This boxed set celebrates the fertile and delightful Mozartean collaborations of mezzo Cecilia Bartoli and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
"Fortunately, the cameras were in place for this landmark performance…. Bartoli, best known for roles requiring more good-humored charm than complex emotion, proves an operatic actress of compelling depth…. Fiordiligi in particular is determined to remain constant to her true love despite temptation and is wracked with guilt when she realizes she's not as infallible as she'd like to think. Bartoli realizes Fiordiligi's changing emotions to perfection, and that's how she sings the challenging, vocally wide-ranging role. Bartoli's luxurious, dark sound embraces the music as if it had been written for her. Even if her portrayal weren't so vivid just hearing her sing the notes so brilliantly would be plenty satisfying."—Boston Globe
"The descent of Don Giovanni into hell is one of the most successful theatrical episodes I've seen in a performance of the opera. This depends to a large degree on the extraordinary acting of [Rodney] Gilfry. Because he's shown in closeup, some of his impact may have been lost on the more distant live audience."—Dallas Morning News
"There are many videos of Mozart's 'Così fan tutte,' but I believe that the ArtHaus edition is the best of the lot if considered in the light of 'opera as theater.' For once, the dry recites are done with imagination, using something never heard in opera houses: silent pauses. The scene in which the two sisters and their disguised wooers are seated awkwardly at a table and one of them breaks the ice with 'Nice day, isn't it?' gets a bigger laugh than all the silliness in other productions…. Bartoli, as the mad Donna Elvira [in Don Giovanni], actually sings 'Ah, chi mi dice mai' as if the words mean something. Further, she is not afraid to let forth an ugly note in her Act II aria, which is a dramatic aria and not a concert piece."—Brattleboro Reformer