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Opera

  • Fedora - Giordano [1997] Fedora - Giordano | DVD | (13/09/2004) from £14.08  |  Saving you £0.30 (1.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Italian composer Umberto Giordano's opera 'Fedora' has all of the qualities of a thrilling murder mystery. On this Bel Canto Society release of an impassioned 1998 performance soprano Mirella Freni lends her remarkable voice to the title role and tenor Sergei Larin provides powerful support.

  • Macbeth [2001] Macbeth | DVD | (31/10/2005) from £24.14  |  Saving you £5.85 (19.50%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Opera in four acts. Recorded live from the Zurich Opera House... Prelude ACT 1 Witches “Che faceste? Dite su!” Macbeth Banquo Witches “Giorno non vidi mai” Witches “S’allontanarono!” Lady Macbeth Servant “Nel d della vittoria io le incontrai…” Macbeth Lady Macbeth “Oh donna mia!” Macbeth Lady Macbeth “Sappia la sposa mia che” Macduff Banquo Lady Mac

  • Puccini: Manon Lescaut -- Royal Opera House Puccini: Manon Lescaut -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £10.07  |  Saving you £6.90 (38.40%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This famous production of Manon Lescaut from The Royal Opera recorded in 1983 features two of the biggest stars in opera Placido Domingo and Kiri Te Kanawa in their vocal prime. Placido Domingo's performance of Des Grieux is considered to be unsurpassed. Conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli made his British operatic debut with this production which has not been available on video for 10 years. Puccini's first masterpiece was rapturously received on its first night. It has his hallmark se

  • Maria Callas - Passion Maria Callas - Passion | DVD | (23/01/2006) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £15.99

    A feature length documentary profiling the opera singer Maria Callas. Includes archive performance footage interviews with the star and her teacher Elvira de Hidalgo recording producer Michel Glotz and film and stage producer Luchino Visconti.

  • Carmen - Bizet Carmen - Bizet | DVD | (29/10/2004) from £21.03  |  Saving you £3.96 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Bizet: Carmen (Zeffirelli)

  • Carmen [2003] Carmen | DVD | (12/02/2003) from £25.45  |  Saving you £4.54 (15.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    All too often Bizet's great comic opera Carmen has been pared down to its basic bodice-ripping components, leaving its adored melodies with only torrid clichés to cling on to. Nothing of the sort happens here. David McVicar's 2002 production for Glyndebourne restores it to its rightful place as a stupendous musical entertainment. Bold, lusty, tightly directed and designed in sanguine shades of red and black, this Carmen spills and bustles across the stage and out of the screen like a living painting. At first glance, Anne Sofie von Otter is not an obvious choice for the title role, but just look at how she seizes and inhabits the character, wrenching her from the jaws of dark, sultry stereotype and rendering a complex modern woman. Her Carmen both revels in and is tormented by the ripe sexuality that fascinates her lovers and sets her apart from the other women. Von Otter's interpretation suggests it has its roots in a hinterland of wretched, bitter experience; the "Habanera", the "Gypsy Song" and the "Seguidilla" become multi-layered expressions of hope and desire: we never forget that for all its gusto, Carmen ends up a tragedy. And the men aren't ciphers. Laurent Naouri's proud Escamillo and Marcus Haddock's immature, damaged Don José are rounded, richly sung characters. So too, is Lisa Milne's touching Micaëla. All told, this Carmen is full-length, fibrous and, with conductor Philippe Jordan at the helm, a triumph. On the DVD: Carmen is spread over two discs, presented in anamorphic widescreen format that opens up the stage and capitalises on some refreshingly brisk camerawork. The sound quality (Digital Surround sound) is finely balanced. A rich set of extras includes fascinating short documentaries on various aspects of the production, from stage fights to characterisation and costume design. There's also a useful spoken synopsis and a stroll through the famous Glyndebourne Gardens. --Piers Ford

  • Billy Budd Billy Budd | DVD | (01/04/2004) from £12.99  |  Saving you £4.84 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Benjamin Britten's opera 'Billy Budd' in two acts tells of the sadism and injustice abroad a British man-of-war.

  • Nabucco - Verdi Nabucco - Verdi | DVD | (07/02/2005) from £14.95  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Verdi - Nabucco

  • Cecilia Bartoli - The DVD Collection Cecilia Bartoli - The DVD Collection | DVD | (08/03/2004) from £57.08  |  Saving you £-23.09 (-67.90%)  |  RRP £33.99

    The DVD CollectionCecilia Bartoli: A PortraitThe original and unique portrait of the amazing Cecilia Bartoli filmed at the outset of her career and giving a fascinating insight into her background personality and approach to her art. Includes her Savoy Hotel recital.Cecilia Bartoli: Live in ItalyCecilia Bartoli's acclaimed 1998 recital in the Palladian splendour of Vicenza's Teatro Olimpico. Accompanied by French virtuoso Jean-Yves Thibaudet it ranges from v

  • Verdi: Requiem Verdi: Requiem | DVD | (04/01/2001) from £16.85  |  Saving you £3.14 (15.70%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Produced by the BBC in association with RM ARTS from the Usher Hall, Verdi's 'REQUIEM'.

  • Manon [1982] Manon | DVD | (01/07/2000) from £9.80  |  Saving you £8.19 (45.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Kenneth MacMillan's tragic lyric ballet to sumptuous music by Jules Massenet orchestrated for the ballet by Leighton Lucas is a Royal Opera House favourite returning season after season. The story of Manon Lescaut is a moving tale of corrupted innocence in early 18th century Paris in which the lovely girl finds both happiness and grief at the hands of men who love and abuse her. Manon is one of MacMillan's most highly regarded works featuring several passionate and moving pas

  • Verdi - Falstaff / Graham Vick, Bernard Haitink, Royal Opera House [1999] Verdi - Falstaff / Graham Vick, Bernard Haitink, Royal Opera House | DVD | (10/10/2001) from £25.00  |  Saving you £-0.01 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The Graham Vicks production of Falstaff opened the new Covent Garden Royal Opera House, and was not to everybody's taste; the garish primary colours of the costumes, especially Falstaff's unusually hideous get-ups, go several steps beyond the Breughelian effect Vicks intended. The staging is effective--the complicated counterpoint of the ensembles is reflected in unobtrusive blocking that keeps the vocal lines clear and separate, especially in the final fugue. Bryn Terfel's Falstaff is a memorable creation, self-mocking and self-aggrandising at the same time--so much so, in fact, that he almost does not need the vast prosthetic body he has to wear for the part. Desiree Rancatore is an admirably sweet-toned Nanetta; Bernadette Manca di Nissa an appropriately sardonic Mistress Quickly; Roberto Frontali as Ford, in his Act 2 scena, perfectly distils and parodies every jealousy aria ever written, including Verdi's own. Haitink's conducting is exemplary in the lyrical passages, gets almost everything out of the fast and furious comic sections. --Roz Kaveney On the DVD: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is powerful and filled with detail, capturing the excitement of the performance and the atmosphere of the Royal Opera House superbly. The anamorphically enhanced 1.77:1 widesceen image is very clear, and while given the source inevitably not up to the highest feature film standards, is among the best live classical titles yet released on DVD. The bold colours are particularly well realised, though the red lighting of the Garter Inn scenes causes the image to falter a little. There are optional subtitles in English, French and German. These are presented directly over the picture and would be easier to read had they been a little larger, or outlined in some way. The special features consist of a brief synopsis by James Naughtie, taken directly from the original television broadcast, a minute-long "comment" by conductor Bernard Haitink and short but interesting interviews with Bryn Terfel and director Graham Vick. Finally there is a nine-minute episode from the series of short BBC films, Covent Garden Tales on the 1999 modernisation of the Royal Opera House. --Gary S Dalkin

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- San Francisco/Severini [1988] Puccini: La Boheme -- San Francisco/Severini | DVD | (28/08/2000) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    One way to use the DVD format for opera is to provide a video format with a clear picture and sumptuous sound and let a good performance speak more or less for itself. Severini's La Boheme comes with a minimum of trimmings--subtitles in English, French and German; even a short account of the performance history is relegated to text in a booklet. The live performance has real theatrical presence, even to the extent that, at times, the vocal and orchestral subtleties get lost in wild applause. Pavarotti's Rodolfo was, in 1988, as plangently lyrical as ever and Freni's care-worn Mimi is a deeply touching and musical performance; Pacetti is a beefy full-blooded no-nonsense Musetta--the waltz song and ensuing duet with Marcello is for once the Broadway show-stopper it ought to be. Of the supporting roles, though, perhaps the most moving is Ghiaurov's Colline--his farewell to his old coat is a short passage of deep pathos which he has rarely sung as well as he does here. --Roz Kaveney

  • Verdi: Il Trovatore Verdi: Il Trovatore | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £14.08  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of Verdi's opera 'Il Trovatore' by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus; conducted by James Levine. Singers include: Eva Marton Luciano Pavarotti Sherril Milnes and Dolora Zajick; directed by Brian Large.

  • Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £15.49  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of Verdi's opera 'Un Ballo In Maschera' by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra And Chorus; conducted by James Levine. Singers include: Luciano Pavarotti and Aprile Millo. Directed by Brian Large.

  • Rigoletto - Verdi Rigoletto - Verdi | DVD | (09/08/2004) from £14.95  |  Saving you £1.95 (11.50%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Opera in three acts produced live at the Metropolitan Opera on 7 November 1977.

  • Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment (Daughter of the Regiment) [1974] Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment (Daughter of the Regiment) | DVD | (24/09/2007) from £27.25  |  Saving you £-2.26 (-9.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The Daughter Of The Regiment - Opera in Two Acts by Gaetano Donizetti.Recorded at the Wolf Trap Festival 1974.

  • Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites | DVD | (29/09/2008) from £12.25  |  Saving you £2.74 (18.30%)  |  RRP £14.99

  • Parsifal - Wagner/Stein Parsifal - Wagner/Stein | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £18.23  |  Saving you £-3.24 (-21.60%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Wolfgang Wagner's arrestingly beautiful production filmed live at Bayreuth in 1981 and directed by Brian Large features a stellar cast led by Eva Randova Bernd Weikl and Siegfried Jerusalem.

  • Zimmerman: Die Soldaten [1991] Zimmerman: Die Soldaten | DVD | (14/03/2002) from £19.66  |  Saving you £5.33 (21.30%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Opera doesn't come harder hitting than Die Soldaten, Bernd Alois Zimmermann's gripping attempt to reinvent the medium from the Modernist perspective of the 1950s and 60s. Those for whom opera means the Italian and French classics will blanch at the stinging vocal writing and complex orchestral contribution replete with jazz combo and electronics in Zimmerman's only work in the genre. Yet Jakob Lenz's story of the dehumanising quality of war needs no apology, and Harry Kupfer's intricate yet explicit staging--relishing the many opportunities for simultaneous action--pulls no punches. Nancy Shade is persuasive as the awkward adolescent Marie, whose naiveté leads relentlessly to her downfall. Michael Ebbecke is sympathetic as Stolzius, her jilted lover and avenger, while William Cochran is properly brutish as Desportes, the officer who initiates her spiral of decline. Bernhard Kontarsky gets a dedicated response from his Stuttgart Opera forces, who perform with belief in this often excessive but always engrossing work. On the DVD: Die Soldaten on disc has a sharp 4:3 picture and PCM stereo sound that shows little sign of age. Director Hans Hulscher has captured with real immediacy the impact of this 1989 production. There are subtitles in four European languages, and a detailed introduction and synopsis in the booklet. The special feature, however, is merely an ArtHaus trailer: a production such as this really deserves a background feature to reinforce its significance and value. --Richard Whitehouse

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