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Ivan The Terrible - Prokofiev | DVD | (27/06/2005)
from £3.19 | Saving you £11.80 (78.70%) | RRP
Ballet in Two ActsIn 1942 Sergey Prokofiev was commissioned by Sergey Eisenstein to write music for his film Ivan the Terrible. The score caught the attention of highly acclaimed choreographer Yuri Grigorovich who set out to make the material and music into a self-contained ballet. But it took until the 1970s for the idea of this ambitious project to be put into action with the help of Mikhail I. Tchulaki director of the Bolshoi who composed a ballet score for the new production on the basis of Eisenstein's musical film material. The score of Ivan the Terrible is a collage of no less than 377 fragments of the original film score but also of other works by Prokofiev.
Handel: Tamerlano | DVD | (27/08/2014)
from £6.22 | Saving you £4.34 (14.50%) | RRP
Handel's 1724 opera Tamerlano followed the success of his previous year's Giulio Cesare with another colourful historical costume drama. This time the setting is the court of "Timur the Tartar", who has just defeated the Turkish Sultan Bajazet at the battle of Angora. There are, naturally enough, romantic complications when both Tamerlano and his ally, the Greek Prince Andronico, fall in love with Bajazet's daughter Asteria. She, however, has plans to revenge her father's defeat. This production was directed by Jonathan Miller and staged in the intimate surroundings of the Goethe Theatre of Bad Lauchstadt as part of the 2001 Halle Handel Festival. Miller's sparse gold-draped sets, as well as the video direction, always lead the eye towards the singers and their splendidly decorative costumes. Mezzo Monica Bacelli looks a little too pretty beneath her moustache to be convincingly threatening as Tamerlano; soprano Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz is a full-blooded, perhaps overripe Asteria; and Thomas Randle tackles the very demanding tenor role of Bajazet. None of the voices are necessarily "authentic", but thanks to the musical direction of Trevor Pinnock--an experienced and sensitive Handelian--the performance always feels completely natural. In the pit Pinnock's English Concert are, as always, a delight. Anyone who has not yet discovered the sometimes arcane delights of Baroque opera will find much to encourage them here; seasoned opera seria buffs should not hesitate. On the DVD: Tamerlano comes handsomely packaged in a two-disc set with a colourful and informative booklet. The extra features put most other ArtHaus releases to shame. To begin with the "Score Plus" facility, which superimposes the score over the picture, will provide hours of joy (all DVD operas should have this as standard). There are subtitles in English, German, French or Spanish. There's a lengthy (40-minute) "Making of" documentary, which takes us behind the scenes with Jonathan Miller, Trevor Pinnock and their team at Sadler's Wells then in Halle. More material about the Handel Festival can be found in the "Interviews" section, the selection of "Historical Film Footage" from previous Festivals, and the illustrated "Interactive Chronolgy". The 16:9 picture is perfectly adequate, and the sound options are good PCM Stereo and Dolby 5.1. --Mark Walker
The Golden Ring - Wiener Philharmoniker/Sir Georg Solti | DVD | (11/06/2007)
from £13.29 | Saving you £0.70 (5.00%) | RRP
The legendary 1965 BBC film on the pioneering recording by Sir Georg Solti of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Filmed during the recording of Gotterdammerung in the Sofiensale with the Vienna Philharmonic, it features performances by the great Wagner singers Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Gottlob Frick, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The DVD also includes ORF's German-language version of the programme (Hinter den Kulissen der Gotterdammerung) featuring different interview footage with Sir Georg Solti.
La Scala Collection | DVD | (02/05/2006)
from £47.21 | Saving you £12.78 (21.30%) | RRP
Various Composers: La Scala Collection - 11 Operas
Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala | DVD | (06/09/2004)
from £14.28 | Saving you £3.71 (20.60%) | RRP
The hugely successful production of Verdi's romantic drama Ernani features four legendary opera stars: Placido Damingo Mirella Freni Renato Bruson and Nicolai Ghiaurov all at the height of their powers. They were described in The Times review as 'possibly the best quartet of singers any opera house has managed to assemble this year'. They give an impassioned electric performance under the conductor Riccardo Muti an acclaimed Verdi interpreter. The producer Luca Ranconi has cre
Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003)
from £16.49 | Saving you £-3.76 (-25.10%) | RRP
A performance of Glinka's opera 'Ruslan And Lyudmila'.
Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- La Scala/Maazel | DVD | (31/10/2000)
from £23.25 | Saving you £1.74 (7.00%) | RRP
This 1986 production of Madama Butterfly strives, with its Japanese director and designer, for authenticity in the Japanese setting, yet is somehow entirely Italian at the same time. Yasuko Hayashi's Cio-Cio-San is surprisingly tough, rejecting the arguments of her uncle and the marriage broker with more anger than usual, and her suicide is as much a moral statement of integrity as a sentimental gesture. Accordingly, Dvorsky's sexually magnetic Pinkerton is even less sympathetic--you can see what she sees in him, but he is arrogant and a user, except when he is being lyrical--and Zancanaro's Sharpless, the consul who expedites Pinkerton's betrayal of his wife but develops his own compassion for her, is all the more complex and interesting. The production has real charm as well as authenticity on its side; the staging of the love duet is impressive in its use of shadow and delicate light. Maazel's interpretation has a forceful energy that the recording impressively conveys. --Roz KaveneyOn the DVD: The DVD has scene selection, and subtitles in German, French and English; the menu adds Spanish.
Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites | DVD | (29/09/2008)
from £12.25 | Saving you £2.74 (18.30%) | RRP
Inside the Actors Studio - Dave Chappelle | DVD | (26/01/2009)
from £4.72 | Saving you £5.27 (52.80%) | RRP
Dave Chappelle continues the close relationship betweenInside the Actors Studio and America''s masters of comedy.His career which began in high school and has taken him -and us - through his film appearances standup televisionspecials and the Comedy Central series Chappelle''s Show deserves that rarest of entertainment accolades ''meteoric.''Chappelle''s Show broke many of the molds for sketchcomedy and pushed the boundaries of even as audaciousa network as Comedy Central. He has continued his boldvoyage toward comedy''s outer limits with the featurefilm Dave Chappelle''s Block Party.The sometimes hilarious often touching and alwaysintriguing answers to many different questions are waiting here in this Emmy''-nominated episode of Inside the Actors Studio.
Gianni Schicchi - Puccini | DVD | (30/05/2005)
from £15.49 | Saving you £4.50 (22.50%) | RRP
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.
Oedipus Rex - Stravinsky | DVD | (13/06/2005)
from £15.49 | Saving you £1.50 (8.80%) | RRP
Opera-oratorio in two acts. Poem after Sophocles by Jean Cocteau.
Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte --Gardiner | DVD | (14/10/2002)
from £18.49 | Saving you £-3.76 (-25.10%) | RRP
A performance of Mozart's 'Cosi Fan Tutte' performed by the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists. Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
Wagner - Das Rheingold | DVD | (04/02/2008)
from £14.08 | Saving you £-1.05 (-7.50%) | RRP
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.
Waaris | DVD | (15/03/2004)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Dulla and Gajjan are two brothers but their father engaged by Dulla's wayward ways names Gajjan's son Sarwan as his sole heir. A furious Dulla slays his father for which he is imprisoned. Meanwhile Gajjan's only son Sarwan grows up and falls in love with the virtuous Paro who has a young sprightly carefree sister Seebo who is in love with her childhood friend Binder. Dulla returns from the prison on the day Sarwan and Paro get married. He plots to get the land from his brother Gajjan by getting rid of his only heir. Immediately after the marriage through the connivance of Dulla Sarwan is fatally stabbed and killed. Dulla is now confident that he can acquire the land. Here begins Paro's struggle to acquire a rightful heir for the land and to save herself from the wicked intentions of Dulla. She spurns all his advances. Dulla tortures the family's faithful employees into leaving their master and creates every possible difficulty and hardship for Paro. She convinces her unwilling father-in-law Gajjan to marry her younger sister Seebo so the family can get a legal heir. Does she succeed in her struggle? Does the family get its heir? Watch the family drama Warris.
Verdi - Aida | DVD | (10/09/2007)
from £18.07 | Saving you £-3.24 (-21.60%) | RRP
La Damnation De Faust - Berlioz | DVD | (03/01/2006)
from £16.85 | Saving you £3.14 (15.70%) | RRP
Hector Berlioz's (1803-1869) legende dramatique about a man named Faust who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall in 1989. Georg Solti conducts.
Manon | DVD | (01/07/2000)
from £9.80 | Saving you £8.19 (45.50%) | RRP
Kenneth MacMillan's tragic lyric ballet to sumptuous music by Jules Massenet orchestrated for the ballet by Leighton Lucas is a Royal Opera House favourite returning season after season. The story of Manon Lescaut is a moving tale of corrupted innocence in early 18th century Paris in which the lovely girl finds both happiness and grief at the hands of men who love and abuse her. Manon is one of MacMillan's most highly regarded works featuring several passionate and moving pas
Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Vienna/Furtwangler | DVD | (08/10/2004)
from £14.99 | Saving you £-1.05 (-7.50%) | RRP
The incomparable Cesare Siepi stars in this legendary Salzburg production of Mozart's masterpiece. Wilhelm Furtwangler conducts the internationally renowned Vienna Philharmonic in what has become one of the definitive productions of a classic opera.
Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart | DVD | (06/03/2001)
from £12.95 | Saving you £4.84 (19.40%) | RRP
The point of a good production of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia is to have a Rosina and a Figaro who will knock your socks off in their respective arias, while holding back enough in all those crescendo ensembles in which the farce plot reaches its several culminations that the other stars get a chance to shine too. Cecilia Bartoli and Gino Quilico give full-blooded enough performances when on stage by themselves that self-effacement seems far from imminent, yet both are capable of less, and give it when it is needed. Of the others, David Kuebler is an attractively raffish Almaviva, while Robert Lloyd turns Basilio into a memorable cameo. Gabriele Ferro is one of the most intelligent of Rossini conductors--he understands the relationship between the pulse of the music and its dramatic function, and he is also outstanding in the delicacy of phrasing, even in climaxes, that ensures that every voice, every instrument, gets the moment of glory Rossini intended. Michael Hampe's solid reliable unfussy production keeps everything moving without drawing attention to itself. The DVD has subtitles in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, as well as trailers for other Arthaus Musik discs. --Roz Kaveney
Verdi: Aida -- La Scala | DVD | (28/08/2000)
from £18.99 | Saving you £1.00 (5.00%) | RRP
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