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Verdi - Aida | DVD | (10/09/2007)
from £16.97 | Saving you £-1.98 (-13.20%) | RRP
Les Troyens - Berlioz/The Met/James Levine | DVD | (16/07/2007)
from £14.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
Filmed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1983 Berlioz's masterpiece Les Troyens is a tragic tale of love and fate based on Virgil's Aeneid. Under the baton of James Levine Jessye Norman is stunning in the part of Cassandra and Pl''cido Domingo makes for a strong compelling Aeneas. This benchmark performance was hailed by both critics and audiences and performed to greatest critical acclaim. Norman's role debut as Cassandra emerged as one her most significant and compelling performances and this DVD is also a stand-out release among Domingo's extensive filmography.
Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (14/03/2005)
from £9.75 | Saving you £7.00 (31.80%) | RRP
The Opera Don Giovanni drama in two acts.
The Ultimate Opera Collection | DVD | (14/05/2007)
from £8.72 | Saving you £11.27 (56.40%) | RRP
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.
Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione di Poppea | DVD | (04/12/2000)
from £21.39 | Saving you £3.60 (14.40%) | RRP
Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea (1642) marks one of the very foundations of opera. Revolving around real historical characters, the Roman emperor Nero, his love for Poppea, the betrayal of the empress Octavia, and death of the philosopher Seneca, Monteverdi pits human love, ambition and intrigue against the fates. The set, a symbolic part-globe, and the costumes drawn from various ages suggest--very much in the way of the surreal film of Shakespeare's Titus (1999)--that the concerns of ancient Rome are timeless. With the emphasis on the text (the music alone does not hold the attention for 150 minutes) conductor Jacobs depends upon an excellent cast to bring the production alive. Patricia Schumann dominates the stage, her Poppea is warm, sensual and likeable, without being entirely trustworthy, an effective counterpart to Richard Croft's Nero. Darla Brooks brings just the right degree of vivacious gullibility to Drusilla, while Curtis Ryam offers eccentric comedy as Arnalta. As Ottone Jeffrey Gall is a man acutely tormented by love. Recorded at the 1993 Schwetzinger Festspiele, there is no sign of an audience, the many close-ups suggesting this performance was specially given for video. On the DVD: There are subtitle options for English, French and German, but no special features. The booklet is well documented but does not contain the libretto. The sound is good PCM stereo while the 4:3 image (not 16:9 as stated on the packaging) is better than video but otherwise unremarkable. --Gary S. Dalkin
Otello | DVD | (11/04/2005)
from £5.99 | Saving you £9.20 (57.50%) | 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
Verdi: Il Trovatore | DVD | (20/11/2000)
from £14.67 | Saving you £1.60 (9.40%) | RRP
A performance of Verdi's opera 'Il Trovatore' by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus; conducted by James Levine. Singers include: Eva Marton Luciano Pavarotti Sherril Milnes and Dolora Zajick; directed by Brian Large.
Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (14/03/2008)
from £22.59 | Saving you £7.40 (24.70%) | RRP
Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London on 10th 13th and 17th February 2006.
4 Decades | DVD | (21/04/2008)
from £3.48 | Saving you £-6.97 (-139.70%) | RRP
King Arthur - Purcell | DVD | (29/08/2005)
from £6.43 | Saving you £18.02 (51.50%) | RRP
A dramatic opera in five acts.A performance from the Salzburger Festspiele recorded live at the Felsenreitschule 24-28 July 2004.
Previn: A Streetcar Named Desire | DVD | (28/02/2001)
from £11.20 | Saving you £3.74 (15.00%) | RRP
André Previn's first opera, A Streetcar Named Desire, is an intelligent adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play, written to be performed by two very strong principals. Renée Fleming's performance as Blanche Dubois is one of the best things she has done, full of a dangerous bravado and a vulnerability that wins us despite our irritation. The role is one which gives her voice ample opportunity both for extended displays of controlled, passionate singing and for those moments when singing by itself is enough and the voice has to break off in sorrow or madness. Rodney Gilfrey as Stanley Kowalski is equally fine--his voice has the right dangerous energy. In the important subsidiary roles of Stella and Mitch, Elizabeth Futral and Anthony Dean Griffey are also remarkable. Futral in particular gives a total performance in which we forget to make a distinction between her acting and her singing. The opera itself is, as you would expect, one of the most accessible new scores to arrive on the opera stage for some years, drawing heavily on the legacy of jazz and with that nervous musical intensity we associate with the play. Previn conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra effectively. A complete CD recording with the same cast is also available.On the DVD: The DVD comes with menus in English, French, German and Spanish and sub-titles in French and German. It is presented in 4:3 ratio and with PCM stereo sound. The booklet gives a moderately interesting account of the opera's genesis. --Roz Kaveney
Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) | DVD | (24/03/2003)
from £14.22 | Saving you £2.77 (16.30%) | RRP
In terms of vocal power, lyrical beauty and idiomatic authenticity, the casting for this 1992 live recording of the Kirov production of Pique Dame ("The Queen of Spades") could hardly be bettered. Gegam Grigorian (Herman) hits his fearsome, anguished high notes with the accuracy of a laser and Maria Gulegina (Liza) has a voice the size of the QEII but uses it with great subtlety--her opening duet with Pauline floats like gossamer, and her declarations of love for Herman at the end of Act 1 are spine-tingling. Kirov superstars Sergei Leiferkus (Tomsky) and rich-toned Olga Borodina (Pauline) also sound divine. In the pit Valery Gergiev renders every nuance of Tchaikovsky's score with clarity, and drives the strings to produce an almost unbearably tense atmosphere of foreboding; Herman's manslaughter of the Countess is preceded by shallow, haunted phrases which rise and fall like a beating heart. It isn't all rosy, however. The production comes from the traditional old Kirov "stand-and-sing" tradition and is somewhat static. The characters don't interact with much detail or generate much chemistry, and the chorus moves in unwieldy blocks. For a more gripping production (though not quite as well sung) try the Glyndebourne performance. But for sheer musical pleasure, you won't find anything to beat this. On the DVD: Pique Dame doesn't feature particularly inventive camerawork, though it does give a good solid account of the production. The sound recording captures all the most important moments with clarity, though just occasionally singers stray away from the microphones. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and some trailers for other Universal Music DVDs. --Warwick Thomson
La Scala Collection | DVD | (02/05/2006)
from £46.89 | Saving you £13.10 (21.80%) | RRP
Various Composers: La Scala Collection - 11 Operas
Prokofiev: The Love for Three Oranges (L'Amour des Trois Oranges) | DVD | (12/03/2002)
from £8.03 | Saving you £16.51 (66.10%) | RRP
The production of this DVD - which involved top-ranking artists to direct perform and provide the musical accompaniment - was recorded in 1989 at the Opera National de Lyon. The outstanding quality of the production is evidenced not least by the recording made as part of the series of live performances and rated by Gramophone magazine as record of the year in 1990. Directed by Louis Erlo (assisted by Alain Maratrat and with set design by Jacques Rapp and costumes by Ferdinando Bruni) the wit and speed of the opera come across strongly in the transfer of the medium of DVD (video direction by Jean-Francois Jung). Kent Nagano directs the performance led by Gabriel Bacquier (the King of Clubs) Jean-Luc Viala (the Prince) Georges Gautier (Truffaldino) Catherine Dubosc (Ninetta) and a host of other outstanding artists.
Carmen | DVD | (23/04/2012)
from £9.79 | Saving you £3.20 (24.60%) | RRP
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...
Berg: Lulu - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (23/02/2004)
from £10.59 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
Alban Berg's second and last opera Lulu is one of the monuments of modernism, constructed around serial technique and containing scenes conceived of as Sonata-form, Suite and so on. The bliss of Andrew Davis's conducting in this classic Glyndebourne production is that we forget all of this--Davis doesn't gloss over the music's intellectual content, but that's not what we think about as we watch and listen. Part of the production's strength is the prodigious performance by Christine Schafer as Lulu--for once we believe in the character's sexual energy and power; and Schafer makes her real enough as a person that we largely forget the work's intrinsic misogyny. The rest of the cast are admirable too: Norman Bailey brings something perversely sweet to the disreputable painter Schigolch; Kathryn Harries makes the dying words of Lulu's lesbian lover Geschwitz one of the work's lyric high points; David Kuebler is equally powerful as Alwa. The final duet between Lulu and her destroyer Jack the Ripper is one of Wolfgang Schone's great moments, but he is equally good as Dr Schon, the man Lulu marries and kills. This is a performance of energy and beauty, matched by a simple but effective production. On the DVD Lulu on disc is presented in disappointingly in NTSC format with a 4:3 picture ratio. Fortunately, the Dolby 2.0 digital sound is ideal for the fine detail of this complex score and these nuanced performances. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. --Roz Kaveney
Charlie and Lola - 2 | DVD | (15/05/2006)
from £4.74 | 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.
Die Fledermaus | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £10.59 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | 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
Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003)
from £18.65 | Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%) | RRP
A performance of Glinka's opera 'Ruslan And Lyudmila'.
Handel: Julius Caesar -- ENO | DVD | (21/06/2002)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Dame Janet Baker in one of her greatest roles leads a cast of some of Britain's finest interpreters of baroque opera under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras. John Copley's acclaimed English National Opera production was restaged in studio skilfully using all the technical advantages offered to create this top quality recording.