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on 30 April 2018
You can't really go wrong with a Mozart opera and good performers. I have several versions of this opera, and I bought this just to see Sir Thomas Allen's portrayal of the the title character. I wasn't disappointed, I'll be watching this version many more times.
I'm not a theatre or operatic critic who complains about depth and colour in the voices, but I know what I like, and I liked this, and I'm sure many others will too, so add it to your collection.
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on 11 September 2017
This gives a useful insight into the history of the man and his aims. Although I realise it's beneficial to provide examples of the pieces he conducted, sometimes I found this took a little more time than would have been ideal when recording space is limited. For instance, a considerable time was spent on Verdi's Otello. Also some of the more avant-garde diversions could have been restricted. Still this will be a useful addition for the Karajan fan.
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on 25 March 2018
A beautiful production,beautifully sung....
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on 2 March 2012
Not my favourite Mozart opera, but the singers are very good and the acting so realistic that I forgot that Thomas Allen is really a decent bloke. I was glad when the Don met his deserved end, which I remember seeing Allen portray before and which actually made my hair stand on end.

Zerlina too, as well as being a delightful singer, brought much charm to the role, while Leporello (poor man) provided some comic relief and had my sympathy too. The stage production was rather dark, but then a lot of the action takes place at night, so no complaints.
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on 17 November 2015
One of the best productions of Don Giovanni I have seen
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on 8 December 2012
I just enjoyed it very much,there is nothing more to say his music was the best and its good to see his profile.
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on 2 August 2014
not bad but expected better.Probably me?
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on 3 April 2017
I have many Karajan DVD profiles and this is one of the best for me inspite some very negative reviews.
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on 23 September 2005
While many productions have a superior ending to this - the statue is barely seen in the final moments - it is the astonishing vitality of the first 4/5ths that make this production such a revelation. Riccardo Muti conducts with breathtaking accuracy, allowing the music to breathe in the slower moments and hit you hard when it needs to. The finale of Act One works particularly well with the ethereal ghostly trio immediately followed by the huge party sequence, culminating in one of the snappiest renditions of "Tremble foul seducer" you will ever hear.
The singers are uniformly excellent... the Don is vicious in his opening murder, yet tender in his Act Two seduction, while Leporello's sense of comedy pervades - notably in the Catalogue aria. Donna Anna occasionally loses her way but in the final aria her soaring virtuosity must excuse all else. Donna Elvira veers between tragedy and hyperbole, and Don Ottavio has grown on me, delivering a superb "Il Mio Tessoro". The finale neglects the crowds of demons of certain versions, instead showing the Don fall into a smoke filled pit, and while he doesn't hit the correct note on his final deathly scream, the concluding chorus follows on too abruptly for us to notice much.
The lighting is remeniscent of The Godfather and the acoustics in La Scala are uniformly excellent. A superb production of the greatest opera of them all. Much recommended!
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on 22 February 2007
The star of this production is, undoubtedly, Riccardo Muti. Tempi are well-judged and he conducts an alert and urgent performance. Natale De Carolis and Susanne Mentzer sing the same roles in his tremendously successful studio EMI recording.

The ambience/atmosphere here is more serious than comic (comic operas seem to lose much of their 'fun' in La Scala). Claudio Desderi is strangely muted here as the buffo Leoporello. Even Zerlina and Masetto can't provide much relief from the seriousness. That said, this is an enjoyable performance throughout. The Act 1 finale being particularly well-paced. Ann Murray is noted as a fine actor usually but here seem dwarfed by the La Scala audience and the stage. Her singing is adequate. The notes above the stave are already showing signs of the wobble when pressed. Susanne Mentzer and Natale de Carolis are very good indeed. Both singing and projecting well.

Edita Gruberova and Francisco Araiza are more problematic. Gruberova started weak in the opening seduction scene and the subsequent duet with Don Ottavio. She recovers quickly though. Both Or Sai and Non Mi Dir are finely sung. The coloratura at the end of the 2nd aria posing no difficulty for her. Francisco Araiza sings well too, in one of his signature roles. The problem comes in their acting. Gruberova is given an orange-ish/red furry wig which makes her look mature. Her acting is pretty monotonous. Araiza's acting is virtually non-existent. Too often, both simply 'stand and deliver'.

Thomas Allen is very commanding as the Rake. He doesn't sing all the notes that are written, and rather unfortunately he lost part of his voice by the time the Commendatore comes on, resorting to hectoring to run through the rest of the scene. Deh Vieni All Finestra is sung in very pleasing hushed voice.

Is this DVD recommended? The sums add up nicely even though there may be individual failings, so: Yes! For most of the singing, the sets, and a well-integrated performance as a whole.
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