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Mozart: The Magic Flute / Boer, Pirgu, Kuhmeier, Esposito, Tynan [DVD]

Album Summary

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), K. 620
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

From the Queen of the Night's vocal pyrotechnics to Papageno's chirpy birdsongs, The Magic Flute is one of Mozart's most charming and engaging operas. However, its fairytale surface conceals the mysteries of an initiation ritual and a multi-layered plot, packed with allegories to fire up the imagination. This celebrated production by artist William Kentridge joyfully bursts onto the stage of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, featuring the dazzling Russian coloratura Albina Shagimuratova as the Queen of the Night, and Italian bass Alex Esposito, one of the most sought after artists of his generation, as Papageno.

Musically, there is also much to admire. Roland B÷er, making his La Scala debut, was assistant to Antonio Pappano and he has learned well: devoid of idiosyncrasies, his flexibility and innate grace are ideal for this opera and production. He breathes with the singers, allowing his Tamino, for instance - the warm-voiced, handsome Saimir Pirgu - plenty of time for expansiveness in the "Bildnis" aria, and doing the same for the mostly stunning Pamina of Genia Knhmeier, whose "Ach ich Fnhls" is as poignant as it is handsomely sung.

Liverpool Daily Post
This is an elegant production... well sung and acted with a story told as clearly as I have ever seen.

BBC Music Magazine
This is a wonderful performance...I was more moved and enchanted by this than by any other Magic Flute I have seen on DVD...[Esposito's Papageno] sung with glorious abandon, while his acting strikes notes of pathos...Kuhmeier is as expressive as it's possible to be, without transgressing Mozart's idiom...The most sensational performance is by [Shagimuratova], the finest Queen of the Night I have ever heard...This is a noble, ennobling achievement.

International Record Review
It is world-worthy; the conception, by South African artist William Kentridge, emphasizes the concepts of light and dark, exploration and love...It's endlessly good to look at...Musically, there is also much to admire...Esposito's Papageno is a well-sung charmer - more serious than many, deeply sincere...this is a fascinating take on the work that Flute aficionados will appreciate for plenty of reasons.

Gramophone Magazine
It is very much 'producer's opera' and it will annoy some people. I found it fascinating...Lively musical direction, incorporating Rene Jacobs's superfluous keyboard interjections. Don't miss this visually enchanting and thought-provoking treat.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 172 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish


Interesting Magic Flute!
My past experience with this opera has been somewhat mixed. I usually come away feeling as if it is somewhat disjointed, although I love the music very much. This particular production, however, sits very well with me. From the opening, there is a visual metaphor of the film negative, and the feeling that the operatic action is being viewed inside a camera. This interesting idea is leveraged by animations that show the characters actions and thoughts, and provide graphical referents that help tie the various loose strands of the operatic action together.

As for the music, it is performed extremely well by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro alla Scala. It is delightful, lively, and very complimentary to the vocal talents (which are exceptional) of the principal characters. Albina Shagimuratova’s Queen of the Night is just excellent, and Papageno (played by Alex Esposito) is a delight to watch. And Genia Kuhmeier’s (Pamina) performance of “Ach, ich fuhl’s” is just wonderful.

I can honestly say that this is the first production of this opera that I have enjoyed from beginning to end. This was a wonderful addition to my collection, and I am glad I have this particular production. I enjoyed this production very much, and it will certainly be viewed on more than one occasion. Recommended!

Submitted on 08/06/12 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), K. 620
  • Performers: Peter Bronder (Tenor); Alex Esposito (Bass); Gunther Groissbock (Bass); Genia Kuhmeier (Soprano); Saimir PIrgu (Tenor); Albina Shagimuratova (Soprano); Ailish Tynan (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Ronald Boer
  • Ensemble: Teatro alla Scala Chorus
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1791