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Opera

  • Verdi: Il Trovatore Verdi: Il Trovatore | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  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.

  • Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) | DVD | (24/03/2003) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    In terms of vocal power, lyrical beauty and idiomatic authenticity, the casting for this 1992 live recording of the Kirov production of Pique Dame ("The Queen of Spades") could hardly be bettered. Gegam Grigorian (Herman) hits his fearsome, anguished high notes with the accuracy of a laser and Maria Gulegina (Liza) has a voice the size of the QEII but uses it with great subtlety--her opening duet with Pauline floats like gossamer, and her declarations of love for Herman at the end of Act 1 are spine-tingling. Kirov superstars Sergei Leiferkus (Tomsky) and rich-toned Olga Borodina (Pauline) also sound divine. In the pit Valery Gergiev renders every nuance of Tchaikovsky's score with clarity, and drives the strings to produce an almost unbearably tense atmosphere of foreboding; Herman's manslaughter of the Countess is preceded by shallow, haunted phrases which rise and fall like a beating heart. It isn't all rosy, however. The production comes from the traditional old Kirov "stand-and-sing" tradition and is somewhat static. The characters don't interact with much detail or generate much chemistry, and the chorus moves in unwieldy blocks. For a more gripping production (though not quite as well sung) try the Glyndebourne performance. But for sheer musical pleasure, you won't find anything to beat this. On the DVD: Pique Dame doesn't feature particularly inventive camerawork, though it does give a good solid account of the production. The sound recording captures all the most important moments with clarity, though just occasionally singers stray away from the microphones. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and some trailers for other Universal Music DVDs. --Warwick Thomson

  • 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.

  • Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart | DVD | (23/07/2004) from £8.59  |  Saving you £1.40 (14.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Daniela Dessi and Delores Ziegler lead the cast in Mozart's brilliant and witty opera as the two women whose faithfulness in the face of romantic love is ruthlessly tested in Da Ponte's comic tale. Mozart lavishes some of the finest music ever written on the unfolding story of the two sisters' chaotic and fickle love affairs with their two Italian army officers. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this 1989 recording is a classic from one of the world's great opera houses.

  • La Scala Collection La Scala Collection | DVD | (02/05/2006) from £47.75  |  Saving you £12.24 (20.40%)  |  RRP £59.99

    Various Composers: La Scala Collection - 11 Operas

  • Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Royal Opera House [1977] Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (16/01/2001) from £19.79  |  Saving you £5.20 (20.80%)  |  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

  • Madama Butterfly - Puccini [1974] Madama Butterfly - Puccini | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £15.39  |  Saving you £-1.40 (-10.00%)  |  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

  • Verdi - Oberto Conte Di San Bonifacio (Abel) [2007] Verdi - Oberto Conte Di San Bonifacio (Abel) | DVD | (27/08/2007) from £18.99  |  Saving you £6.00 (24.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Oberto Conte Di San Bonifacio - Giuseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901):Verdi's first published opera, written in his 20's, already shows the instinctive melodic gift and heightened sense of drama which was to make him a giant among composers of grand opera. Set in 13th century Italy, Oberto was first performed at La Scala, Milan in 1839- more than 50 years before his last opera was premiered there - and prepared the way for a lifetime's work which would culminate in some of the finest music ever written. Recorded with High Definition cameras and with full multi-track surround sound.

  • La Traviata - Verdi La Traviata - Verdi | DVD | (13/06/2005) from £17.97  |  Saving you £6.94 (27.80%)  |  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.

  • Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk - Shostakovich Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk - Shostakovich | DVD | (01/09/2004) from £7.27  |  Saving you £7.96 (49.80%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Filmed in Barcelona at the Gran Teatro Del Liceu this new production of the 'Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk' by composer Dimitry Shostakovitch features the Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatro Del Liceu; conducted by Alexander Anissimov.

  • 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.

  • Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) [2008] Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) | DVD | (21/04/2008) from £5.95  |  Saving you £2.00 (14.30%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Laurent Pelly staged this new production and how the singers were perfectly cast. They gave Donizetti's opera a new life at the Royal Opera House

  • Orfeo Ed Euridice - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1982] Orfeo Ed Euridice - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (02/08/2004) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The great British contralto Dame Janet Baker gave her very last stage appearance in Peter Hall's acclaimed production of Orfeo ed Euridice for Glyndebourne Festival Opera filmed in 1982. This is one her most famous roles and she gives a most moving portrayel of Orfeo the grieving musician of Greek myth who tries to bring his wife back form the depths of Hades. Elisabeth Speiser is Euridice and Elizabeth Gale is Amor with first-rate singing from the Glyndebourne Chorus. The Londo

  • Bizet - Les Pecheurs De Perles Bizet - Les Pecheurs De Perles | DVD | (04/04/2005) from £15.49  |  Saving you £4.50 (22.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Widely remembered as the composer of one of the most popular operas of all time CARMEN Georges Bizet was also responsible for this lesser-known gem. Written when he was only 25 the work was not well-recieved upon its initial performance in 1863 but has since come to be appreciated for its beauty and orchestral subtlety. The libretto deals with two men King Zurga of Ceylon and his friend Nadir who are both in love with a high priestess Lla. Though each claim to be over Leila when Nadir recognizes her in the temple he cannot deny his feelings which are returned; though she has vowed celibacy they meet in secret and are discovered. The jealous Zurga condemns Lla to death but when he realizes she intervened on his behalf years ago he changes his mind with catastophic results. This production of the only Bizet opera to remain in the repertoire was performed in Venice with an extraordinary Annick Massis as Lla while the staging was executed by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Highlights of the show include Leila's aria ""Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombre "" and the stunning duet between Lla and Nadir ""Ton coeur n'a pas compris le mien.""

  • Jam With The Eagles Jam With The Eagles | DVD | (10/12/2007) from £23.75  |  Saving you £9.24 (28.00%)  |  RRP £32.99

    This Superb DVD And CD Set Will Teach You The Melodic Rock Riffs And Solos That Made The Eagles One Of The Best Selling Bands Of The '70s. Learn Each Song And Play Along With Guitar Jam Tracks. Over Two Hours Of Lessons On This DVD And CD Set. Songs Include: Hotel California Life In The Fast Lane Take It Easy Lyin' Eyes I Can't Tell You Why One Of These Nights New Kid In Town

  • Turandot - Puccini [1988] Turandot - Puccini | DVD | (15/09/2003) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Puccini's 'Turandot' performed by the Metropolitan Opera. Artists include: Eve Marton and Placido Domingo. Conducted by James Levine. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Sung in Italian

  • 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

  • Pelleas Et Melisande Pelleas Et Melisande | DVD | (23/09/2002) from £14.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    A performance of Debussy's beautiful opera recorded in France in 1987.

  • La Boheme [1993] La Boheme | DVD | (17/04/2003) from £17.83  |  Saving you £7.16 (28.70%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Recorded live at the Sydney Opera house this Australian Opera Production of Puccini's masterpiece was staged by the makers of the film 'Strictly Ballroom' with music under the direction of Julian Smith.

  • Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro | DVD | (09/01/2006) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £13.99

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