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The Magic Flute (DVD + Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (23/04/2018)
from £14.49 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Ingmar Bergman puts his indelible stamp on Mozart's exquisite opera in this sublime rendering of one of the composer's best-loved works: a celebration of love, forgiveness, and the brotherhood of man. The Magic Flute (TrollflÃ¶jten) stars Josef KÃ¶stlinger as Tamino, the young man determined to rescue a beautiful princess from the clutches of parental evil. Available for the first time on Blu-ray the BFI are proud to present this film from one of the world's most acclaimed directors. Features: Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film and full film credits
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002)
from £45.00 | Saving you £-2.76 (-6.00%) | RRP
The James Levine cycle of Wagners Der Ring des Nibelungen is humane and emotionally powerful rather than monumental or spiritual; Levine is more interested in finding our sympathy for the characters than inspiring pity or terror. These are very traditional productions in which you see a rock where you need to see a rock, a dragon where the libretto says a dragon (the Metropolitan Opera has never been a place for experiment). What Levine and the Met can and do offer is excellent orchestral playing and some of the best singers in these roles in the world. Siegfried Jerusalem is boyish and naive and touching as Siegfried, and he is also surprisingly good as the detached mischievous Loge of Das Rheingold. James Morris is uniformly impressive as Wotan and makes the character evolve from the young ruthless god of the first opera to the tired old god of Siegfried, who seeks nothing more than his own necessary defeat and death. As Brunnhilde, Hildegard Behrens makes a convincing shift from goddess to woman, from callousness to tenderness and on to vindictiveness and self-sacrificing wisdom. Overall, this is an attractive Ring cycle, well-cast and beautifully played; others have greater strengths in some areas, but Levine is reliable across the board. On the DVD: Der Ring des Nibelungen has all four operas, which are also available individually, contained in a single box. All the DVDs come with a photo gallery of the Metropolitan Opera productions and with menus and subtitles in German, French, English, Spanish and Chinese. Its a little disappointing, though, that they are presented in American NTSC format, not European PAL, and the picture ratio is standard TV 4:3. On the plus side, they all have an excellent clear acoustic in the three audio options: PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. --Roz Kaveney
Tancredi | DVD | (01/08/2005)
from £12.94 | Saving you £12.05 (48.20%) | RRP
Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies | DVD | (10/11/2003)
from £7.98 | Saving you £2.08 (13.90%) | RRP
Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies
Gounod: Romeo et Juliette | DVD | (19/11/2001)
from £21.99 | Saving you £10.90 (31.20%) | RRP
A performance of Gounod's opera 'Romeo Et Juliette' in five acts recorded live at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
The Merry Widow - Lehar | DVD | (23/06/2003)
from £21.55 | Saving you £3.44 (13.80%) | RRP
A production of the Franz Lehar opera The Merry Widow. New dialogue was commissioned from the playwright Wendy Wasserstein.
Verdi - La Traviata | DVD | (12/11/2007)
from £13.29 | Saving you £3.70 (21.80%) | RRP
Acclaimed film and stage director Franco Zeffirelli spared no costs to reproduce the opulent setting of Violetta Val''ry''s happiness and downfall. The unparalleled musical quality of the production is guaranteed by some of the world''s most famous musicians: The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York conductor James Levine and singers Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo. As Violetta soprano Teresa Stratas strikes the right balance between emotional grandeur and physical weakness. And with his meltingly lyrical voice and magnetic stage presence Placido Domingo embodies Alfredo Germont with a rarely seen passion.
Otello | DVD | (11/04/2005)
from £5.99 | Saving you £9.20 (57.50%) | RRP
Internationally renowned director Franco Zeffirelli brings Verdi's masterpiece to the screen. Based on Shakespeare's enduring classic 'Otello' is an epic tragedy of jealousy and betrayal. When the scheming Iago (Diaz) believes Otello (Domingo) has overlooked him for promotion he wreaks a subtle and terrible revenge on his master convincing him that his young wife Desdemona (Katia Ricciarelli) is unfaithful. Otello realises the deception too late spiralling into madness and murd
Massenet - Manon | DVD | (07/01/2008)
from £12.66 | Saving you £7.33 (36.70%) | RRP
For their first-ever encounter in a staged opera Natalie Dessay as Manon and Rolando Villazn as des Grieux were the much-awaited highlight of Barcelona's Liceu season in June 2007 in David McVicar's beautiful stage production of Massenet's Manon. The DVD captures this outstanding production of Massenet's most popular and enduring opera which has since its creation in Paris in 1884 maintained an important place in the repertory.
Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli | DVD | (21/08/2000)
from £12.69 | Saving you £5.30 (29.50%) | RRP
This full-blooded 1982 performance of Puccini's most-loved opera demonstrates just how much drive and powerful emotion can make up for a certain lack of subtlety. Cotrubas' Mimi is entirely moving in both joy and death, while never quite feeling as thoroughly frail as some of her quieter rivals; stronger tenor voices than Neil Shicoff's have recorded the role, and yet he has a Romantic passion and a dignity that many of his rivals fail to bring to the role. That under-rated singer Gwynne Howell is especially moving in Colline's farewell to his cloak--one of those perfect little showcase sections Puccini sometimes gives to minor parts. Marilyn Zschau's Musetta is broad and comic and yet somehow includes the audience in the glorious joke that her sexuality is for her; when Thomas Allen sings, to her waltz theme, of youth that is not yet dead, his ardour transcends realism. Gardelli knew this score in his bones--the production bounces along from comedy to tears to eroticism to tragedy and neither cast nor orchestra miss a single one of Puccini's wonderful touches of emotional exploitation. --Roz Kaveney
Canterbury Tales - the Wife of Bath | DVD | (29/09/2008)
from £5.13 | Saving you £-0.14 (-2.80%) | RRP
Beth Craddock is a TV actress who still believes in Mr. Right even after a number of failed marriages. But is her dashing co-star Jerome her soulmate despite their large age difference.
Verdi: Aida -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (19/11/2001)
from £20.15 | Saving you £11.84 (37.00%) | RRP
Featuring a performance of Verdi's opera 'Aida' recorded live at the stunning Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Offenbach: La Belle Helene -- Paris/Minkowski | DVD | (03/12/2001)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Jacques Offenbach's 19th century parody of life under the yoke of Napoleon III, La Belle Hélène, has always seemed as tongue-in-cheek as the material could go. This new staging from the Théâtre Musical de Paris' 2000 season proves you can always go further. As if the social comment and knowing musical allusions (eg: Wagner's Tannhäuser) weren't enough, now via director Lauren Pelly's imagination Helen (Dame Felicity Lott) becomes a modern sexually frustrated woman dreaming the entire scenario. In her dream she is singled out as the most beautiful woman on Earth (prompting vain delusions to rival Snow White's wicked stepmother) as reward for Pâris (Yann Beuron) choosing Venus as most beautiful Goddess off Earth. Act 1 takes place in the bedroom and bed of Helen and ineffectual husband/king Ménélas (Michel Sénéchal). Here the fusion of costumes worn by High Priest Calchas (François Le Roux) seems incongruous until the archaeological dig setting of Act 2 turns everything into a dream. From then on, the analogy of bed as throne, the sheep costumes and male and female swimsuit parade followed by synchronised stage "swimming" of Act 3 all take on greater significance. Les Musicians du Louvre give a tremendous performance under Marc Minkowski's baton (which you often see popping into frame), particularly in the centrepiece duet between Lott and Beuron for their "Dream of Love". Contemporary makeovers of opera often lose sight of the original's intentions, but this update certainly preserves the spirit of Offenbach's vision. On the DVD: A choice of Stereo, Dolby 5.1 or DTS is a testament to the careful staging of this production, as is the video's multi-camera edit. In fact, the 25-minute behind-the-scenes documentary reveals the DVD was conceived as part of the staging. Four interviews make this a most welcome supplement, with Dame Lott having the most to say. --Paul Tonks
Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001)
from £14.79 | Saving you £-0.80 (-5.70%) | RRP
Angela Gheorghiu's stunning debut as Violetta from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden it was this performance that turned the Romanian soprano into an international sensation. The occasion also marked Sir George Solti's first performances of Verdi's ever-popular tragedy. World-class performances by opera's finest - Frank Lopardo (Alfredo) Leo Nucci (Germont) Leah-Marian Jones (Flora) and Gillian Knight (Annina). With Richard Eyre's dramatic staging Bob Crowley's elegant strik
The Fairy Queen - Purcell | DVD | (25/05/2001)
from £5.83 | Saving you £3.64 (14.60%) | RRP
David Pountney and Quinny Sacks' production of Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen caused something of a sensation when it hit the ENO stage in 1995. It has the feel of a decadent 17th-century masque re-invented with late-20th-century energy: half the principals and chorus are in cross-dressing costumes, female characters are played by men (leading to some rather wonderful polymorphous perversity), and everything has an air of mad, hallucinogenic hipness about it. While Robert Israel's wild sets don't appear to their full advantage on the small screen, Dunya Ramicova's costumes look fantastic (the details are simply stunning). The very fine singing is recorded with excellent clarity: while this is obviously a live performance, there are remarkably few moments that go out of microphone range, and the balance with the orchestra is handled very sensitively. The ENO band, under the baton of Nicholas Kok, respond to Purcell's wiry lines and spiky harmonies with glee, and sound like they're having a ball, as do the singers. In particular Jonathan Best as The Drunken Poet is hilarious, and it is a wonderful testament to his acting skills that he is as funny close-up as he was from the auditorium stalls.--Warwick Thompson
Flcl - Vol. 3 | DVD | (11/08/2008)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
5. Brittle Bullet: Mabase's safe for now but there's a new kind of danger. Naota finds himself in the midst of a survival game with Karuko on his team. With weapons blazing it looks like Kitsurubami has joined the tray. And Amaroo is getting his hair dyed? He's freshening up in anticipation to meet some girl from his past. So what exactly is his relationship to Haruko? Get out those guns because not everyone will be left standing. 6. FLCLimax - The End Is Here: The end is near and both Haruko and Canti are at large. Now Medical Mechanica is preparing to move. Before Amarao can do anything to stop it he needs to find the terminal core. Meanwhile a Takkun less Mamimi has found a new friend with an appetite for the mechanical. Before it's all over Naota and Canti are in for the battle of their lives. And then there's Atomsk. What a climax!
Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites | DVD | (29/09/2008)
from £9.39 | Saving you £3.00 (20.00%) | RRP
Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias | DVD | (03/12/2007)
from £11.59 | Saving you £3.40 (22.70%) | RRP
In reflecting on this DVD of sacred arias it is significant that Andrea Bocelli refers to the dawn of 'a new millennium' and it is appropriate that this concert was taped in Rome. In no other city of the world did the millennium have such immediate resonance and what better place for the recording of a universal jubilee celebrating the two-thousandth anniversary of the birth of Christ?
Philomena Begley - Live in Concert | DVD | (03/03/2008)
from £7.99 | Saving you £-2.99 (-37.40%) | RRP
Recorded at The Whitehall Theatre, Dundee 1990
Il Trittico | DVD | (22/03/2004)
from £12.69 | Saving you £5.30 (29.50%) | RRP
Puccini's trio of mini masterpieces Il Trittico features a melodrama (Il Tabarro) a sentimental piece (Suor Angelica) and finally a comedy (Gianni Schicchi). These three one-act operas feature some of Puccini's most beautiful music. Puccini's passionate and ruggedly realistic opera Il Tabarro is a tale of deception and murder along the banks of the Seine. Suor Angelica is the story of Sister Angelica who was born a princess but had an illegitmate son and so was banished to a co