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Anne Shelley
Music Media Monthly, February 2013

MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) (La Scala, 2011) (NTSC) OA1066D
MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) (La Scala, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7099D

The special effects in this 2011 production from La Scala are a spectacularly entertaining display of imagery and lights…this is a stunning production to see in Blu-ray.

Every execution in this production is very deliberate: slow tempi, crisp dictions, no sudden movements…as it’s wonderful to soak in the visuals and the more lyrical moments…The cast is strong, and as Papageno, Alex Esposito is hilarious: wide-eyed, goofy, endearingly wimpy. The disc features insightful interviews with director William Kentridge and conductor Roland Böer. Much more than a multimedia display, Kentridge’s design delivers the experience of watching a play and a movie at the same time. Recommended. © 2013 Music Media Monthly Read complete review

Andrew Quint
Fanfare, July 2012

MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) (La Scala, 2011) (NTSC) OA1066D
MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) (La Scala, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7099D

Kentridge imagines the stage as the interior of an antique camera, the perfect environment for the development of The Magic Flute’s themes of light vs. dark, of Enlightenment values vs. the forces of darkness. Visually, thanks to Kentridge’s and Sabine Theunissen’s set design, Jennifer Tipton’s lighting, and, especially, Catherine Meyburgh’s graceful video effects, the production is continuously spellbinding.

Musically and dramatically, the performances by all are quite respectable, if not exceptional. Conductor Richard Böer leads with a light touch and the La Scala chorus is predictably accomplished. The lead romantic couple is the chief vocal success here. The young Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu has a robustly Italianate instrument: Tamino’s first act aria (“Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön”) is expressive and lovingly shaped. As Pamina, Genia Kühmeier is a worthy heroine, her solidly supported soprano fresh and assertive. This Pamina radiates strength, even as she faints dead away on the divan. Albina Shagimuratova is a commanding Queen: She hits the high notes with a laser-like accuracy…

The sound from La Scala is quite good, with ideal vocal/orchestral balances. In multichannel, there’s a real sense of occasion as the audience murmurs around you before the house lights dim. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, May 2012

MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) (La Scala, 2011) (NTSC) OA1066D
MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) (La Scala, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7099D

The metaphor [where ‘blinding light means there is no more film in the projector’; and there is a box camera on the stage, through which the characters peer from time to time.] becomes reality in Kentridge’s brilliant use of video projections, including the serpent pursuing Tamino, the three temples, and various geometrical symbols.

The video projections are in black and white but there’s plenty of colour in the costumes…

…Excellent Queen and Pamina…Lively musical direction, incorporating…superfluous keyboard interjections. Don’t miss this visually enchanting and thought-provoking treat. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Michael Tanner
BBC Music Magazine, April 2012

MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) (La Scala, 2011) (NTSC) OA1066D
MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) (La Scala, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7099D

More moving and enchanting than any other “Magic Flute” © 2012 BBC Music Magazine

Robert Levine, February 2012

Musically, there is also much to admire. Roland Böer, making his La Scala debut, was assistant to Antonio Pappano and he has learned well: devoid of idiosyncrasies, his flexibility and innate grace are ideal for this opera and production. He breathes with the singers, allowing his Tamino, for instance—the warm-voiced, handsome Saimir Pirgu—plenty of time for expansiveness in the “Bildnis” aria, and doing the same for the mostly stunning Pamina of Genia Kühmeier, whose “Ach ich Fühls” is as poignant as it is handsomely sung.

The Three Ladies and the Three Boys (the latter sung by women) are superb. The La Scala Orchestra and Chorus are at their best…

…this is a fascinating take on the work that Flute-aficionados will appreciate for plenty of reasons. © 2012 Read complete review

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