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Opera

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli | DVD | (21/08/2000) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This full-blooded 1982 performance of Puccini's most-loved opera demonstrates just how much drive and powerful emotion can make up for a certain lack of subtlety. Cotrubas' Mimi is entirely moving in both joy and death, while never quite feeling as thoroughly frail as some of her quieter rivals; stronger tenor voices than Neil Shicoff's have recorded the role, and yet he has a Romantic passion and a dignity that many of his rivals fail to bring to the role. That under-rated singer Gwynne Howell is especially moving in Colline's farewell to his cloak--one of those perfect little showcase sections Puccini sometimes gives to minor parts. Marilyn Zschau's Musetta is broad and comic and yet somehow includes the audience in the glorious joke that her sexuality is for her; when Thomas Allen sings, to her waltz theme, of youth that is not yet dead, his ardour transcends realism. Gardelli knew this score in his bones--the production bounces along from comedy to tears to eroticism to tragedy and neither cast nor orchestra miss a single one of Puccini's wonderful touches of emotional exploitation. --Roz Kaveney

  • Offenbach: Des Contes D'Hoffmann [1993] Offenbach: Des Contes D'Hoffmann | DVD | (25/04/2001) from £9.99  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Unfortunately the qualities that make Jacques Offenbach's operetta The Tales of Hoffmann an irresistible melodic profusion of wit, dash and unfailing high spirits are only in evidence in the playing of the Lyon Opera Orchestra under Kent Nagano: operetta, more than its serious cousin, continues to be fair game for the whims of producers and designers. In this case an excellent cast including Daniel Galvez-Vallejo as Hoffmann, Natalie Dessay as Olympia, Brigitte Balley as Nicklausse and Isabelle Vernet as Giulietta, as well as Gabriel Bacquier who sings three roles, are obliged to perform Offenbach's operetta in a lunatic asylum designed by Philippe Starck as a three-dimensional grey set, topped with barbed wire. The production by Louis Erlo adapts and cuts scenes to fit this concept, so the tavern scene where Hoffmann sings his celebrated number "The Legend of Kleinzack" disappears, as do the chorus who are banished to the wings. In this environment there's no room for charm or even a kind of mad-hatter behaviour. The cast are reduced to stereotypes and of necessity singularly unlovable ones. What a wasted opportunity. The sound is excellent as it is on two fillers: a short film of Penderecki conducting his choral work, The Seven Gates to Jerusalem from the Midem festival at Cannes and a trailer for a Lyon Opera House production of Berlioz's Damnation of Faust. --Adrian Edwards

  • Classic British Jets-Victor Classic British Jets-Victor | DVD | (03/07/2006) from £6.15  |  Saving you £3.84 (38.40%)  |  RRP £9.99

    The story of the legendary V-Bomber from its days at the heart of Britains nuclear deterrent through its tanker conversion and disbandment.

  • Janacek: Jenufa -- Glyndebourne [1989] Janacek: Jenufa -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (22/06/2001) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Janacek's masterpiece Jenufa, captured in this 1989 Glyndebourne Festival Opera production, is among the most revived modernist works. Compared with much grand opera, the story of one woman's struggle to rise free from social constraints at a terrible cost is remarkably poignant, credible and accessible. Scenes are short and intense. The music shimmers with Janacek's characteristic blend of sweetness and sharp dissonance. His men are damaged and angry; his women kick against the expectations of convention. Tragedy is inevitable, but here, unusually, hope triumphs. In the title role, Roberta Alexander is utterly convincing as the stepdaughter of the Kostelnicka Buryja, placing her love and trust in the wrong man with dire consequences. As the Kostelnicka, Anja Silja turns in an equally towering performance, unravelling with the awful consequences of her pragmatism. Alexander's fluid soprano reveals the extraordinary beauty of some of Janacek's finest arias: the moment when she becomes supernaturally aware of her baby's fate--it's "as if death was peering into the house!"--and is actually singing prayers for its soul is quite overwhelming. This Jenufa is sung splendidly; a revelation of the essential humanity which lurks at the heart of the greatest operas. On the DVD: This production was filmed for Channel 4 and has all the hallmarks of a 1980s television broadcast: standard 4:3 picture format which limits the impact of Tobias Hoheisel's magnificent expressionistic set; PCM stereo which somewhat dulls Andrew Davis' sterling, powerful work at the helm of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (although the principal singers shine through); poor subtitles; and static freeze-frame links between scenes. As a record of an important production, though, it suffices. --Piers Ford

  • Prince Igor [1998] Prince Igor | DVD | (06/10/2003) from £18.65  |  Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Borodin's opera 'Prince Igor' performed by the Kirov Opera and Ballet. Tracklisting; Act 1 No. 2 Chorus of the Polovstan Maidens no. 3 Dance of the Polovtsian Maidens No. 4 Cavatina No. 6 recitative & Cavatina No. 7 Duet no. 8 Aria No. 9 Scena No.10 Aria No. 11 Recitative No. 12 Polovstian Dances & Chorus. Act 2 - No. 13a-c Chorus & Song No.13d-e Maidens Chorus & Scena No. 13f-g Song in Honour of Prince Galitsky Act 2 - No. 14 Arioso No. 15 Scena No.16 Scene No. 17 Fin

  • Bizet - Carmen (Levine, Metropolitan Opera) Bizet - Carmen (Levine, Metropolitan Opera) | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £13.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    George Bizet's opera 'Carmen' performed by the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Conducted by James Levine.

  • Tancredi [1992] Tancredi | DVD | (01/08/2005) from £11.17  |  Saving you £13.82 (55.30%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • Ruslan And Lyudmila Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003) from £18.65  |  Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    A performance of Glinka's opera 'Ruslan And Lyudmila'.

  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001) from £7.97  |  Saving you £3.83 (27.40%)  |  RRP £13.99

    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

  • The Ultimate Opera Collection The Ultimate Opera Collection | DVD | (14/05/2007) from £5.97  |  Saving you £11.39 (57.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Titles Comprise: CARMEN by Bizet from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 1998 AIDA by Verdi from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 1997 DON GIOVANNI by Mozart from the Prague National Theatre 1991 TOSCA by Puccini from the O'Keefe Centre Toronto 1989 NABUCCO by Verdi from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 2000.

  • Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala [1982] Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £11.86  |  Saving you £6.13 (34.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    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

  • The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 | DVD | (29/06/1998) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Featuring Jose Carreras Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti in concert on July 16th 1994 at the Dodger Stadium Los Angeles California. Zubin Mehta conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus. Tracklist includes: 'America' (West Side Story) 'O Sole Mio' (Di Capua) 'Brindisi' (La Traviata) and 'Tribute To Hollywood' (Medley).

  • Pelleas Et Melisande Pelleas Et Melisande | DVD | (23/09/2002) from £14.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    A performance of Debussy's beautiful opera recorded in France in 1987.

  • Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (29/05/2006) from £12.15  |  Saving you £2.84 (18.90%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Gilvert And Sullivan: Patience (Stanhope Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra)

  • Monteverdi - Pierre Audi's Monteverdi Cycle Box Set Monteverdi - Pierre Audi's Monteverdi Cycle Box Set | DVD | (29/01/2007) from £51.69  |  Saving you £18.30 (26.10%)  |  RRP £69.99

    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!

  • Verdi - La Traviata Verdi - La Traviata | DVD | (12/11/2007) from £14.78  |  Saving you £2.21 (13.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

    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.

  • Mountain Of The Cannibal God Mountain Of The Cannibal God | DVD | (25/08/2008) from £8.84  |  Saving you £4.15 (31.90%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Mountain Of The Cannibal God

  • Joan Sutherland - The Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances 1961-1968 Joan Sutherland - The Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances 1961-1968 | DVD | (30/11/2001) from £21.25  |  Saving you £3.74 (15.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • Verdi: Aida -- San Francisco/Navarro [1981] Verdi: Aida -- San Francisco/Navarro | DVD | (11/05/1998) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This spectacular 1981 San Francisco production of Aida, directed by Sam Wanamaker, boasts production values more commonly associated with Hollywood to portray scenes from the time of the Pharaohs, notably a striking interior for the temple of Vulcan from where Radames is sent forth on his mission to conquer the invading Ethiopian army. With Margaret Price in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as Radames, there is much going for this version, both musically and visually. Price and Pavarotti are in superb voice throughout. Pavarotti sings his initial aria, "Celeste Aida", very much as a showpiece, ignoring Verdi's quadruple pianissimo ending for the very opposite, milking (dare one say it) the audience for a thunderous round of applause which he duly receives! Initial doubts about his commitment to the drama, however, are dispelled in Act 3 when he denies Amneris his hand and bids farewell to life entombed in the same temple from where he'd once been sent forth as conqueror. Margaret Price may not be a natural actress but her singing throughout, particularly in the concluding farewell with Pavarotti ("O terra, addio"), is very touching. Stefania Toczyska is a compelling Amneris and no more so than when she's offering Radames a lifeline at the start of the last act. With assured conducting from Garcia Navarro, this Aida is a very desirable acquisition. On the DVD Aida on disc has both subtitles and surtitles, depending on the picture image, in the main European languages. Brian Large's direction for video homes in on the salient points of the drama and also picks up on an uncomfortable looking extra or two in the "Grand March" where space on stage seems at a premium. The picture quality and sound are satisfactory.--Adrian Edwards

  • Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) [2008] Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) | DVD | (21/04/2008) from £7.82  |  Saving you £3.40 (24.30%)  |  RRP £13.99

    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

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