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Verdi - La Traviata | DVD | (12/11/2007)
from £15.39 | Saving you £1.60 (9.40%) | 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.
Bellini: Norma | DVD | (02/04/2001)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
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
Puccini: Madame Butterfly -- 1995 film version | DVD | (04/03/2002)
from £27.40 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Like the finest of film scores with its fluid beauty and succession of intensely romantic tunes, Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly has a surprisingly cinematic feel. In 1995 director Frederic Mitterand exploited this quality of the story, exposing a young woman's disillusionment against a backdrop of cultural chasms. Shot on location, with Tunisia doubling convincingly as a turn of the century Nagasaki, this Butterfly shines with fragile beauty. The house becomes a brilliantly used set; airy and full of the scent of flowers and at the same time a cage for the trapped woman. Archive footage of bygone Nagasaki is used skilfully to underline the distance between the 15-year-old bride and Pinkerton. Purists may prefer a more traditionally robust, stage-bound Butterfly, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more visually heartbreaking interpretation. Chinese soprano Ying Huang doesn't rock the rafters with her vocal power; hers is a tender, delicately observed performance. Tenor Richard Troxton's self-seeking Pinkerton is well sung. Overall, this is a haunting cinematic treatment of an enduringly popular opera. On the DVD: Madame Butterfly is presented in a letterbox widescreen format (enhanced for 16:9 widescreen televisions). The Dolby Digital surround soundtrack engulfs the listener in some of Puccini's most memorable tunes, stringing you out and leaving you emotionally spent. The main special feature is a charming portrait of Ying Huan, providing interesting insights into how the film was made and how she won the role. --Piers Ford
Wagner: Gotterdammerung | DVD | (15/10/2001)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Gotterammerung is the 'third day' of Wagner's great tetra logy of music dramas Der Ring Des Nibelhngen.
L'Amour De Loin - Saariaho | DVD | (15/08/2005)
from £9.99 | Saving you £5.46 (27.30%) | RRP
Kaija SaariahoL'Amour De LoinOpera in five acts
Gershwin: Porgy And Bess | DVD | (14/05/2001)
from £13.49 | Saving you £-6.17 (-38.60%) | RRP
This production is directed by Trevor Nunn and is based on his highly successful Glyndebourne staging in 1986/87 which was revived at Covent Garden in the autumn of 1992 with most of the original cast including Willard White and Cynthia Haymon. Immediately after that performance the production was moved to the giant stage at Shepperton Studios with much expanded sets and lighting. It was then recorded using the original award-winning EMI soundtrack. The romance and beauty of this tender story its dramatic development and the sheer vitality of the characters come alive in this exciting visual production.
Cecilia And Bryn At Glyndebourne - Arias And Duets | DVD | (04/06/2002)
from £5.95 | Saving you £5.27 (26.40%) | RRP
Opera arias and duets from Mozart Rossini Haydn Donizetti and Handel.
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.
Carmen | DVD | (23/04/2012)
from £9.79 | Saving you £3.20 (24.60%) | RRP
Based on the French novel and Bizet's most popular opera which it inspired Carlos Saura's exhilarating flamenco Carmen became an instant classic on its release and was rewarded with many international accolades including Academy Award nominations and prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. The film explores the legend by staging a modern ensemble of musicians and dancers busy rehearsing a flamenco interpretation of the Carmen story. The producer and star dancer is Antonio (Antonio Gades) chooses a girl named Carmen (Laura del Sol) to play 'his' Carmen but life begins tragically to imitate art...
Fidelio - Beethoven | DVD | (19/01/2004)
from £14.78 | Saving you £2.21 (13.00%) | RRP
A performance of the Beethoven's Fidelio. James Levine conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Puccini: La Fanciulla del West | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £12.09 | Saving you £5.90 (32.80%) | RRP
Piero Faggioni's highly-acclaimed Royal Opera production of 'The Girl of the Golden West' filmed in 1983 stars the incomparable Placido Domingo and American soprano Carol Neblett. It is considered by many the definitive production of this work and hasn't been available on video for 10 years. Faggioni's amazing production brings the opera vividly to life. The realistic timbered sets are by Oscar-winning designer Ken Adam whose film work includes ""Dr Strangelove"" and a number of Ja
Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001)
from £10.46 | Saving you £3.53 (25.20%) | 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
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (25/10/1999)
from £7.85 | 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
Charlie and Lola - 2 | DVD | (15/05/2006)
from £4.78 | Saving you £3.00 (37.50%) | 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.
Aida - Verdi | DVD | (29/11/2004)
from £20.00 | Saving you £4.99 (20.00%) | RRP
A performance of the Verdi opera live and in the open air from the St. Margarethen Festival in Austria. Ernst Marzendorfer conducts.
Pelleas Et Melisande | DVD | (23/09/2002)
from £14.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
A performance of Debussy's beautiful opera recorded in France in 1987.
Les Paladins - Rameau | DVD | (31/10/2005)
from £25.65 | Saving you £4.34 (14.50%) | RRP
Inspired by a fable by La Fontaine Rameau produced perhaps his most brilliant music for his penultimate great work blending reality and surreal on several levels.This passionate new production by Jose Montalvo stunningly choreographed by Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu sets new standards in entertainment charm and ingenuity. The sharp and spectacular multimedia staging does full justice to Rameau's dazzling burlesque confirming Olivier Rouviere statement that 'Les Paladins is the last laugh of a witty 77-year old composer'. Recorded live in 2004 at the Paris Theatre du Chatelet in true surround sound both the virtuoso cast and Les Arts Florissants are in top form clearly enjoying themselves in the masterful hands of William Christie.
Il Ritorno D'Ulisse In Patria - Monteverdi | DVD | (29/08/2005)
from £6.09 | Saving you £23.90 (79.70%) | RRP
Pirates Of Penzance - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (13/12/2004)
from £7.92 | Saving you £8.07 (50.50%) | RRP
Having mistakenly been sent as an apprentice to pirates young Frederic is happy to leave his indentures on his 21st birthday. Falling in love with the beautiful Mabel one of the many daughters of Major-General Stanley he decides to marry. However the pirates are all to keen to marry the rest of Stanley's daughters! A spectacular interpretation of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic!
Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner | DVD | (17/01/2005)
from £14.99 | Saving you £7.00 (31.80%) | RRP
A performance of Wagner's opera 'Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg'.