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Opera

  • The Beggar's Opera The Beggar's Opera | DVD | (23/05/2005) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Created specially for television this Beggar's Opera captures the quality and satiric edge of the Hogarth engravings which influenced Gay's original version. The characters of this highly spirited comedy of London low-life thrived on thieving lechery and deceit: Peachum the receiver of stolen goods shops his clients when it suits him; Lockit the prison governor has corrupt links with Peachum; Macheath the highwayman has married Polly Peachum but is promised to Lucy Lockit; Jenn

  • Verdi: Rigoletto [2002] Verdi: Rigoletto | DVD | (27/03/2002) from £20.41  |  Saving you £4.58 (18.30%)  |  RRP £24.99

    If there are doubts still lingering about the Royal Opera House's artistic renaissance after its mid-1990s doldrum years, David McVicar's gritty and sexy production of Rigoletto should blow them all away. One of the principal reasons is McVicar's decision to emphasise the tyrannical nature of the Duke (beautifully sung by Marcelo Alvarez), and the appalling social injustice that springs from a corrupt leader: his court is a place of physical and sexual abuse (graphically, but by no means gratuitously, depicted). This violence throws the dual nature of Rigoletto into relief, making his toadyism seem all the worse and his vengefulness all the more sympathetic. The singing and acting are first rate, with Paolo Gavanelli's energetic, insect-like Rigoletto worthy even to stand against Anthony Sher's Richard III. Christine Schafer has a gorgeous voice, an intelligent sense of phrasing, and plays Gilda as a frail, morbid creature whose ultimate self-sacrifice is as much an act of neurotic despair as of love. The production is also a visual and orchestral success. Michael Vale's set is a masterpiece of economy--both the Duke's palace and Rigoletto's home are surrounded by broken objects, wire fencing and gloomy shadows--and Edward Downes draws some stunning playing from the Royal Opera Orchestra. This is undoubtedly the best Rigoletto committed to DVD thus far. On the DVD Rigoletto comes with an entertaining 17-minute BBC biography of the composer, "Verdi Through the Looking Glass", presented by conductor Charles Hazlewood, as well as an illustrated synopsis of the opera, and a revealing 10-minute interview with the director. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish.--Warwick Thomson

  • Milada - Bolshoi Opera Milada - Bolshoi Opera | DVD | (01/01/1993) from £16.25  |  Saving you £1.74 (9.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Rimsky-Korsakov s fantasy opera-ballet with its tale of the early Slavs prior to Christian conversion could be described as a ballet with a vocal score equally well as an opera with dancing. This acclaimed production from the Bolshoi by Boris Pokrovsky was filmed in 1992. The choreography is by Andrei Petrov who has created an amazing variety of ritual dances. The colourful blend of dance and music is a reminder of the Diaghilev ballets in which Rimsky-Korsakov s music played such a

  • Lost Voyage Lost Voyage | DVD | (07/04/2008) from £3.21  |  Saving you £2.78 (46.40%)  |  RRP £5.99

  • The Merry Widow - Lehar The Merry Widow - Lehar | DVD | (23/06/2003) from £10.99  |  Saving you £6.00 (24.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A production of the Franz Lehar opera The Merry Widow. New dialogue was commissioned from the playwright Wendy Wasserstein.

  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001) from £10.45  |  Saving you £3.54 (25.30%)  |  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

  • Donizetti: Lucrezia Borgia [1980] Donizetti: Lucrezia Borgia | DVD | (22/04/2002) from £23.99  |  Saving you £11.00 (31.40%)  |  RRP £34.99

    A 1980 Royal Opera House production of Donizetti's opera. Conducted by Richard Bonynge and directed by John Copley.

  • 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.

  • Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann -- Royal Opera House/Pretre [1981] Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann -- Royal Opera House/Pretre | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This famous and highly-praised Royal Opera production by film director John Schlesinger filmed in 1981 is as good as we are ever likely to see. The spectacular designs by Maria Bjornson and William Dudley vividly bring Hoffman's nightmare world to life. The brilliant cast is led by Placido Domingo as Hoffmann in one of his towering portrayals. He has become wholly identified with this part in a way that no other artist has.

  • 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 £8.52  |  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

  • Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart [1983] Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart | DVD | (29/05/2006) from £24.14  |  Saving you £5.85 (19.50%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Dramma giocoso in due atti K588 in two acts.Recorded live at The Kleines Festspielhaus Salzburg August 1983.

  • The Death Of Klinghoffer The Death Of Klinghoffer | DVD | (09/02/2004) from £13.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    An adaptation of John Adam's opera 'The Death Of Klinghoffer' which tells the story of the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship the Achile Lauro.

  • Rigoletto - Verdi Rigoletto - Verdi | DVD | (09/08/2004) from £13.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (17.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Opera in three acts produced live at the Metropolitan Opera on 7 November 1977.

  • Carmen [1983] Carmen | DVD | (23/04/2012) from £8.84  |  Saving you £4.15 (31.90%)  |  RRP £12.99

    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...

  • Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies [2001] Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies | DVD | (10/11/2003) from £11.42  |  Saving you £3.57 (23.80%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies

  • Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail - The Royal Opera - Mozart [1988] Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail - The Royal Opera - Mozart | DVD | (01/11/1997) from £11.32  |  Saving you £6.67 (37.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Mozart's comic masterpiece is set in a Turkish palace and tells the exciting and amusing story of the 'escape from the harem'. In this acclaimed production from The Royal Opera by Elijah Moshinsky filmed in 1988 the Turkish atmosphere is created by Timothy O'Brien's imaginative set of garden and crumbling palace strikingly complemented by Sir Sidney Nolan's colourful front and backcloths. The Spanish nobleman Belmonte is ably sung by Deon van der Walt and his beloved Konstanze is sung by Inga Nielsen with both dramatic conviction and brilliant secure coloratura. The actor Oliver Tobias gives a sensuous and powerful performance in the speaking role of Pasha Selim and Lillian Watson is a charming Blonde.

  • La Clemenza Di Tito - Mozart La Clemenza Di Tito - Mozart | DVD | (03/01/2006) from £8.51  |  Saving you £20.00 (66.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Commissioned for the coronation of Leopold II in Prague Mozart's last opera is a deep humane reflection on relationships power and forgiveness. With the composition of some of the most beautiful passages in his oeuvre Mozart has succeeded in giving this opera seria both a noble sobriety and transparent instrumentation to which this commanding production by the Hermann partnership does full justice on all levels. Susan Graham's most extraordinary Sesto and Christoph Pregardien's Superb Tito set the standard for this riveting Opera National de Paris Performance conducted by the outstanding Sylvain Cambreling.

  • Rossini - Torvaldo E Dorliska Rossini - Torvaldo E Dorliska | DVD | (29/10/2007) from £21.25  |  Saving you £3.74 (15.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Torvaldo E Dorliska - Gioachino Rossini.

  • Donizetti: L'Elisir D'Amore (The Elixir of Love) Donizetti: L'Elisir D'Amore (The Elixir of Love) | DVD | (11/03/2002) from £6.98  |  Saving you £0.60 (3.80%)  |  RRP £15.99

    It's hard to think of a couple better suited to play the romantic leads in Donizetti's comedy L'Elisir d'amore than husband-and-wife team Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu. Both are charming on stage, and both have voices to die for: Gheorghiu's dark liquid tones are particularly spine-tingling, and her coloratura abilities awe-inspiring, and though Alagna has mainly concentrated on the more spinto (powerful) roles of the tenor repertoire, in 1996 when this live production was recorded his voice was just a little fresher and lighter and thus perfect for the bel canto gracefulness of Donizetti's writing. His performance of "Una furtiva lagrima", for example, is meltingly sung and free from all temptation to overplay the high notes. Frank Dunlop's 1920s-set production doesn't quite produce the belly laughs some stagings manage (in Dulcamara's patter song, for example), but has a certain small-town wistful charm nonetheless. The orchestral accompaniment under Donizetti expert Evelino Pidò is spot on, and never falls into the banal "oom-pah" trap that such simple writing can often lead to. Overall, it's a production of great charm. On the DVD: L'Elisir d'amore comes to disc with a 52-minute film on the history of the opera and its recording, with contributions from Alagna and Gheorghiu, and subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese. The Lyon opera house is particularly well set up for video recording, and Brian Large does a sophisticated job of capturing a live performance: it's hard to believe at some points that the cameras aren't actually on stage in the middle of the action. Just occasionally this leads to the singers not knowing where to look and seeming a trifle lost, but generally the performances work superbly well on the small screen. --Warwick Thomson

  • Bizet: Carmen -- film version [1984] Bizet: Carmen -- film version | DVD | (13/03/2000) from £12.60  |  Saving you £-10.00 (-50.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This movie version of Bizet's popular opera Carmen was filmed on location, conveying a kind of atmosphere, a sense of space, movement, and presence that's hard to achieve in a staged performance. It takes the action out of doors for many scenes, with the opening titles superimposed on the bloody conclusion of a bullfight. Elsewhere the changing of the guard, the crowd scenes, the dance number that opens Act 2, and the panoramic scenery of the smugglers' mountain hideout all benefit from the freedom granted by movie cameras. It's an exciting Carmen, too, with a young-looking Placido Domingo in top form for a role he has sung hundreds of times. For Julia Migenes, though, it was her first performance in a role she would have trouble performing in an opera house. Her voice does not fit easily into Carmen's range, and she spent months training it, very successfully, before singing the role in a recording studio where the soundtrack was taped before the film was shot. Casting her in the role was a gamble, but it worked; she is a convincing actress. Unlike most opera-house performances this movie version uses the opera's original opera comique form with some spoken dialogue rather than recitatives.--Joe McLellan, Amazon.com

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