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Opera

  • Carmen [2003] Carmen | DVD | (12/02/2003) from £25.45  |  Saving you £4.54 (15.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    All too often Bizet's great comic opera Carmen has been pared down to its basic bodice-ripping components, leaving its adored melodies with only torrid clichés to cling on to. Nothing of the sort happens here. David McVicar's 2002 production for Glyndebourne restores it to its rightful place as a stupendous musical entertainment. Bold, lusty, tightly directed and designed in sanguine shades of red and black, this Carmen spills and bustles across the stage and out of the screen like a living painting. At first glance, Anne Sofie von Otter is not an obvious choice for the title role, but just look at how she seizes and inhabits the character, wrenching her from the jaws of dark, sultry stereotype and rendering a complex modern woman. Her Carmen both revels in and is tormented by the ripe sexuality that fascinates her lovers and sets her apart from the other women. Von Otter's interpretation suggests it has its roots in a hinterland of wretched, bitter experience; the "Habanera", the "Gypsy Song" and the "Seguidilla" become multi-layered expressions of hope and desire: we never forget that for all its gusto, Carmen ends up a tragedy. And the men aren't ciphers. Laurent Naouri's proud Escamillo and Marcus Haddock's immature, damaged Don José are rounded, richly sung characters. So too, is Lisa Milne's touching Micaëla. All told, this Carmen is full-length, fibrous and, with conductor Philippe Jordan at the helm, a triumph. On the DVD: Carmen is spread over two discs, presented in anamorphic widescreen format that opens up the stage and capitalises on some refreshingly brisk camerawork. The sound quality (Digital Surround sound) is finely balanced. A rich set of extras includes fascinating short documentaries on various aspects of the production, from stage fights to characterisation and costume design. There's also a useful spoken synopsis and a stroll through the famous Glyndebourne Gardens. --Piers Ford

  • Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar [2004] Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar | DVD | (30/05/2005) from £20.15  |  Saving you £4.84 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

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

  • Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path [2007] Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path | DVD | (17/12/2007) from £23.49  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Join Keith Hartnell as he explores the six stages of this beautiful coastal path exploring the many fascinating places of interest and meeting some of the characters that make this part of the North East so special. Stunning widescreen digital film makes this DVD the perfect souvenir for anybody interested in Northumberland. The Northumberland Coast is best known for its sweeping beaches rolling dunes high rocky cliffs and isolated islands. Amidst this striking landscape is the evidence of an area steeped in history covering 7000 years of human activity. A host of conservation sites including two National Nature Reserves testify to the great variety of wildlife and habitats also found on the coast. The special qualities of this coastal landscape led to it being designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

  • Attila - Verdi Attila - Verdi | DVD | (22/10/2004) from £8.95  |  Saving you £1.04 (10.40%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Attila Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)Ricardo Muti conducts a fine cast in the powerful and atmospheric 1991 production of Verdi's ninth opera whose story of the heroic tussle between Ezio a Roman general and Attila the Nordic invader was written for the 1846 Teatro la Fenice season and premiered there to huge acclaim. Unlocked from the archives of RAI televvision this is a classic recording from one of the world's great opera houses.Sung In Italian

  • Nabucco - Arena Di Verona [1981] Nabucco - Arena Di Verona | DVD | (25/07/2005) from £11.69  |  Saving you £6.30 (35.00%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Nabucco was Verdi's first real success and its nationalistic theme of yearning for freedom made it highly popular in an Italy of 1842 under Austrian rule. The great chorus of the exiled Hebrews 'Va pensiero' has become one of the best-loved of operatic melodies and made Verdi the voice of the Italian people. This performance was recorded in Verona in 1981 where the huge open-air Roman Arena provides a magnificent setting for this vast and spectacular opera. The great baritone Renat

  • Les Paladins - Rameau [2004] Les Paladins - Rameau | DVD | (31/10/2005) from £25.97  |  Saving you £3.34 (11.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Inspired by a fable by La Fontaine Rameau produced perhaps his most brilliant music for his penultimate great work blending reality and surreal on several levels.This passionate new production by Jose Montalvo stunningly choreographed by Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu sets new standards in entertainment charm and ingenuity. The sharp and spectacular multimedia staging does full justice to Rameau's dazzling burlesque confirming Olivier Rouviere statement that 'Les Paladins is the last laugh of a witty 77-year old composer'. Recorded live in 2004 at the Paris Theatre du Chatelet in true surround sound both the virtuoso cast and Les Arts Florissants are in top form clearly enjoying themselves in the masterful hands of William Christie.

  • Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £12.37  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of Verdi's opera 'Un Ballo In Maschera' by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra And Chorus; conducted by James Levine. Singers include: Luciano Pavarotti and Aprile Millo. Directed by Brian Large.

  • Puccini - Tosca, Live 1961 (Tebaldi, Poggi, Nhk) Puccini - Tosca, Live 1961 (Tebaldi, Poggi, Nhk) | DVD | (02/08/2007) from £22.74  |  Saving you £2.25 (9.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • The Singing Kettle The Singing Kettle | DVD | (07/05/2007) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £11.99

  • Lucia Di Lammermoor [1971] Lucia Di Lammermoor | DVD | (24/05/2002) from £24.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Donizetti - Lucia Di Lammermoor (Cillario RAI Chorus)

  • 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.

  • Lost Voyage Lost Voyage | DVD | (07/04/2008) from £6.01  |  Saving you £-0.02 (-0.30%)  |  RRP £5.99

  • Janacek - From The House Of The Dead Janacek - From The House Of The Dead | DVD | (17/03/2008) from £15.04  |  Saving you £-1.05 (-7.50%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Leos Janacek: From The House Of The Dead, performed by various performers and conducted by Pierre Bouelz.

  • Wagner - Tannhauser Wagner - Tannhauser | DVD | (29/09/2006) from £19.18  |  Saving you £12.50 (35.70%)  |  RRP £34.99

    Wagner:Tannhauser (2 Discs)

  • Beethoven - Fidelio Beethoven - Fidelio | DVD | (12/05/2008) from £15.04  |  Saving you £1.95 (11.50%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Ludwig Van Beethoven - Fidelio:From Berlin's Deutsche Oper in 1970.

  • Mazeppa - Tchaikovsky [1996] Mazeppa - Tchaikovsky | DVD | (08/03/2004) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    The first-ever release on any video format of the Kirov's 1996 production of Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa. Valery Gergiev directs the Kirov Opera and Ballet in this dramatic staging of Tchaikovsky's historical opera based on Pushkin's verse tale of the legendary Cossack chieftain. Tchaikovsky's dark musical setting intertwines the political drama of Mazeppa's ill-fated betrayal of the Tsar with the personal tragedy of his love for Maria the young daughter of his hapless opponent Koc

  • Verdi: Otello -- Royal Opera House/Solti [1992] Verdi: Otello -- Royal Opera House/Solti | DVD | (29/10/2001) from £24.09  |  Saving you £10.90 (31.20%)  |  RRP £34.99

    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.

  • Il Trittico Il Trittico | DVD | (22/03/2004) from £12.69  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Puccini's trio of mini masterpieces Il Trittico features a melodrama (Il Tabarro) a sentimental piece (Suor Angelica) and finally a comedy (Gianni Schicchi). These three one-act operas feature some of Puccini's most beautiful music. Puccini's passionate and ruggedly realistic opera Il Tabarro is a tale of deception and murder along the banks of the Seine. Suor Angelica is the story of Sister Angelica who was born a princess but had an illegitmate son and so was banished to a co

  • Oedipus Rex - Stravinsky Oedipus Rex - Stravinsky | DVD | (13/06/2005) from £15.49  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Opera-oratorio in two acts. Poem after Sophocles by Jean Cocteau.

  • Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Ludwigsburg/Gonnenwein Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Ludwigsburg/Gonnenwein | DVD | (20/04/2001) from £3.36  |  Saving you £6.21 (24.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    In Die Zauberflöte, Mozart and his librettist Schikaneder brought off an extraordinary feat, uniting two seemingly unrelated theatrical genres--pantomime and straight play. The first is represented by the comic antics of the birdcatcher, Papageno, the second in a series of rituals through which a Prince and his lady pass in search of true love. This production from the Ludwigsburger Festspiele in 1992 in a minimalist staging by Axel Manthey with sets and costumes by him and Alexander Lintl, offers a clearly delineated path through a sophisticated and worldly plot that can be bewildering on first acquaintance. Claps of thunder herald evil in the presence of the Queen of the Night and Monostatos, while a white dove introduces Papageno and a larger one carries the three boys who lead the couple on their journey of enlightenment. Their departure in silhouette makes a touching finale to Act One. But no opera production in recent years seems to eschew some whim or trendy idea of the producer: here we have Sarastro's priests with shaved heads, the three boys dressed for a school sports day and a Papageno kitted out in knickerbockers who one fears might break into "I love to go a-wandering a knapsack on my back". Much more stylish are the Three Ladies, emissaries of the Queen of the Night, shapely figures in their striking royal blue and red dresses. The musical direction is in the safe hands of Wolfgang Gonnenwein who favours the occasional swift tempo as in the "March" to Act Two. The cast includes one exceptional singer, the soprano Ulrike Sonntag as Pamina, happily partnered by Deon Van Der Walt as Tamino. Thomas Mohr is the characterful Papageno and Andrea Frei as the Queen of the Night makes good the coloratura runs of her fiendishly difficult arias, though sounds less secure in her slow music. As Sarastro, Cornelius Hauptmann makes up for some wooden acting with his sonorous bass. One takes away from watching this production a renewed admiration for Mozart and his librettist for an opera that, in its mixture of spoken dialogue and musical numbers, anticipates by 150 years the musical shows of Rodgers and Hammerstein. --Adrian Edwards

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