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Opera

  • R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Royal Opera House/Solti [1985] R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Royal Opera House/Solti | DVD | (23/02/2004) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Strauss' dazzling opera Der Rosenkavalier set in 1740's Vienna combines farce romance and a world of weary acknowledgement of getting older. It features some of the most gorgeous music ever written for the female voice.

  • Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden [1983] Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden | DVD | (07/05/2007) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Verdi was almost eighty when he startled the musical world with his mastery of comic invention in his last opera Falstaff with its brilliant libretto by Arrigo Boito. The story is taken from Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Windsor although the central character is much closer to the Falstaff of Henry IV. The roguish Sir John embroils himself in numerous plots and dupes of love and marriage until eventually the Merry Wives get their revenge on him and all plans are thwarted. When Carlo Maria Giulini returned to conducting public performances of opera after an absence of fourteen years he chose this comic masterpiece for the occasion. The great lyric baritone Renato Bruson sings the title role. Katia Ricciarelli leads the trio of merry wives with Lucia Valentini-Terrani as Mistress Quickly and Brenda Boozer as Meg Page. Leo Nucci sings the role of Ford and the young lovers are here portrayed by Dalmacio Gonzalez and Barbara Hendricks. Stunning designs by Hayden Griffen and Michael Stennett provide the perfect setting for this witty interpretation of Shakespeare's masterpiece.

  • Giordano: Andrea Chenier - Royal Opera House/Rudel [1985] Giordano: Andrea Chenier - Royal Opera House/Rudel | DVD | (23/02/2004) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Giordano's Andrea Chenier is one of the greatest of verismo operas, full of heart-stopping big tunes and powerful emotional situations. If it is not as well-known as it should be, it is because in summary it sounds a little too like Puccini's Tosca: there is a tussle between political opponents over a woman, an attempt to save a condemned man, a tenor aria about writing poetry on the eve of execution. The difference is that Gerard (Giorgio Zancanaro) is not a villain like Scarpia, he is an idealist whom the French Revolution has betrayed as much as it has his rival the poet Chenier (Placido Domingo). His temptation to abuse his power to seduce the virtuous Maddalena (Anna Tomowa-Sintow) is a momentary one, though its consequences are terrible. There is a streak of post-Wagnerian decadence in much of this--Maddalena is at least as much in love with death as she is with Chenier, and the final love duet has a deeply sinister aspect. Domingo is at his best in this Covent Garden Opera House performance from 1985; at once ardent and serious-minded, we believe in his Chenier as a poet and political figure. Conductor Julius Rudel gives the rich score all the weight and lyricism it demands and the Covent Garden chorus is at its occasional best in the scenes of revolutionary excess. On the DVD: Andrea Chenier is presented a little disappointingly in NTSC format and 4:3 picture ratio. At least the sound is sumptuous Dolby Digital 5.0. Subtitles are in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. --Roz Kaveney

  • Verdi: Aida -- Metropolitan Opera Verdi: Aida -- Metropolitan Opera | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £10.14  |  Saving you £6.85 (40.30%)  |  RRP £16.99

    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.

  • Strauss: Arabella [1995] Strauss: Arabella | DVD | (16/04/2001) from £13.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Like most of his later operas, Richard Strauss' Arabella ends with a meltingly lovely duet. But then criticising Strauss for composing melodically enduring operas is as pointless as lambasting Vermeer for painting only exquisite interior scenes. Those who say Strauss never improved on Rosenkavalier may be right but when such beguiling sounds kept coming from his music for the next 30 years of his life, there shouldn't be any quibbles. Arabella is, in a nutshell, the story of a woman who cannot make up her mind about a suitor. Taped at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1994 under the baton of conductor Christian Thielemann, this production features Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role; her acting is mediocre but vocally she never forces anything and at least sounds like the perfect Arabella. Wolfgang Brendel does well with Mandryka, who finally ends up with Arabella and Marie McLaughlin makes a sympathetic younger sister to the heroine as Zdenka. Otto Schenk's production is sturdily conservative, the video transfer is acceptable if unspectacular and the sound mix is CD-quality. --Kevin Filipski, Amazon.com

  • 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 £10.75  |  Saving you £7.24 (40.20%)  |  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

  • Aria [DVD] [1987] Aria | DVD | (15/06/2009) from £7.75  |  Saving you £11.95 (59.80%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Conceived developed and produced by Don Boyd Aria is a completely unique film both structurally and also in the sheer scale of the production itself. Ten of the world's most creative and celebrated directors were each given the same brief; to choose a piece of opera music and then present a visual interpretation of that music. The result is by turns erotic violent funny and poignant. The stills photographers assigned to each were equally celebrated among them David Bailey Annie Leibovitz Lord Snowdon Terry O'Neill and John Swannell. The impressive cast list includes John Hurt Tilda Swinton Bridget Fonda and Elizabeth Hurley Teresa Russell. A remarkable collective achievement Aria is a cinematic experience like no other.

  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena [1983] Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena | DVD | (11/06/2001) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This traditional production of Puccini's enduringly popular opera Madama Butterfly should give much pleasure. It was recorded at the open-air theatre in Verona in 1983 with the local orchestra and chorus under the aptly named Maurizio Arena. The video direction is by an expert in the field, Brian Large, who brings home all the intimate moments of Puccini's drama from an open set that ascends and sprawls across rows of seating. His camera draws the viewer into scenes that the audience cannot witness at their distance--most movingly when Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki, gives up his attempt to read Pinkerton's letter to Butterfly saying he has no intention of seeing her again (set to that magical melody which will recur as the humming chorus). It's of little matter that there are no operatic stars in the cast for this ensemble consists of experienced singers who fill the night air with lungs to match Puccini's heaviest demands. The audience, many of them evidently on holiday, greet the show-stopping moments with waves of applause. Their enthusiasm may drown a few bars of orchestral continuity but the orchestra itself is always at the service of the singers on a soundtrack that captures the atmosphere of an open-air performance with astonishing verisimilitude. Butterfly, sung by the statuesque Raina Kabaivanska, may not see Cio-Cio San (to give "butterfly" her real name) 16 years again and some of her arm movements are overdone but her big number "Un bel di" and its reprise when she's holding her child by Pinkerton are touchingly conveyed. Neither does she overplay the final scene where she prepares to follow her father's example using the Mikado's dagger to commit suicide--a moment that sends a shiver down the spine in its economy. Nazzareno Antinori as her Pinkerton, with his matinée idol looks and resonant voice, complements her well; their singing of Puccini's spacious love duet at the close of Act One goes down a treat with the crowd. --Adrian Edwards

  • The Mikado The Mikado | DVD | (22/08/2011) from £11.65  |  Saving you £5.34 (31.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Based on the stage production by Anthony Besch.

  • Bizzy Bone - Ouija Board [2008] Bizzy Bone - Ouija Board | DVD | (07/07/2008) from £12.71  |  Saving you £0.28 (2.20%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Ouija Board gives you a glimpse into the life of Bizzy Bone from award winning rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. This DVD is a behind the scenes look at Bizzy in his rawest form. It also supplies the viewer with the full details on why Bizzy was kicked out of the group and how he feels about the groups gold selling success after his departure. This DVD features 10 unreleased music videos from his recently released album Ruthless. Ouija Board is a must have for any Bone Thugs-NHarmony fan.

  • Undercover Kids Undercover Kids | DVD | (07/04/2008) from £2.99  |  Saving you £-11.21 (-187.10%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Nicole and Nelson are not ordinary kids - they have psychic powers. With the help of the school boff George and his high-tech gadgets the twins embark on a mission to reveal who is vandalizing their school.

  • Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb | DVD | (14/07/2008) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb is a documentary film reviewing the music and career of Pink Floyd - a complete case study of the work of Pink Floyd on record film and in performance. Drawing on rare concert films and penetrating interviews with the critics this is the definitive exploration of the Pink Floyd phenomenon. This documentary film will fill in the missing piece for the serious music collectors and at the same time will delight casual music fans exploring Pink Floyd for the first time.

  • Nabucco - Verdi Nabucco - Verdi | DVD | (07/02/2005) from £13.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (17.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Verdi - Nabucco

  • The Ultimate Opera Collection The Ultimate Opera Collection | DVD | (14/05/2007) from £8.37  |  Saving you £11.62 (58.10%)  |  RRP £19.99

    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.

  • Relic Hunters Relic Hunters | DVD | (21/04/2008) from £21.98  |  Saving you £-16.99 (-340.50%)  |  RRP £4.99

  • Verdi: Aida -- San Francisco/Navarro [1981] Verdi: Aida -- San Francisco/Navarro | DVD | (11/05/1998) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This spectacular 1981 San Francisco production of Aida, directed by Sam Wanamaker, boasts production values more commonly associated with Hollywood to portray scenes from the time of the Pharaohs, notably a striking interior for the temple of Vulcan from where Radames is sent forth on his mission to conquer the invading Ethiopian army. With Margaret Price in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as Radames, there is much going for this version, both musically and visually. Price and Pavarotti are in superb voice throughout. Pavarotti sings his initial aria, "Celeste Aida", very much as a showpiece, ignoring Verdi's quadruple pianissimo ending for the very opposite, milking (dare one say it) the audience for a thunderous round of applause which he duly receives! Initial doubts about his commitment to the drama, however, are dispelled in Act 3 when he denies Amneris his hand and bids farewell to life entombed in the same temple from where he'd once been sent forth as conqueror. Margaret Price may not be a natural actress but her singing throughout, particularly in the concluding farewell with Pavarotti ("O terra, addio"), is very touching. Stefania Toczyska is a compelling Amneris and no more so than when she's offering Radames a lifeline at the start of the last act. With assured conducting from Garcia Navarro, this Aida is a very desirable acquisition. On the DVD Aida on disc has both subtitles and surtitles, depending on the picture image, in the main European languages. Brian Large's direction for video homes in on the salient points of the drama and also picks up on an uncomfortable looking extra or two in the "Grand March" where space on stage seems at a premium. The picture quality and sound are satisfactory.--Adrian Edwards

  • Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala [1982] Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £14.28  |  Saving you £3.71 (20.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The hugely successful production of Verdi's romantic drama Ernani features four legendary opera stars: Placido Damingo Mirella Freni Renato Bruson and Nicolai Ghiaurov all at the height of their powers. They were described in The Times review as 'possibly the best quartet of singers any opera house has managed to assemble this year'. They give an impassioned electric performance under the conductor Riccardo Muti an acclaimed Verdi interpreter. The producer Luca Ranconi has cre

  • La Fanciulla Del West - Puccini La Fanciulla Del West - Puccini | DVD | (15/08/2005) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Giacomo Puccini's 'La Fanciulla del West' a stage production by The Metropolitan Opera 1992.

  • Lehar - The Land Of Smiles Lehar - The Land Of Smiles | DVD | (01/01/2005) from £25.39  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Lehar: Das Land Des Lachelns (Bibl Habermann)

  • Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites | DVD | (29/09/2008) from £11.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (20.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

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