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La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein - Offenbach | DVD | (09/01/2006)
from £11.29 | Saving you £4.70 (29.40%) | RRP
Recorded at the Theatre Du Chatelet in Paris.
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (25/10/1999)
from £11.25 | Saving you £6.60 (36.70%) | RRP
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
I Now Pronounce You Vince and Ralph | DVD | (31/12/2007)
from £4.50 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
I Now Pronounce You Ralph And Vince
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.
Pelleas Et Melisande | DVD | (23/09/2002)
from £12.99 | Saving you £-3.76 (-25.10%) | RRP
A performance of Debussy's beautiful opera recorded in France in 1987.
Verdi: Aida -- Metropolitan Opera | DVD | (20/11/2000)
from £14.46 | Saving you £1.50 (8.80%) | RRP
A star-studded production from New York's Metropolitan Opera with Aprile Millo and Placido Domingo in the lead roles supported by the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; conducted by James Levine. Please note: This is a NTSC disc please ensure the compatibility of your TV.
Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Zurich/Harnoncourt | DVD | (12/03/2002)
from £9.99 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
In this Zurich Opera House staging of Mozart’s darkly comic cautionary fable Don Giovanni the lighting and stage design keep the characters shaded in half-shadow: even Zerlina’s wedding feels like a subdued affair here, and the Don’s banqueting room is a suitably gloomy venue for the Stone Guest’s climactic visit for a spot of dinner and damnation. Both this staging and video director Brian Large’s filming play no tricks with the audience’s expectations, opting for a largely traditional presentation of this tragedy of swaggering bravado, cuckolded lovers and revenge from beyond the grave. Nikolaus Harnoncourt brings all the sensitivity of his historically informed approach to the orchestra pit. Heading a very strong cast are Rodney Gilfry, defiantly strong-voiced but also haughtily handsome as the seducing Don, and Cecilia Bartoli, a mercurial presence as Donna Elvira. Their scenes together crackle and fizz, even when Bartoli’s extremely ripe vibrato contrasts a little uncomfortably with Harnoncourt’s authenticity. Liliana Nikiteanu makes for a pretty, naïve Zerlina, convincingly torn between her Masetto (Oliver Widmer) and the animalistic attraction of the Don. Laszlo Polgar’s Leporello is wheedling and base, but still the inheritor of his master’s charisma; Isabel Rey and Roberto Sacca are solid as the colourless moralists Anna and Ottavio; while Matti Salminen’s powerful Commendatore isn’t expected to do anything more than stand still and declaim. Overall this is an excellent musical performance, unexceptionally staged. On the DVD: Don Giovanni on disc has a good 24-minute "Behind the Scenes" feature, including interviews with Cecilia Bartoli, Harnoncourt, Gilfry and Isabel Rey. There’s also a trailer for other ArtHaus releases. The 16:9 picture sometimes struggles to bring definition to the dimly lit sets; sound though is crisp and clean PCM stereo or Dolby 5.1. There are subtitles in five languages. --Mark Walker
Lehar - The Land Of Smiles | DVD | (01/01/2005)
from £18.77 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Lehar: Das Land Des Lachelns (Bibl Habermann)
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier -- Vienna/Kleiber | DVD | (03/09/2004)
from £9.99 | Saving you £-3.76 (-25.10%) | RRP
The epic grandeur of Der Rosenkavalier stems not just from its immense length (over three hours) but from the all-too-human complexity of its characters--each of whom is smitten with someone else--and the endless stream of graceful melodies the composer conjures. After the tonality-stretching dissonance of Salome and especially Elektra, Strauss moved onto a different musical path here: the music's sheer gorgeousness has given this most heartbreaking of 20th-century operas its pride of place in the repertory. For this 1994 performance at the Vienna Opera House, conductor Carlos Kleiber leads a committed reading of the buoyant score that savours every note. The three leads are superb singer-actresses who get full marks for embodying Strauss's most richly romantic creations: Felicity Lott (the Marschallin), Anne Sophie von Otter (Octavian) and Barbara Bonney (Sophie) also offer a truly entrancing final trio, one of the great scenes in all opera. The stereo sound mix is solid, as is the video transfer. --Kevin Filipski, Amazon.com
La Cenerentola | DVD | (30/01/2006)
from £25.45 | Saving you £4.54 (15.10%) | RRP
Vladimir Jurowski and Sir Peter Hall are re-united for a fresh and vibrant but timelessly elegant production of Rossinin's much-loved setting of the Cinderella story with a fine cast led by Ruxandra Donose in the title role. Filmed in June 2005 with high definition cameras and recorded in multi-track 5.1 surround sound
Le Corsaire | DVD | (21/06/2000)
from £19.79 | Saving you £5.20 (20.80%) | RRP
A story of love between a young girl sold by a slave trader and a pirate who is sentenced to death for stealing her away.
Bizet - Carmen (Levine, Metropolitan Opera) | DVD | (20/11/2000)
from £12.24 | Saving you £-1.50 (-10.70%) | RRP
George Bizet's opera 'Carmen' performed by the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Conducted by James Levine.
Otello - Verdi | DVD | (12/04/2004)
from £11.99 | Saving you £5.00 (29.40%) | RRP
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.
100 Premiership Goals - Vol. 1 | DVD | (26/11/2007)
from £1.63 | Saving you £2.36 (59.10%) | RRP
100 Premiership Goals 15th Anniversary Edition Vol 1
Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi | DVD | (12/01/2005)
from £3.19 | Saving you £11.80 (78.70%) | RRP
Verdi's opera based on Shakespeare's character Falstaff who attempts to woo two wealthy married women in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy....
Don Carlo - The Royal Opera | DVD | (24/10/2005)
from £14.33 | Saving you £3.66 (20.30%) | RRP
Set in France and Spain in the second half of the sixteenth century Don Carlo tells the story of the political and amorous rivalry between Philip II of Spain and his son Don Carlo. Luchino Visconti's magnificent and definitive Royal Opera production of Verdi's Don Carlo was first seen in 1958 and is seen here in a staging by Christopher Renshaw filmed in 1985. The Visconti sets recreate the forest of Fontainebleau the monastery of San Yuste and Don Carlo's dark underground prison with equal effectiveness. The superb cast is led by Ileana Cotrubas as a tender and touching Elisabetta the fine lyric tenor Luis Lima in the title role and the great baritone Giorgio Zancanaro as Rodrigo. The conductor is Bernard Haitink.
Masters of Cinema - Judex/Nuits Rouges | DVD | (25/08/2008)
from £7.69 | Saving you £17.30 (69.20%) | RRP
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.
Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart | DVD | (09/05/2005)
from £12.99 | Saving you £7.20 (32.70%) | RRP
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: The Mozart Glyndebourne Collection | DVD | (28/11/2005)
from £45.39 | Saving you £14.60 (24.30%) | RRP
Six Mozart features: 'Cosi Fan Tutte (1975)' 'Don Giovani (1977)' 'Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail (1980)' 'Idomeneo (1974)' 'Le Nozze Di Figaro (1973)' and 'Die Zauberflote (1978)'.
Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart | DVD | (06/03/2001)
from £14.95 | Saving you £4.84 (19.40%) | RRP
The point of a good production of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia is to have a Rosina and a Figaro who will knock your socks off in their respective arias, while holding back enough in all those crescendo ensembles in which the farce plot reaches its several culminations that the other stars get a chance to shine too. Cecilia Bartoli and Gino Quilico give full-blooded enough performances when on stage by themselves that self-effacement seems far from imminent, yet both are capable of less, and give it when it is needed. Of the others, David Kuebler is an attractively raffish Almaviva, while Robert Lloyd turns Basilio into a memorable cameo. Gabriele Ferro is one of the most intelligent of Rossini conductors--he understands the relationship between the pulse of the music and its dramatic function, and he is also outstanding in the delicacy of phrasing, even in climaxes, that ensures that every voice, every instrument, gets the moment of glory Rossini intended. Michael Hampe's solid reliable unfussy production keeps everything moving without drawing attention to itself. The DVD has subtitles in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, as well as trailers for other Arthaus Musik discs. --Roz Kaveney