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Opera

  • La Damnation De Faust - Berlioz [1989] La Damnation De Faust - Berlioz | DVD | (03/01/2006) from £16.75  |  Saving you £3.24 (16.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Hector Berlioz's (1803-1869) legende dramatique about a man named Faust who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall in 1989. Georg Solti conducts.

  • Wagner: Die Walkure -- Metropolitan/Levine Wagner: Die Walkure -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £21.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £21.99

    The 1990 Metropolitan Opera performance of Die Walkure ("The Valkyrie") with James Levine conducting is a solid, four-square performance with few frills and no gimmicks, just extraordinarily fine singing and orchestral playing. There is no point in this where you find yourself asking why the director did something: this is the sort of production which could be criticised as unimaginative but defended as serving Wagner's intentions for this instalment of his Ring cycle. Levine and his orchestra give the music an emotional intensity that never overwhelms its grandeur, though perhaps in Wotan's farewell to Brunnhilde, we feel him more as father than as god. James Morris as Wotan has real stature, making us feel that he has finally created the free agents he needs to avoid the curse he has unleashed on the world, but he has broken his heart in the process. Jessye Norman is surprisingly good and erotically self-assured as Sieglinde; the Act 1 love duet with Gary Lake as Siegmund has an ardour that makes the incestuous aspect less a matter of perversity than of the conduct of heroes. Kurt Moll makes Sieglinde's rapist and husband Hunding, a three-dimensional sinister villain; and Christa Ludwig almost manages to sell us Fricka's interminable paean to family values. The most impressive performance here, though, is Hildegard Behrens as Brunnhilde, the steely godling who sacrifices everything because she learns to feel and to know what is right. On the DVD Die Walkure on disc comes with menus and subtitles in German, French, English, Spanish and Chinese and with a picture gallery of the production. Awkwardly it is presented in (American) NTSC format not PAL, with a visual aspect of standard TV 4:3. More impressive is the choice of PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 6.1; the sound is admirably clear and well-balanced. --Roz Kaveney

  • Britten: Death In Venice [1989] Britten: Death In Venice | DVD | (28/02/2001) from £12.86  |  Saving you £12.13 (48.50%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Britten's last opera, Death in Venice will always be associated with the two voices for which the major parts in it were written. It is the achievement of Robert Tear and Alan Opie, in this magisterial performance by Graeme Jenkins with the Glyndebourne touring company, to produce telling performances that are entirely separate from our memories. Tear's Aschenbach is more bull-like than Peter Pears' moralist dreamer; his drift into sentimental eroticisation of the boy Tadzio upsets him as much for the weakness it reveals as for the collapse of his virtue. Alan Opie is as much of a virtuoso as John Shirley-Quirk in the multiple roles that culminate in the corrupting voice of Dionysus--the hotelier who persuades Aschenbach to stay, the barber who gives him a toupee and paints his face, the street entertainer, the rake who flirts with sailors; the otherworldly counter-tenor of Michael Chance is spookily right as Apollo. The scenes for dancers manage to be at once dreams of the erotic and plausible adolescent sea-side wrestling; the direction by Stephen Lawless and Martha Clarke manages to capture the mistiness of the piece from which fate and strangeness suddenly emerge. On the DVD: The DVD has subtitles in German, French and Spanish, as well as an acoustic which brings out the subtleties of Britten's string, brass and percussion in this difficult work. --Roz Kaveney

  • The Fairy Queen - Purcell [1995] The Fairy Queen - Purcell | DVD | (25/05/2001) from £6.16  |  Saving you £9.66 (38.70%)  |  RRP £24.99

    David Pountney and Quinny Sacks' production of Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen caused something of a sensation when it hit the ENO stage in 1995. It has the feel of a decadent 17th-century masque re-invented with late-20th-century energy: half the principals and chorus are in cross-dressing costumes, female characters are played by men (leading to some rather wonderful polymorphous perversity), and everything has an air of mad, hallucinogenic hipness about it. While Robert Israel's wild sets don't appear to their full advantage on the small screen, Dunya Ramicova's costumes look fantastic (the details are simply stunning). The very fine singing is recorded with excellent clarity: while this is obviously a live performance, there are remarkably few moments that go out of microphone range, and the balance with the orchestra is handled very sensitively. The ENO band, under the baton of Nicholas Kok, respond to Purcell's wiry lines and spiky harmonies with glee, and sound like they're having a ball, as do the singers. In particular Jonathan Best as The Drunken Poet is hilarious, and it is a wonderful testament to his acting skills that he is as funny close-up as he was from the auditorium stalls.--Warwick Thompson

  • Ruslan And Lyudmila Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003) from £18.65  |  Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    A performance of Glinka's opera 'Ruslan And Lyudmila'.

  • Donizetti-Don Pasquale Donizetti-Don Pasquale | DVD | (26/02/2007) from £12.94  |  Saving you £2.05 (13.70%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Recorded at the Teatro Lirico, Cagliari, February 2002.

  • Der Fliegende Hollaender [1989] Der Fliegende Hollaender | DVD | (05/07/2004) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Ilkka Backman's acclaimed production takes place outdoors in the huge courtyard of Finland's 500 year old Olavinlinna Castle - a majestic and impressive setting which gives the production an atmosphere and realism almost impossible to create in a conventional theatre.

  • I Lombardi [1984] I Lombardi | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The magnificent cast of this production of I Lombardi is headed by Ghena Dimitrova Jose Carreras Silvano Carroli and Carlo Bini. The haunting designs of Spartan grandeur are by Giovanni Agostinucci who uses the motif of a blood-red cross as a double-edged symbol throughout the opera which is set at the time of the first crusade. The performance is conducted by a La Scala conductor of long-standing repute Gianandrea Gavazzeni.

  • Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (29/05/2006) from £12.15  |  Saving you £2.84 (18.90%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Gilvert And Sullivan: Patience (Stanhope Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra)

  • Lucia Di Lammermoor [1971] Lucia Di Lammermoor | DVD | (24/05/2002) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Donizetti - Lucia Di Lammermoor (Cillario RAI Chorus)

  • La Traviata - Verdi La Traviata - Verdi | DVD | (13/06/2005) from £17.71  |  Saving you £4.14 (16.60%)  |  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.

  • Strauss - Daphne [2005] Strauss - Daphne | DVD | (04/12/2006) from £16.75  |  Saving you £3.24 (16.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Performance of Richard Strauss' opera Daphne.

  • Franco Corelli and Renata Tebaldi - Live in Tokyo 1973 Franco Corelli and Renata Tebaldi - Live in Tokyo 1973 | DVD | (29/10/2007) from £13.07  |  Saving you £3.24 (16.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Live in Tokyo - NHK Hall 21st November 1973Tokyo Philharmonic OrchestraTadashi Mori, Conductor

  • The Golden Ring - Wiener Philharmoniker/Sir Georg Solti The Golden Ring - Wiener Philharmoniker/Sir Georg Solti | DVD | (11/06/2007) from £15.39  |  Saving you £-1.40 (-10.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    The legendary 1965 BBC film on the pioneering recording by Sir Georg Solti of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Filmed during the recording of Gotterdammerung in the Sofiensale with the Vienna Philharmonic, it features performances by the great Wagner singers Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Gottlob Frick, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The DVD also includes ORF's German-language version of the programme (Hinter den Kulissen der Gotterdammerung) featuring different interview footage with Sir Georg Solti.

  • Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (24/03/2003) from £9.85  |  Saving you £7.14 (42.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' by puppet theatre.

  • Mozart: Idomeneo [1983] Mozart: Idomeneo | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £14.28  |  Saving you £3.71 (20.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    '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

  • Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (14/03/2008) from £22.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (24.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London on 10th 13th and 17th February 2006.

  • Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias [1999] Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias | DVD | (03/12/2007) from £11.46  |  Saving you £3.53 (23.50%)  |  RRP £14.99

    In reflecting on this DVD of sacred arias it is significant that Andrea Bocelli refers to the dawn of 'a new millennium' and it is appropriate that this concert was taped in Rome. In no other city of the world did the millennium have such immediate resonance and what better place for the recording of a universal jubilee celebrating the two-thousandth anniversary of the birth of Christ?

  • Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Cologne/Conlon [1991] Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Cologne/Conlon | DVD | (15/05/2000) from £7.24  |  Saving you £10.29 (41.20%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Conlon conducts a skittishly dynamic performance of Don Giovanni that suits the promiscuous protagonist's restless energy more than some more ponderous and serious productions. He relies on Thomas Allen's tough Don to give the work much of its dark menace and on Holle's terrifying Commendatore to provide the moral outrage--his job is to keep things moving, and he does. The exteriors--blank city spaces reminiscent of the paintings of Giorgio De Chirico--and moodily claustrophobic interiors mirror effectively the anguish of the orphaned Anna and the abandoned Elvira; this is a performance in which the two women victims of the Don function effectively as correctives to his libertine charm. Andrea Rost as Zerlina brings real delicacy to her role, reminding us that "La ci darem la mano" is a duet about her flirtation with Don Giovanni and not just a famous stand-alone moment. This is an admirable presentation of a fine performance. The only special features of the DVD are subtitles in the standard languages. --Roz Kaveney

  • Zdenek  Benaclova - Smetana -  Bartered Bride Zdenek Benaclova - Smetana - Bartered Bride | DVD | (14/08/2006) from £11.85  |  Saving you £1.30 (8.70%)  |  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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