Top critical review
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Musically excellent, let down by dreadful staging
on 27 October 2007
First, what Amazon should tell you but does not: Idomeneo is sung in the original Italian, with subtitles in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese.
Musically, this is an excellent performance, especially Anja Harteros as Elektra. Idamante (originally a castrato role) is played by mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena - there can be no complaint about her singing, but her acting is poor, especially in Act 1. She is not helped by the staging, which can most charitably be described as eccentric. Nothing on the stage has any relevance to either the story, or the period in which it is set. Idamante, contemplating suicide, brandishes a handgun ... this is set in the Ancient world?
By Act 3, the viewer has learned to more or less ignore what happens on stage, and concentrate on Mozart's wonderful music. If this were a sound-only version, I would give it five stars. But then it would not need to come on 2 DVDs. It should be judged as what it is: excellent singing, first-rate orchestral performance, marred by what must surely be one of the worst stage productions ever devised.