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Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (29/05/2006)
from £12.15 | Saving you £2.84 (18.90%) | RRP
Gilvert And Sullivan: Patience (Stanhope Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra)
Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) | DVD | (04/12/2000)
from £9.66 | Saving you £4.92 (19.70%) | RRP
L'Italiana in Algeri, Rossini's first real hit as a writer of comic opera, is one of those almost unsinkable works difficult to get entirely right. Michael Hampe's production for the 1987 Schwetzinger festival captures both its charm and its sense of menace--the court of the Bey is both a setting for farce and a place in which the Italian characters are at the mercy of a despot who will not necessarily find things funny. Gunther von Kannen's Mustafa is a convincing Bey of Algiers, with all the arrogance of power and the vulnerability to mockery that goes with it. His adversary, the tough witty proto-feminist Isabella, is given real presence in Doris Soffel's performance--it is entirely credible, listening to her throaty mezzo, that everyone else should be more-than-a-little in love with her. The slightly effete tenor of Robert Gambill as her lover Lindoro makes him a perfect partner in intrigue for her. Conducting Rossini is not just a matter of winding the crescendos up and letting them go; Ralf Weikert is particularly fine in the complicated finale of Act One with its imitations of bells and drums and its complicated vocal lines. The DVD comes with menu material in English, French, German and Spanish, and with English, French and German subtitles; the stereo sound is particularly crisp. --Roz Kaveney
Tancredi | DVD | (01/08/2005)
from £9.75 | Saving you £15.24 (61.00%) | RRP
Verdi: Aida -- La Scala | DVD | (28/08/2000)
from £20.05 | Saving you £-0.06 (-0.30%) | RRP
La Scala went all-out for its 1986 production of this grandest of grand operas, with a strong cast and--most important for a video recording--a larger-than-life staging. The Triumph Scene in Act II is by no means Aida's only attraction, but it is the part that makes the strongest and most lasting impression and it is the visual and musical climax of this production. Stage director Ronconi brings on a procession to dwarf all processions: looted treasures, heroic statuary, miserable captives struggling under the lash of whip-bearing slave-drivers. On par with these visuals is Lorin Maazel's first-class performance of the popular "Grand March" with the outstanding La Scala chorus and orchestra. In Act III, the contrasting tranquillity of the Nile Scene also gets a visual treatment to match the music's qualities.When it is not an epic spectacle, Aida is a tragic story of love, jealousy and horrible revenge. The shifting focus between vast spectacle and intimate moments-sometimes awkward in a live performance onstage--presents special opportunities and challenges for a video recording. In this Aida, the camera work shows an acute awareness of those opportunities and challenges. The soloists have a variety of strengths that outweigh a few small weaknesses. Luciano Pavarotti sings one of his signature roles in superb voice, but his weight problems are visually evident and detract from his impact as the dashing hero Radames. Maria Chiara has moments of vocal imperfection but gives a dramatically compelling performance. Ghena Dimitrova sings powerfully and the supporting cast is excellent throughout. --Joe McLellan, Amazon.com
Turandot - Puccini | DVD | (27/02/2006)
from £4.49 | Saving you £10.50 (70.00%) | RRP
In the Imperial Palace of Peking the Emperor announces that any prince seeking to marry his daughter Turandot must first answer three riddles. Prince Calaf falls immediately in love with Turandot and successfully answers all three. However before the Prince marries Turandot he asks her a riddle of his own.
Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/07/2004)
from £10.57 | Saving you £7.42 (41.20%) | RRP
This production of Handel's tragic and moving oratorio took Glyndebourne by storm when it was first staged in 1996. Sellars took Handel's tale of self-sacrificial love between a Christian virgin and a Roman imperial bodyguard in fourth century enemy occupied Antioch and by resetting it in modern-day America transformed it into a timeless parable of spiritual resistance to tyranny and persecution.
Canterbury Tales - the Knight's Tale | DVD | (27/10/2008)
from £5.13 | Saving you £-0.14 (-2.80%) | RRP
Ace (John Simm) and Paul (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are two young prisoners who've been friends since childhood. When they fall in love with the same woman Emily (Keeley Hawes) a teacher at the prison their friendship is torn apart and they become bitter enemies. When Ace has served his sentence both become consumed with bitter jealousy each thinking the other will be closer to Emily. And when Paul escapes from jail events hurtle towards a tragic conclusion.
The Gift Of The Magi - Rautavaara | DVD | (31/10/2005)
from £7.79 | Saving you £3.94 (15.80%) | RRP
Created specially for television and recorded in studio this short opera by one of today's most eminent Finnish composers is based on a Christmas story by the American writer O. Henry. The telling of the story is unsentimental Hannu Heikinheimo's staging exquisitely observed and Rautavaara's music powerfully compelling. The Christmas message finds a truly imaginative and unequivocal expression in 'The Gift Of The Magi'.
Dvorak: Rusalka -- Paris Opera/Conlon | DVD | (03/11/2003)
from £25.17 | Saving you £4.82 (16.10%) | RRP
A performance of Dvorak's opera 'Rusalka' which tells the story of a water nymph who becomes human. James Conlon conducts.
Verdi - Il Trovatore (Carsen, Rosner) | DVD | (30/07/2007)
from £5.49 | Saving you £24.50 (81.70%) | RRP
A gigantic blood-red monster, made of steel and flames, floating on the still waters of Lake Constance - this is Robert Carsen's unconventional vision of the setting of Verdi's masterpiece II trovatore for the 60th anniversary of the Bregenz Festival. In this threatening set of fire and metal, designed by Paul Steinberg, the characters burn with the passions they experience - love, hatred, sexual desire and revenge - and which eventually destroy them. The High Definition live recording of this most spectacular outdoor production combines astonishing images, relevant reflections on today's world and superb musical expression from the soloists and the world-renowned Wiener Symphoniker, inspired by musical director Thomas Rosner.
Mozart: Idomeneo | DVD | (06/09/2004)
from £14.28 | Saving you £3.71 (20.60%) | RRP
'Idomeneo is Mozart's grandest most richly coloured and most ambitious opera' David Cairns Sunday Times. This highly acclaimed production of Idomeneo marked the operatic debut of Trevor Nunn whose distinguished career includes Cats and Les Miserables. It was much praised for its simple but effective dramatic style blending Minoan Crete with the ritualistic delicacy of Japanese theatre. This dynamic stylization is appropriately reflected in John Napier's considered and elegant d
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
Mozart: Cosi fan tutte | DVD | (30/06/2001)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Mozart's third and final opera with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, the hugely ambitious dramatic comedy Così fan Tutte (roughly translated as: "They're All Like That"), is brought passionately to life in a first-class production conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and featuring one of the great starring roles for Cecilia Bartoli. Filmed live at the Zurich Opera House in February 2000 on a set which visualises the subtitle "The School for Lovers", the plot revolves around two army officers arguing about the fidelity of their brides, then setting out to test their chastity. Despite the often playful humour, this is not only psychologically telling music-making, but reveals Mozart exploring the structure of opera, discarding convention to mix large ensemble sections with arias for as many different combinations of singers as possible. With Liliana Nikiteanu attractively contrasted with Bartoli, and thoroughly convincing performances by Roberto Sacca (Ferrando) and Oliver Widmer (Guilelmo), this Così has a freshness and flow which, coupled with the timeless romantic themes, feels very contemporary. On the DVD: the presentation, which includes an interesting 22-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, is spread over two DVDs. There is a multi-language booklet minus libretto, though there is the option to watch with English subtitles. Given the difficult live stage lighting conditions the 16:9 anamorphically enhanced picture is as good as can be expected. There are both stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks, though the latter gives the voices a disconcertingly disembodied character, leaving the former to be preferred. The total running time is approximately 213 minutes, not 275 minutes stated on the packaging. --Gary S Dalkin
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier -- Vienna/Kleiber | DVD | (03/09/2004)
from £9.99 | Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%) | 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
Verdi: Otello -- Royal Opera House/Solti | DVD | (29/10/2001)
from £19.81 | Saving you £15.18 (43.40%) | RRP
A coproduction by BBC Covent Garden Pioneer and the Royal Opera House of Verdi's classic opera about the Moor who loved not wisely but too well. Conducted by George Solti.
Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) | DVD | (21/04/2008)
from £7.42 | Saving you £2.00 (14.30%) | RRP
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
La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein - Offenbach | DVD | (09/01/2006)
from £10.98 | Saving you £5.01 (31.30%) | RRP
Recorded at the Theatre Du Chatelet in Paris.
Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (26/04/2004)
from £12.09 | Saving you £5.90 (32.80%) | RRP
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.
England Cricket's Greatest Matches | DVD | (17/03/2008)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
The ultimate collection of England's most memorable test perfomances from over 35 years of cricket
Ariadne Auf Naxos | DVD | (02/09/2002)
from £16.95 | Saving you £3.04 (15.20%) | RRP
Strauss's opera 'Ariadne Auf Naxos' performed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Artists include: Jessye Norman Kathleen Battle Tatania Troyanos and James King. Conducted by James Levine.