Top positive review
20 September 2016
This is really wonderful. The singing is absolutely beautiful and finely dramatic (such great singers and orchestra!). Musically, it is a treat, The film itself is also a really lovely, idiosyncratic interpretation. Just great acting, and scenery, Palladian villas, waterways and countryside. Possibly slightly over-frilly in the costume department for me, but the production is a lovely balance of the realistic and the obviously operatic, in style. The finales to both acts are truly amazing - exciting and completely mesmeric. The sound is wonderfully good too, a bit of a marvel, really, the blend of 'live' recitative and 'recorded' arias, and the 'background' extras, like birds tweeting and rustling of the breezes and gentle roll of the water. (The story about the 'sound journey' is really fascinating - a dvd extra). You will find a lot more modern stagings of this great opera, stagings that are more hard-edged, gritty, realistic, and much less florid than this one. But this is completely seductive and poetic film. It is both Mozart, wonderfully realised, by some of the greatest singers and an amazing conductor; but it is something more too: a filmic experience, each shot like a picture, with a painter's attention to visual meaning, which, if it fits your taste, you might find as rich and hypnotic as I do.