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Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001)
from £9.55 | Saving you £4.44 (31.70%) | 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
Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) | DVD | (21/04/2008)
from £6.55 | Saving you £2.00 (14.30%) | RRP
Laurent Pelly staged this new production and how the singers were perfectly cast. They gave Donizetti's opera a new life at the Royal Opera House
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (25/10/1999)
from £12.49 | Saving you £5.50 (30.60%) | RRP
Mozart's immortal adaptation of Beaumarchais' satirical tale has always been a Glyndebourne staple, so it was appropriate that this delightfully traditional production of Le Nozze di Figaro was chosen to reopen a refurbished Gyndebourne in May, 1994. Here, John Gunter's set design is airy and uncluttered, leaving the actors plenty of breathing space, while director Stephen Medcalf likewise allows the characters to speak (and sing) for themselves. Gerald Finley's Figaro and Alison Hagley's Susanna make a charming central pairing; Renee Fleming and Andreas Schmidt are a formidable aristocratic duo, while Marie-Ange Todorovitch fills Cherubino's trousers with pleasing playfulness. Haitink and the London Philharmonic sparkle, as of course they should. Unfussily filmed, this is as close to the real thing as you are likely to get without a Glyndebourne season ticket.On the DVD: This is a double-sided disc requiring a changeover between Acts 2 and 3. With a running-time of 189 minutes, the disc is no longer than some epic Hollywood movies, so such flipping is hard to justify. But at least opera lends itself to natural breaks like this. The sound options are Dolby stereo or 5.1 and the picture is in 4:3 ratio. Subtitles are provided in English, French or German and the booklet contains a plot synopsis. --Mark Walker
Puccini: Tosca -- 2002 Film Version | DVD | (23/06/2003)
from £15.75 | Saving you £9.24 (37.00%) | RRP
Benoit Jacquot's filmed Tosca treads a fine line between operatic staginess and cinematic contrivance. As per the libretto, each act takes place in a single setting, but with the singers here miming to a pre-recorded soundtrack. Jacquot freely reminds us of the conceit with cutaways to the recording session itself--revealing conductor, orchestra and soloists at work--thus a bridge is made between the on-screen action and the music-making itself, and the inherent duality of any opera production is laid refreshingly bare. The same cannot be said for the director's decision to interpolate spoken dialogue over the music in key places--a distraction not an enhancement. Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna are glamorous and attractive enough to make the most of their Hollywood-style close-ups; their singing easily bears similar close scrutiny--as anyone who owns the CD soundtrack album will surely already know. If Alagna lacks a little power as Cavaradossi on record, his charismatic screen presence happily compensates; Gheorghiu is both vocally and physically almost ideal as Tosca. Ruggero Raimondi's Scarpia completes an outstanding trio, and in the pit (or, rather, in the studio) conductor Antonio Pappano handles the drama of Puccini's score without missing a single nuance. Both musically and visually, then, this is a Tosca to treasure. On the DVD: Tosca on disc looks vibrant in this warm, widescreen picture accompanied by a DTS 5.1 soundtrack. Three filmed interviews--with Gheorghiu, Pappano and Jacquot--provide some insight into the making of this production. --Mark Walker
Verdi: Aida -- Metropolitan Opera | DVD | (20/11/2000)
from £13.37 | Saving you £3.62 (21.30%) | RRP
A star-studded production from New York's Metropolitan Opera with Aprile Millo and Placido Domingo in the lead roles supported by the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; conducted by James Levine. Please note: This is a NTSC disc please ensure the compatibility of your TV.
Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni / Pagliacci - Leoncavallo | DVD | (09/05/2005)
from £13.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
The great Italian stage and screen director Franco Zeffirelli made these widely acclaimed films both starring Placido Domingo with Georges Pretre conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala. Pagliacci which co-stars the great singing actress Teresa Stratas brought Zeffirelli the coveted Emmy as Best Director in the category of Classical Music Programming. Cavalleria was filmed on location in Sicily which adds immeasurably to the power and atmosphere of this timeless story of love honour justice and violence.
Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (14/03/2008)
from £22.59 | Saving you £7.40 (24.70%) | RRP
Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London on 10th 13th and 17th February 2006.
Therion - Live Gothis | DVD | (28/07/2008)
from £14.15 | Saving you £4.84 (25.50%) | RRP
Therion are one of the few bands that have managed to create a unique and special sound. This extraordinary release documents how they created their own special sound an excellent combination of symphonic elements operatic vocals and medieval choirs mixed with classical metal and gothic elements. Tracklist: 1. Der Mitternachtslwe 2. Schwartzalbenheim 3. The Blood Of Kingu 4. The Falling Stone 5. An Arrow From The Sun 6. Deggial 7. Wine Of Aluqah 8. The Perennial Sophia 9. The Son Of The Sun 10. Son Of The Staves Of Time 11. Birth Of Venus Illegitima 12. Tuna 1613 13. Drum Solo 14. Muspelheim 15. Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah 16. Ginnungagap 17. Grand Finale 18. Lemuria 19. The Wand Of Abaris 20. Nightside Of Eden 21. To Mega Therion 22. Thor (The Powerhead) Bonus Video: Drum Battle In Holland
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier -- Vienna/Kleiber | DVD | (03/09/2004)
from £9.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
The epic grandeur of Der Rosenkavalier stems not just from its immense length (over three hours) but from the all-too-human complexity of its characters--each of whom is smitten with someone else--and the endless stream of graceful melodies the composer conjures. After the tonality-stretching dissonance of Salome and especially Elektra, Strauss moved onto a different musical path here: the music's sheer gorgeousness has given this most heartbreaking of 20th-century operas its pride of place in the repertory. For this 1994 performance at the Vienna Opera House, conductor Carlos Kleiber leads a committed reading of the buoyant score that savours every note. The three leads are superb singer-actresses who get full marks for embodying Strauss's most richly romantic creations: Felicity Lott (the Marschallin), Anne Sophie von Otter (Octavian) and Barbara Bonney (Sophie) also offer a truly entrancing final trio, one of the great scenes in all opera. The stereo sound mix is solid, as is the video transfer. --Kevin Filipski, Amazon.com
Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar | DVD | (30/05/2005)
from £19.29 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Recorded Live from the Zurich Opera House 2004Based on the comedy L'Attache d'ambassade by Henri Meilhac.
The Flying Dutchman - Wagner | DVD | (09/05/2005)
from £14.26 | Saving you £2.73 (16.10%) | RRP
One of the most acclaimed Wagner productions of the postwar period this electrifying revolutionary Bayreuth staging of The Flying Dutchman catapulted the German director Harry Kupfer to international fame. Kupfer's psychologically acute production presents the entire story as a hallucination in which Senta's yearning for the eternally wandering Dutchman sends her into a trance-like state. Senta is sung by Danish soprano Lisbeth Balslev the American bass-baritone Simon Estes portrays the Dutchman while the Finnish bass Matti Salminen is Daland.
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Paris/Gardiner | DVD | (15/10/2001)
from £15.99 | Saving you £1.00 (5.90%) | RRP
It is an oft-repeated saw, about life in the heavenly spheres, that the angels revere Bach but listen to Mozart. If they have DVD players, you can bet theyre now watching this stunning production of Le Nozze di Figaro ("The Marriage of Figaro"), which comes about as close to Mozartian perfection as one could possibly hope to get. The faultlessly cast youthful performers bubble with infectious energy. Alison Hagley is a sprightly Susanna with a voice as clear as a bell, and brilliantly matched by a 28-year-old Bryn Terfel both acting and sounding in fine form. Hillevi Martinpelto demonstrates why she is one of the worlds favourite Mozart singers with her melting tones, richly coloured voice and generous stage presence, and Rodney Gilfry gives a muscular, wonderfully controlled performance as the Count. Olivier Milles direction mixes knockabout comedy and restrained pathos with fluid inventiveness, and there are even--heavens, can this really be an opera?--quite a few belly laughs, and deliciously amusing details. (Susannas guitar playing during Cherubinos "Voi che sapete" is a comic delight, and Figaros hidden sneers at Count Almaviva are hilarious.) John Eliot Gardiner draws exquisite playing from his authentic-instrument orchestra and employs tempos that are ideal. Add to that gorgeous 18th-century costumes and effective sets--it doesnt get much better than this. On the DVD: the production is beautifully realised for home viewing, with clear sound (the sets are simple wooden panels, which continually and flatteringly push the sound to the front) and great camera direction. There are subtitles in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese but no other special features.--Warwick Thompson
Nabucco - Verdi | DVD | (07/02/2005)
from £13.99 | Saving you £3.00 (17.70%) | RRP
Verdi - Nabucco
Rosenkavalier - Strauss | DVD | (15/08/2005)
from £14.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
Comedy for music in three acts.
Hans Werner Henze ; Der Prinz Von Homburg | DVD | (18/10/2002)
from £19.79 | Saving you £5.20 (20.80%) | RRP
An opera in three acts by one of Germany's most important contemporary composers - Hans Werner Henze. Musical direction comes from Wolfgang Sawallisch.
Die Tote Stadt - Korngold | DVD | (06/08/2002)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Any fan of Alfred Hitchcock - and in particular of Vertigo his film in which Kim Novak gives male fantasies something to feed on - is certain to love Eric Wolfgang Korngold's Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City). This was the finest opera to come from the pen of this composer of film scores who found both fame and fortune in Hollywood. It relates the remarkable tale of the protagonist Paul and his individualistic approach to dealing with the loss of his beloved wife Marie. As the drama unfolds all is not what it seems - dream and reality intertwine as Paul attempts to come to terms with the past in exchange for a tolerable future.
Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann -- Royal Opera House/Pretre | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £12.09 | Saving you £5.90 (32.80%) | RRP
This famous and highly-praised Royal Opera production by film director John Schlesinger filmed in 1981 is as good as we are ever likely to see. The spectacular designs by Maria Bjornson and William Dudley vividly bring Hoffman's nightmare world to life. The brilliant cast is led by Placido Domingo as Hoffmann in one of his towering portrayals. He has become wholly identified with this part in a way that no other artist has.
Donizetti - La Fille Du Regiment (Bonynge) | DVD | (27/08/2007)
from £4.49 | Saving you £10.50 (70.00%) | RRP
Gaetano Donizetti: La Fille Du Regiment
The Complete Drawing Course for Beginners - Part 1 | DVD | (07/04/2008)
from £4.79 | Saving you £-0.80 (-20.10%) | RRP
PART 1 - PERSPECTIVE You will be surprised at how much you learn in the very first exercise about perspective. Almost as soon as you switch your video on, you will be able to draw three-dimensions on a two dimensional surface. You will learn the principles of eye level and vanishing points, and you will soon be able to draw streets and objects, including those with elipses such as a wine glass. Be amazed as you watch your drawings come to life!
Charlie and Lola - 2 | DVD | (15/05/2006)
from £4.48 | Saving you £3.51 (43.90%) | RRP
Charlie And Lola is a fun-filled and imaginative animated series for young children. It focuses on the relationship between brother and sister Charlie and Lola and tells the story of how they handle the little issues that they as young children encounter everyday.