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Opera

  • Luciano Pavarotti - Donizetti - L'Elisir D'Amore Luciano Pavarotti - Donizetti - L'Elisir D'Amore | DVD | (26/02/2008) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Donizetti's L' Elisir D' Amore recorded live at the Metropolitan Opera, March 2nd, 1981.

  • 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.

  • Charlie and Lola - 2 Charlie and Lola - 2 | DVD | (15/05/2006) from £4.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (37.50%)  |  RRP £7.99

    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.

  • Ghost Club Ghost Club | DVD | (28/04/2008) from £2.95  |  Saving you £1.75 (29.20%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Ghost Club

  • Giacomo Puccini - La Boheme Giacomo Puccini - La Boheme | DVD | (20/11/2006) from £22.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (24.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Puccini: La Boheme (Cobos Madrid SO/Chorus Mula Machado)

  • Otello Otello | DVD | (11/04/2005) from £5.19  |  Saving you £10.80 (67.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    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

  • 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

  • Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path [2007] Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path | DVD | (17/12/2007) from £14.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Join Keith Hartnell as he explores the six stages of this beautiful coastal path exploring the many fascinating places of interest and meeting some of the characters that make this part of the North East so special. Stunning widescreen digital film makes this DVD the perfect souvenir for anybody interested in Northumberland. The Northumberland Coast is best known for its sweeping beaches rolling dunes high rocky cliffs and isolated islands. Amidst this striking landscape is the evidence of an area steeped in history covering 7000 years of human activity. A host of conservation sites including two National Nature Reserves testify to the great variety of wildlife and habitats also found on the coast. The special qualities of this coastal landscape led to it being designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

  • Madama Butterfly - Puccini [1974] Madama Butterfly - Puccini | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £14.41  |  Saving you £-0.42 (-3.00%)  |  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

  • Tosca - Puccini [1976] Tosca - Puccini | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Opera is an inherently theatrical medium that does not lend itself readily to the realism of film treatment. The shining exception is Puccini's Tosca, an action-packed melodrama that unfolds in three taut and gripping acts, like the meatiest of Hollywood films noir. And unlike most operas, these three acts are set in three very specific Roman locales. Thus this 1976 film takes place in the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle (Act 1), the Palazzo Farnese (Act 2) and the Castel Sant'Angelo (Act 3). The evocative settings, however, would be mere window-dressing if the cast wasn't just right; fortunately here Placido Domingo is at his virile peak in the heroic tenor role of Cavaradossi; Raina Kabaivanska is a sultry, vocally beautiful Tosca; while a more infamous and domineering Scarpia than that of Sherrill Milnes can hardly be imagined. Bruno Bartoletti and the New Philharmonia Orchestra give lustily dramatic support. Here the music and vocals are pre-recorded and the singers mime to the playback. Occasionally the result is a little unnatural, but overall the cast are good enough actors to bring off the conceit even in the close-ups. It all pays off triumphantly with the gripping realism of the rooftop finale, the one place where film can improve on stage. With the authenticity of the settings assured and such distinguished leads singing so well, this is an almost ideal filmed Tosca. On the DVD: Tosca on disc is presented in 4:3 ratio with a choice of Dolby 5.1 or LPCM Stereo. The picture is adequate but a little flat (possibly because the format is NTSC not PAL) and the same can be said for the sound, which does what it should but is never revelatory. Subtitles are provided in the main European languages and Chinese. --Mark Walker

  • Pirates Of Penzance - Gilbert And Sullivan [1982] Pirates Of Penzance - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (13/12/2004) from £7.92  |  Saving you £8.07 (50.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Having mistakenly been sent as an apprentice to pirates young Frederic is happy to leave his indentures on his 21st birthday. Falling in love with the beautiful Mabel one of the many daughters of Major-General Stanley he decides to marry. However the pirates are all to keen to marry the rest of Stanley's daughters! A spectacular interpretation of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic!

  • Monteverdi - Pierre Audi's Monteverdi Cycle Box Set Monteverdi - Pierre Audi's Monteverdi Cycle Box Set | DVD | (29/01/2007) from £22.96  |  Saving you £47.03 (67.20%)  |  RRP £69.99

    Opus Arte is proud to present Pierre Audi's profound and refined productions of Monteverdi's opera masterpieces from the Amsterdam Muziektheater as a complete 9.5 hours box set, which explores the depths of human emotions in compelling music drama. The brilliant cast of the beautifully styled, evocative L'Orfeo, under the sophisticated musical direction of Stephen Stubbs, includes John Mark Ainsley, Michael Chance and David Cordier. II ritorno d' Ulisse in patria features Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Graciela in patria features Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Graciela Araya, both commanding and very moving under Glen Wilson's transparent and inspired musical direction. In L'incoroazione di Poppea Christophe Roussel and the musicians of his Les Talens Lyriques lead an all-star cast, including Brigitte Balleys, Cynthia Haymon, Claron McFadden and Dominique Visse, together reaching great heights in a highly evocative production. As a bonus disc, this box set includes the previously unreleased II combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, starring Lorna Anderson and Maarten Koningsberger, with the ASKO Ensemble boldly led by David Porcelijn.Never before have these timeless Monteverdi masterworks been presented with such consistent and inspired vision, and the results is an astonishing theatrical experience. An essential for any serious opera collector's library!

  • Conspiracy Theories Conspiracy Theories | DVD | (25/06/2007) from £39.99  |  Saving you £-20.00 (-100.10%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Uncovering some of history's most intriguing mysteries

  • 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.

  • Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin -- film version/Solti [1988] Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin -- film version/Solti | DVD | (03/06/2002) from £6.99  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    It's a common complaint that opera singers can't act, and actors can't sing opera. In this handsome 1988 film of Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin, director Petr Weigl attempts to solve the problem by letting each group of performers do what they do best. Thus the music is a studio recording with some great voices in the principal roles, and the film is a lip-synched performance shot in stunning locations by a good-looking cast of players. On the positive side this means that the whole thing looks gorgeous, and sun-drenched dachas, glittering ballrooms and snowy steppes are all captured with painterly verve. The musical performances are also splendid, with Bernd Weikl making a passionate, tortured Onegin, Teresa Kubiak a honeyed, fresh-sounding Tatyana, and Solti conducting with driven intensity. But realism and opera rarely make happy bed-fellows, and the down-side of this film is that the naturalistic "speaking-style" lip-synching and understated acting are entirely at odds with the grand musical gestures, and occasionally give rise to a somewhat absurd alienation effect. Thus while Kubiak's voice is at full blast, Magdalena Vasaryova looks like she's making polite chit-chat at a cocktail party. But the project feels like a brave experiment, nonetheless, and if the whole isn't quite the sum of its different elements, those elements are still jolly good. On the DVD: Eugene Onegin on disc has excellent picture quality (which is fortunate in such a visually exquisite film), though the sound is a little distant and muffled. The film starts with the entry of the peasants in Act 1, but the DVD includes the Prologue and music before this point as an audio bonus. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and a series of trailers for other Decca DVDs. --Warwick Thompson

  • 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

  • Boris Godunov - Mussorgsky [1992] Boris Godunov - Mussorgsky | DVD | (05/08/2002) from £8.00  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    The legendary Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky helmed his one and only opera in 1983 with this famed production of Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov'. Staged at London's famed Royal Opera House the staging features Robert Lloyd giving a masterful performance in the title role. Conductor Valery Gergiev known primarily for his fine work leading St. Petersburg's Kirov Opera takes the baton.

  • Janacek: Kat'a Kabanova -- Glyndebourne [1988] Janacek: Kat'a Kabanova -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (26/01/2001) from £18.48  |  Saving you £6.51 (26.10%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Kát'a Kabanová, Janácek's 1921 tragedy, is proof if any were needed that tales of personal oppression and turmoil will always make fine raw material for opera composers. Janácek took Ostrovsky's tumultuous drama of infidelity , The Storm, and created a compelling piece in which his music heightens the relationship between the troubled landscape of Kát'a's inner mind and the elements doing battle outside. In 1988, this Glyndebourne Festival production successfully distilled the heroine's wretched journey from put-upon wife and daughter-in-law to suicide via the ecstasy of a forbidden love affair into 100 minutes of intensely emotional operatic drama. At its heart, Janácek's unique tonal score underlines a powerful, almost naturalistic dialogue and exposes the impact of Kát'a's experiences on her escalating self-destruction. Felicity Palmer's Kabanicha--the mother-in-law from hell and the real instrument of Kát'a's downfall--is curiously remote and muted rather than the domineering figure of fear that we might expect. But the singing, particularly by Nancy Gustafson (tremendously affecting and emotionally convincing in the title role) and Ryland Davies as Kát'a's weak husband Tichon, is outstanding. Gustafson's performance alone makes this essential viewing for anybody with a passion for the great modern soprano roles. On the DVD: Sadly the only additional features are trailers for Seven Gates of Jersualem and The Damnation of Faust. The sound quality (PCM stereo) is more than fair, but inevitably the film of the production is constrained by the design: the stylised set is either very light or very dark and we don't get as close as we'd like to the characters in what is, after all, a disturbingly intimate piece. Arthaus Musik's booklet meets the expected high standards of information and background. --Piers Ford

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1981] A Midsummer Night's Dream - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (02/08/2004) from £9.21  |  Saving you £8.78 (48.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Benjamin Britten's enchanting opera adapted from Shakespeare's most English play is just the thing for a summer evening at Glyndebourne. In Peter Hall's magical and highly-acclaimed production for Glyndebourne Festival Opera filmed in 1981 the wood literally comes alive a perfetc setting for the mystical world of lovers fairies and rustics. The gorgeous and imaginative sets costume and lighting designs are by John Bury. Ileana Cotrubas is a majestic Tytiana James Bowman is a

  • Great Puccini Love Scenes Great Puccini Love Scenes | DVD | (08/11/2004) from £9.88  |  Saving you £6.84 (38.00%)  |  RRP £17.99

    A feast of highlights from some of the world's favourite operas featuring great artists in some of their best roles. Placido Domingo features in four of the opera highlights: La Fanciulla del West Manon Lescaut Ernani and Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Other stars include Kiri Te Kanawa Carol Neblett Nicola Martinucci Eva Marton Giacomo Aragall Neil Shicoff Ileana Cotrubas Hermann Prey Mirella Freni among many others. These superb performances were filmed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden the Arena di Verona and La Scala Milan.

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