Wondering if this is worth the price, since it is a little higher than that of the usual Blu-ray or DVD? Oh, yes. Every penny.
The 1080i Blu-ray picture (in 16:9 format, filling the entire HD TV screen) is stunning. You can even see the veins under Ana Maria Martinez's porcelain skin. If you're thinking that perhaps this indicates there's TOO much detail and you'd rather go for the lower-resolution DVD, think again. All that fine detail the Blu-ray provides helps produce a picture that is incredibly lifelike.
Combine that with the crystal-clear, open sound that the Blu-ray distributes to all speakers and you have an immersive experience. It feels like you are there in the theater -- but better, with close-ups. I was mesmerized and engaged in a way I haven't been outside of a live performance. And by owning this Blu-ray, I can experience it again and again for only a small fraction of the price paid by those in the audience. (By the way, before viewing the concert be sure to go to the settings in the Blu-ray menu to change the audio from the default -- PCM stereo -- to PCM 5.1, if you have a home theater setup. It makes all the difference.)
But superior picture quality and sound would be for naught if the performance being captured weren't worthy. This one is.
What can one say about Placido Domingo? It boggles the mind to think he's been singing for about half a century. He's truly a wonder of the opera world. His tenor voice may sound more baritonal than ever, but it's fully intact, and his artistry is at its peak. Long may he live and provide us with pleasure through his singing.
Ana Maria Martinez was a revelation to me, and you're hearing this from someone who thinks great singers are few and far between nowadays. This Puerto Rican soprano has a gorgeous voice with a rock-solid technique that makes her exquisite singing seem effortless.
The Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, an Austrian orchestra here playing outside its usual repertoire, does a beautiful job under the baton of veteran Spanish conductor Jesus Lopez Cobos.