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Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Glyndebourne [DVD] [1999] [2001]

4.4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Gerald Finley, Alison Hagley, Renee Fleming, Andreas Schmidt
  • Directors: Stephen Medcalf, Derek Bailey
  • Writers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Format: Colour, Full Screen, PAL, Subtitled, HiFi Sound
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, German, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: NVC Arts
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 189 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CYO6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,702 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Mozart's operatic comedy of errors is given a new production by Stephen Medcalf as part of the Glynebourne Festival. Bernard Haitink conducts.

From Amazon.co.uk

Mozart's immortal adaptation of Beaumarchais' satirical tale has always been a Glyndebourne staple, so it was appropriate that this delightfully traditional production of Le Nozze di Figaro was chosen to reopen a refurbished Gyndebourne in May, 1994. Here, John Gunter's set design is airy and uncluttered, leaving the actors plenty of breathing space, while director Stephen Medcalf likewise allows the characters to speak (and sing) for themselves. Gerald Finley's Figaro and Alison Hagley's Susanna make a charming central pairing; Renee Fleming and Andreas Schmidt are a formidable aristocratic duo, while Marie-Ange Todorovitch fills Cherubino's trousers with pleasing playfulness. Haitink and the London Philharmonic sparkle, as of course they should. Unfussily filmed, this is as close to the real thing as you are likely to get without a Glyndebourne season ticket.

On the DVD: This is a double-sided disc requiring a changeover between Acts 2 and 3. With a running-time of 189 minutes, the disc is no longer than some epic Hollywood movies, so such flipping is hard to justify. But at least opera lends itself to natural breaks like this. The sound options are Dolby stereo or 5.1 and the picture is in 4:3 ratio. Subtitles are provided in English, French or German and the booklet contains a plot synopsis. --Mark Walker

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I've had this around 10 years now, and it's still transporting me in safe and legal ways!

Given that this is a live performance, with scenes in semi-darkness, I'm astounded by the audio and video quality, even allowing for the fact the recording is 15 years old.

The production is just so good with no major weaknesses to my eyes & ears, that any minor imperfections, or I would have done that differently, just fade into insignificance. It really doesn't matter, this is so wonderful, enjoy.
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Format: DVD
Vocally and visually, this is a very satisfying production made by the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1994. Musically there is hardly any weakness, while the sets and staging are traditional and admirable.

All the four main characters are ideally cast: they sing well and look their roles. Alison Hagley (Susanna) - an attractive singer - is particularly delightful in her singing and acting. She is one of the best Susannas this reviewer has seen and listened to. Gerald Finley (Figaro) is excellent in characterization. Andreas Schmidt is a youthful Count, and Renee Fleming is a very good, if slightly mannered, Countess. The supporting cast is also very good.

Haitink's pacing is superb: he does not drive the music hard, giving the singers ample opportunities to sing the wonderfull tunes. One can just sit back and enjoy this comical masterpiece about feudal rights. One will get carried away by the genius of Mozart and da Ponte.

Both the picture quality and the stereo sound are excellent. The camera work is good, often focusing on singers in close-ups, but it does not get too obtrusive. This DVD is a bargain, as the recording (lasting three hours), which includes features about the cast and characters, is made on both sides of one DVD, thus relatively low price.
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Format: DVD
If it were not for the poor sound quality, this would be five stars; but in the modern age, there is an expectation that a DVD should produce quality sound and this does not. This opera is one of the greatest artistic achievements in the world ever; the music is simply stunning; its ecstatic music that makes one rejoice in simply being.
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By John Austin HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
Many things combine to make this an ideal production to enjoy in the home. There are enough shots of the newly-enlarged opera house at Glyndebourne to remind us that we are at an actual performance. The camera work, however, gets us closer than is possible in any theatre; indeed, during the Countess's first aria we are lying beside her in the bed. Amongst the principals, it is Figaro (Gerald Finley) and Susanna (Alison Begley) who dominate, and rightly so. With subtitles provided and every note of Mozart's score included, we might well conclude that this is the most entertaining of all operas.
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Format: DVD
Fleming rolling around on the ground during "Deh vieni..."?
Alison Hagley as Susanna was delicious and her chemistry with Gerald Finley is one of the highlights. Their fight scene before "Pace, pace, mio dolce tesoro" is hilarious.
Andrea Schmidt as the Count was a bit too uptight, acting AND singing, and Renee Fleming, while in good form vocally, is not exactly the best acting Rosina.
Marie-Ange Todorovitch, on the other hand, absolutely shines as Cherubino.
I've read reviews about the production where the sets were portrayed as being unimaginative and too confining...I liked it. I thought it struck a good balance between a too sparse staging and a more traditional set where the eyes are pulled every which way.
The sound quality BITES. Compare it to the sound quality in John Gardiner's DVD with Alison Hagley and Bryn Terfel as Susanna and Figaro. Not even close.
Which leads me to suggest the Gardiner DVD as an alternative to this good but flawed disc. Of course, if you don't like Sir John's lively pacing of the score compared to Bernard's more deliberate approach, better sound quality might not exactly be a good thing.
By the way, I am basing my remarks on the Region One disc.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Haitink conducts the masterpiece in a way which leaves you in no doubt why this timeless classic is a masterpiece. Sung wonderfully, with particular credit going to Marie-Ange Todorovitch's portrayal of Cherubino. Though we may complain so and so sung it better than her, dramatically Todorovitch incredibly pleasant to watch, very charming indeed. Renee Flemming gives a heart warming performance; she is amazing, as she usually is.

Now to the not so great bits. The staging is a bit dreary. Though it's adequate, that's about it. It's not very exciting or visually attractive and not very noteworthy.

The recording itself is the biggest let down. Not the greatest sound or recording quality with a few fuzzy and slightly muffled (though very few) bits. Perhaps if it was on VHS you would/could forgive the bad recording and sound quality but for a DVD it has no excuse. This makes me wonder why the DVD is double sided.

This is a great performance and i loved watching it. I just wish the recording was better and it would've gotten five stars in a heartbeat. Shame such magnificent artistry it let down by a few recording issues. Nevertheless for the £11/12 i would definitely recommend it.
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