [1980] [2005] (DVD)
As far as I know, this production has not ever been released before in any format, and that's a shame because this is a very nice 'Abduction,' with excellent singing, exceptional orchestral playing, and good visual and dramatic values. It also gives us a chance to see the work of some singers early in their careers. Most important of these, to me, is to see and hear Willard White, that wonderful Jamaican basso, as Osmin. He darn near steals the show with his characterization, immensely likable and funny. The only thing missing from his performance is rock-solid low notes; he really has to reach for those low Cs and Ds. As for the ladies in the cast, they could hardly be bettered. Valerie Masterson is a delicious, if slightly reserved young lady, Costanze, and her singing is secure and dramatically apt. Lillian Watson's Blonde is sexy and very funny and her limpid soprano is perfect for the part. Pedrillo is sung and played by a gee-whiz James Hoback (his Albert Herring at the Saint Louis Opera is one of my most treasured opera-going memories), a fine contrast to the earnest and sweet-voiced Welsh tenor Ryland Davies as Belmonte (who also provided one of my most treasured memories, short thought it be: Hylas's song in the first Colin Davis recording of 'Les Troyens'). Joachim Bissmeier makes a handsome but not very intimidating Pasha Selim.
The London Philharmonic play like angels under a then very young Gustav Kuhn (whatever happened to him?). The pace of Kuhn's direction makes the opera seem to whiz by, perfect for this light comedy. William Dudley's sets are both airy and realistic looking; they evoke a Turkish harem beautifully. Peter Wood's direction is fairly traditional, maybe a little bit staid, but certainly better than the Eurotrashed production from the Stuttgart Staatsoper, the only other DVD I've seen.
This is probably not the ultimate Entführung, but it is more than acceptable. The musical values are marvelous, the sets stylish, the direction unexciting but uninsulting as well. I have not seen the newish production from Salzburg (conducted by Marc Minkowski) but I'm satisfied with this one.
TT 140 mins; Sound PCM Stereo; Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish; No extras
Scott Morrison
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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
This review is from: Mozart: Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail [DVD] [1980] [2005] (DVD)
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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb production, 30 July 2009
By 
C. S. Rothwell "Jerome" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail [DVD] [1980] [2005] (DVD)
An absolute delight for eye and ear. All of the leading performers are a delight to hear and watch, whilst the costumes, sets and stage direction are all suberb. I recently watched this opera being butchered/made a complete travesty of by a leading UK opera company and bought this DVD as a 'consolation' of how it should be produced and to bring back memories of a good production I had seen decades ago in Germany. I now wish I had foregone the visit to the live opera and had just bought this DVD instead (of which I could have bought 5.6 copies for the same price as going to the opera!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Die entfuhrung aus dem serail DVD cond Bohm 1980, 21 Jan 2013
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C. H. T. Webb "C H T Webb" (Pontypool Wales) - See all my reviews
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I mostly enjoyed this performance, but I found Talvela's Triumph aria too backward. Black mark there for the sound engineers.Airaiza was a wonderfully firm Belmonte, as was Gruberova as Constanze, Even here though the singers seemed overpowered at times by by the ( splendid ) orchestra. I suppose the star was Karl Bohm. Talvela sang and acted very well, as did Orth. How on earth did he manage to carry the huge Talvela?. Reri Grist .also sang well as did the chorus. The staging of the opera was very entertaining & not spoiled as is the wont nowadays by certain directors who ruin opera for me, as do some singers. The good acting and staging was a bonus and barring some sound defects a most enjoable evening for me.Sorry about the lack of accents but I don't know how to find them, perhaps some kind person will enlighten me.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our best Entfuhrung - Araiza and Gruberova are fantastic., 28 Jan 2009
And an Osmin to match. A fantastic set of singers, and actors. None of this opera's long, stop-action arias seem at all long in this edition, which means the stage director doesn't have to fill in with lots of scene action to keep the audience interested. On the contrary: one's interest is enchained. Simple staging, with very good comedy, but nothing unnecessary. By far my favorite of (my four) Entfuhrungen ...
Madeleine H.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mozart "Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail.", 17 Jun 2013
By 
Dr. R. Jameson (Liverpool England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail [DVD] [1980] [2005] (DVD)
Excellent performance and musical quality. This DVD replaces an old vidoe tape recording and I highly recommend this amusing opera.
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