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Opera

  • Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (14/03/2008) from £23.57  |  Saving you £6.42 (21.40%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London on 10th 13th and 17th February 2006.

  • Madama Butterfly - Puccini [1974] Madama Butterfly - Puccini | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £14.08  |  Saving you £-1.05 (-7.50%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Of all Puccini's major operas, the intimate tragedy of Madama Butterfly is least in need of elaborate staging and might therefore benefit most from the close scrutiny of film. The story is domestic, the setting Spartan, the incidental characters kept to a minimum. This 1974 version, however, demonstrates that Butterfly still needs a healthy injection of proscenium arch melodrama. Director Jean-Pierre Ponelle's production strives for realism but remains unfortunately studio-bound, having neither the benefit of location filming nor the heightened reality of an opera stage. The exterior is a perpetually fog-shrouded heath of indeterminate locale; the interior is cramped and unadorned. The setting is just too prosaic to contain the epic emotions of grand opera. Thankfully, the cast is superb, headed by Placido Domingo's rakish Pinkerton and Mirella Freni's rubicund Butterfly. Their singing is incomparable, as is Herbert von Karajan's musical direction of the Vienna Phil. The singers mime to pre-recorded music, which is occasionally disconcerting since when film demands close-ups opera provides broad gestures. Musically, this Butterfly is impeccable. Visually it adds nothing that could not be seen to better effect in a stage version. On the DVD: Madama Butterfly is presented disappointingly on disc in a poor NTSC transfer full of distracting graininess that makes every scene, both inside and out, look like it takes place in an omnipresent drizzle. Sound is reasonable stereo and adequate 5.0 surround. There are subtitles in the major European languages as well as Chinese, and the booklet contains a background essay plus synopsis. --Mark Walker

  • Lucia Di Lammermoor Lucia Di Lammermoor | DVD | (20/08/2004) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Gaetano Donizrtti (1797-1848)Lucia Di LammermoorEnrico Robert FrontaliLucia Stefania BonfadelliEdgardo Marcelo AlvarezArturo Cristano OlivieriRainmondo Mirco PalazziAlisa Maria CastelliMnormanno Giovanni MainiRecorded live at the Teatro Carlo Felice Genova June 2003 Directed for TV and Video by Andrea Dorigo

  • Coppelia Coppelia | DVD | (03/04/2002) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  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.

  • Samson Et Dalila - Saint-Saens Samson Et Dalila - Saint-Saens | DVD | (09/08/2004) from £19.98  |  Saving you £-2.99 (-17.60%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A production of the Saint-Saens opera performed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Conducted by the esteemed James Levine.

  • 4 Collection: Chills 4 Collection: Chills | DVD | (05/11/2007) from £3.00  |  Saving you £3.07 (30.70%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Night Of The Living Dead:Special DVD release of George A. Romero's 1968 horror classic, with two versions on the same DVD disc - the original black and white version plus a colourised version. One quiet morning, Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and Johnny's (Russell Streiner) visit to their father's grave is interrupted when Johnny is killed by a flesh-eating stranger. Barbara escapes to a nearby farmhouse, meets up with a few other desperate individuals, and prepares to do battle with the zombies who ...

  • Wagner: Parsifal Wagner: Parsifal | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £18.07  |  Saving you £3.24 (14.70%)  |  RRP £21.99

    A performance of Wagner's opera 'Parsifal' featuring the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Conducted by James Levine. The action takes place in the Middle Ages. At the castle of Monsalvat cut off from the rest of the world the brotherhood of Grail Knights guards the chalice in which the blood of the crucified Saviour had once been caught. In an effort to seize possession of the Grail Klingsor a powerful magician has established his realm at the foot of the mountain peop

  • Orfeo Ed Euridice - Gluck Orfeo Ed Euridice - Gluck | DVD | (29/03/2005) from £20.15  |  Saving you £4.84 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Recorded Live At The Royal Opera House Covent Garden 1991.According to legend Orpheus' magical power as a musician enabled him to regain his wife from the dead on condition that he did not look at her on the journey back from Hades - a condition it proved impossible to fulfil. In Harry Kupfer's updated version Orfeo in leather jacket trainers and jeans sees his Euridice die in a street accident. Succumbing to depression he languishes in Hades - a psychiatric hospital - before taking his electric guitar to charm the bests in an inner-city concrete jungle. Hans Schavernoch has designed an ingenious set with projected imagery on revolving screens and mirrors.The German male alto Jochen Kowalski gives a virtuoso performance as the tormented Orfeo with the young British soprano Giliam Webster as Euridice.

  • Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner | DVD | (17/01/2005) from £18.07  |  Saving you £3.76 (17.10%)  |  RRP £21.99

    A performance of Wagner's opera 'Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg'.

  • 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 £11.09  |  Saving you £2.90 (20.70%)  |  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

  • Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart [1976] Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £18.07  |  Saving you £3.76 (17.10%)  |  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.

  • 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 £10.07  |  Saving you £7.80 (43.40%)  |  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

  • Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £43.00  |  Saving you £0.48 (1.00%)  |  RRP £45.99

    The James Levine cycle of Wagners Der Ring des Nibelungen is humane and emotionally powerful rather than monumental or spiritual; Levine is more interested in finding our sympathy for the characters than inspiring pity or terror. These are very traditional productions in which you see a rock where you need to see a rock, a dragon where the libretto says a dragon (the Metropolitan Opera has never been a place for experiment). What Levine and the Met can and do offer is excellent orchestral playing and some of the best singers in these roles in the world. Siegfried Jerusalem is boyish and naive and touching as Siegfried, and he is also surprisingly good as the detached mischievous Loge of Das Rheingold. James Morris is uniformly impressive as Wotan and makes the character evolve from the young ruthless god of the first opera to the tired old god of Siegfried, who seeks nothing more than his own necessary defeat and death. As Brunnhilde, Hildegard Behrens makes a convincing shift from goddess to woman, from callousness to tenderness and on to vindictiveness and self-sacrificing wisdom. Overall, this is an attractive Ring cycle, well-cast and beautifully played; others have greater strengths in some areas, but Levine is reliable across the board. On the DVD: Der Ring des Nibelungen has all four operas, which are also available individually, contained in a single box. All the DVDs come with a photo gallery of the Metropolitan Opera productions and with menus and subtitles in German, French, English, Spanish and Chinese. Its a little disappointing, though, that they are presented in American NTSC format, not European PAL, and the picture ratio is standard TV 4:3. On the plus side, they all have an excellent clear acoustic in the three audio options: PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. --Roz Kaveney

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli | DVD | (21/08/2000) from £11.09  |  Saving you £6.90 (38.40%)  |  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

  • Rameau - Les Boréades / Robert Carsen, La La La Human Steps, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie, Opéra National de Paris [2003] Rameau - Les Boréades / Robert Carsen, La La La Human Steps, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie, Opéra National de Paris | DVD | (20/06/2004) from £21.84  |  Saving you £8.15 (27.20%)  |  RRP £29.99

    A performance of the Rameau opera which follows the tale of Queen Alphise who is contemplating abdication rather that an arranged marriage.

  • La Scala Collection La Scala Collection | DVD | (02/05/2006) from £47.21  |  Saving you £12.78 (21.30%)  |  RRP £59.99

    Various Composers: La Scala Collection - 11 Operas

  • The Mikado The Mikado | DVD | (22/08/2011) from £11.75  |  Saving you £5.24 (30.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Based on the stage production by Anthony Besch.

  • Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (29/05/2006) from £12.25  |  Saving you £2.74 (18.30%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Gilvert And Sullivan: Patience (Stanhope Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra)

  • Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar [2004] Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar | DVD | (30/05/2005) from £20.15  |  Saving you £4.84 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

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

  • Prince Igor [1998] Prince Igor | DVD | (06/10/2003) from £18.75  |  Saving you £-3.76 (-25.10%)  |  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

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