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Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro / Pappano/Royal Opera House, Schrott, Persson, Finley [2 DVD]

Album Summary

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"This performance seems to get to the heart of arguably Mozart's greatest opera more successfully than almost any other production of the composer's stage works I've seen in the last two or three years. As day turns to night and the characters leave the house to resolve their disputes in Tanya McCallin's verdant garden set, the performance takes on a warm glow; it's just so emotional, so involving, so poignant. And I just can't remember thinking that an opera production was quite this beautiful before or since this one... Shot in high definition and in surround sound, this is a luxury package and one that should be purchased and treasured by every opera lover." -MusicalCriticism.com

"This sexy, raunchy, romp of an opera is a triumph. Director David McVicar has searched for the essence of the composer and found it; fun filled, sensitive, romantic and serious by turns, all reflected in this production.This is a 'Must See' opera! ...You'll regret it if you don't!" -Musical Opinion

"Can be recommended without reservation... The elegance and simplicity of Tanya McCallin's traditional sets and costumes practically take your breath away, particularly in the Countess' and Count's rooms in acts II and III... Antonio Pappano leads the Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a reading that is beautifully paced and lovingly shaped and balanced. This splendid version of the opera would make a fine introduction for newcomers and is likely to delight those who already know and love it." -All Music Guide

"The DVD of the Royal Opera House production of Le nozze di Figaro, directed by David McVicar and conducted by Antonio Pappano, can be recommended without reservation. McVicar's sensitivity to Mozart's musical cues makes his staging feel absolutely emotionally honest and believable. He has a marvelous cast of singing actors with the dramatic skill to draw the audience into their fascinating and socially complex world, and who create three-dimensional characters with whom it's hard not to fall in love. Even the Count, who can easily be represented as an incorrigible cad, is portrayed as an intellectual, even reflective man who remains stuck embracing the questionable moral values with which he was raised, but who finally sees a new way. While he will certainly continue to struggle with temptation, this production gives us reason to believe that the Countess' forgiveness may indeed be transformative, and that he may in fact have fallen in love with her again, and remain faithful.

The time period of the opera has been bumped ahead about 50 years, to the 1830s. The elegance and simplicity of Tanya McCallin's traditional sets and costumes practically take your breath away, particularly in the Countess' and Count's rooms in acts II and III. McVicar brings the upstairs/downstairs element of the story to the fore, with a multitude of servants, who mostly regard their superiors with amusement or contempt, lurking and listening behind virtually every closed door. This makes the Countess' position all the more poignant; every humiliation is painfully public. Dorothea Röschmann plays her as a desperate woman who's seriously close to the end of her rope. Her voice may not have the ideal suppleness, but it's warm and large, and she sings with an almost ferocious passion. Gerald Finley is vocally and (usually) dramatically splendid as the Count. It's a characterization that's memorably subtle, and his voice is resonant and rounded. His only shortcoming is that he fails to project the predatory sexual energy that characterizes the Count. Figaro gives Erwin Schrott a chance to show off his gifts as a natural actor and an effortless comedian, and he sings with flexibility and expansiveness - his is a larger-than-life Figaro. Miah Persson makes a completely fetching Susanna. She too, is entirely at ease dramatically, and her voice is radiant and beautifully modulated in its colors. As Cherubino, Rinat Shaham is very persuasively boyish, and she sings with disarming naturalness and high energy. All the supporting parts are brought vividly and memorably to life: Jonathan Viera as Dr Bartolo, Graciella Araya as Marcellina, Jeremy White as Antonio, Ana James as Barbarina, Francis Egerton as Don Curzio, and, especially, Philip Langridge as a marvelous Don Basilio. Antonio Pappano leads the Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a reading that is beautifully paced and lovingly shaped and balanced. This splendid version of the opera would make a fine introduction for newcomers and is likely to delight those who already know and love it." -AllMusic.com

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 202 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, Color
Country of Origin: England



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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492
  • Performers: Gerald Finley (Baritone); Graciela Araya (Mezzo Soprano); Rinat Shaham (Mezzo Soprano); Erwin Schrott (Bass); Dorothea Röschmann (Soprano); Miah Persson (Soprano); Ana James (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Antonio Pappano
  • Ensemble: Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
  • Running Time: 202 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1786