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Opera

  • Vecchi - L'amfiparnaso (Callow) [2003] Vecchi - L'amfiparnaso (Callow) | DVD | (23/01/2006) from £10.49  |  Saving you £2.50 (19.20%)  |  RRP £12.99

    L'Amfiparnaso is surely the most important piece of Renaissance music theatre still in existence. Through a virtuosic score for vocal ensemble Vecchi brings alive the commedia dell'arte characters of late sixteenth-century Venice: mean-hearted merchant Pantalone the verbose bogus doctor Gratiano the braggart and over amorous Spanish Captain and a host of down-at-heel servants the zanni. But alongside this slapstick Vecchi writes bittersweet music for the lovers akin to the finest poluyphony of Gesualdo and Monteverdi. The balance this provides has made L'Amfiparnaso the classic of its time and this is the first production of it (or of any work of its kind) for DVD.

  • Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/09/2005) from £10.27  |  Saving you £7.72 (42.90%)  |  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

  • Gianni Schicchi - Puccini Gianni Schicchi - Puccini | DVD | (30/05/2005) from £15.49  |  Saving you £4.50 (22.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Alessandro Corbelli takes the title role in Annabel Arden's whirlwind production of Puccini's compact opera in which the scheming Gianni Schicchi retrieves for himself the spoils of a disinherited family to pave the way for his daughter to marry her love.

  • The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 | DVD | (29/06/1998) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Featuring Jose Carreras Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti in concert on July 16th 1994 at the Dodger Stadium Los Angeles California. Zubin Mehta conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus. Tracklist includes: 'America' (West Side Story) 'O Sole Mio' (Di Capua) 'Brindisi' (La Traviata) and 'Tribute To Hollywood' (Medley).

  • Charlie and Lola - 2 Charlie and Lola - 2 | DVD | (15/05/2006) from £4.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (37.50%)  |  RRP £7.99

    Charlie And Lola is a fun-filled and imaginative animated series for young children. It focuses on the relationship between brother and sister Charlie and Lola and tells the story of how they handle the little issues that they as young children encounter everyday.

  • Canterbury Tales - the Knight's Tale Canterbury Tales - the Knight's Tale | DVD | (27/10/2008) from £5.13  |  Saving you £-0.14 (-2.80%)  |  RRP £4.99

    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.

  • Montserrat Caballe And Marilyn Horne - In Concert Montserrat Caballe And Marilyn Horne - In Concert | DVD | (24/04/2006) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Two great stars of the operatic stage Spanish soprano Montserrat Caball and American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne give magnificent performances in these superb gala concerts featuring a variety of popular arias and duets recorded in 1990. The programme includes arias by Vivaldi Meyerbeer Mercadante Rossini Handel Puccini and Offenbach with duets from Rossini's Semiramide and La donna del lago. The rousing finale is the Barcarole from Les Contes d'Hoffmann.

  • Verdi: Il Trovatore -- Opera Australia [1983] Verdi: Il Trovatore -- Opera Australia | DVD | (05/06/2002) from £19.59  |  Saving you £3.74 (15.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Il Trovatore, Verdi's 1853 maelstrom of passion, infanticide, double-crossing and revenge, would be a mightily gamy affair if it didn't contain some of his finest arias, a cracker of a tenor's role and one of opera's most powerfully-written characters in the old gypsy woman, Azucena. Although Joan Sutherland, who plays the self-sacrificing lady-in-waiting Leonora in this 1983 Australia Opera production at Sydney Opera House, is the headline star, in truth the supreme assets of this recording are mezzo-soprano Lauris Elms' Azucena, a beautifully sung performance of haunted, wild-eyed sadness; and Sydney Nolan's wonderfully infernal sets, all purple and burnt ochre with suggestions of distorted faces. Sutherland came late to a part which allowed her to sing up a storm without taxing her rather stolid acting style. Her husband and musical director Richard Bonynge gives her the space to unleash some of Verdi's most fluidly opulent melodies--"D'amor sull'ali rosee" is a case in point--whose beauty is often at odds with the underlying horrors of the tale, based on a rather dodgy Spanish melodrama by Gutierrez. Sutherland has strong support from tenor Kenneth Collins as the doomed Manrico and Jonathan Summers as the vengeful Count. On the DVD: Il Trovatore on disc offers the inevitable shortcomings of a filmed for television performance: to the detriment of Nolan's designs (and the hard-pressed make-up team), the lighting doesn't translate well to video. Presented in 4:3 picture format, the quality is frequently murky. The PCM Stereo soundtrack also has its flat and fuzzy moments, particularly during chorus scenes ("Vedi! Le fosche notturne spoglie") when the orchestra drowns out the singing. But on the whole Sutherland et al sound great.--Piers Ford

  • Verdi: Il Trovatore Verdi: Il Trovatore | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £14.66  |  Saving you £2.33 (13.70%)  |  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.

  • Adriana Lecouvreur - Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur - Cilea | DVD | (22/10/2004) from £8.23  |  Saving you £1.76 (17.60%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Adriana LecouvreurFrancesco Cilea (1866-1950)Cilea's four-act opera of jealousy and tangled love first performed in Milan in 1902 is based on the true story of Adriana Lecouvreur an 18th-Century actress at the Comedie Francaise whose rival for the love of Maurizio count of Saxony is the married Principessa di Bouillon. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this 1989 classic recording comes from one of the world's great opera houses.

  • Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti - The Three Tenors Christmas [1999] Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti - The Three Tenors Christmas | DVD | (04/12/2000) from £34.80  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £14.99

    The Three Tenors capture the joy and spirit of the season with their first ever Christmas concert. Featuring live performances of international seasonal favorites by the best-selling and world-renowned trip - all music that has never appeared on any previous Three Tenors CD or video. Recorded live at the Konzerthaus in Vienna December 1999. Track Listing: 1. White Christmas 2. Let It Snow 3. Oh Tannenbaum 4. Ay! Para Navidad 5. Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle 6. Carol Of The Drum (The Little Drummer Boy) 7. Ave Maria Dolce Maria 8. Wiegenlied I 9. Jingle Bells 10. Children Of Christmas 11. La Virgen La Panales 12. I'll Be Home For Christmas 13. Adeste Fideles 14. Cantique De Noel (O Holy Night) 15. Amazing Grace 16. Feliz Navidad 17. Silent Night 18. Paregaria (El Can de L'Anima a La Verge) 19. Winter Wonderland 20. Wiegenlied II 21. Sleigh Ride 22. Susani 23. Un Nuevo Siglo 24. Dormi O Bambino 25. Happy Christmas/War Is Over

  • Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar [2004] Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar | DVD | (30/05/2005) from £19.69  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Recorded Live from the Zurich Opera House 2004Based on the comedy L'Attache d'ambassade by Henri Meilhac.

  • Torroba - Luisa Fernanda (Cobos, Madrid So/Chorus, Domingo) Torroba - Luisa Fernanda (Cobos, Madrid So/Chorus, Domingo) | DVD | (26/02/2007) from £17.50  |  Saving you £7.49 (30.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Recorded live at the Teatro Real, Madrid in July 2006.Placido Domingo heads an internationally renowned cast in Emilio Sagi's stylish new production for Madrid's Teatro Real of Moreno Torroba's Enduring Zarzuela, whose story itself is set in the Spanish capital. Filmed using High Definition cameras and recorded in true surround sound.

  • Le Rossignol - Stravinsky Le Rossignol - Stravinsky | DVD | (03/01/2005) from £4.99  |  Saving you £5.88 (36.80%)  |  RRP £15.99

    This DVD is a stunning film adaptation of Stravinsky's Rossignol with Natalie Dessay in the title role. Inspired by Stravinsky's words: ""I said somewhere that it wasn't enough to hear the music you had to see it too..."" the firlm-maker Christian Chaudet made an innovative and ambitious animated film illustrating the opera score with 3 dimensial images into which the singers have been inserted. The film offers superb narrative and visual ingredients following Stravinsky's own st

  • Prokofiev: The Love for Three Oranges (L'Amour des Trois Oranges) [1989] Prokofiev: The Love for Three Oranges (L'Amour des Trois Oranges) | DVD | (12/03/2002) from £18.99  |  Saving you £3.74 (15.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The production of this DVD - which involved top-ranking artists to direct perform and provide the musical accompaniment - was recorded in 1989 at the Opera National de Lyon. The outstanding quality of the production is evidenced not least by the recording made as part of the series of live performances and rated by Gramophone magazine as record of the year in 1990. Directed by Louis Erlo (assisted by Alain Maratrat and with set design by Jacques Rapp and costumes by Ferdinando Bruni) the wit and speed of the opera come across strongly in the transfer of the medium of DVD (video direction by Jean-Francois Jung). Kent Nagano directs the performance led by Gabriel Bacquier (the King of Clubs) Jean-Luc Viala (the Prince) Georges Gautier (Truffaldino) Catherine Dubosc (Ninetta) and a host of other outstanding artists.

  • Puccini: Tosca -- 2002 Film Version Puccini: Tosca -- 2002 Film Version | DVD | (23/06/2003) from £15.98  |  Saving you £9.01 (36.10%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Benoit Jacquot's filmed Tosca treads a fine line between operatic staginess and cinematic contrivance. As per the libretto, each act takes place in a single setting, but with the singers here miming to a pre-recorded soundtrack. Jacquot freely reminds us of the conceit with cutaways to the recording session itself--revealing conductor, orchestra and soloists at work--thus a bridge is made between the on-screen action and the music-making itself, and the inherent duality of any opera production is laid refreshingly bare. The same cannot be said for the director's decision to interpolate spoken dialogue over the music in key places--a distraction not an enhancement. Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna are glamorous and attractive enough to make the most of their Hollywood-style close-ups; their singing easily bears similar close scrutiny--as anyone who owns the CD soundtrack album will surely already know. If Alagna lacks a little power as Cavaradossi on record, his charismatic screen presence happily compensates; Gheorghiu is both vocally and physically almost ideal as Tosca. Ruggero Raimondi's Scarpia completes an outstanding trio, and in the pit (or, rather, in the studio) conductor Antonio Pappano handles the drama of Puccini's score without missing a single nuance. Both musically and visually, then, this is a Tosca to treasure. On the DVD: Tosca on disc looks vibrant in this warm, widescreen picture accompanied by a DTS 5.1 soundtrack. Three filmed interviews--with Gheorghiu, Pappano and Jacquot--provide some insight into the making of this production. --Mark Walker

  • Kiri Te Kanawa - A Celebration - Live At The Royal Albert Hall Kiri Te Kanawa - A Celebration - Live At The Royal Albert Hall | DVD | (11/06/2007) from £14.69  |  Saving you £2.30 (13.50%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Join Kiri and friends for a very special musical celebration as she sings the greatest hits from her sensational international career: from favourite operatic arias by Mozart and Puccini to musical theatre classics by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. A traditional ensemble from New Zealand perform a Maori tribute, and special guests Andre Previn and his join trio Kiri for intimate performances of popular American songs.The evening culminates in spectacular style with the arrival of a huge birthday cake, celebrating the 50th birthday of a unique musical star.

  • Adams: El Nino [2000] Adams: El Nino | DVD | (15/10/2001) from £18.60  |  Saving you £6.39 (25.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    John Adams set out to write an oratorio about the Nativity of Christ; but as he worked on it, El Nino became a more dramatic piece than he intended, flowering into a staged opera in which the oratorio's free-flowing singer's identity becomes an effective statement of a mystical point. Dawn Upshaw and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson--singing a mixture of biblical texts and Spanish/Mexican poetry--are both Mary and at the same time all women. The same is true of the dancer Daniela Graca, the women of the chorus and the young Hispanic-American woman who has her child and argues with her boyfriend in contemporary LA. Willard White is both Joseph and Herod, while the trio of counter-tenors are Angels and Shepherds and Kings. Because the work was written in close consultation with director Peter Sellars, it is a remarkably collaborative vision of music and staging. This is a gloriously sung piece, which continues Adams' voyage through minimalism into a lush tonal style still informed by minimalist simplicity, but it is also an impressive piece of theatre in which every physical gesture has a musical cue. This production from the Chatelet Theatre, Paris, under the baton of Kent Nagano, is more or less definitive. On the DVD: Unusually for an Arthaus Musik release, this DVD comes with an extended documentary in which Adams, Sellars, Nagano and Upshaw talk insightfully about the creation and nature of the piece. Sellars is particularly impressive in his talk of opera as the art form for a multicultural era. The picture format is 16:9 and the viewer is offered a choice of PCM stereo or Dolby Digital for the audio.--Roz Kaveney

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

    Inside The Actors Studio: Paul Newman

  • Offenbach: Des Contes D'Hoffmann [1993] Offenbach: Des Contes D'Hoffmann | DVD | (25/04/2001) from £19.69  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Unfortunately the qualities that make Jacques Offenbach's operetta The Tales of Hoffmann an irresistible melodic profusion of wit, dash and unfailing high spirits are only in evidence in the playing of the Lyon Opera Orchestra under Kent Nagano: operetta, more than its serious cousin, continues to be fair game for the whims of producers and designers. In this case an excellent cast including Daniel Galvez-Vallejo as Hoffmann, Natalie Dessay as Olympia, Brigitte Balley as Nicklausse and Isabelle Vernet as Giulietta, as well as Gabriel Bacquier who sings three roles, are obliged to perform Offenbach's operetta in a lunatic asylum designed by Philippe Starck as a three-dimensional grey set, topped with barbed wire. The production by Louis Erlo adapts and cuts scenes to fit this concept, so the tavern scene where Hoffmann sings his celebrated number "The Legend of Kleinzack" disappears, as do the chorus who are banished to the wings. In this environment there's no room for charm or even a kind of mad-hatter behaviour. The cast are reduced to stereotypes and of necessity singularly unlovable ones. What a wasted opportunity. The sound is excellent as it is on two fillers: a short film of Penderecki conducting his choral work, The Seven Gates to Jerusalem from the Midem festival at Cannes and a trailer for a Lyon Opera House production of Berlioz's Damnation of Faust. --Adrian Edwards

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