Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro Teatro Real Tr97001bd Blu-ray 2011 from Teatro Real

Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro Teatro Real Tr97001bd Blu-ray 2011 from Teatro Real
Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro Teatro Real Tr97001bd Blu-ray 2011 from Teatro Real Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro Teatro Real Tr97001bd Blu-ray 2011 from Teatro Real Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro Teatro Real Tr97001bd Blu-ray 2011 from Teatro Real Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro Teatro Real Tr97001bd Blu-ray 2011 from Teatro Real Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro Teatro Real Tr97001bd Blu-ray 2011 from Teatro Real (click images to enlarge)
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Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro Teatro Real Tr97001bd Blu-ray 2011 from Teatro Real

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Conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt's approach to Le Nozze di Figaro is certainly historically informed, but both his musical direction and this Zurich Opera production as a whole lack a certain lightness of touch. In such a deliciously comic work it should be permissible to have fun. Harnoncourt's tempos seem rather too conservative; while the low stage lighting keeps the revolving sets shaded in half-shadow for much of the time. The result is a tad claustrophobic, both musically and visually.

There are many compensations, however. Though Harnoncourt may be a little over-cautious, what's lost in joie de vivre is gained in clarity and nuance. Similarly, the singers have plenty of space to enunciate and cherish every rolling phrase. Although Carlos Chausson makes an appealing everyman character as Figaro, he and everyone else must perform (sometimes literally) in Rodney Gilfry's domineering shadow. Gilfry's Alamaviva is a swaggering counterpart to his Don Giovanni, with the same almost overwhelming sexual presence and charisma; no wonder, then, that Eva Mei's Countess is so jealous, or that Isabel Rey's Susanna seems genuinely attracted despite her better judgment. The ensemble cast are uniformly delightful and, unusually, are all good actors: when the Count and Countess squabble, Gilfry and Mei really work themselves into a fine passion.

The set and costuming are both of indeterminate period: the Count carries a shotgun to shoot Liliana Nikiteanu's errant Cherubino, and there are deckchairs in the garden, but the ladies' costumes are cut to reveal authentically 18th-century heaving bosoms. In all, this is a Figaro distinguished by a strong cast and fine singing, but hampered a little by the staging. An airier alternative is the more traditional Glyndebourne production.

On the DVD: Le Nozze di Figaro from Zurich is presented in three vivid sound options: LPCM Stereo, Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1. Picture is 16:9. The subtitling is occasionally unnecessarily repetitive (Figaro's "Piano, piano, piano" takes up a big chunk of the screen as: "Not so fast, not so fast, not so fast" and so on) and inadequately proofread ("Forgeive me...Falsce one" [sic] ;). --Mark Walker