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Opera

  • Prince Igor [1998] Prince Igor | DVD | (06/10/2003) from £18.75  |  Saving you £-3.76 (-25.10%)  |  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

  • R. Strauss: Die Frau Ohne Schatten -- Salzburg Festival/Solti [1992] R. Strauss: Die Frau Ohne Schatten -- Salzburg Festival/Solti | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £18.75  |  Saving you £3.24 (14.70%)  |  RRP £21.99

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

  • Parsifal - Wagner/Stein Parsifal - Wagner/Stein | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £18.75  |  Saving you £-3.76 (-25.10%)  |  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.

  • Cecilia And Bryn At Glyndebourne - Arias And Duets [1999] Cecilia And Bryn At Glyndebourne - Arias And Duets | DVD | (04/06/2002) from £14.72  |  Saving you £5.27 (26.40%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Opera arias and duets from Mozart Rossini Haydn Donizetti and Handel.

  • Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/09/2005) from £6.99  |  Saving you £11.00 (61.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Handel wrote his Italian opera Rodelinda at the height of his musical powers and it is considered to be one of his greatest with music of astonishing power and beauty. This highly praised production filmed in 1998 was the first ever staging of a Handel opera by the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Jean-Marie Villegier's stylish production sets Handel's tale of royal exile and fidelity in the silent movie era. Starring Anna Caterina Antonacci in a glamorous portrayal of Rodelinda an

  • Janacek: Jenufa -- Glyndebourne [1989] Janacek: Jenufa -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (22/06/2001) from £19.93  |  Saving you £4.84 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Janacek's masterpiece Jenufa, captured in this 1989 Glyndebourne Festival Opera production, is among the most revived modernist works. Compared with much grand opera, the story of one woman's struggle to rise free from social constraints at a terrible cost is remarkably poignant, credible and accessible. Scenes are short and intense. The music shimmers with Janacek's characteristic blend of sweetness and sharp dissonance. His men are damaged and angry; his women kick against the expectations of convention. Tragedy is inevitable, but here, unusually, hope triumphs. In the title role, Roberta Alexander is utterly convincing as the stepdaughter of the Kostelnicka Buryja, placing her love and trust in the wrong man with dire consequences. As the Kostelnicka, Anja Silja turns in an equally towering performance, unravelling with the awful consequences of her pragmatism. Alexander's fluid soprano reveals the extraordinary beauty of some of Janacek's finest arias: the moment when she becomes supernaturally aware of her baby's fate--it's "as if death was peering into the house!"--and is actually singing prayers for its soul is quite overwhelming. This Jenufa is sung splendidly; a revelation of the essential humanity which lurks at the heart of the greatest operas. On the DVD: This production was filmed for Channel 4 and has all the hallmarks of a 1980s television broadcast: standard 4:3 picture format which limits the impact of Tobias Hoheisel's magnificent expressionistic set; PCM stereo which somewhat dulls Andrew Davis' sterling, powerful work at the helm of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (although the principal singers shine through); poor subtitles; and static freeze-frame links between scenes. As a record of an important production, though, it suffices. --Piers Ford

  • Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) | DVD | (24/03/2003) from £13.97  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  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

  • Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Royal Opera House/Davis [2003] Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Royal Opera House/Davis | DVD | (22/08/2003) from £20.15  |  Saving you £4.84 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A performance of the David McVicar production of Mozart's last opera. Colin Davis conducts the Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Recorded at Covent Garden.

  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena [1983] Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena | DVD | (11/06/2001) from £12.69  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This traditional production of Puccini's enduringly popular opera Madama Butterfly should give much pleasure. It was recorded at the open-air theatre in Verona in 1983 with the local orchestra and chorus under the aptly named Maurizio Arena. The video direction is by an expert in the field, Brian Large, who brings home all the intimate moments of Puccini's drama from an open set that ascends and sprawls across rows of seating. His camera draws the viewer into scenes that the audience cannot witness at their distance--most movingly when Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki, gives up his attempt to read Pinkerton's letter to Butterfly saying he has no intention of seeing her again (set to that magical melody which will recur as the humming chorus). It's of little matter that there are no operatic stars in the cast for this ensemble consists of experienced singers who fill the night air with lungs to match Puccini's heaviest demands. The audience, many of them evidently on holiday, greet the show-stopping moments with waves of applause. Their enthusiasm may drown a few bars of orchestral continuity but the orchestra itself is always at the service of the singers on a soundtrack that captures the atmosphere of an open-air performance with astonishing verisimilitude. Butterfly, sung by the statuesque Raina Kabaivanska, may not see Cio-Cio San (to give "butterfly" her real name) 16 years again and some of her arm movements are overdone but her big number "Un bel di" and its reprise when she's holding her child by Pinkerton are touchingly conveyed. Neither does she overplay the final scene where she prepares to follow her father's example using the Mikado's dagger to commit suicide--a moment that sends a shiver down the spine in its economy. Nazzareno Antinori as her Pinkerton, with his matinée idol looks and resonant voice, complements her well; their singing of Puccini's spacious love duet at the close of Act One goes down a treat with the crowd. --Adrian Edwards

  • Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart | DVD | (23/07/2004) from £8.95  |  Saving you £1.04 (10.40%)  |  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.

  • Verdi: Don Carlos [1996] Verdi: Don Carlos | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £12.69  |  Saving you £7.30 (36.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This is a 1996 all-star-cast version from Paris of the original French version of Verdi's epic five-act opera, Don Carlos. First produced in 1867, only Wagner would write musical drama on a grander scale, and due to the three-and-a-half-hour running time most subsequent productions have made substantial cuts. This is therefore a rare opportunity to witness Verdi's tragedy in its entirety.Set in the 16th century in the aftermath of war between Spain and France, Don Carlo (Roberto Alagna), the heir to the Spanish throne comes to France to meet with his beloved Elizabeth de Valois (Karita Mattila). Inevitably politics divide the lovers, and while Rodrigue (Thomas Hampson) falls in with Flemish rebels, the Inquisition is determined to be the power behind the peace. This is certainly not Verdi's greatest work, but it contains great music and the stars are allowed to shine with strong characterisations in an elegantly designed production. There are no gimmicks or attempts at spurious contemporary relevance here, simply singers of the calibre of Alagna, Mattila, Hampson, plus the outstanding Eric Halfvarson as the Grand Inquisitor. This is a production that continues in the 19th-century tradition, and in the process delivers the frisson of world-class opera. --Gary S. DalkinOn the DVD: While the running time precludes much in the way of special features, via DVD-ROM the libretto can be printed in French, together with an article and biographies. The picture is presented at approximately 1.7:1 and while far superior to video could still benefit from anamorphic enhancement. The sound is stereo or excellent Dolby Digital 5.0. The booklet offers a detailed synopsis in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and there are subtitles in the same languages. The disc is encoded for regions two to six. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Massenet - Manon [2008] Massenet - Manon | DVD | (07/01/2008) from £13.90  |  Saving you £4.83 (24.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    For their first-ever encounter in a staged opera Natalie Dessay as Manon and Rolando Villazn as des Grieux were the much-awaited highlight of Barcelona's Liceu season in June 2007 in David McVicar's beautiful stage production of Massenet's Manon. The DVD captures this outstanding production of Massenet's most popular and enduring opera which has since its creation in Paris in 1884 maintained an important place in the repertory.

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

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

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

    Bizet: Carmen (Zeffirelli)

  • Rameau - Les Indes galantes / Petibon · Agnew · Croft · Hartelius · Rivenq · de Niese · Panzarella · Le Roi · Les Arts Florissants · Christe - Serban (Opéra de Paris 2004) [2003] Rameau - Les Indes galantes / Petibon · Agnew · Croft · Hartelius · Rivenq · de Niese · Panzarella · Le Roi · Les Arts Florissants · Christe - Serban (Opéra de Paris 2004) | DVD | (27/06/2005) from £25.45  |  Saving you £4.54 (15.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    William Christie and Les Arts Florissants propel this exuberant production of Jean-Phillipe Rameau's second opera to great heights. Andrei Serban's extravagant highly baroque staging presents the four exotic love stories vibrantly. In Le Turc Genereux Osman sets free his captive Emilie whom he loves so that she may be reunited with her former lover Valere; Les Incas De Perou is all about the rivalry of the Inca Huascar and the Spaniard Don Carlos both in pursuit of Princess Phani; Les Fleurs offers a Persian love intrigue as the Sultana Fatime tries to detect whether her husband Tacmas has his eye on the lovely Atalide; and Les Sauvages takes us to North America where a Spaniard and a Frenchman compete for the love of Zima daughter of a native chief who prefers one of her own people.

  • Roberto Devereux - Donizetti [1975] Roberto Devereux - Donizetti | DVD | (27/07/2001) from £24.22  |  Saving you £0.77 (3.10%)  |  RRP £24.99

    In the summer of 1974 The Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association began videotaping a number of live operatic and concert performances at the Filene Center in Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna Virginia for telecast in an innovative new series entitled 'In Performance at Wolf Trap'. The series met with overwhelming success and set the stage for the many live performance telecasts which have since followed.In 1975 'In Performance at Wold Trap' presented Beverly Sills in perhaps her most acclaimed portrayal that of Queen Elizabeth I in the Donizetti rarity Roberto Devereux. When Miss Sills first sang the role at the New York City Opera in 1970 Winthrop Sargeant wrote in the New Yorker She was Elizabeth from the extreme pallor of her makeup to the royal sweep of her train. It was a characterisation that I shall never forget. The combination of skills she brought to her role made this a historic moment. Daniel Webster wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer Miss Sills sang the towering role with such authority and portrayed Queen Elizabeth with such fervour that the opera unstaged (in New York) for more than 125 years now is one of the theatrical events of the year.

  • Rameau - Les Boréades / Robert Carsen, La La La Human Steps, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie, Opéra National de Paris [2003] Rameau - Les Boréades / Robert Carsen, La La La Human Steps, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie, Opéra National de Paris | DVD | (20/06/2004) from £25.45  |  Saving you £3.34 (11.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    A performance of the Rameau opera which follows the tale of Queen Alphise who is contemplating abdication rather that an arranged marriage.

  • Jungle Book Jungle Book | DVD | (05/11/2007) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £21.99

  • The Opera Gala - Live From Baden-Baden The Opera Gala - Live From Baden-Baden | DVD | (22/10/2007) from £13.29  |  Saving you £3.70 (21.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    The new faces of opera present opera favourites in a glamorous live concert recording: Anna Netrebko El'na Garan''a Ram''n Vargas and the highly acclaimed young French baritone Ludovic T''zier sing a wide range of Italian and French opera arias. This recording features highlights from three gala concerts (28 & 31 July 3 August 2007) at Baden-Baden's Festspielhaus - surely the hottest event of the summer!

  • Yes - the Gates of Q.P.R. Vol. 2 Yes - the Gates of Q.P.R. Vol. 2 | DVD | (21/07/2008) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £10.99

    In the 1970s Yes were among the most recognized representatives of progressive rock joined by the likes of Genesis Emerson Lake & Palmer and King Crimson. Those bands often referred to as the Big Four of prog rock set the tone for the genre their influence remaining undiminished to date. During their Relayer Tour Yes played a total of 89 concerts between November 1974 and August 1975 including this one at London's Queen's Park football stadium before a crowd of 25 000. At that time immediately following the release of Relayer (arguably their best and most ambitious album ever) Yes were on the peak of their career. Tracklist: 1. And You & I 2. Cord Of Life 3. Eclipse 4. The Preacher/The Teacher 5. Apocalypse 6. Ritual 7. Round About 8. Sweet Dreams 9. Yours Is No Disgrace

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