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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must have for "Nozze" lovers.
Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro [Blu-ray] [2006]

According to Stage Director David McVicar the special thrust of this fine production is the wedding of Figaro representing freedom of choice and not purely contractual considerations as contrasted by Figaro's obligations under his loan agreement with Marcellina: personally I did not notice this emphasis in...
Published on 17 July 2009 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marriage of disparate parts
I bought this dvd on the strength of the reviews, and found the singing and playing as excellent as so described. The production, however, is pedestrian at least to this viewer, not helped by film cuts that more than once shift from the main singer to minor actors during significant musical moments. Filming staged opera can suffer from this tension, where opting between...
Published 6 months ago by R A DALE


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must have for "Nozze" lovers., 17 July 2009
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro [Blu-ray] [2006]

According to Stage Director David McVicar the special thrust of this fine production is the wedding of Figaro representing freedom of choice and not purely contractual considerations as contrasted by Figaro's obligations under his loan agreement with Marcellina: personally I did not notice this emphasis in practice.

The action is placed in post revolution France in 1830, with fairly traditional staging and fine costumes, my only question is that the excellent Susanna of Miah Persson is slightly undermined by elaborate costumes and jewellery that are completely inappropriate for a ladies maid.

The singing is superb, always in sympathy with Mozart's intentions rightly expressed as "a miracle of music" by conductor Pappano in a rather inadequate "making of" documentary.

Erwin Schrott portrays Figaro as a warm and engaging character, costumes apart Miah Persson is a lovely and lively Susanna, and Gerald Finley as Almaviva provides just the right levels of aggression in his callous treatment of his Countess and in his passion for Susanna. Rinat Shaham gives a fascinating performance of the aria "voi che sapete" bringing out all the adolescent longing and uncertainties with a success I have not encountered before.

Another great performance of the Countess by Dorothea Roschmann, she recorded this traditional performance in February 2006 and the riveting Salzburg version in July 2006 where "Nozze" is directed as an Ibsen or Strindberg play or an Ingmar Bergman film: there the Act 11 confrontation between the Count and Countess is an electrifying clash between two people locked in a volcanic love hate relationship of overwhelming passion. This Salzburg 2006 version is a revelation and a wonderful companion piece to this lovely performance.

Finally the Blu ray HD glows on the screen, stereo sound on my "AKG K240 Studio Professional" headphones was adequate with the singers always in focus, (sound is criticised on some of the DVD reviews).

Not to be missed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb traditional production of this Mozart masterpiece, 24 April 2010
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This review is from: Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Nearly all operas have very silly stories but like movies, they can get away with it if acting etc is first class. Well, IMHO The Royal Opera House production of Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" on Blu Ray has it all:

* excellent traditional & appropriate costuming and sets

* a strong cast of singers with not a weak one among them

* first class acting as well as singing

* well lit and photographed -> BD quality up to the highest standards

* beautiful orchestral playing

* audio up to the best standards available

OK, I'm entranced. To me the opera could not be better performed or recorded. It knocks the other "modernised" quirky DGG version out of the ring. When you experience the opera performed so well with traditional costuming and sets one is at a loss to understand the mentality of producers and directors who want to meddle with what is already a successful formula.

Yes the whole plot is a farce, but it is great music and done with so much aplomb and comedy, it is utterly engrossing. If you like Mozart and his opera, this is a MUST for your collection.

John
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely enchanting, 7 Aug 2009
By 
A. Pettengell (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the second full version of 'le nozze' I've seen (along with having heard a number of CD recordings), and I must say that I was extremely impressed!

There wasn't a weak ink in the entire cast, but Miah Persson and her flirty Susanna was a particular gem - wonderful, the whole way through. The staging and costumes work very well, pleasing to the eye without distracting from the enfolding drama and comedy.

I would recommend this particular DVD to anyone with full assurance!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A performance and recording that amounts to a very special audio-video experience, 21 Nov 2011
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This production and performance of Le Nozze di Figaro recorded in 2006 at the Royal Opera is, arguably, as close to perfection as anyone has the right to dream of.

There are so many superlatives that it is almost too difficult to know where to start. However, one must try ...! To start with, the production by David MacVicar is one of his most inspired, brimming over with good humour, drama and relevant incidental detail that add considerably to the suspension of belief so essential and critical to any stage production. In this production every single character comes alive before our very eyes and with total credibility. This is a notable achievement and needs to be recognised and applauded.

The cast are uniformly excellent and are all in fine voice and, most importantly, are of that generation that can really act as if in real life rather than acting that they are acting as so often used to occur. Clearly the current generation of singers represented here have been properly taught to act as well as sing and additionally, to be very camera aware. Consequently we, the home audience, benefit from this adjusted emphasis within training apparent in so many recorded performances. These are true singer/actors and in this production they are a particularly gifted team that gels from the first to the last moment. This summary also applies to the excellent chorus. Throughout the performance one is aware that the audience is fully engaged with much amusement to be heard at the appropriate times as well as spontaneous and enthusiastic applause at points such as the countess's fine `Dove sono' in act 3 to mention but one such moment.

To expand - Edwin Schrott and Miah Person make an ideally matched Figaro and Susanna. The same can be said for the coupling of Philip Langridge and Graciela Araya as Dr. Bartolo and Marcellina while Jonathan Veira provides a highly amusing Bartolo. The highly experienced Gerald Finley is a strong but properly misguided and repentant Almavira and Dorothea Roschmann gives the countess a greater dignified authority than often occurs and therefore is shown to be the correct wife for the count. Rinat Shaham delivers a youthfully inexperienced but lustful Cherubino and seems well partnered finally by the Barbarina of Ana James.

The orchestra is in excellent form and the whole production sparkles under the forward and attentively detailed conducting of Antonio Pappano.

The recording is very well captured with crisp and detailed imaging that is fully involving without being invasive. Enough space is allowed to enable the production to breathe and not to become claustrophobic in visual effect. The sound is excellent and is presented in 5.0 surround sound as well as stereo.

There is an interesting booklet that contains an essay by MacVicar. The extras also feature short interviews with MacVicar, Pappano and principal cast members as well as an illustrated synopsis and the usual cast gallery typical of Opus Arte productions.

To conclude, I would suggest that this disc offers a performance and recording that amounts to a very special audio-video experience indeed and one that is likely to give a great number of purchasers considerable satisfaction, enjoyment and musical reward.

............................................

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lacks historical credibility, 2 July 2010
By 
Alan M Linfield (Northwood, MX England) - See all my reviews
Since other reviewers have commented at length on the musical aspects of this production, I will concentrate here on the staging. Technically it is excellent, but I am rather baffled as to why it was chosen to set this in early 19th century France. This would only make sense if the French Revolution had never occurred! As it is, we see what is essentially still a pre-1789 aristocratic household, amazingly surviving into the 19th century completely unscathed, and with all its attitudes and prejudices of the earlier period intact. Surely by 1830 Count Almaviva's plan to reintroduce the 'droit du seigneur' would have been utterly unthinkable with the noise of the mob and shadow of the guillotine in the background?

Unfortunately, musically excellent and visually appealing as this production is, it means it is completely lacking in any historical credibility, which is irritating for a member of the audience with any sense of history, (or indeed of geography - the several references to nearby Seville no longer make any sense).
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny wedding, 13 July 2008
By 
P. Pieters (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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I have the Böhm / Ponnelle version of this opera and I like it very much. The main characters in that version are credible and real life persons. It is a serious aproach. Only the lesser roles are one dimensional (specially dr Bartolo).

This ROH version emphasis the funny part of the opera. The count giving away his cover as he finds out that Cherubino has interest in his wife. Figaro limping away as he says he hurts his foot after jumping from the balcony and running back as he tries to get the letter from the gardiner. The countess and Susanna taking interest in Cherubino as he is dressed as a girl. Not over the edge as in the Salzburg production, but in a amusing way. The audience is picking this up and is laughing about the visual and textual jokes.

The choreograhy is very much inspired by the music. This works out well.
Recommended as an enjoyable lighter version of the Nozze di Figaro.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative Mozart, 26 Aug 2010
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How wonderful that this production is available on DVD - this is the best Nozze di Figaro I have seen (and I have seen quite a lot). If you have never seen this 2006 version from the Royal Opera House, do buy it: you are in for such a treat.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other reviews are not for this DVD!, 10 May 2008
By 
Philadelphus (New Quay, Wales) - See all my reviews
This is the page for the wonderful ROH production. All the other reviews in this section are for a Salzburg production. Don't know what that is like, but this - the ROH production - is great, with a believably young and predatory Count, a splendid Susanna (Persson) and so on.

Amazon - please sort!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Das beste oder nichts, 18 Nov 2010
The wording of a recent TV advert for Mercedes Benz "The best or nothing" perfectly sums up this fantastic production. Le Nozze di Figaro is essentially an ensemble piece, but the five principal singers in this production - Erwin Schrott as Figaro, Miah Persson as Susanna, Gerald Finley as Il Conte, Dorothea Roschmann as La Contessa and Rinat Shaham as Cherubino - turn it into a star vehicle perhaps without intending to do so. Not only brilliantly sung, but brilliantly acted as well. Shaham's slightly ungainly walk in the "trouser" role of Cherubino when dressed up as a local girl is wittily outrageous! Likewise, almost everything Persson sings and does marks her out as an outstanding actress as well as a delightfully Mozartian soprano.

Ensemble piece it may be, unintended star vehicle it undoubtedly is, but of the five leading singer/actors, I have to single out Persson as the glittering star of the production. A daunting role for a comparitively young soprano to take on, she excels in every department, lighting up the stage whenever she appears on it - which is in almost evety scene. She is a more than worthy successor to the rich tradition of Swedish sopranos characterised by Elisabeth Soderstrom and, before her, Birgit Nilsson.

But without a steady hand on the helm, the whole production would have come to nothing, so this is where Pappano comes in. Often thought of as a particular exponent of Verdi and Puccini, this production proves him equally at home in Mozart. He always manages to keep the action going, but without ever appearing rushed. I'm not sure I completely agree with stage director David McVicar's decision to set it in post-revolutionary France. As another reviewer noted, that renders one of the fundamental principles of the plot - the concept of droit de signeur - untenable. But the performance relagates that anachronism to a mere aside.

Altogether, a sumptuous feast for the eyes and ears. Beg, borrow or "liberate" a copy (but don't let anyone catch you doing the latter!)
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all-round success, 28 April 2009
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The play by Beaumarchais on which the opera is based was banned in Vienna presumably because Figaro told the Count that only an accident of birth gave him position and fortune. Otherwise he would be a mediocre nobody. Whereas he (Figaro, a mere servant) has enough knowledge and skill to rule all the provinces of Spain. Hardly "Death to the aristocrats!" but too incendiary for the time. Mozart and da Ponte turned it into a comedy in which emotions sometimes take a more serious turn and sometimes there are social undertones.
We are told in the usual pretentious way when a director substitutes his concept for the composer's that this production "is set in 1830s post-revolution France where the inexorable unravelling of the old order has produced acute feelings of loss."
Fortunately this is not emphatic enough to spoil enjoyment. In fact the staging is excellent with many imaginative touches. Act 4 with characters wandering around pretending not to see and recognise one another cannot work on the stage. The director's idea to lower cutout trees into the hall and scatter leaves around is just a baffling mess.
Singing, acting, playing and conducting are all very good. (Miah Persson as Susanna is quite outstanding.) What a relief that Antonio Pappano does not feel the need to show us how fast or slow Mozart can be played. Mozart always welcomed improved sound. He would surely love the perfection of modern instruments, the brightness of higher pitch, the tasteful use of vibrato etc. He would laugh at the insistent period instrument brigade. If the conductor occasionally fails to turn a phrase with real magic, well, as a world famous pianist said of playing Mozart's music: "Too easy for a child, too difficult for an adult." Pappano does make the forgiveness by the Countess (one of the greatest moments in all opera) deeply moving.
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