Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awkward stage action, 6 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: Mozart's Don Giovanni / Raimondi, Opera de Paris, Maazel [Deluxe Edition] [DVD] (DVD)
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 pain watching this film. Yes the settings are glorious but their use does not serve the music nor the story.
The visual feeling is too open and "bleeds out" when it should be contained; there are bizarre movements on the part of the extras and the principals which contradict the music and the story, and many very ill considered filming sequences. Half of the film takes place in and around the Palladian Villa Rotunda and the other half is filmed inside on the stage of the Vicenza Teatro Olimpico also by Palladio, this makes for illogical sequences and illogical theatrical space. There also are moments which almost touch on the lewd or obscene,(there is one scene with Leoporello and Don Giovanni lying on either side of a nude woman's rear end and singing, or Zerlina's lewd glances and actions with Musetto). This is all outside of the feeling of the music and the magnitude of this musical masterpiece. These are only a handful of the dozens of things that are illogical, or outside of the context of the music or libretto and make me cringe. In some ways this is almost a visually vulgar film nothwithstanding the beauty of the settings. I couldn't watch this film for more than 15 minutes at a time. What a pity!
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Location: Italy

Top Reviewer Ranking: 598