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Opera

  • R. Strauss: Die Frau Ohne Schatten -- Salzburg Festival/Solti [1992] R. Strauss: Die Frau Ohne Schatten -- Salzburg Festival/Solti | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £18.65  |  Saving you £3.34 (15.20%)  |  RRP £21.99

    A performance of Richard Strauss' opera 'Die Frau Ohne Schatten' performed at the Salzburg Festival in 1992.

  • La Traviata - Verdi La Traviata - Verdi | DVD | (13/06/2005) from £18.51  |  Saving you £4.14 (16.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The famous performance of Verdi's romantic tragedy captures one of the most sensational debuts in operatic history. Singing Violetta for the first time was the young Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu whose remarkable interpretation reached the front pages of the world's press and led the BBC immediately to film the production. Equally notable was the masterly conducting of Sir Georg Solti and director Richard Eyre's stylish staging. This DVD and highlights CD present the definitive record of a momentous occasion.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1981] A Midsummer Night's Dream - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (02/08/2004) from £9.93  |  Saving you £8.06 (44.80%)  |  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

  • Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) [1999] Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) | DVD | (05/11/2007) from £2.93  |  Saving you £10.06 (77.40%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Monumental production on the biggest open air stage in Europe July 1999. Stars MAxim Mihailove the Junge Bundeslander Philharmonic and Stagione d'Opera Italiana.

  • Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner | DVD | (17/01/2005) from £14.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (31.80%)  |  RRP £21.99

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

  • Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Royal Opera House [1977] Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (16/01/2001) from £13.90  |  Saving you £11.09 (44.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Originally broadcast live by the BBC from the Royal Opera House on New Year's Eve 1990, this production of Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss' masterpiece of comic operetta, was a truly historic occasion, marking the retirement from the stage of one of the greatest sopranos of the 20th century, Dame Joan Sutherland. Sung in English, in a version by John Mortimer, conducted by Sutherland's husband Richard Bonynge and directed for television by Humphrey Burton, this is an exceptional translation from stage to screen. The story, an elaborate farce with elements of satirical comedy set around a lavish masked ball in 19th-century Vienna comes to life through outstanding performances by a large, vivacious cast, including Judith Howarth, Nancy Gustason and Jochen Kowalski as Prince Orlofsky. Gorgeously designed, wonderfully costumed and enthusiastically played as it is, attention inevitably centres on the "special recital" by the "surprise guests": Sutherland herself, Marilyn Horne and Luciano Pavarotti. No finer, more exhilarating and touching a farewell could have been imagined. After the curtain there is a short, on-stage tribute to Sutherland by Jeremy Isaacs, bringing to a close a glorious, unforgettable evening of music-making for which the word "glittering" might have been invented. --Gary S. Dalkin On the DVD: By presenting the production on two discs the picture quality is maximised, and, by the standards of live-filmed opera, is very good indeed. The discs are presented with PCM stereo sound and a 4:3 TV ratio image. There are options for French and German subtitles, but unless trailers for two further Arthaus DVDs count, there are no extras. The booklet is well documented, though lacking the libretto. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Lehar - The Land Of Smiles Lehar - The Land Of Smiles | DVD | (01/01/2005) from £31.64  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Lehar: Das Land Des Lachelns (Bibl Habermann)

  • Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Glyndebourne [1982] Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (26/04/2004) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Funny fast and furious Rossini's masterpiece Il Barbiere di Siviglia is one of the most popular of comic operas with its sparkling and stylish score. John Cox's innovative production for Glyndebourne Festival Opera with good looking authentic designs by William Dudley put plenty of fizz into this old favourite and was a real hit with the critics. The usual Glyndebourne hallmarks of team work and extended rehersal paid handsome dividends in this production filmed in 1982.

  • Verdi: Simon Boccanegra -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine Verdi: Simon Boccanegra -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £15.99  |  Saving you £1.00 (5.90%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of the Verdi opera 'Simon Boccanegra'. Conducted by James Levine.

  • Previn: A Streetcar Named Desire [1998] Previn: A Streetcar Named Desire | DVD | (28/02/2001) from £18.99  |  Saving you £3.74 (15.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    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

  • Prince Igor [1998] Prince Igor | DVD | (06/10/2003) from £18.65  |  Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%)  |  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

  • Verdi: Otello -- La Scala/Muti [2001] Verdi: Otello -- La Scala/Muti | DVD | (19/09/2003) from £21.55  |  Saving you £3.44 (13.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Riccardi Muti conducts a performance of Otello at the La Scala Theatre before the start of a three year renovation project.

  • 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

  • Gounod: Romeo et Juliette [1995] Gounod: Romeo et Juliette | DVD | (19/11/2001) from £22.93  |  Saving you £12.06 (34.50%)  |  RRP £34.99

    A performance of Gounod's opera 'Romeo Et Juliette' in five acts recorded live at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

  • Ballet Class - Intermediate And Advanced With David Howard [1986] Ballet Class - Intermediate And Advanced With David Howard | DVD | (07/07/2008) from £12.95  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £16.99

  • Wagner: Die Walkure -- Metropolitan/Levine Wagner: Die Walkure -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £18.73  |  Saving you £3.26 (14.80%)  |  RRP £21.99

    The 1990 Metropolitan Opera performance of Die Walkure ("The Valkyrie") with James Levine conducting is a solid, four-square performance with few frills and no gimmicks, just extraordinarily fine singing and orchestral playing. There is no point in this where you find yourself asking why the director did something: this is the sort of production which could be criticised as unimaginative but defended as serving Wagner's intentions for this instalment of his Ring cycle. Levine and his orchestra give the music an emotional intensity that never overwhelms its grandeur, though perhaps in Wotan's farewell to Brunnhilde, we feel him more as father than as god. James Morris as Wotan has real stature, making us feel that he has finally created the free agents he needs to avoid the curse he has unleashed on the world, but he has broken his heart in the process. Jessye Norman is surprisingly good and erotically self-assured as Sieglinde; the Act 1 love duet with Gary Lake as Siegmund has an ardour that makes the incestuous aspect less a matter of perversity than of the conduct of heroes. Kurt Moll makes Sieglinde's rapist and husband Hunding, a three-dimensional sinister villain; and Christa Ludwig almost manages to sell us Fricka's interminable paean to family values. The most impressive performance here, though, is Hildegard Behrens as Brunnhilde, the steely godling who sacrifices everything because she learns to feel and to know what is right. On the DVD Die Walkure on disc comes with menus and subtitles in German, French, English, Spanish and Chinese and with a picture gallery of the production. Awkwardly it is presented in (American) NTSC format not PAL, with a visual aspect of standard TV 4:3. More impressive is the choice of PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 6.1; the sound is admirably clear and well-balanced. --Roz Kaveney

  • Samson Et Dalila - Saint-Saens Samson Et Dalila - Saint-Saens | DVD | (09/08/2004) from £16.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

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

  • The Complete Drawing Course for Beginners - Part 1 The Complete Drawing Course for Beginners - Part 1 | DVD | (07/04/2008) from £4.79  |  Saving you £-0.80 (-20.10%)  |  RRP £3.99

    PART 1 - PERSPECTIVE You will be surprised at how much you learn in the very first exercise about perspective. Almost as soon as you switch your video on, you will be able to draw three-dimensions on a two dimensional surface. You will learn the principles of eye level and vanishing points, and you will soon be able to draw streets and objects, including those with elipses such as a wine glass. Be amazed as you watch your drawings come to life!

  • Samson Et Dalila - The Royal Opera Samson Et Dalila - The Royal Opera | DVD | (27/02/2006) from £10.69  |  Saving you £7.30 (40.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Jon Vickers plays Samson while Shirley Verrett plays Dalila in this production of the classic tale which was performed at the Royal Opera House. The dramatic story based on Chapter 16 of the Book of Judges lends itself to spectacular presentation not least in the final scene as the blinded Samson summons all his strength to bring down the pillars of the temple. The opera also features a magnificent and voluptuous score.

  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Venice [1992] Verdi: La Traviata -- Venice | DVD | (10/04/2000) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This performance of Verdi's La Traviata comes from the Gran Teatro La Fenice, Venice in 1992. The intimacy and social realism of the story make it one of the most dramatically successful of all operas, while the score contains some of the finest music of the 19th century. Despite the strong production values and well-staged party scenes, any production of La Traviata stands or falls on the performers in the vital roles of the lovers Violetta and Alfredo, and that of Alfredo's father, Giorgio. Here Giorgio Zancanaro is suitably decent and morally serious as Giorgio, and Neil Shicoff makes a strong impression as an ordinary man suddenly overwhelmed by love. The drawback is that--and there is no polite way to say this--Edita Gruberova is not only too old to play the sparkling young society girl, Violetta, but she is a much better singer than she is an actress. She comes into her own in the tragic last act, but is otherwise awkward and uncomfortable when the part requires her to demonstrate confidence and sensuality. This remains a production with considerable merits, but overall a more dramatically, not to say visually, compelling version is that originally broadcast world-wide live from Paris in 2000 starring Eteri Gvazava and José Cura.On the DVD: The production is presented at 4:3 with above average picture quality for a live opera DVD, and with excellent PCM stereo sound. The disc and booklet both offer a synopsis, but other than the option to watch with or without subtitles there are no special features. --Gary S. Dalkin

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