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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everding's DGM production, 14 Jun 2010
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This review is from: Mozart - Die Zauberflote (Sawallisch) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This production has a great deal to recommend it and seems to draw many ideas from the wonderful Bergman film version. The starkest contrast is in Tamino, who in this version is quite serious and emotionally intense while the Bergman hero never has a hair out of place. I feel it is difficult in The Flute to balance the 'ridiculous' with the serious and this version does accentuate the contrasts. There is some beautiful singing although I've seen more convincing 'Queen's'. Moll's Sarastro is very good although no one can compare for solemnity and looks to the bass in the film. However, this is a real life production set in an opera house and can in no way have the flexibility of film medium. I give it 4 out of 5 and anyway the Bergman film, my favourite,is not available for copyright reasons on UK DVD's, only Region 1.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent production let down by the Queen of the Night, 22 Sep 2007
This review is from: Mozart - Die Zauberflote (Sawallisch) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
It would be fair to say I am a Mozart fanatic! To me his operas are a stairway to heaven. There are certain aspects of them that reflect the sublime in a way that no other composer can ... though they do come very near to the mark!!

For me Magic Flute is one of his top 5 ... Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutti and Clamenza di Tito ... , but I think it is extra special because not only is it his last work but it has a hidden message and a charm in its almost fairy tale allegory that makes it unique.

The director has to capture the magic of this opera with the sublimity of the music and in this production I believe he has done just that and the only reason I give it 4* is because of the Queen of the Night. Diana Damrau in the 2003 Covent Garden production is the best ever and I would find it difficult for her to be surpassed. (Indeed she plays the part again with equal venom in the new somewhat avant guarde 2007 Vienna Staatsopera version which has its good points.)

I agree with another reviewer the Swedish film version is excellent but the language is somewhat off-putting.

If you have ever seen the wonderful Saltsburg puppet version so eloquently introduced by Peter Ustinov who so rightly stresses the importance of the `treble unbroken voices' of the three boys whose job it is to guide Papageno and the prince, you might agree with me that the entire production can be spoilt if the boys are played by women!! In the puppet version they are actually sung by women contrary to the words of Sir Peter!!

They play an essential part in this opera and in this version they are perhaps the best ever. The scene where they persuade Parmina not to kill herself is magical. They even go off in a rose clad boat with a willow tree in the background ... somewhat remeniscenmt of the fairy-tale charm of Wind in the Willows.

Yes this is a light charming version.

The Covent Garden Version is much heavier but splendid ... see my review on it if this one has helped you

If you only bought one version I think the Covent Garden would have to be it for the following reasons ...

1 ... The Lead characters as well of course as the Queen of the Night are superlative.

2 ... The costumes are excellent and compensate for the darkness of the sets which are of course relevant to the story .... (the version I am reviewing is much lighter and you should go for it if you want a prettier setting)

3 ... The Queen of the Night's second aria is almost reminiscent of the aspect of sacrifice in the Tridentine Mass ... Her three acolytes actually hold up her veil rather like the priest's chasuble being held up by the deacon and sub-deacon at the mass. The whole thing is electrifying!!! Sadly this version lacks this depth of meaning and symbolism ... remember the Queen of the Night actually represents the Catholic Church and Zorastro Freemasonary!!

I hope this has helped
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Mozart - Die Zauberflote (Sawallisch) [DVD] [2006]
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