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Opera

  • Bizet: Carmen -- film version [1984] Bizet: Carmen -- film version | DVD | (13/03/2000) from £7.73  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This movie version of Bizet's popular opera Carmen was filmed on location, conveying a kind of atmosphere, a sense of space, movement, and presence that's hard to achieve in a staged performance. It takes the action out of doors for many scenes, with the opening titles superimposed on the bloody conclusion of a bullfight. Elsewhere the changing of the guard, the crowd scenes, the dance number that opens Act 2, and the panoramic scenery of the smugglers' mountain hideout all benefit from the freedom granted by movie cameras. It's an exciting Carmen, too, with a young-looking Placido Domingo in top form for a role he has sung hundreds of times. For Julia Migenes, though, it was her first performance in a role she would have trouble performing in an opera house. Her voice does not fit easily into Carmen's range, and she spent months training it, very successfully, before singing the role in a recording studio where the soundtrack was taped before the film was shot. Casting her in the role was a gamble, but it worked; she is a convincing actress. Unlike most opera-house performances this movie version uses the opera's original opera comique form with some spoken dialogue rather than recitatives.--Joe McLellan, Amazon.com

  • Rossini: La Cenerentola (Cinderella) -- Houston Rossini: La Cenerentola (Cinderella) -- Houston | DVD | (25/06/2001) from £11.59  |  Saving you £5.40 (31.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Rossini's opera recorded live in Houston in November 1995. Bruno Campanella conducts the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Grand Opera Chorus.

  • Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £13.38  |  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.

  • 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.

  • Cardillac - Hindemith Cardillac - Hindemith | DVD | (09/07/2007) from £16.85  |  Saving you £6.14 (26.70%)  |  RRP £22.99

  • La Scala Collection La Scala Collection | DVD | (02/05/2006) from £47.79  |  Saving you £12.20 (20.30%)  |  RRP £59.99

    Various Composers: La Scala Collection - 11 Operas

  • The Art Of Singing - Golden Voices Of The Century [1996] The Art Of Singing - Golden Voices Of The Century | DVD | (01/07/2000) from £16.25  |  Saving you £1.74 (9.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Many illustrious stars of the twentieth century are featured in sound and vision in rare footage much of it previously unavailable. The accompanying booklet includes comprehensive notes by John Steane. Includes rare footage much of it previously unseen. Based on an original BBC TV series.

  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena [1983] Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena | DVD | (11/06/2001) from £11.09  |  Saving you £6.90 (38.40%)  |  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

  • 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

  • Dinosaur Hunter Dinosaur Hunter | DVD | (05/05/2008) from £2.84  |  Saving you £2.60 (32.50%)  |  RRP £7.99

    Dinosaur hunting has become the great craze across America, and the Creath family have got the bone hunting fever. Lured by both the reward money and the excitement of finding a real dinosaur skeleton, they join in the rush for dinosaur fossils.Dinosaur expert Jack McCabe suspects that there are rare and valuable dinosaur bones in the area and he is willing to pay handsomely for any information. However, no-one is expecting Hump Hinton, McCabe's greatest rival, who, seeking fame and fortune, is willing to do just about anything to get his hands on the valuable old bones.An adventurous tale of love and treachery, 'The Dinosaur Hunter' discovers the importance of honesty, trust, and above all, family.

  • The Likely Lads The Likely Lads | DVD | (24/12/2007) from £4.74  |  Saving you £13.01 (65.10%)  |  RRP £19.99

    One of the best British sitcoms of all-time, The Likely Lads focuses on the friendship between two working-class men, James Bolam and Rodney Bewes, living in the north east of England.Bob (Bewes) is the 'sensible' one, doing his best to get on with his job and 'better' himself. Terry (Bolam) is the 'irresponsible' one, intent on living life to the full. He's forever getting himself (and Terry) into trouble of one kind or another...Episodes Comprise:1. Entente Cordiale2. Double Date3. Older Women Are More Experienced4. The Suitor5. The Last Of The Big Spenders6. Rocker7. Goodbye To All That

  • Don Carlo - The Royal Opera [1985] Don Carlo - The Royal Opera | DVD | (24/10/2005) from £14.33  |  Saving you £3.66 (20.30%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Set in France and Spain in the second half of the sixteenth century Don Carlo tells the story of the political and amorous rivalry between Philip II of Spain and his son Don Carlo. Luchino Visconti's magnificent and definitive Royal Opera production of Verdi's Don Carlo was first seen in 1958 and is seen here in a staging by Christopher Renshaw filmed in 1985. The Visconti sets recreate the forest of Fontainebleau the monastery of San Yuste and Don Carlo's dark underground prison with equal effectiveness. The superb cast is led by Ileana Cotrubas as a tender and touching Elisabetta the fine lyric tenor Luis Lima in the title role and the great baritone Giorgio Zancanaro as Rodrigo. The conductor is Bernard Haitink.

  • Massenet - Manon [2008] Massenet - Manon | DVD | (07/01/2008) from £11.43  |  Saving you £5.40 (27.00%)  |  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.

  • Le Comte Ory - Glyndebourne Festival Opera Le Comte Ory - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (27/06/2005) from £11.82  |  Saving you £6.17 (34.30%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Set in rural France at the time of the crusades Rossini's last comic opera is the saucy tale of Le Comte Ory and his pursuit of the crusaders' wives who chastely await the return of their menfolk. This acclaimed production was recorded at Glyndebourne during the 1997 season with the delectable French soprano Annick Masis as Adele the Belgian tenor Marc Laho as the lecherous Comte Ory and Diana Montague as the amorous page Isolier. Jerome Savary's sparkling production includes a sensuous bathing scene and a riotous banquet with the male singer disguised as nuns. Andrew Davis conducts the London Philharmonic.

  • Ruslan And Lyudmila Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003) from £16.49  |  Saving you £-3.76 (-25.10%)  |  RRP £14.99

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

  • Puccini: Manon Lescaut -- Royal Opera House Puccini: Manon Lescaut -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £11.09  |  Saving you £6.90 (38.40%)  |  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

  • Gugielmo Tell - Rossini Gugielmo Tell - Rossini | DVD | (23/04/2004) from £10.66  |  Saving you £2.04 (15.70%)  |  RRP £12.99

    A performance of Rossini's 'Guglielmo Tell'. Sung in Italian with subtitles.

  • 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 £11.09  |  Saving you £6.90 (38.40%)  |  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.

  • Salome - Deutsche Oper Berlin [1990] Salome - Deutsche Oper Berlin | DVD | (30/01/2006) from £11.09  |  Saving you £6.90 (38.40%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Richard Strauss's powerful and erotic one-act opera caused such a sensation when it was first performed in 1905 that it caused protests and was banned in several cities. In Petr Weigl's production for the Deutsche Opera Berlin filmed in 1990 Catherine Malfitano gives a suitably graphic portrayal of Salome a role which demand the utmost physical and emotional commitment throughout the complex vocal passages and choreographed scenes. Simon Estes is Jokannan and Herodias is sung by one of the greatest dramatic singers of the 20th century Leonie Rysanek. The conductor is Giuseppe Sinopoli.

  • Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart [1988] Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart | DVD | (06/03/2001) from £12.95  |  Saving you £4.84 (19.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The point of a good production of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia is to have a Rosina and a Figaro who will knock your socks off in their respective arias, while holding back enough in all those crescendo ensembles in which the farce plot reaches its several culminations that the other stars get a chance to shine too. Cecilia Bartoli and Gino Quilico give full-blooded enough performances when on stage by themselves that self-effacement seems far from imminent, yet both are capable of less, and give it when it is needed. Of the others, David Kuebler is an attractively raffish Almaviva, while Robert Lloyd turns Basilio into a memorable cameo. Gabriele Ferro is one of the most intelligent of Rossini conductors--he understands the relationship between the pulse of the music and its dramatic function, and he is also outstanding in the delicacy of phrasing, even in climaxes, that ensures that every voice, every instrument, gets the moment of glory Rossini intended. Michael Hampe's solid reliable unfussy production keeps everything moving without drawing attention to itself. The DVD has subtitles in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, as well as trailers for other Arthaus Musik discs. --Roz Kaveney

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