Die Zauberflöte

 

 Mozart Die Zauberflöte opera to a libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. Directed by Pierre Audi at the Salzburg Festival (Grosses Festspielhaus) as part of the huge Salzburg Festival M22 Project to record all the Mozart operas in HD in 2006. Stars Paul Groves (Tamino), Genia Kühmeier (Pamina), Christian Gerhaher (Papageno), Irena Bespalovaite (Papagena), Diana Damrau (Queen of the Night), René Pape (Sarastro), Inga Kalna (First Lady), Karine Deshayes (Second Lady), Ekaterina Gubanova (Third Lady), Franz Grundheber (Speaker/First Priest), Xavier Mas (Second Priest), Michael Authenrieth (Third Priest), Burkhard Ulrich (Monostatos), Simon O'Neil (First Armoured Man), Peter Loehle (Second Armoured Man), and Members of the Vienna Boys' Choir (The Three Boys) . Riccardo Muti conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Thomas Lang). Stage design by Karel Appel; costume designs by Jorge Jara; video direction by Brian Large; produced by Bernhard Fleischer. Released 2015 in HDVD, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

This title was originally released in 2010 in a box set of all of the Mozart operas on 33 DVDs. Decca and the vendors did a miserable job of introducing this to the marketplace in HDVD; for a long time, I  thought this was maybe vaporware or vendors confusing a DVD with Blu-ray. Now I've got the Blu-ray package in my hand, and it's for sure that Decca has released this as an HDVD. Mike Ashman, writing in the May 2015 Gramophone (page 87), seems to have had the Blu-ray, but he could not generate enthusiasm for this production because of its "mock primitive art" and "cartoonish" costumes. Still, there's plenty of talent on display here, and Amazon customers seem to like it.

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