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Antikrist - Rued Langgaard | DVD | (29/08/2005)
from £17.73 | Saving you £2.26 (11.30%) | RRP
A religious mystery opera. A magnificent doomsday vision. A full length nightmare. This DVD production of Rued Langgaard's allegorical opera Antikrist witnesses the spectacular Danish co-production by the Royal Danish Opera and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation from 2002. No pains are spared as the composer's revelation unfolds with its intriguing allegorical characters and its powerful statement about the moral decay of modernity.
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
Puccini: Turandot -- San Francisco | DVD | (18/07/2000)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Not only is Puccini's final opera Turandot among the composer's most popular works, but following The Three Tenors and a certain football contest, it has in "Nessun dorma!" what is almost certainly the best-loved aria in all opera. Written 20 years after Madame Butterfly (1904), Puccini's version of an 800-year-old fairy-tale is set in a legendary Peking and scored on a grand scale, incorporating not only Chinese musical techniques but a vast range of oriental percussion. Puccini draws heavily on the chorus, and as ever makes intense demands on his heroine, to which Eva Marton rises powerfully, very well complemented by the tenor Michael Sylvester as Calaf. However, what makes this 1994 San Francisco Opera version so enchanting as a visual experience is the realisation by David Hockney, who not only designed the sets and costumes but also directed the production. His vision is highly stylised, richly imagined, atmospheric and very beautiful, and it is a testament to how well this version is directed that much of the original magic is communicated through the confines of a TV screen. --Gary S. DalkinOn the DVD: Other than a well-appointed booklet, and the option to watch with or without subtitles, there are no special features. The 4:3 picture is a major improvement on video, though no doubt due to the original source materials, not as detailed as the best DVDs. The sound is powerful PCM stereo, with a slight tendency to become strident at especially dramatic moments. The layer change is particularly badly done, interrupting the choir in full flow, rather than being placed between tracks.
The Mikado | DVD | (07/02/2005)
from £7.92 | Saving you £8.07 (50.50%) | RRP
A lavish 1982 production of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera in which Nanki-Poo the son of the Mikado escaping a distasteful marriage arrives in the town of Titipu disguised as a musician...
Le Coq D'Or | DVD | (20/08/2004)
from £22.28 | Saving you £2.71 (10.80%) | RRP
From the Theatre Musical De Paris - ChateletA fairy tale with a moral Opera in three acts.
Cimarosa - Il Matrimonio Segreto (Travis, Fissore, Baiano) | DVD | (29/01/2007)
from £4.49 | Saving you £10.50 (70.00%) | RRP
Partly based on the 1766 English comedy 'The Clandestine Marriage' by David Garrick and George Colman, Domenico Cimarosa's Il Matrimono Segreto was a widely popular example of opera buffa in its day. This sparkling comedy tells the story of Geronimo, a wealthy citizen of Bologna, who is trying to arrange aristocratic marriages for his two daughters, Carolina and Elisetta. However his plans seem destined to fail as his daughter Carolina is already secretly married to Paolino, his young secretary. Through a series of humorous situations the young couple confess their marriage and all ends well.
Die Fledermaus | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £12.09 | Saving you £5.90 (32.80%) | RRP
The operetta 'Die Fledermaus' is Johann Strauss' most brilliant and best-known stage work. It's a glittering comedy packed with Viennese music that has become a firm favourite in opera houses all over the world. A top international cast really have a ball in this highly-acclaimed 1983 New Years Eve performance from The Royal Opera Covent Garden in which Placido Domingo makes a very stylish British conducting debut. Kiri Te Kanawa stars with her celebrated performance as Rosalinde
The Opera Gala - Live From Baden-Baden | DVD | (22/10/2007)
from £8.95 | Saving you £1.60 (9.40%) | RRP
The new faces of opera present opera favourites in a glamorous live concert recording: Anna Netrebko El'na Garan''a Ram''n Vargas and the highly acclaimed young French baritone Ludovic T''zier sing a wide range of Italian and French opera arias. This recording features highlights from three gala concerts (28 & 31 July 3 August 2007) at Baden-Baden's Festspielhaus - surely the hottest event of the summer!
Charlie and Lola - 2 | DVD | (15/05/2006)
from £4.99 | 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.
Lost Voyage | DVD | (07/04/2008)
from £3.97 | Saving you £2.02 (33.70%) | RRP
Opera Hits | DVD | (08/11/2004)
from £11.94 | Saving you £1.24 (8.30%) | RRP
Opera Hits features many of opera's best-loved arias duets and choruses in performances from La Scala Milan La Fenice Venice The Royal Opera Covent Garden Arena di Verona and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The extracts are taken from some of the world's favourite operas: La Traviata The Barber of Seville Tosca Andrea Chnier Orfeo ed Euridice Aida Gianni Schicchi Samson et Dalila Carmen Les Contes d'Hoffmann La Bohme Madama Butterfly and Nabucco.
Monteverdi - Pierre Audi's Monteverdi Cycle Box Set | DVD | (29/01/2007)
from £22.96 | Saving you £47.03 (67.20%) | RRP
Opus Arte is proud to present Pierre Audi's profound and refined productions of Monteverdi's opera masterpieces from the Amsterdam Muziektheater as a complete 9.5 hours box set, which explores the depths of human emotions in compelling music drama. The brilliant cast of the beautifully styled, evocative L'Orfeo, under the sophisticated musical direction of Stephen Stubbs, includes John Mark Ainsley, Michael Chance and David Cordier. II ritorno d' Ulisse in patria features Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Graciela in patria features Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Graciela Araya, both commanding and very moving under Glen Wilson's transparent and inspired musical direction. In L'incoroazione di Poppea Christophe Roussel and the musicians of his Les Talens Lyriques lead an all-star cast, including Brigitte Balleys, Cynthia Haymon, Claron McFadden and Dominique Visse, together reaching great heights in a highly evocative production. As a bonus disc, this box set includes the previously unreleased II combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, starring Lorna Anderson and Maarten Koningsberger, with the ASKO Ensemble boldly led by David Porcelijn.Never before have these timeless Monteverdi masterworks been presented with such consistent and inspired vision, and the results is an astonishing theatrical experience. An essential for any serious opera collector's library!
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002)
from £36.81 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | 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
Hamlet - Ambroise Thomas | DVD | (06/09/2004)
from £10.15 | Saving you £7.84 (43.60%) | RRP
Staged at the Gran Teatro Del Liceu in Barcelona October 2003 this opera - written by Ambroise Thomas - is performed by the Symphony Orchestra And Chorus of the Gran Teatro Del Liceu; conducted by Bertrand De Billy.
Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path | DVD | (17/12/2007)
from £14.99 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Join Keith Hartnell as he explores the six stages of this beautiful coastal path exploring the many fascinating places of interest and meeting some of the characters that make this part of the North East so special. Stunning widescreen digital film makes this DVD the perfect souvenir for anybody interested in Northumberland. The Northumberland Coast is best known for its sweeping beaches rolling dunes high rocky cliffs and isolated islands. Amidst this striking landscape is the evidence of an area steeped in history covering 7000 years of human activity. A host of conservation sites including two National Nature Reserves testify to the great variety of wildlife and habitats also found on the coast. The special qualities of this coastal landscape led to it being designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
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'.
Mister Johnson | DVD | (05/06/2008)
from £6.15 | Saving you £-2.16 (-54.10%) | RRP
In 1923 British Colonial Nigeria, Mister Johnson (Maynard Eziashi) is an oddity -- an educated black man who doesn't really fit in with either the natives or the British boss s. He is secretary to the local British magistrate (Pierce Brosnan) and considers himself an English Gentleman, though he has never been to England. He is always scheming and plotting, trying to get ahead, which lands him in a lot of hot water with both his own people and his Colonial Masters. This tragically moving drama is brought to life by Maynard Eziashi s excellent performance as Mister Johnson and Pierce Brosnan strong portrayal of the typical British Colonial Official whose mission to build a road takes over both of their lives.
Handel - Ariodante | DVD | (03/03/2008)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Recorded at Teatro Caio Melisso Spoleto Italy July 2007
Otello | DVD | (11/04/2005)
from £5.33 | Saving you £10.66 (66.70%) | 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
Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Bavarian State Opera | DVD | (19/03/2001)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP