HOME POPULAR TITLES NEW RELEASES DVD PRICE WATCH DVD BOX SETS BLU-RAY MOBILE HELP
Join us on Facebook

Opera

  • Adams: El Nino [2000] Adams: El Nino | DVD | (15/10/2001) from £20.13  |  Saving you £4.86 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    John Adams set out to write an oratorio about the Nativity of Christ; but as he worked on it, El Nino became a more dramatic piece than he intended, flowering into a staged opera in which the oratorio's free-flowing singer's identity becomes an effective statement of a mystical point. Dawn Upshaw and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson--singing a mixture of biblical texts and Spanish/Mexican poetry--are both Mary and at the same time all women. The same is true of the dancer Daniela Graca, the women of the chorus and the young Hispanic-American woman who has her child and argues with her boyfriend in contemporary LA. Willard White is both Joseph and Herod, while the trio of counter-tenors are Angels and Shepherds and Kings. Because the work was written in close consultation with director Peter Sellars, it is a remarkably collaborative vision of music and staging. This is a gloriously sung piece, which continues Adams' voyage through minimalism into a lush tonal style still informed by minimalist simplicity, but it is also an impressive piece of theatre in which every physical gesture has a musical cue. This production from the Chatelet Theatre, Paris, under the baton of Kent Nagano, is more or less definitive. On the DVD: Unusually for an Arthaus Musik release, this DVD comes with an extended documentary in which Adams, Sellars, Nagano and Upshaw talk insightfully about the creation and nature of the piece. Sellars is particularly impressive in his talk of opera as the art form for a multicultural era. The picture format is 16:9 and the viewer is offered a choice of PCM stereo or Dolby Digital for the audio.--Roz Kaveney

  • Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Vienna/Furtwangler [1955] Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Vienna/Furtwangler | DVD | (08/10/2004) from £13.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    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.

  • Parsifal - Wagner/Stein Parsifal - Wagner/Stein | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £14.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Wolfgang Wagner's arrestingly beautiful production filmed live at Bayreuth in 1981 and directed by Brian Large features a stellar cast led by Eva Randova Bernd Weikl and Siegfried Jerusalem.

  • Offenbach: La Belle Helene -- Zurich/Harnoncourt [1997] Offenbach: La Belle Helene -- Zurich/Harnoncourt | DVD | (25/09/2000) from £18.75  |  Saving you £6.24 (25.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Offenbach's operetta La Belle Hélene, which pokes fun at the Parisian upper class of a century and a half ago through tales of ancient Greece, requires a leap of imagination on behalf of today's audience that this production only partly succeeds in reconciling. On musical grounds we're on sure footing. Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts the chorus and orchestra of the Zurich Opera House with his customary flair for precise and taut rhythms and an appreciation of the composer's wit and the good tunes that are a-plenty. His multi-national cast headed by Vesselina Kasarova as Helen of Troy and Deon van der Walt as her lover Paris are excellent and among the smaller parts there's a lively and stylish performance from Liliana Nichiteanus as Oreste. The video direction by Hartmut Schroder and the superb sound obtained from the relatively intimate Zurich Opera House, a delightful setting for this operetta, are further assets. The production alas is unenlightening and perpetrates an over-the-top style that seems to be synonymous with Offenbach. The backdrop, a pink concave awning is hideous. The costumes by designer Jean-Charles de Castelibajac are silly: Paris is dressed in lederhosen and looks a twerp, Calchac, the high priest wears a Ku Klux Klan hat and Helen at one point looks as though she'll take to absailing. Kasarova suggests the lure of Helen in her voice but a beauty she's not. So it's left to Harnoncourt who joins the company at the curtain call with a twinkle in his eye and a nifty side step and his superb orchestra to remind us what might have been. --Adrian Edwards

  • Verdi - Otello [1992] Verdi - Otello | DVD | (31/03/2008) from £11.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (20.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera Otello - At the Royal Opera House.

  • Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar [2004] Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar | DVD | (30/05/2005) from £18.81  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Recorded Live from the Zurich Opera House 2004Based on the comedy L'Attache d'ambassade by Henri Meilhac.

  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena [1983] Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena | DVD | (11/06/2001) from £7.99  |  Saving you £6.18 (34.40%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This traditional production of Puccini's enduringly popular opera Madama Butterfly should give much pleasure. It was recorded at the open-air theatre in Verona in 1983 with the local orchestra and chorus under the aptly named Maurizio Arena. The video direction is by an expert in the field, Brian Large, who brings home all the intimate moments of Puccini's drama from an open set that ascends and sprawls across rows of seating. His camera draws the viewer into scenes that the audience cannot witness at their distance--most movingly when Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki, gives up his attempt to read Pinkerton's letter to Butterfly saying he has no intention of seeing her again (set to that magical melody which will recur as the humming chorus). It's of little matter that there are no operatic stars in the cast for this ensemble consists of experienced singers who fill the night air with lungs to match Puccini's heaviest demands. The audience, many of them evidently on holiday, greet the show-stopping moments with waves of applause. Their enthusiasm may drown a few bars of orchestral continuity but the orchestra itself is always at the service of the singers on a soundtrack that captures the atmosphere of an open-air performance with astonishing verisimilitude. Butterfly, sung by the statuesque Raina Kabaivanska, may not see Cio-Cio San (to give "butterfly" her real name) 16 years again and some of her arm movements are overdone but her big number "Un bel di" and its reprise when she's holding her child by Pinkerton are touchingly conveyed. Neither does she overplay the final scene where she prepares to follow her father's example using the Mikado's dagger to commit suicide--a moment that sends a shiver down the spine in its economy. Nazzareno Antinori as her Pinkerton, with his matinée idol looks and resonant voice, complements her well; their singing of Puccini's spacious love duet at the close of Act One goes down a treat with the crowd. --Adrian Edwards

  • Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust [1999] Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust | DVD | (15/05/2000) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    This imaginative staging of Berlioz's dramatic symphony for chorus, soloists and orchestra relies heavily on the moving of massed choirs across a large stage. It has vivid lighting effects--rather too many of them using strobes--and monolithic multi-purpose sets, in particular a revolving glass drum which functions both as cinema screen and rostrum for singers, so that the final ride to Hell, for example, is sung by Mephistopheles and Faust above a cavalcade of projected horses, like the inside of a zoetrope. The three main soloists have voices on a scale that can compete with these flashy production values--White and Kasarova, in particular, sing at a level of intensity that would swamp anything less; the climactic seduction trio has rarely been sung so well or with such an overpoweringly polymorphous eroticism. Cambreling marshals his forces effectively, giving full rein to the work's showstoppers like the "Hungarian March" but not neglecting the subtler less kinetic Gluckian side of Berlioz's vocal writing. The DVD has subtitles in English, German and Dutch, and menus in those languages, as well as French, Italian, Spanish and Swedish. --Roz Kaveney

  • Verdi: Don Carlos [1996] Verdi: Don Carlos | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £12.09  |  Saving you £7.90 (39.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This is a 1996 all-star-cast version from Paris of the original French version of Verdi's epic five-act opera, Don Carlos. First produced in 1867, only Wagner would write musical drama on a grander scale, and due to the three-and-a-half-hour running time most subsequent productions have made substantial cuts. This is therefore a rare opportunity to witness Verdi's tragedy in its entirety.Set in the 16th century in the aftermath of war between Spain and France, Don Carlo (Roberto Alagna), the heir to the Spanish throne comes to France to meet with his beloved Elizabeth de Valois (Karita Mattila). Inevitably politics divide the lovers, and while Rodrigue (Thomas Hampson) falls in with Flemish rebels, the Inquisition is determined to be the power behind the peace. This is certainly not Verdi's greatest work, but it contains great music and the stars are allowed to shine with strong characterisations in an elegantly designed production. There are no gimmicks or attempts at spurious contemporary relevance here, simply singers of the calibre of Alagna, Mattila, Hampson, plus the outstanding Eric Halfvarson as the Grand Inquisitor. This is a production that continues in the 19th-century tradition, and in the process delivers the frisson of world-class opera. --Gary S. DalkinOn the DVD: While the running time precludes much in the way of special features, via DVD-ROM the libretto can be printed in French, together with an article and biographies. The picture is presented at approximately 1.7:1 and while far superior to video could still benefit from anamorphic enhancement. The sound is stereo or excellent Dolby Digital 5.0. The booklet offers a detailed synopsis in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and there are subtitles in the same languages. The disc is encoded for regions two to six. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Mozart: Idomeneo [1983] Mozart: Idomeneo | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £14.28  |  Saving you £3.71 (20.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    'Idomeneo is Mozart's grandest most richly coloured and most ambitious opera' David Cairns Sunday Times. This highly acclaimed production of Idomeneo marked the operatic debut of Trevor Nunn whose distinguished career includes Cats and Les Miserables. It was much praised for its simple but effective dramatic style blending Minoan Crete with the ritualistic delicacy of Japanese theatre. This dynamic stylization is appropriately reflected in John Napier's considered and elegant d

  • L'Amour De Loin - Saariaho [2004] L'Amour De Loin - Saariaho | DVD | (15/08/2005) from £9.99  |  Saving you £2.89 (14.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Kaija SaariahoL'Amour De LoinOpera in five acts

  • L'Elisir D'Amore [2002] L'Elisir D'Amore | DVD | (03/06/2003) from £24.14  |  Saving you £5.85 (19.50%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Donizetti's L'ELISIR D'AMORE took two weeks to compose around a normal period of time for this quick and prolific composer who boasted he could compose a symphony in seventy-five minutes. This opera was one of his resounding successes and even inspired Wagner to compose a piano score. This 2002 production was staged at the Macerata Opera Festival directed by Saverio Marconi and conducted by Niels Muus.

  • Coppelia Coppelia | DVD | (03/04/2002) from £24.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The Royal Ballet.Orchestra of The Royal Opera House.Conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu.Coppelia, a mechanical doll made by the toy-maker Dr. Coppelius, is so lifelike that some believe she is his daughter. The mistake leads to intrigue and jealousy in love.This 19th century classic, in an enchanting production of Royal Ballet choreographer Dame Ninette de Valois, with original designs by Sir Osbert Lancaster, was broadcast live by BBC television in February 2000.

  • Khovanshchina Khovanshchina | DVD | (29/03/2004) from £23.15  |  Saving you £6.84 (22.80%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Modest Mussorgsky's opera 'Khovanshchina' performed by the Vienna State Opera and Chorus and the Slovak Philharmonic Chorus from Bratislava; conducted by Claudio Abbado.

  • Dinosaur Hunter Dinosaur Hunter | DVD | (05/05/2008) from £2.00  |  Saving you £3.00 (37.50%)  |  RRP £7.99

    Dinosaur hunting has become the great craze across America, and the Creath family have got the bone hunting fever. Lured by both the reward money and the excitement of finding a real dinosaur skeleton, they join in the rush for dinosaur fossils.Dinosaur expert Jack McCabe suspects that there are rare and valuable dinosaur bones in the area and he is willing to pay handsomely for any information. However, no-one is expecting Hump Hinton, McCabe's greatest rival, who, seeking fame and fortune, is willing to do just about anything to get his hands on the valuable old bones.An adventurous tale of love and treachery, 'The Dinosaur Hunter' discovers the importance of honesty, trust, and above all, family.

  • Die Fledermaus [1985] Die Fledermaus | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    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

  • Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Glyndebourne [1994] Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (25/10/1999) from £7.24  |  Saving you £5.50 (30.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    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

  • Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment -- La Scala [1996] Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment -- La Scala | DVD | (24/03/2003) from £16.25  |  Saving you £3.96 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Libretto by J.H. Vernoy de Saint-Georges / Jean F.A. Bayard Comical Opera in two acts recorded at the Teatro alla Scala MilanOrchestra and Chorus of the Teatro alla ScalaConducted by Donato Renzetti

  • The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 | DVD | (29/06/1998) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  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).

  • Die Verkaufte Braut - Smetana/Adam Fischer/Orchester Der Wiener Staatsoper Die Verkaufte Braut - Smetana/Adam Fischer/Orchester Der Wiener Staatsoper | DVD | (10/09/2007) from £13.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (17.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Smetana: Die Verkaufte Braut (Aka: The Bartered Bridge)

Privacy Terms and Conditions Partner Programme Help Contact Us