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The Queen of Night has more cards up her sleeve, and indeed a dagger with which she attempts the murder of Sarastro by means of Pamina and much spitfire coloratura. But the Three Boys, finest prep school types and vocally in full command, will have none of it. It is they, indeed, who hail the rising of a sun such as only Egypt knows. They go on to prevent Pamina's suicide and to make Papageno realise his frump can be transformed into the most delectable little mother for innumerable children. For me this admirable DVD is a double first: 'High Definition' makes a real difference in clarity of sound and immediacy; Opus Arte, too, seems thoroughly at home under the auspices of the Royal Opera.

A scene from Die Zauberflöte. © Opus Arte
A scene from Die Zauberflöte. © Opus Arte


Copyright © 10 April 2008 Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt


Die Zauberflöte

OA HD5002 D HD DVD 16:9 All regions (also on Blu-Ray from March 2008) 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby TrueHD FIRST RELEASE 182' 2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd; 2007 Opus Arte

Will Hartmann, Tamino; Dorothea Röschmann, Pamina; Diana Damrau, Queen of Night; Franz-Josef Selig, Sarastro; Simon Keenlyside, Papageno; Ailish Tynan, Papagena; Adrian Thompson, Monostatos; Gillian Webster, first lady; Christine Rice, second lady; Yvonne Howard, third lady; Thomas Allen, Speaker of the Temple; Matthew Beale, first priest; Richard Van Allan, second priest; Alan Oke, first man in armour; Graeme Broadbent, second man in armour; Zico Shaker, first boy; Tom Chapman, second boy; John Holland-Avery, third boy; Royal Opera House Chorus; Terry Edwards, chorus director; The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Vasko Vassilev, leader; Colin Davis, conductor; David McVicar, director; John F Macfarlane, design; Paule Constable, lighting; Leah Hausman, choreography; Oliver Macfarlane, TV producer; Sue Judd, TV director; James Whitbourn, DVD producer for Opus Arte; Ferenc van Damme, DVD producer for Opus Arte; Jane Carter, DVD executive for BBC

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) in David McVicar's 2003 production, recorded live at Covent Garden



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