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Mozart;Wolfgang Amadeus Don Gi [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • Release Date: Aug. 30 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B003OT6I2S

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By P. Salus on Jan. 25 2014
Format: DVD
I consider "Don Giovanni" the acme of the Mozart-da Ponte trio of operas. The notion of the Dutch Chamber Opera presenting updatings was intriguing. The "Cosi fan tutte" was, at least, interesting. "Figaro" less so. This "Don Giovanni" shows Eurotrash at its worst. There is no regard for the stage directions nor for the text of what is being sung. No statue. No swords. A violent rape. No dinner table. Most of the voices are passable. The orchestra nears the majority of its notes. The acting is at a level that would make a secondary school proud. I would have called this a travesty of Mozart, but it fails to attain that level. The directors have thought so deeply that nothing shows on the surface.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Dark and deranged April 26 2011
By MK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is among the darker versions on DVD, both visually and emotionally. The stage, the costumes, and the direction are all modern, often original, and occasionally brilliant. The cover image captures the feel well: a cold, frenzied, cunning take. The protagonist (Christopher Maltman) is well acted and believable, but lacks a certain tantalizing sweetness. This is its flaw in my book. What you see is what you get with this one. But Don Giovanni is the most ambiguous and most mercurial of heroes and this is why he is so seductive. He can be all things to all people: to engage them emotionally and to forever create the illusion that there is more to him than his deeds. This Don is too intelligible for such a feat, too much like a nutcase next door. You would not call him an erotic genius, which is what Kierkegaard called Don Giovanni and rightly so. You would call him a lunatic. Leporello is an oddball too, but convincingly portrayed. The women are all headstrong and their men--Don Ottavio in particular--are empathetic rather than weak. The stage is consistently compelling: disorienting and desolate, yet also finely textured.

My favourite Don Giovanni is still the Harnoncourt version from Zurich with Rodney Gilfry as its magnetic center, but this one also holds its own dramatically. It presents a very different vision, but a valid and persuasive one. It grows on you--a dark performance, exquisitely crafted, for dark rooms.
18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Wan Don Sept. 29 2008
By Randy Buck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I'll preface this review by stating that I'm not generally opposed to the "Eurotrash" approach to classic opera that drives so many fans crazy. I always think the new ideas may be illuminating, maybe not, but the basic work remains intact. That said, this DON GIOVANNI's exactly what people mean when they complain about meddling directors; the pair responsible for this monstrously bad production don't seem to have a single coherent thought between them. Take the set. Please. A cross between a Simmons Beautyrest showroom and a bad community theatre production of Feydeau, this atrocity leaves the singers abandoned in a wasteland of inhospitable stage space. Then there are the costumes; Anna's frock is straight out of THE BOY FRIEND, while Elvira's wandered in from AMARCORD; both ladies are cruelly served. And the stage business -- if you've ever longed to see Leporello driven to a frenzy of self-abuse when Zerlina wanders by, here's your chance. Even the first act finale, one of the greatest achievements in all opera, is turned into incoherent nonsense involving drag replicas of the principal cast, an ocean of stage blood, and Giovanni shot at the curtain. Unfortunately, he rises to sneer for another ninety pointless minutes. Spagnoli's fine as the Count in the Jacobs FIGARO; here, with no support from directors or designer, he comes off like Kevin Klein with a weight problem. The singers are to be pitied, not judged; the sound balance is particularly bad, even for live opera, so it's impossible to comment on their work, as they're often drowned out by a rather thin orchestra. Why Opus Arte thought this production was worth inflicting on an unwary public is anyone's guess. Caveat emptor.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful production, let down by its apparent dismissal of principal artists Dec 27 2011
By The-Hannah-Monster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I saw this production years ago, and I'm thrilled to see it re-released on DVD. It's a particularly striking production of Don Giovanni. It's energetic from the very beginning, and musically very sound.

The only thing that disappoints me is, funnily enough, the cover. The names of the artists behind Leporello, Masetto and the Commendatore are conspicuously absent, even on the back. While Masetto's role is admittedly small, there is, in my mind, no excuse for ignoring the artist behind Leporello, whose role in the opera is a large one. Why, exactly, is Zerlina's artist named but not Leporello's, when his role in the opera is so much larger than hers? The same goes for the Commendatore - while the role is not large, it is absolutely vital, and very dramatic. The exclusion of these artists is utterly baffling, and I can't help but feel irritated by it. I happened to *enjoy* the performances of Stephen Bennett (Leporello), Douglas McNicol (Masetto) and Donald Shanks (the Commendatore), and I found Bennett's performance particularly striking. To overlook them is very offensive, in my mind.

The opera itself is wonderful and a very worthwhile buy, even if some of the principal artists were so rudely ignored on the cover.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mozart: Don Giovanni / Christopher Maltman Nov. 5 2012
By G.Franze Overweg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
From time to time one gets introduced to a great voice and personality. Christopher Maltman is one of those individuals.
I saw him for the first time in a film production JUAN on a transatlantic flight. I was absolutely mesmerized. Then I bought the Salzburger production of Don Giovanni. Love it! Great production, great voice.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Don't Bother Oct. 31 2012
By Lynn Vale - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Wieler and Morabito directed all three Mozart-Da Ponte operas for De Nederlandse Opera. They are available as a box set:

Mozart - Da Ponte (4 Dvd)

They are also available individually:

Cosi Fan Tutte:
Mozart: Così fan tutte

Le Nozze Di Figaro:
Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro / De Nederlandse Opera

Don Giovanni:
Don Giovanni - Mozart / De Nederlandse Opera

There is some reoccurrence of singers between the operas:

ROBERTO ACCURSO is Antonio in Figaro and Masetto in Goivanni.
MAITE BEAUMONT is Cherubino in Figaro and Dorabella in Cosi.
MARIO LUPERI is Bartolo in Figaro and Commendatore in Giovanni.
GARRY MAGEE is Count Almaviva in Figaro and Don Alfonso in Cosi.
CHARLOTTE MARGIONE is Marcelina in Figaro an Donna Elvira in Giovanni.
DANIELLE DE NIESE is Susanna in Figaro and Despina in Giovanni.
LUCA PISARONI is Figaro in Figaro and Guglielmo in Cosi.
MERCEL REIJANS is Don Basilio in Figaro and Don Ottavio in Giovanni.
NORMAN SHANKLE is Don Curzio in Figaro and Fernando in Cosi.

The remaining singers are:

CORA BURGGRAAF is Zerlina in Giovanni.
CELIA COSTEA is Countess Almaviva in Figaro.
JOSE FARDDIHA is Leporello in Giovanni.
SALLY MATTHEWS is Fiordiligi in Cosi.
MYTRO PAPATANASIU is Donna Anna in Giovanni.
FLOOR VAN DER SLUIS is Babarina in Figaro.
PIETRO SPAGNOLI is Don Giovanni in Giovanni.
MELANIE GREVE and FANG FANG KONG are the First and Second Ladies in Figaro.

The singers are generally very good, well worth listening to. They are good actors as well. There is the added bonus that they physically match the roles they play, except Maite Beaumont in the trouser role of Cherubino. Her singing and acting are fine, but it is impossible to make her look like a man.

Some serious problems arose with the nontraditional staging. Cosi worked the best, Figaro broke down at the end, and Giovanni was a disaster throughout.

Cosi Fan Tutte was supposed to be set in a youth hostel. The revolving stage took us from room to room as the plot unfolded. It worked, mostly. There were the usual difficulties of staging a story outside its intended scenery. For example, the principles attended a dance party, while completely inappropriate music was playing.

Le Nozze Di Figaro was staged in a car dealership, which remained as the only staging. This worked to some degree, but the entrances and exits of the singers sometimes seemed bizarre without the appropriate changes in scenery. The garden scene near the end was shown on a black and white closed circuit television screen. It was fuzzy and confusing. Viewers who were unfamiliar with the story would have been bewildered. The television was a bad idea which should have been abandoned.

Don Giovanni was a travesty. The staging consisted of beds which the singers climbed in and out of. At the end of the opera, the beds moved around the stage. Often, singers who were not part of a scene remained on stage. Don Ottavio often caressed a doll, which was a replica of Donna Anna. Anyone who did not know the story would have missed much of the plot line. This production reminded me of something schoolboys might devise who wanted to mock an opera. All this was too bad, because the singers came to perform. Pietro Spagnoli was the most villainous Don Giovanni I've seen.

I can recommend Cosi, and Figaro with serious reservations, but not Giovanni. But there are so many worthy productions of Figaro and Giovanni, why bother, unless it's for the performers? Or if you happen to enjoy opera being trashed.

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