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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless
Not only is this the best production of "Don Giovanni" that I have ever seen; it is the best opera production that I have ever seen and (even) one of the best films in any genre I have seen.
Mozart's greatest opera, directed by the magnificent Joseph Losey - it's hard to imagine how it could go wrong, but factor into this the fact that the film looks simply stunning:...
Published on 7 Jan 2003 by Lovborg

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awkward stage action
The singing is mostly very fine (except for Lepporello and Ottavio), but the acting (on the part of many, especially Kiri Te Kanawa), and stage action and filming techniques are very disturbing, so much so that I found it very difficult to watch this film. These problems with the stage action and filming go so much against the libretto and the music that I was almost in...
Published on 6 Feb 2011 by Marcolorenzo


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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless, 7 Jan 2003
This review is from: Don Giovanni [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Not only is this the best production of "Don Giovanni" that I have ever seen; it is the best opera production that I have ever seen and (even) one of the best films in any genre I have seen.
Mozart's greatest opera, directed by the magnificent Joseph Losey - it's hard to imagine how it could go wrong, but factor into this the fact that the film looks simply stunning: it is set in the Palladian villas around a mist-shrouded Venice and costumed in elaborate black and white.
And the cast is straight out of an opera lovers' dreams: Raimondi, Berganza, Van Dam, Moser and Te Kanawa exhaust superlatives (even if Teresa Berganza looks a little long in the tooth to play the fresh-faced Zerlina) and act as well as they sing: a rare thing in opera.
I cannot commend this highly enough: I first saw it over twenty years ago and it remains fresh, exciting and exhilarating. I am by no means an "opera buff" but this is an experience that cannot be missed. It will stay with you forever.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Don Giovanni I have ever seen, 25 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Don Giovanni [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The Don Giovanni by Mozart is here played in the misty plains surrounding the Brenta villas near Padua and in the lagoon around Venice in Italy. In this way, Losey creates true settecento mysterious atmospheres in places very close to those that Mozart imagined. Thus the atmospheres of each scene are perfectly rendered with a tremendous suggestion. The singers are excellent and their playing is perfectly suited to the opera characters. It is clear that such a mix of excellent music, interpreters, and movie play can only give a movie, perfect in every sense and most difficult to equal.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for the Blu-ray?, 12 Nov 2010
By 
Harry F. Korbl (Melbourne Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mozart's Don Giovanni / Raimondi, Opera de Paris, Maazel [Deluxe Edition] [DVD] (DVD)
Go to Amazon France. Gaumont have released this film on 6th October 2010 on Blu-ray.

I received the Blu-ray in today's mail and I was not disappointed with the transfer.

Although not stated on Amazon France's site; I can confirm that the disc has English and French sub-titles.

Video: MPEG-4 AVC 1080p / 23.976 fps / 16:9
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / 48kHz / 24-bit
Audio: DTS Audio 2.0 / 48kHz / 24-bit

The release is a 2 disc set. The film is a Blu-ray and the Extras are a DVD.

This is my N°1 choice for Don Giovanni on film or video, regardless of the criticism that the singers are all too old for their roles.
The combination of stunning cinematography, quality of the singing and intensity of the drama has not been equaled in any other production that I have seen.

Thank you Gaumont for fulfilling one of my longstanding wishes.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware - Great sound but faulty second disc, 5 Mar 2008
By 
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This review is from: Mozart's Don Giovanni / Raimondi, Opera de Paris, Maazel [Deluxe Edition] [DVD] (DVD)
I owned this DVD in its previous 'tinny' sounding incarnation. This remastering has achieved the sound track this film deserves. The surround sound is magnificent, with every detail enhanced with tender loving care.

It is unfortunate that there are now two discs, one per act, instead of just one, as before. The packaging is also poor. A 'trendy' new way of holding the discs does not hold them secure and they are prone to become dislodged and scratched. There is a third disc with three documentaries, which is a big bonus.

Unfortunately, I have now returned my copies three times because the second disc (Act 2) has a fault in manufacturing. About ten minutes into play time the sound cuts out for a number of seconds. If the next discs I received have the same problem I will cancel my order and wait for the fault to be corrected before buying this. Buyer beware! Its such a shame because this film version of the opera is magnificent. I have therefore awarded it five stars despite the manufacturing fault.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Widescreen womaniser!, 6 April 2010
By 
Kenneth F. Mcara "Kenneth F. McAra" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mozart's Don Giovanni / Raimondi, Opera de Paris, Maazel [Deluxe Edition] [DVD] (DVD)
Every so often a great director decides to make a film of a great opera. In 1951, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger released a quirky, arty version of Tales Of Hoffmann [DVD] [1951] which was delightful in many ways, although problematic in others. Joseph Losey, director of The Servant [DVD] [1963] and The Go-Between [Blu-ray] [1970] made this adaptation of Mozart's opera in and around Villa Capra "La Rotonda", a Renaissance villa just outside Vicenza. A fantastic cast was assembled - who sing beautifully - and the film looks gorgeous. It was nominated for a number of awards and yet, somehow, it still falls a little short of the mark.

Whilst Raimondi (Giovanni) and his side-kick Van Damm(Leporello)are perfectly cast, and very watchable, as is the delightful Teresa Berganza (Zerlina), some of the others do not fare so well. Kiri Te Kanawa sings her heart out but her Donna Elvira on screen is one-dimensional with a single "angry" expression used over and over again. Similarly, Kenneth Riegel as Don Ottavio soon wears out his welcome with a simpering portrayal of the character despite a fine vocal performance. There's also a feeling in Act 2 that Losey is beginning to find difficulty with the cinematic representation of a string of long arias delivered by lone characters.

Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy here. Losey's visual style is extremely appealing, making full use of the Italian buildings and countryside, and is at times particularly imaginative in the famous set-pieces such as Leporello's 'list' song, Don Giovanni's serenade and his duet with Zerlina, "La ci darem la mano". The use of the masked figures in the boisterous finale of Act 1 neatly prefigures Amadeus [1985] [DVD]and Losey neatly book-ends the film with similarly fiery backdrops. Along with the picture, the sound has been scrubbed up until it gleams. A particularly noteworthy touch is that the recitatives have been recorded in acoustics similar to those which the singers are shown to be in, which adds to the realism of the film.

Mixed blessings, then, but it was good to be able to reacquaint myself with a film I hadn't seen since I took a trip down to London as a teenager in 1979. If you love opera, then you'll certainly want to take a look, and it is well worth the price which is being asked here.

Open a good bottle of chianti, get comfortable on the sofa and turn your sound system right up...
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bet Mozart himself watches this in heaven..., 4 Sep 2003
By 
Ashley Jenkins (Southampton, Hants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don Giovanni [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This breathtakingly beautiful & atmospheric production must be as close to perfection as any mortal hand could make. Frankly I wonder why anyone would ever bother filming another version of Mozart's dark masterpiece - Mr Losey's will never, ever, be bettered. If the martians landed and asked to be shown mankind's greatest artistic achievement I think I'd put this video in my VCR and sit them down in front of it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ever, 23 Jun 2007
By 
Dr. S. Lisansky "Mozart fan" (Oxford UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having listened and seen this opera for nearly 50 years, this is the most captivating performance on record. RR is sexy and menacing, KtK is worth seducing, the Venetian setting is unusual and adds to rather than detracts from the opera. The tiny flaw in this is the recording quality and sound quality which could be higher and maybe someone will bother with some enhancement. Otherwise an absolute must for the afficianado and a very good entry point for the novice who might believe all opera is this exciting.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mozart at his best!, 28 May 2008
This review is from: Mozart's Don Giovanni / Raimondi, Opera de Paris, Maazel [Deluxe Edition] [DVD] (DVD)
This long overdue DVD release is simply perfection. Yes, there is a bit of nudity and some of the camera angles and staging could have been more inspired but the restored picture looks as if it could have been filmed last week and the sound quality is perfect. To hear it in 5.1 is breathtaking, it is almost better then viewing it live. This is the best version of Don Giovanni on the market and one of the greatest opera films ever made.

Sadly, as other reviewers have observed there was a fault on disc 2 which made me reluctantly return my copy in March. However, having just re-purchased it, I am delighted to see that this fault has now been fixed and you can enjoy the whole film as the director intended.

Buy this, you will not be disappointed.

Other great opera films on DVD which are must buys are the latest version of Mozart's Magic Flute, directed by Kenneth Branagh; Rossini's La Cenerentola (Abbado); Puccini's Tosca starring Angela Gheorghiu & Ruggero Raimondi (from this Don Giovanni) and Puccini's La Boheme from the Sydney Opera House directed by Baz Luhrmann (a live performance, but the best version of this beautiful opera available).
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb sound remastering but . . . ., 7 Mar 2008
By 
Jose (Montevideo, Uruguay) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mozart's Don Giovanni / Raimondi, Opera de Paris, Maazel [Deluxe Edition] [DVD] (DVD)
I will not comment about the film itself because it's beyond reviews, I will focus on this edition. I agree with the previous reviewer that some more care should have been taken on the packaging. When you read "Deluxe Edition" you expect a deluxe edition.
I received the set here in South America with the discs of Act I and Act II dislodged and therefore I thought that the problems with the sound in Act II were due to the journey and movements of the dvds during the trip.

I see now that the problem is manufacturing and not "delivery".

One other thing: for Opera lovers there is a major problem: incredible as it may sound in the XXIst century, this edition has English subtitles that CAN NOT BE REMOVED from the screen!!!! You have to watch a masterpiece with annoying subtitles interfering. Incredible! Furthermore: they should have had the care of inserting a menu with Italian subtitles for those who enjoy Opera in that language. No other subtitles available, I suppose this set is intended for sale in the UK only.
The bonus features are very short and there was no need for a third disc. A very good feature about the sound mixing!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning, 22 Sep 2007
I agree with every positive comment that has already been stated. This film version is more than excellent.

If I have one criticism it is the sound quality which is in parts somewhat distant. As it is a film with magnificent sets the arias when sung far off appear to be sung in the distance and for me I want the beauty of the sound as well as the visual pleasure of this awesome spectacle BUT don't let that comment put you off you will NEVER REGRET BUYING THIS FILM!!!
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