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Opera

  • I Lombardi [1984] I Lombardi | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £12.69  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The magnificent cast of this production of I Lombardi is headed by Ghena Dimitrova Jose Carreras Silvano Carroli and Carlo Bini. The haunting designs of Spartan grandeur are by Giovanni Agostinucci who uses the motif of a blood-red cross as a double-edged symbol throughout the opera which is set at the time of the first crusade. The performance is conducted by a La Scala conductor of long-standing repute Gianandrea Gavazzeni.

  • Giacomo Puccini - Puccini - Turandot Giacomo Puccini - Puccini - Turandot | DVD | (21/07/2008) from £11.25  |  Saving you £2.30 (15.30%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Turandot: Puccini - Arena di Verona

  • Ariadne Auf Naxos [1988] Ariadne Auf Naxos | DVD | (02/09/2002) from £13.97  |  Saving you £2.20 (11.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Strauss's opera 'Ariadne Auf Naxos' performed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Artists include: Jessye Norman Kathleen Battle Tatania Troyanos and James King. Conducted by James Levine.

  • Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) [1987] Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) | DVD | (04/12/2000) from £21.05  |  Saving you £3.94 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    L'Italiana in Algeri, Rossini's first real hit as a writer of comic opera, is one of those almost unsinkable works difficult to get entirely right. Michael Hampe's production for the 1987 Schwetzinger festival captures both its charm and its sense of menace--the court of the Bey is both a setting for farce and a place in which the Italian characters are at the mercy of a despot who will not necessarily find things funny. Gunther von Kannen's Mustafa is a convincing Bey of Algiers, with all the arrogance of power and the vulnerability to mockery that goes with it. His adversary, the tough witty proto-feminist Isabella, is given real presence in Doris Soffel's performance--it is entirely credible, listening to her throaty mezzo, that everyone else should be more-than-a-little in love with her. The slightly effete tenor of Robert Gambill as her lover Lindoro makes him a perfect partner in intrigue for her. Conducting Rossini is not just a matter of winding the crescendos up and letting them go; Ralf Weikert is particularly fine in the complicated finale of Act One with its imitations of bells and drums and its complicated vocal lines. The DVD comes with menu material in English, French, German and Spanish, and with English, French and German subtitles; the stereo sound is particularly crisp. --Roz Kaveney

  • Luciano Pavarotti - Donizetti - L'Elisir D'Amore Luciano Pavarotti - Donizetti - L'Elisir D'Amore | DVD | (26/02/2008) from £8.99  |  Saving you £1.95 (11.50%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Donizetti's L' Elisir D' Amore recorded live at the Metropolitan Opera, March 2nd, 1981.

  • A Life For The Tsar - Bolshoi Opera A Life For The Tsar - Bolshoi Opera | DVD | (26/09/2005) from £15.06  |  Saving you £2.93 (16.30%)  |  RRP £17.99

    A 17th Century tale of how a peasant gave his life to save the Tsar for the Russian people. After the Russian Revolution the Communist regime renamed the opera Ivan Susanin after the main character and altered the libretto in order to emphasise how Susanin delivered Russia from attack from the Polish enemy. The original title and libretto have now been restored. In this production by The Bolshoi Opera filmed in 1992 Russian bass Egveny Nesterenko magnificently sings the dramatic role of Ivan Susanin the tragic hero who leads the Polish enemy on a false path in their search for the Tsar and so allowing the Tsar to escape. The cast also includes Marina Mescheriakova as Susanin's daughter Antonida Alexander Lomonosov as her fiance Sobinin and Elena Zaremba as Susanin's son Vanja. The conductor is Alexander Lazarev.

  • Bellini: Norma Bellini: Norma | DVD | (02/04/2001) from £20.15  |  Saving you £4.84 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Bellini's Norma, first performed in 1831, is one of the most glittering jewels in the bel canto repertoire, placing huge vocal demands on the soprano in the title role. The druid priestess who falls prey to human frail ties before redeeming her grace in the flames of the sacrificial fire must also be played with a high degree of dramatic truth. In the 20th century, two singers scaled new heights in combining these requirements: Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland. Sutherland's great achievement, preserved in this 1978 recording of Opera Australia's production at Sidney Opera House, was to render Norma a very human being, unravelling her complex reactions to the events which bring her personal world tumbling down around her. Using Bellini's deceptively simple melodies to tender effect, she reveals the essential purity of many of his greatest arias, not least "Casta diva": an equally valid alternative to Callas' pyrotechnics. Ronald Stevens as Norma's errant Roman lover Pollione and Margreta Elkins as Adalgisa, the unwitting agent of the priestess's ultimate downfall, strike vocal sparks in their duets with Sutherland. But this is essentially a treasurable record of one of the all-time great divas in a role that brought her some of her finest notices, with her husband and long-time collaborator Richard Bonynge in the conductor's box. On the DVD: In all respects, this is a solid offering with few frills. The only extra is an Arthaus trailer. The 4:3 picture format and PCM stereo-sound quality are adequate media for a theatrical performance which is very much of its time: crudely-edited plot explanations separate the acts and there is the imposition of some rather naff stills of the ill-fated lovers on flickering flames to suggest the pyre. But Sutherland's performance triumphs over all. --Piers Ford

  • Wagner: Tristan und Isolde [1976] Wagner: Tristan und Isolde | DVD | (15/05/2000) from £25.45  |  Saving you £4.54 (15.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Waltraud Meier is the stuff of which great Isoldes are made--a passionate actress who sings her heart out at every point and yet somehow keeps something in reserve from the narration and curse of the first act for the love duet of the second and the "Liebestod" of the third. Her Tristan, Jon Fredric West, is more or less her equal--he is particularly impressive in the mad death agony of the third act; his Tristan is an ordinary hero who becomes something larger. Among the other principals, Kurt Moll's Mark stands out in its eloquent heart-break, not so much a cuckold as a man who wants everything to work out right; Weikl's Kurwenal and Lipovsek's Brangane are, credibly, ordinary people caught up in great tragedy. Mehta's account of the score is solid and professional--he gets nothing wrong and everything right in a performance which survives occasionally perversely innovative staging to touch greatness. On the DVD: The DVD includes subtitles in French, German, English and Dutch. --Roz Kaveney

  • The Art Of Singing - Golden Voices Of The Century [1996] The Art Of Singing - Golden Voices Of The Century | DVD | (01/07/2000) from £16.25  |  Saving you £1.74 (9.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Many illustrious stars of the twentieth century are featured in sound and vision in rare footage much of it previously unavailable. The accompanying booklet includes comprehensive notes by John Steane. Includes rare footage much of it previously unseen. Based on an original BBC TV series.

  • Wagner - Das Rheingold Wagner - Das Rheingold | DVD | (04/02/2008) from £11.33  |  Saving you £-1.50 (-10.70%)  |  RRP £13.99

    This film is the one existing record of Karajan's Salzburg Ring on video. Made in 1978, with imagination extra film sequences to complement the original stage production for the Easter Festival, it brings to life the epic grandeur of Karajan's concept, with the fallible gods, headed by Thomas Stewart's nobly-sung Wotan, depicted in all their mythic majesty.

  • Salome - Deutsche Oper Berlin [1990] Salome - Deutsche Oper Berlin | DVD | (30/01/2006) from £12.19  |  Saving you £5.80 (32.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Richard Strauss's powerful and erotic one-act opera caused such a sensation when it was first performed in 1905 that it caused protests and was banned in several cities. In Petr Weigl's production for the Deutsche Opera Berlin filmed in 1990 Catherine Malfitano gives a suitably graphic portrayal of Salome a role which demand the utmost physical and emotional commitment throughout the complex vocal passages and choreographed scenes. Simon Estes is Jokannan and Herodias is sung by one of the greatest dramatic singers of the 20th century Leonie Rysanek. The conductor is Giuseppe Sinopoli.

  • Tosca - Arena Di Verona [1984] Tosca - Arena Di Verona | DVD | (25/07/2005) from £12.69  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Tosca is a story of lust crime and idealistic young love originally written for Sarah Bernhardt. Puccini transformed it into an opera of the highest drama and passion and it became central to his career. This production by Sylvano Bussotti of one of Puccini's best loved works comes from the magnificent Roman amphitheatre in Verona and was filmed in 1984. Hungarian soprano Eva Marton is Tosca a role for which she is particularly well-known on stage. Ingvar Wixell is a superbly wick

  • Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden [1983] Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden | DVD | (07/05/2007) from £12.69  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Verdi was almost eighty when he startled the musical world with his mastery of comic invention in his last opera Falstaff with its brilliant libretto by Arrigo Boito. The story is taken from Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Windsor although the central character is much closer to the Falstaff of Henry IV. The roguish Sir John embroils himself in numerous plots and dupes of love and marriage until eventually the Merry Wives get their revenge on him and all plans are thwarted. When Carlo Maria Giulini returned to conducting public performances of opera after an absence of fourteen years he chose this comic masterpiece for the occasion. The great lyric baritone Renato Bruson sings the title role. Katia Ricciarelli leads the trio of merry wives with Lucia Valentini-Terrani as Mistress Quickly and Brenda Boozer as Meg Page. Leo Nucci sings the role of Ford and the young lovers are here portrayed by Dalmacio Gonzalez and Barbara Hendricks. Stunning designs by Hayden Griffen and Michael Stennett provide the perfect setting for this witty interpretation of Shakespeare's masterpiece.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - Britten A Midsummer Night's Dream - Britten | DVD | (09/01/2006) from £11.29  |  Saving you £4.70 (29.40%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Britten's opera recorded live at the Teatro Del Liceu in April 2004.

  • Verdi: Aida -- La Scala [1986] Verdi: Aida -- La Scala | DVD | (28/08/2000) from £16.23  |  Saving you £-0.16 (-0.80%)  |  RRP £19.99

    La Scala went all-out for its 1986 production of this grandest of grand operas, with a strong cast and--most important for a video recording--a larger-than-life staging. The Triumph Scene in Act II is by no means Aida's only attraction, but it is the part that makes the strongest and most lasting impression and it is the visual and musical climax of this production. Stage director Ronconi brings on a procession to dwarf all processions: looted treasures, heroic statuary, miserable captives struggling under the lash of whip-bearing slave-drivers. On par with these visuals is Lorin Maazel's first-class performance of the popular "Grand March" with the outstanding La Scala chorus and orchestra. In Act III, the contrasting tranquillity of the Nile Scene also gets a visual treatment to match the music's qualities.When it is not an epic spectacle, Aida is a tragic story of love, jealousy and horrible revenge. The shifting focus between vast spectacle and intimate moments-sometimes awkward in a live performance onstage--presents special opportunities and challenges for a video recording. In this Aida, the camera work shows an acute awareness of those opportunities and challenges. The soloists have a variety of strengths that outweigh a few small weaknesses. Luciano Pavarotti sings one of his signature roles in superb voice, but his weight problems are visually evident and detract from his impact as the dashing hero Radames. Maria Chiara has moments of vocal imperfection but gives a dramatically compelling performance. Ghena Dimitrova sings powerfully and the supporting cast is excellent throughout. --Joe McLellan, Amazon.com

  • Fidelio - Beethoven [2000] Fidelio - Beethoven | DVD | (19/01/2004) from £16.69  |  Saving you £0.30 (1.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of the Beethoven's Fidelio. James Levine conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

  • Gianni Schicchi - Puccini Gianni Schicchi - Puccini | DVD | (30/05/2005) from £15.49  |  Saving you £4.50 (22.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Alessandro Corbelli takes the title role in Annabel Arden's whirlwind production of Puccini's compact opera in which the scheming Gianni Schicchi retrieves for himself the spoils of a disinherited family to pave the way for his daughter to marry her love.

  • Bizet - Carmen (Mcvicar, Jordan, Lpo, Von Otter) Bizet - Carmen (Mcvicar, Jordan, Lpo, Von Otter) | DVD | (12/02/2003) from £25.18  |  Saving you £4.81 (16.00%)  |  RRP £29.99

    'Carmen' is here restored to the original Opera Comique in a production from Glyndebourne. Music is under the direction of Philippe Jordan.

  • Kiri Te Kanawa - Opera In The Outback Kiri Te Kanawa - Opera In The Outback | DVD | (02/10/2006) from £10.55  |  Saving you £2.74 (18.30%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Kiri Te Kanawa: Opera In The Outback

  • L'Africaine - Meyerbeer [1988] L'Africaine - Meyerbeer | DVD | (02/08/2006) from £16.85  |  Saving you £13.14 (43.80%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Meyerbeer - L'Africaine (Arena Orch/Chorus/Ballet SFO)

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