BEETHOVEN Fidelio Levine DVD-VIDEO 0730529

If you could only own one opera on DVD, it should be the new release of Beethoven's
Fidelio on the DG label . . . it's a towering achievement: a brilliant musical rendering under the direction of Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Designate James Levine in a compelling staging by Jürgen Flimm.

His [Heppner's] sonorous voice rises to the part's heroic demands and he also brings welcome lyricism to the prisoner's gentler outpourings. In Florestan's desperate cry 'Gott! Welch' Dunkel hier!', Heppner's piercing high G cuts through the darkness . . .

. . . a towering performance from Ben Heppner as the imprisoned Florestan . . . Admirers of glorious soprano Karita Mattila will want to see her tackle the role of Leonore, and she throws herself into the performance with all of her trademark conviction -- a startlingly butch yet glowingly sung portrayal. René Pape also distinguishes himself with a warmly sung Rocco, and Jennifer Welch-Babidge and Matthew Polenzani are lively as Marzelline and Jaquino . . . Brian Large's superb filming makes this a watchable home-movie version of the opera.

Ben Heppner's Florestan is magnificently sung, with scarcely a vocal hair out of place.

From the moment James Levine . . . raises his baton to begin the overture, this performance catches fire . . . Karita Mattila . . . sings gloriously, as does Ben Heppner as Florestan.

Ben Heppner beweist einmal mehr, dass er ein Ausnahmesänger ist.

... un chant puissant et néanmoins intègre.

...le spectacle bénéficie de l'ardente direction de James Levine, et d'une distribution sans faille... Ben Heppner donne une réplique idéale -- on imagine à quelles hauteurs plane le duo du deuxième acte!

. . . excellent metteur en scène allemand Jürgen Flimm. Ainsi mis en situation, le plateau de stars, dirigé par un James Levine débordant d'enthousiasme, se surpasse . . . Karita Mattila met sa voix à rude épreuve mais offre la plus crédible des Leonore. Ben Heppner est un Florestan à sa mesure et Falk Strukmann évoque davantage un dictateur moderne qu'un troisième couteau de mélodrame.

Destacar el impresionante trabajo de Karita Mattila, no sólo vocalmente extraordinario, sino escénico, dando vida a una Leonore de gran fuerza y concentración. El Florestan de Ben Heppner, en su breve pero difícil rol es de gran humanidad y finura ... Gran papel el magnífico coro del Metropolitan Opera en sus bellísimas intervenciones y una excelente prestación, sensible, emotiva, de la Orquesta del Metropolitan en una versión refinada pero no lejana de la más «clásica» lectura que James Levine suele imprimir a sus creaciones.