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Mozart: Don Giovanni [Blu-ray] [2008] [2010] [Region Free]

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Miah Persson, Kyle Ketelsen, Marina Poplavskaya, Robert Gleadow, The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
  • Directors: Francesca Zambello, Robin Lough
  • Writers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lorenzo da Ponte
  • Producers: Royal Opera House, Ferenc van Damm
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Classical, Colour, PAL, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 20 April 2009
  • Run Time: 202 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001U5V04O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,770 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Don Giovanni is one of the timeless classics of all opera. Mozart's music, and the words of his great collaborator Da Ponte, are brought to life in Francesca Zambello's engrossing production from 2002 with its rich and colourful designs by Maria Bjornson. The music is memorable, dramatic and enjoyable: from the seductive solo voices of the famous 'La ci darem la mano' to the fabulous ensemble as Don Giovanni's infatuated conquests, vengeful victims and their outraged relatives join forces for justice. And retribution does finally come to Don Giovanni, a serial womanizer and a murderer, with the searing flames of Hell ready to engulf him. Simon Keenlyside heads the outstanding cast, conducted by renowned Mozart expert Charles Mackerras.

Press Reviews

"If one of the cast it to be named above the rest, that should be Joyce DiDonato, an outstandingly accomplished Elvira, brilliantly projected, interestingly conceived, her singing concentrated in tone. Miah Persson is an adorable Zerlina, and I liked what she and others were encouraged to do by way of vocal ornamentation." (Gramophone)
"Sir Charles Mackerras conducts an incandescent Overture which kindles the brilliance, clarity and indefatigable energy of his music direction throughout. This film powerfully captures the fiery essence of Francesco Zambello's production...Zambello makes Simon Keenlyside's harsh and diabolical Don Giovanni and Kyle Ketelsen's embittered Leporello a double-act of deadly dependency." (BBC Music Magazine)
Cast
Simon Keenlyside (Don Giovanni)
Kyle Ketelsen (Leporello)
Eric Halfvarson (Commendatore)
Marina Poplavskaya (Donna Anna)
Joyce DiDonato (Donna Elvira)
Ramón Vargas (Don Ottavio)
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Charles Mackerras

Stage Director: Francesca Zambello
Catalogue Number: OABD7028D
Date of Performance: 2008
Running Time: 202 minutes
Sound: 2.0 PCM & 5.1 DTS
Aspect Ratio: 1080i High Definition / 16:9
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, ES, IT
Label: Opus Arte

Review

'Given a cast of this quality, outstanding staging opportunities, and a director of Zambello's genius, and Don Giovanni feels as if it is bursting on the world for the first time all over again... Each role has been thought out and sharply realised by director and respective performer, and jointly make a convincing whole.' --Online Review London --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There are now several choices available of this opera of which this review considers three contrasting productions. They are the 2008 Royal Opera/Mackerras, the 2001 Zurich Opera/Harnoncourt and the 2002 Aix-en Provence/Harding productions.

The Royal Opera production under Mackerras listed here has received conflicting critical reviews resulting in both enthusiastic and damning comments to be found on Amazon. This also reflects the previous press reviews that accompanied the original performances. The DVD issue is generally more enthusiastically reviewed than the Blu-ray version but for no apparent reason to do with the different format.
This Keenlyside Giovanni figure is portrayed as particularly driven and is the most controversial figure in this production. Importantly, there is no real sign that he actually likes women - surely an essential requirement of a seducer. He is also shown throughout in somewhat sleezy attire - again, seemingly a rather unlikely attraction for the women when initial appearance is likely to be an important key to his success. Don Giovanni's charm therefore seems to be an unimportant consideration of this production. Given these concepts, both the singing and the acting are well done. However, bearing in mind this characterisation, it becomes difficult to believe that either Elvira or Zerlina would fall for such a man although it is obvious why Anna would hate him.

Elvira comes over as rather strident in this production and this particular portrayal of Ottavio as a character is unlikely to be a serious physical threat to Giovanni even though the part is sung well enough. Both Zerlina and Masetto are excellent with Masetto being a satisfyingly stronger character than usual. Both Leporello and the Commendatore parts are well done.
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Format: DVD
I first saw this production of Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House in 2002,
and I have yet to experience anything which comes close to expressing the genius
behind what is probably the greatest all-round creation in the history of opera.
That said, I have never seen a second-rate performance of any opera at Covent Garden,
a situation which, I believe reinforces the reputation of the Royal Opera House as
a venue where {on the whole} a certain standard of excellence can be assured.

All in all, the performance on this DVD captures and sustains all of the opera's
musical perfection and power, cumulating in a last secene which seems to transcend
art and music drama in general, thereby giving the impression that a certain musical
ne plus ultra has indeed been reached.

In addition, this production boasts a fine cast headed by a Simon keenlyside in fine
form as the Don. Keenlyside brings about just the right amount of dark intent to the
role without ever negleting the Don's indifference in regard to his actions and his
nihilistic impulses which are essential in any performance of this 'Opera of all Operas'.

After watching the curtain call at the end of this performance, I became convinced that
some members of the cast were aware that they had just taken part in something special,
and the 2005 Glyndebourne production of 'Gilulio Cesare' came to mind, another almost
faultless interpretation which has since become an operatic classic on DVD.
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I own several recordings of Mozart's masterpiece, Don Giovanni, and I think this one is my favourite. The performers are all excellent, both vocally and dramatically. Joyce DiDonato is a strong, powerfully sung Elvira, and I have to say that although I am a huge Simon Keenlyside fan, the star of this production, for me,is Kyle Ketelsen - the best Leporello I've ever seen. He has the most brilliantly comic facial expressions and a fine voice. The only minus on this recording in my opinion is the Don's rather ugly costume and even more hideous long ginger wig that often gets in his mouth, but that's a minor quibble. And I have to say that the final blink-and-you-miss-it flash of the Don in all his naked glory was a brave thing to do for a man who was then approaching 50, although he appears to be in fine shape for his age!
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The Royal Opera House excels itself with this stunning production of one of the top 5 operas ever written. If you want a traditional staging then this cannot be bettered and with Sir Charles Mackerras conducting,the music is of high quality. Simon Keenlyside makes a truly memorable Don Giovanni. He is by turns cruel,seductive,funny,evil and sexy-just as the Don should be. His interaction with the marvellous Kyle Ketelsen as Leporello was well done. In Joyce Di Donato we have a fiery and yet vulnerable Donna Elvira. Di Donato was in splendid voice. It was good also to be pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous tone of Ramon Vargas, a tenor who can be a little hit and miss for me, here he was a strong Don Ottavio. Praise too to Eric Halfvarson's Commendatore, Miah Perrson's Zerlina-conveying perfectly the balance between coquette and innocent,and Robert Gleadow's fine Masetto. I confess the only disappointment was Marina Poplavskaya as Donna Anna. While he vocal talent cannot be faulted I just felt that she held herself a little aloof and the pleas for 'vengeance' did not raise the hairs on the back of the neck(but then for that you really should listen to the late Dame Joan Sutherland). Keenlyside was an athletic and vital Don, bare chested for much of the final act he cut an inpressive figure and the final postscript,albeit brief, showed him to have just what he desired in purgatory-probably he didn't get such a bad deal going to Hell after all? As a humerous aside, keep your eyes open for the look on Ms Polavskaya's face when Joyce Di Donato gets a bigger bouquet than her at curtain call!! I also have a marvellous modern day production from Salzburg with the fabulous Thomas Hampson and Ildebrand D'Archangelo. This goes alongside it as the best traditional production.
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