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Opera

  • Romeo And Juliet Romeo And Juliet | DVD | (03/12/2001) from £8.54  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • Learn To Play Blues Piano - Boogie Woogie And Slow Blues Vol.3 [2008] Learn To Play Blues Piano - Boogie Woogie And Slow Blues Vol.3 | DVD | (04/08/2008) from £15.04  |  Saving you £2.73 (11.90%)  |  RRP £22.99

    The emphasis is on improvisation for both slow blues and the more up-tempo boogie-woogie. The tunes he teaches including 'Pinetop's Boogie' and 'Blues for a Summer's Dream' incorporate a wide spectrum of musical ideas and techniques.

  • Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies [2001] Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies | DVD | (10/11/2003) from £11.38  |  Saving you £3.61 (24.10%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies

  • Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) | DVD | (24/03/2003) from £14.12  |  Saving you £2.87 (16.90%)  |  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

  • Don Giovanni - Mozart Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (14/03/2005) from £9.26  |  Saving you £7.00 (31.80%)  |  RRP £21.99

    The Opera Don Giovanni drama in two acts.

  • Luciano Pavarotti - Donizetti - L'Elisir D'Amore Luciano Pavarotti - Donizetti - L'Elisir D'Amore | DVD | (26/02/2008) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Donizetti's L' Elisir D' Amore recorded live at the Metropolitan Opera, March 2nd, 1981.

  • 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 £11.64  |  Saving you £6.35 (35.30%)  |  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: Stiffelio [1993] Verdi: Stiffelio | DVD | (29/10/2001) from £19.79  |  Saving you £12.20 (38.10%)  |  RRP £31.99

    A performance of Verdi's three-act opera recorded live at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Celebrated tenor Carreras performs the title role as Verdi's cuckolded minister confronting his wife's adultery.

  • Inside the Actors Studio - Robert Redford Inside the Actors Studio - Robert Redford | DVD | (26/01/2009) from £4.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (37.50%)  |  RRP £7.99

    With powerful performances in films like The Sting All The President s Men and Out Of Africa making his case and his mark as an actor Robert Redford then expanded his horizons and ours stepping behind the lens to become one of only six actors ever to win a Best Director Academy Award'' as he was saluted for Ordinary People in 1980. Pursuing his passion for the art of film Redford went on to revolutionize independent cinema in 1980 by launching the acclaimed Sundance Institute for aspiring filmmakers. His charm wit and wisdom make this interview taped in 2004 an effective reminder that before there was the Sundance Institute there was the Sundance Kid.

  • Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart [1976] Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £14.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (31.80%)  |  RRP £21.99

    This luxuriously cast film of Mozart's beloved opera buffa features a host of legendary interpretations including Kiri Te Kanawa's exquisite Countess Almaviva Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as her philandering husband Hermann Prey as the wily title character Mirella Freni a delight as his no less savvy bride Susanna and Maria Ewing hilarious as the lovesick page Cherubino. Director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's imaginative camera-work tellingly emphasizes character and mood of this immortal story of love intrigue and class struggle set against the historical background of ancien regime Europe sliding inexorably towards revolution.

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli | DVD | (21/08/2000) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This full-blooded 1982 performance of Puccini's most-loved opera demonstrates just how much drive and powerful emotion can make up for a certain lack of subtlety. Cotrubas' Mimi is entirely moving in both joy and death, while never quite feeling as thoroughly frail as some of her quieter rivals; stronger tenor voices than Neil Shicoff's have recorded the role, and yet he has a Romantic passion and a dignity that many of his rivals fail to bring to the role. That under-rated singer Gwynne Howell is especially moving in Colline's farewell to his cloak--one of those perfect little showcase sections Puccini sometimes gives to minor parts. Marilyn Zschau's Musetta is broad and comic and yet somehow includes the audience in the glorious joke that her sexuality is for her; when Thomas Allen sings, to her waltz theme, of youth that is not yet dead, his ardour transcends realism. Gardelli knew this score in his bones--the production bounces along from comedy to tears to eroticism to tragedy and neither cast nor orchestra miss a single one of Puccini's wonderful touches of emotional exploitation. --Roz Kaveney

  • Conspiracy Theories Conspiracy Theories | DVD | (25/06/2007) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Uncovering some of history's most intriguing mysteries

  • 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

  • Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Berlin/Barenboim [2000] Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Berlin/Barenboim | DVD | (05/04/2000) from £19.96  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A massive success from its premiere on May 3, 1786, Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro ("The Marriage of Figaro") downplays the social satire in Beaumarchais' original tale of romantic intrigue and revenge between the classes, instead emphasising the psychological dimensions. Here in a live production from the Staatsoper, Berlin, director Alexandre Tarta employs simple sets, focusing all attention on a very fine cast as they spin-out the farcical ironies. The result is one of the most acclaimed interpretations of recent years, with soprano Dorethea Röschmann reprising her star-making 1995 Salzburg debut as the sensual and flirtatious Susanna. Rene Papé makes a fine Figaro, and there are no weak links, with not just the singing but the performances uniformly excellent. The humour on show makes the sorrow all the more genuinely affecting. Of course Mozart's music is marvellous, packed with great arias and duets, and under Daniel Barenboim the State Opera Choir Berlin "Staatskapelle Berlin" are on splendid form.On the DVD: With the opera lasting 190 minutes the only other feature on the disc is a plot synopsis. However, the subtitles can be switched on or off. The booklet also provides a synopsis, together with some background on the opera and the performers. Filming a live production with theatre lights is never going to result in the most detailed images, and under these circumstances the anamorphically enhanced picture fares well, being far superior to VHS. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is realistic, detailed and absorbing without ever being unnecessarily showy. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Puccini: Manon Lescaut -- Royal Opera House Puccini: Manon Lescaut -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £11.28  |  Saving you £6.71 (37.30%)  |  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

  • Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden [1983] Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden | DVD | (07/05/2007) from £10.87  |  Saving you £7.12 (39.60%)  |  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.

  • Crazy Streets Crazy Streets | DVD | (05/06/2008) from £5.48  |  Saving you £-1.49 (-37.30%)  |  RRP £3.99

    Elaine has been mugged, fired, dropped by her agent and she's ready to end it all. Instead, she accidentally holds up a wealthy couple and winds up with a full-length mink and a full-blown mystery that changes her life for good. Internationally-acclaimed actress Hanna Schygulla stars as Elaine Hines, would-be novelist whose search for fame and fortune lead to murder and mistaken identity in this offbeat comedy of errors. Hoping to return the coat, Elaine finds herself on the trail of an elusive woman called Lulu (Deborah Harry) Elaine's wildest dreams come true as she becomes published, rich and New York's trendiest heroine. But her troubles aren't over yet in this wacky tale of two women and one unforgettable misadventure. Alec Baldwin, in his first screen appearance, plays the hard headed cop who is caught in a deadly cat-and-mouse chase involving big bucks, the mob, and two beautiful women.

  • Verdi: Macbeth [2000] Verdi: Macbeth | DVD | (29/01/2001) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    One of the best of Verdi's earlier operas, Macbeth has a distinctive energy to which, in this performance, conductor Sinopoli gives full rein. His excellent chorus--terrifyingly skittish witches, mournful exiles, sinister-facetious murderers, outraged and vengeful courtiers in the aftermath of Duncan's murder--is as much a participant as the principals, and the orchestral accompaniment reminds us that what the young Verdi lacked of his later subtlety he made up in sheer vigour. Renato Bruson is an extraordinary Macbeth, caught in a nightmare of his own making and unable to find release save through further killings and eventually self-destruction; Maria Zampieri has the sort of voice Verdi specified and which many productions avoid, a voice prepared to give its all, not to any sort of lyric beauty but to a harshness that is dramatically appropriate--this is a fine characterisation. Dennis O'Neill has comparatively little to do, but makes his vengeance aria a memorable reminder that guilt and shame are not all that this opera is about. --Roz Kaveney

  • Coppelia Coppelia | DVD | (03/04/2002) from £24.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The Royal Ballet.Orchestra of The Royal Opera House.Conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu.Coppelia, a mechanical doll made by the toy-maker Dr. Coppelius, is so lifelike that some believe she is his daughter. The mistake leads to intrigue and jealousy in love.This 19th century classic, in an enchanting production of Royal Ballet choreographer Dame Ninette de Valois, with original designs by Sir Osbert Lancaster, was broadcast live by BBC television in February 2000.

  • Zdenek  Benaclova - Smetana -  Bartered Bride Zdenek Benaclova - Smetana - Bartered Bride | DVD | (14/08/2006) from £13.49  |  Saving you £1.06 (7.10%)  |  RRP £14.99

    What oprea fan doesn't know the famous opera arias 'Our True Love' 'Make Up Your Mind Marenka' or 'I Know A Maiden Fair' ageless classics from that treasure of Czech opera Bedrich Smetana's The Bartered Bride? These outstanding singers Gabriela Benackova as Marenka Peter Dvorsky as Jenik and Richard Novak as Kecal as well as brilliant performances by the Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonic Chorus conducted by Zdenek Kosler became the basis for this 1981 television programme directed by Frantisek Filip. Sets by Jan Zazvorka costumes by Lida Novotna cinematography by Ilja Bojanovsky directed by Frantisek Filip.

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