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Opera

  • Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg [1993] Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg | DVD | (24/11/2000) from £15.99  |  Saving you £5.60 (18.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    This glorious 1995 production of Wagner's festival opera highlights the central debate about the artist, his inspiration and the academic rules that have to be worked with, or around, by setting it not in the Middle Ages so much as in a high-Victorian world of frock coats and cravats. Wolfgang Brendel's impressive performance as Hans Sachs has both the authority of the great poet trying to make everyone understand the virtues of good sense and a middle way, as well as the emotional appeal of a man whose decision to make Eva's choice between him and Walther is for once a real struggle: Brendel plays him as a man young enough to be a credible rival to the young minstrel-knight. Gosta Windbergh in turn brings real passion not only to the "Prize Song" itself but to the whole opera, not least to the aristocratic/bohemian distrust of the bourgeois world of the master singer for which Sachs ends up rebuking him. Schulte's performance as Beckmesser conveys the meanness and pettiness without buying wholly into the viciousness with which Wagner humiliates his comic villain and through him all of his own enemies. Conductor de Burgos manages to keep the massive scale of this longest of comic operas human and humane--this never becomes a sinisterly intense or vast performance. --Roz KaveneyOn the DVD: This two-disc set comes equipped with scene selection and subtitles in German, French and English, as well as menus in those languages and Spanish. --Roz Kaveney

  • Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Royal Opera House/Davis [2003] Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Royal Opera House/Davis | DVD | (22/08/2003) from £19.79  |  Saving you £5.20 (20.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A performance of the David McVicar production of Mozart's last opera. Colin Davis conducts the Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Recorded at Covent Garden.

  • Otello - Verdi Otello - Verdi | DVD | (12/04/2004) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Filmed at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1995 this rendition of Verdi's 'Otello' is beautifully crafted by leading stars Placido Domingo and Renee Fleming. This was the first major success for Fleming at the Met and as this release illustrates she tackled the character of Desdemona wonderfully.

  • Die Zauberflote - Mozart Die Zauberflote - Mozart | DVD | (29/08/2005) from £26.21  |  Saving you £3.78 (12.60%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's expert direction of this Mozart masterpiece from the 1982 Salzburg Festival provides a feast of colour drama and wit featuring the supreme talents of Edita Gruberova Ileana Cotrubas and Peter Schreier with James Levine at the podium.This production of Mozart's Magic Flute from the Salzburg Festival received enormous and unanimous approval when it was premiered in Salzburg on July 29 1978. Endless applause on the night and an unusual state of accord from the international press quickly gave this staging legendary status with each soloist receiving individual acclaim.Recorded live at the Felsenreitschule Salzberg 21 August 1982.

  • Peter Grimes - Benjamin Britten [1994] Peter Grimes - Benjamin Britten | DVD | (25/03/2003) from £17.83  |  Saving you £7.16 (28.70%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Benjamin Britten's dour masterpiece Peter Grimes has been well-served in video recordings, yet this stark, intense production may become the top choice for most viewers. One of its major attractions is outstanding camerawork, under the direction of Barrie Gavin, powerfully reinforcing the shifting moods created by the music. The photography is notable in frequent close-ups, particularly those that focus on the ravaged, vulnerable and intensely expressive face of Philip Langridge in the title role. His interpretation is strikingly different from that of his chief video rival, Jon Vickers, who presents a more burly characterisation. The ambiguities in the role of Grimes make it possible to emphasise either strength or vulnerability in this story of an alienated fisherman, who stands virtually alone against a small (and small-minded society), vast forces of nature and a run of bad luck. His young apprentice has died (possibly because of his neglect or brutality); he is legally acquitted but found guilty by his neighbours and forbidden to take another boy as apprentice. He ignores that warning, the second boy dies accidentally, and he commits suicide under intense public pressure. Langridge gives a striking account of the role's psychological depth and complexity, aided by a well-chosen and directed cast. James Atherton conducts expertly. The chorus and orchestra are first-class, and the famous sea interludes, which have found a secure place in the concert repertoire, are visually enhanced by views of the ocean and shoreline. --Joe McLellan

  • Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart [1976] Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £14.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (31.80%)  |  RRP £21.99

    This luxuriously cast film of Mozart's beloved opera buffa features a host of legendary interpretations including Kiri Te Kanawa's exquisite Countess Almaviva Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as her philandering husband Hermann Prey as the wily title character Mirella Freni a delight as his no less savvy bride Susanna and Maria Ewing hilarious as the lovesick page Cherubino. Director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's imaginative camera-work tellingly emphasizes character and mood of this immortal story of love intrigue and class struggle set against the historical background of ancien regime Europe sliding inexorably towards revolution.

  • Verdi - Aida, Live 1961 (Tucci, Delmonaco, Nhk) Verdi - Aida, Live 1961 (Tucci, Delmonaco, Nhk) | DVD | (02/08/2007) from £27.19  |  Saving you £0.80 (2.90%)  |  RRP £27.99

  • Nabucco - Arena Di Verona [1981] Nabucco - Arena Di Verona | DVD | (25/07/2005) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Nabucco was Verdi's first real success and its nationalistic theme of yearning for freedom made it highly popular in an Italy of 1842 under Austrian rule. The great chorus of the exiled Hebrews 'Va pensiero' has become one of the best-loved of operatic melodies and made Verdi the voice of the Italian people. This performance was recorded in Verona in 1981 where the huge open-air Roman Arena provides a magnificent setting for this vast and spectacular opera. The great baritone Renat

  • Les Contes D'Hoffmann [2002] Les Contes D'Hoffmann | DVD | (31/05/2004) from £14.99  |  Saving you £5.84 (19.50%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Hoffmann a poet and composer is in love with the prima donna Stella. As the opera begins she is appearing in her most famous role: Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Hoffmann's Muse declares that she will win back the artist and protect him from any further amorous obsessions. In order to do so she will assume the identity of Hoffmann's friend Nicklausse.Councillor Lindorf also desires the diva Stella and he bribes her servant Andres into giving him a letter addressed to Hoffmann which contains the key to her dressing room. As the curtain falls on Act I of Don Giovanni Luther and his waiters hurriedly prepare for the arrival of Hoffmann and his friends.Hoffmann is in an agitated state of mind but is soon persuaded to sing the ballad of Kleinzack. While doing so he is distracted and recalls his first love. His friends bring him back to reality and he finishes the song. Suddenly Hoffmann sees Lindorf and a heated argument develops between them. Hoffmann reveals that Lindorf has always brought him bad luck. When three of the poet's friends boast about their mistresses Hoffmann declares that Stella embodies three types of woman: the young girl the artist and the courtesan. Hoffman asks his friends if they would like to hear about three of his past loves. Despite Luther's warning that the curtain is about to rise on Act II of Don Giovanni the crowd fill their glasses and prepare to listen to Hoffmann's tales.

  • Mitridate Re Di Ponto - Mozart [1986] Mitridate Re Di Ponto - Mozart | DVD | (31/01/2005) from £21.19  |  Saving you £3.80 (15.20%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A performance of 'Mitridate' composed when Mozart was just fourteen. Theodore Guschlbauer conducts the Lyon Opera Orchestra recorded live at the Lyon National Opera in 1986.

  • Moise Et Pharaon - Rossini [2003] Moise Et Pharaon - Rossini | DVD | (31/10/2005) from £26.21  |  Saving you £3.78 (12.60%)  |  RRP £29.99

    The Rossini opera performed at the La Scala in Milan which tells the story of Moses and Egypt. Riccardi Muti conducts.

  • Mister Johnson Mister Johnson | DVD | (05/06/2008) from £6.15  |  Saving you £-2.16 (-54.10%)  |  RRP £3.99

    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.

  • 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 £8.43  |  Saving you £2.00 (14.30%)  |  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

  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001) from £9.56  |  Saving you £4.43 (31.70%)  |  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

  • Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (29/05/2006) from £11.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (20.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Gilvert And Sullivan: Patience (Stanhope Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra)

  • Stravinsky - The Rake's Progress [2007] Stravinsky - The Rake's Progress | DVD | (31/12/2007) from £5.49  |  Saving you £24.50 (81.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Stravinsky's masterwork The Rake's Progress, created for La Fenice in Venice in 1951, is based on a libretto by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman, inspired by a series of 18th-century prints by William Hogarth. This amazing production from La Monnaie - De Munt 'jazzifies' the setting by replacing Hogarth's sin city, London, with 1950s Las Vegas, turning it into a glittering, cinematic gallery of tableaux vivants inspired by the early days of television. Staged by one of the most visionary theatre directors of our age, the Quebecois Robert Lepage, the neo-classical morality tale truly becomes a grand spectacle. Lepage's visual imagination works its magic superbly, while Kazushi Ono's energetic musical direction drives the sparkling ensemble to exhilarating heights. Recorded in High Definition and true surround sound.

  • Masters of Cinema - Judex/Nuits Rouges Masters of Cinema - Judex/Nuits Rouges | DVD | (25/08/2008) from £10.72  |  Saving you £14.27 (57.10%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Judex (1963): The magical rarely seen Judex directed by the great Georges Franju (Eyes Without a Face) was largely unappreciated at the time of its release in 1963. This lyrical and dreamlike picture a putative remake of Louis Feuillade's own 1916 Judex is as evocative of the silent master's own works as it is the later films of Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali. A French reviewer wrote in 1963: The whole of Judex reminds us that film is a privileged medium for the expression of poetic magic. Starring the magician Channing Pollock the divine Edith Scob and the mesmerising Francine Berg'' Judex concerns a wicked banker his helpless daughter and a mysterious avenger. It plays like a fairy tale one in which Franju creates a dazzling clash between good and evil eschewing interest in the psychological aspects of his characters for unexplained twists and turns in the action. The beautifully controlled imagery superbly rendered by Marcel Fradetal's black-against-white photography animates a natural world and the spirits of animals all at war with a host of diabolical forces. Franju's Judex and Nuits Rouges both paid overt homage to the surreal silent serial-works of Feuillade. Scripted in collaboration with Feuillade's grandson Jacques Champreux these films evince the same poetic magic that made the art of that earlier master a cause c''l''bre not only for the Surrealist movement but also for the world renowned Cin''math''que Fran''aise. It was the Cin''math''que (co-founded by the legendary Henri Langlois with Franju) that helped resurrect the reputation of Feuillade decades after he'd slipped out of the public consciousness. Nuits Rouges (1973): Nuits Rouges [Red Nights] released in the UK as Shadowman was the second Franju Champreux meditation upon the films of Feuillade. It aggressively escalates a pulp atmosphere steeped in shocking turns of events to an even more vertiginous level. Here the object of pursuit is the fabled treasure of the mythical order of the Knights Templar which the filmmakers use as the jump-off point for staging a series of fantastic set-pieces. As the Fant''mas-esque arch-criminal (known only as The Man Without a Face played by Jacques Champreux himself) violently pursues the treasure the action intensifies amongst a cadre of post '68 bohemians the Paris police bureau and a cult of cowled conspirators. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Georges Franju's two most mindbending films on DVD in the UK for the first time.

  • The Opera Gala - Live From Baden-Baden The Opera Gala - Live From Baden-Baden | DVD | (22/10/2007) from £14.22  |  Saving you £2.77 (16.30%)  |  RRP £16.99

    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!

  • La Boheme [1993] La Boheme | DVD | (17/04/2003) from £17.83  |  Saving you £7.16 (28.70%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Recorded live at the Sydney Opera house this Australian Opera Production of Puccini's masterpiece was staged by the makers of the film 'Strictly Ballroom' with music under the direction of Julian Smith.

  • Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti In Concert - Modena Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti In Concert - Modena | DVD | (19/11/2007) from £2.00  |  Saving you £1.70 (34.10%)  |  RRP £4.99

    A rare and intimate evening with Pavarotti live in Modena.

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