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on 17 July 2017
GREAT JOB!!!
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on 12 February 2015
I love opera and watch a couple of operas on video each week and own several hundred opera DVDs and Blu-rays.

I bought this without reading reviews, as almost everything that Deutsche Grammophon have released on Blu-ray so far has been outstanding (eg Il Trovatore with Netrebko and Domingo is exceptional).

Unfortunately, this release is the probably the worst thing I have seen (either live or recorded).

Singing: 3 stars. The singing isn't terrible but it isn't great either. Villazón's voice is not in peak shape and he needs a bit more control. Persson is a bit shrill and not the most pleasant singer to listen to. Although D'Arcangelo is excellent.

Sound: 1 star. The sound is horrible! The sound is muffled, the balance keeps changing, and the Deutsche Grammophon engineers should be embarrassed by this release.

Production: 1 star. Villazón directed the production and it is awful. The opera takes place on the set of a Western film. Villazón mentions in the accompanying documentary that he unashamedly uses cliche and slap stick. That's fine, but to me the result is incredibly daggy, stupid, and not at all funny. Villazón prances around the stage like a buffoon - perhaps this suits the character - but it is indulgent and unfocused. I got the impression from watching the documentary that Villazón's exuberance borders on the manic - and the result in mish-mash of ideas and gimmicks. It has the strange distinction of being on the one hand excruciating to watch, but also very boring.

Video Direction: 1 star. The filmed footage is interspersed with footage of a black and white 'silent' film that Villazón made for the production. It is ugly and distracting.
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on 29 October 2014
The setting is, for me, distracting and fragmented. I'd rather just listen to the cd. Rolando's facial gymnastics are quite painful. It's hard to believe any girl would fall for such a character as is portrayed. Love his voice nevertheless and Miah Persson is a delight to see and hear. She sings and acts well and not overly dramatic. The whole thing makes me want to see a more traditional production.
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on 10 December 2014
I like this opera. I somehow like Villazón production, even if it's a bit weird. I like most singers (Persson, Villazón, D'Arcangelo, Mühlemann) and mostly I love Miah Persson's Adina.
But the Blu-Ray sound is awful. The opera, the production, the singers deserve a much better sound mix, color, depth. Sometimes singers are badly drowned out by the orchestra. For some singers (namely sopranos) sound is squeezed into a narrow frequency band, with very unpleasant effect. Maybe microphones didn't work well, or sound settings were off. What happened ?
The result is really poor... too bad, really too bad!

PS: not sure my previous review is still online...
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on 9 September 2015
I have the production with Anna Netrebko, and would give this 4 or 5 stars if Villain had been replaced with someone less distractingly silly. His voice is great, but his acting ..... spoils every scene he is in. Why didn't the director tell him to stop it? Netrebko and De Angelo save it.
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on 26 February 2015
A very beautiful recording and much appreciated.
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on 3 March 2016
Lovely Production
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on 27 September 2014
Ghastly - why not stay with the brilliant version with Netrebko and Villazon rather than this new one with Villazon singing excellently but a terrible production by him.
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