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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars34
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 29 November 2009
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 abstract. Watch out for Keenlyside's Papageno. As miss Damrau is no longer singing the Queen of the Night this is the closest one can get to seeing her live. I cannot reccommend it highly enough.
0Comment|18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is a fine production and performance of Die Zauberflote at The Royal Opera House. Colin Davis conducts a musically secure performance which is recognisably traditional in concept. The David McVicar production is effective.

The singing and acting throughout are all excellent features. Simon Keenlyside provides an amusing and secure Papageno and Ailish Tynan matches him with an outlandish Papagena. Dorothea Roschmann performs with the same accuracy and vigour that she showed in Harnoncourt's Tito and Damrau is unassailable as the Queen of the Night and is ably supported by her three bizarrely presented `Ladies'. Sarastro is suitably authoritative and Monostatos and his cronies are equally effective. Tamino is increasingly convincing as the production progresses.

So far then, this is a highly recommended production. But for me there remain question marks to do with the actual recording. Because of the preponderance of dark scenes some viewers may find a problem with digital grain. This is something to consider if your viewing screen is on the larger size and greater than 40 inches for example.

Larger screens will make the digital grain more and more apparent as screen sizes increase. The other issue concerns the very low level of recorded sound which robs the music and the performance musically of impact unless the volume is turned up at least 5-6 DB. This is a lot and will require a sufficiently powerful amplifier. This may be a matter of concern for purchasers with moderate power at their disposal.

In summary therefore - a strong positive for the production (in all respects) but reservations for the recording quality. I would advise checking your replay equipment's compatibility bearing in mind the above technical observations.
55 comments|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 July 2011
Curiouser and curiouser!? No this is not a review of Alice in Wonderland but just a comment on the diversity of reviews for this disc. While 75% of reviewer's rate this a 5* performance the remainder have effectively rubbished it with a 2 - 3* rating. I have no hesitation in aligning myself in the former camp. For my money this is an excellent production and must rank among the very best Magic Flutes that I have seen. Aside from the artistry of the singers and orchestra the technical side of the production is excellent. Both video and sound are of a very high quality - at least 9 out of 10. I strongly disagree with those people who have suggested that the blu-ray disc is no better than an ordinary dvd.

The cast of this opera is a veritable `Who's Who' of Opera and from my perspective there was no obvious weak link. Simon Keenlyside is superb as Papageno. His tone is excellent, he looks the part and in one or two scenes he shows an amazing athleticism. Dorothea Roschmann has such a lovely silky voice and is perfect for the part of Pamina. Diana Damrau is wonderful as the Queen of the Night. She not only has the voice for this role but she looks sufficiently menacing. I also thought that her costume was magnificent!

I can't help feeling that I have watched a different performance to the sizeable minority of people who clearly didn't enjoy this disc.
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on 6 September 2009
Overall very good performance, especially Damrau's Queen of the Night is unreplacable. I have heard a number of Queen of the Night, but I believe she is the best, and regret she had declared she would not sing this role. Others like Josef-Selig, Keenlyside, Roeshmann were also very, very good. Haltman was not too bad, but paled compared to them.
11 comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 August 2008
This is my favourite Die Zauberflöte and I appreciate it greater, the more I watch it. I don't feel that at the moment it is necessary to give a review of the actual production as this has been well discussed for the original DVD release, see below;

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) -- Royal Opera House/Davis [2003]

However I made the decision to upgrade to Blu-ray last month and I cannot wholly express how wonderful this production is to watch in the crisp picture and sound quality that this new format offers!

Although today, the number of operas available on Blu-ray may not warrant upgrading one's home cinema setup yet, the victory in the format war with HD-DVD and the work of opusarte to expand their range are making this investment increasingly worthwhile!
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on 1 March 2010
The picture quality is sometimes average (not due to transfer, but because camera is out of focus, depth of field problems in low lights, I imagine).

The sound quality is fantastic, but the encoding in the disk isn't top. In particular, when selecting the 3.1 surround mode, this isn't detected by my amplifier which remains in stereo. Any other Blu Ray that I have triggers proper audio format detection from my amplifier. So I interpret this as a problem with the disk's encoding.

So once manually set, the audio is really great.

I can really recomemnd this interpretation of the Zauberflöte!
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on 23 October 2008
We are spoilt by many, many exceptional versions of Die Zauberflöte but this one is difficult to beat. Blu ray and opera is the most perfect combination! This disc alone is worth the purchase of a Blu ray player!!
0Comment|20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 March 2011
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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on 2 April 2013
Don't delay, don't hesitate, buy this. It is pure delight from start to finish. Even my philistine son, who has never willingly listened to a note of classical music, could not tear himself away.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 March 2009
Superb production of the classic mozart opera! The sound quality and picture quality is amazing in the blu-ray format! very impressed!
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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