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Robert Croan
Opera News, June 2012

MOZART, W.A.: Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Die) (Liceu, 2011) (NTSC) 709108
MOZART, W.A.: Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Die) (Liceu, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) 709204

The present performance is musically exemplary, starting with Diana Damrau’s affecting, sensationally delivered Konstanze, and the entire cast under conductor Ivor Bolton negotiates Mozart’s vocal hurdles with aplomb. © 2012 Opera News Read complete review

Robert J Farr
MusicWeb International, April 2012

Despite the lack of much in the way of sets and effects, a production can work if the participants have the stage persona and acting ability to bring it off. At least one of the participants here has just that and then some. If it happens to be the actor taking the spoken role of Bassa Selim; well so be it. His acting, in facial expression, body language and spoken expression is outstanding and holds the whole together. He perhaps looks a little on the old side for Konstanze to feel emotion, and even sexual attraction, for him. But that is how Loy and Christoph Quest play it, and with the actor’s skill, bring it off. His sheer charisma, in comparison with the wimp that the tall Belmonte of Christoph Strehl conveys, would certainly turn any women with guts his way whatever the age difference. As a gimmick Belmonte enters via the orchestra pit carrying his suitcase and looking very foppish in a blazer (CH.3). Diana Damrau sings his inamorata, who he has come to rescue from the clutches of Selim. She shows some distinction in her first attempt at a role demanding considerable vocal flexibility and extended scale. Her singing has a pleasing tone and good expression. Her coloratura and decoration in Ach, ich sagt’ es wohl in act one (CH.12) is a pleasure to hear. Likewise her Traurigkeit (CH.23) warms her voice nicely for the formidable demands of Marten aller Arten (CH.25) in act two. She snatches at one note, but her formidable technique in this vocal stratosphere is commendable and not merely for its technical accomplishment. She conveys meaning in the words and in her acting.

Equally convincing as an actress, and looking very slim and comely in her tight skirt and high heels, is Olga Peretyatko as Blonde, Konstanze’s maid Osmin has set his licentious sights on her. Her singing is secure, characterful and pleasingly phrased (CHs. 18 and 27). She also plays an important part in the ensembles. As the Harem guard, Osmin, Franz-Josef Selig is vocally sonorous and acts the part well… His Oh, wie will ich triumphieren (CH.43) in act three, as Osmin thwarts the escape plan on recovering from being induced to drink alcohol containing a sleeping drug, is a highlight (CH.43). His earlier agonising, as a Muslim, about partaking of alcohol is also well conveyed by the singer.

Ivor Bolton keeps the whole performance under admirably paced control with a firm but flexible baton and needle-sharp articulation. His contribution brings out the Turkish patina that one expects in Mozart’s creation and which the composer was intent on providing. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Benson, April 2012

The opera is a delightful singspiel filled with vocal fireworks which are surely delivered by the outstanding cast assembled for this production. This was recorded in July 2010 at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and it is proof that an old masterpiece can receive a relatively modern treatment and not be an insult to the composer. Sets and costumes by Herbert Murauer are simple and effective, and director Christof Loy keeps things moving nicely both on stage and, on occasion, in the audience. Diana Damrau tosses off the fireworks of the role of Konstanze with the greatest of ease, and everyone seems to be having a great time. Ivor Bolton maintains a sprightly pace… Video and audio on the new version are outstanding. Recommended! © 2012 Read complete review

Lawrence Devoe, March 2012

This C Major BD issue of Mozart’s comic singspiel opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail…is chockful of delightful and often challenging vocal numbers.

Conductor Ivor Bolton, an old hand at Mozart, leads the Liceu’s forces quite skillfully. The soloists are all in good shape with special kudos to Damrau and Selig…

Camera work is stellar…There is excellent balance between close ups and full stage views. Costumes are generally good-looking, with shades of the Casablanca style. Blonde, as portrayed by Peretyatko, carries off one of the sexiest renditions of this role that I have ever seen.

This is a singer’s opera and there are plenty of arias to get this point across…I would doubt that you would hear a better sung performance in today’s operatic world.

…this is a beautifully sung show that will please most vocal enthusiasts. So get it for the singers…you will not be disappointed. © 2012 Read complete review

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