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Opera

  • Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Paris/Gardiner Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Paris/Gardiner | DVD | (15/10/2001) from £13.65  |  Saving you £3.34 (19.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    It is an oft-repeated saw, about life in the heavenly spheres, that the angels revere Bach but listen to Mozart. If they have DVD players, you can bet theyre now watching this stunning production of Le Nozze di Figaro ("The Marriage of Figaro"), which comes about as close to Mozartian perfection as one could possibly hope to get. The faultlessly cast youthful performers bubble with infectious energy. Alison Hagley is a sprightly Susanna with a voice as clear as a bell, and brilliantly matched by a 28-year-old Bryn Terfel both acting and sounding in fine form. Hillevi Martinpelto demonstrates why she is one of the worlds favourite Mozart singers with her melting tones, richly coloured voice and generous stage presence, and Rodney Gilfry gives a muscular, wonderfully controlled performance as the Count. Olivier Milles direction mixes knockabout comedy and restrained pathos with fluid inventiveness, and there are even--heavens, can this really be an opera?--quite a few belly laughs, and deliciously amusing details. (Susannas guitar playing during Cherubinos "Voi che sapete" is a comic delight, and Figaros hidden sneers at Count Almaviva are hilarious.) John Eliot Gardiner draws exquisite playing from his authentic-instrument orchestra and employs tempos that are ideal. Add to that gorgeous 18th-century costumes and effective sets--it doesnt get much better than this. On the DVD: the production is beautifully realised for home viewing, with clear sound (the sets are simple wooden panels, which continually and flatteringly push the sound to the front) and great camera direction. There are subtitles in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese but no other special features.--Warwick Thompson

  • Gugielmo Tell - Rossini Gugielmo Tell - Rossini | DVD | (23/04/2004) from £10.59  |  Saving you £2.40 (18.50%)  |  RRP £12.99

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

  • Albert Herring - Glyndebourne Festival Opera Albert Herring - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/09/2005) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Set in an English market town at the turn of 20th century a gangling greengrocer's lad is crowded May King. The break with the tradition of choosing a girl is virtuous enough to May Queen... The comic opera at Glyndebourne was conducted by Bernard Haitink. 'A Vintage production with a vintage cast.' - Sunday Times.

  • Verdi: Aida -- San Francisco/Navarro [1981] Verdi: Aida -- San Francisco/Navarro | DVD | (11/05/1998) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This spectacular 1981 San Francisco production of Aida, directed by Sam Wanamaker, boasts production values more commonly associated with Hollywood to portray scenes from the time of the Pharaohs, notably a striking interior for the temple of Vulcan from where Radames is sent forth on his mission to conquer the invading Ethiopian army. With Margaret Price in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as Radames, there is much going for this version, both musically and visually. Price and Pavarotti are in superb voice throughout. Pavarotti sings his initial aria, "Celeste Aida", very much as a showpiece, ignoring Verdi's quadruple pianissimo ending for the very opposite, milking (dare one say it) the audience for a thunderous round of applause which he duly receives! Initial doubts about his commitment to the drama, however, are dispelled in Act 3 when he denies Amneris his hand and bids farewell to life entombed in the same temple from where he'd once been sent forth as conqueror. Margaret Price may not be a natural actress but her singing throughout, particularly in the concluding farewell with Pavarotti ("O terra, addio"), is very touching. Stefania Toczyska is a compelling Amneris and no more so than when she's offering Radames a lifeline at the start of the last act. With assured conducting from Garcia Navarro, this Aida is a very desirable acquisition. On the DVD Aida on disc has both subtitles and surtitles, depending on the picture image, in the main European languages. Brian Large's direction for video homes in on the salient points of the drama and also picks up on an uncomfortable looking extra or two in the "Grand March" where space on stage seems at a premium. The picture quality and sound are satisfactory.--Adrian Edwards

  • Turandot - Puccini [1988] Turandot - Puccini | DVD | (15/09/2003) from £14.37  |  Saving you £2.62 (15.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Puccini's 'Turandot' performed by the Metropolitan Opera. Artists include: Eve Marton and Placido Domingo. Conducted by James Levine. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Sung in Italian

  • Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) [1987] Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) | DVD | (04/12/2000) from £6.75  |  Saving you £3.94 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    L'Italiana in Algeri, Rossini's first real hit as a writer of comic opera, is one of those almost unsinkable works difficult to get entirely right. Michael Hampe's production for the 1987 Schwetzinger festival captures both its charm and its sense of menace--the court of the Bey is both a setting for farce and a place in which the Italian characters are at the mercy of a despot who will not necessarily find things funny. Gunther von Kannen's Mustafa is a convincing Bey of Algiers, with all the arrogance of power and the vulnerability to mockery that goes with it. His adversary, the tough witty proto-feminist Isabella, is given real presence in Doris Soffel's performance--it is entirely credible, listening to her throaty mezzo, that everyone else should be more-than-a-little in love with her. The slightly effete tenor of Robert Gambill as her lover Lindoro makes him a perfect partner in intrigue for her. Conducting Rossini is not just a matter of winding the crescendos up and letting them go; Ralf Weikert is particularly fine in the complicated finale of Act One with its imitations of bells and drums and its complicated vocal lines. The DVD comes with menu material in English, French, German and Spanish, and with English, French and German subtitles; the stereo sound is particularly crisp. --Roz Kaveney

  • Natural World Natural World | DVD | (25/06/2007) from £12.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Fromthe ice age and woolly mammoth to the oceans and rainforests Discovery looks at all that is incredible about our world

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- San Francisco/Severini [1988] Puccini: La Boheme -- San Francisco/Severini | DVD | (28/08/2000) from £99.97  |  Saving you £-74.98 (-300.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    One way to use the DVD format for opera is to provide a video format with a clear picture and sumptuous sound and let a good performance speak more or less for itself. Severini's La Boheme comes with a minimum of trimmings--subtitles in English, French and German; even a short account of the performance history is relegated to text in a booklet. The live performance has real theatrical presence, even to the extent that, at times, the vocal and orchestral subtleties get lost in wild applause. Pavarotti's Rodolfo was, in 1988, as plangently lyrical as ever and Freni's care-worn Mimi is a deeply touching and musical performance; Pacetti is a beefy full-blooded no-nonsense Musetta--the waltz song and ensuing duet with Marcello is for once the Broadway show-stopper it ought to be. Of the supporting roles, though, perhaps the most moving is Ghiaurov's Colline--his farewell to his old coat is a short passage of deep pathos which he has rarely sung as well as he does here. --Roz Kaveney

  • Don Giovanni - Mozart [1987] Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (23/04/2004) from £3.18  |  Saving you £1.40 (14.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    A performance of the Mozart opera Don Giovanni.

  • Ruslan And Lyudmila Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003) from £16.49  |  Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

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

  • The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 | DVD | (29/06/1998) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  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).

  • Kiri Te Kanawa - Opera in the Outback Kiri Te Kanawa - Opera in the Outback | DVD | (25/09/2000) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Opera in the Outback features internationally renowned diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa singing a superb selection of songs from opera favorites such as Puccini's Tosca through to the popular classics of Richard Rogers and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Dame Kiri is also joined by the Adnymathanha Women's Choir the region's indigenous women's choir for the world debut of the Warrioota Song. Set against the spectacular backdrop of Yalkarinha Gorge in the South Australian Flinders Ranges Opera in the Outback is a truly magical event. Track List / Composer: 1. Prince Igor Overture / Borodin 2. Bailero / Canteloube 3. Malurous qu'o uno fenno / Canteloube 4. La Delaissado / Canteloube 5. Lou Boussu / Canteloube 6. Vissi d'arte / Puccini 7. Signore ascolta / Puccini 8. Un bel di vedremo / Puccini 9. Adagio / Khachaturian 10.Wayanta Lullaby / Traditional 11.Warrioota Song / Soutelle 12. Viliwarunha manyinga / Traditional 13. Marietta's Lied / Korngold 14. Chanson d'enfance / Lloyd Webber 15. Unexpected Song / Lloyd Webber 16. The Jellicle Ball / Lloyd Webber 17. How Deep Is The Ocean / Berlin 18. I Believe / Drake Shirl Graham Stillman 19. You'll Never Walk Alone / Rodgers 20. Summertime / Gershwin 21. O mio babbino caro / Puccini

  • Peter Grimes Peter Grimes | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Benjamin Britten's powerful opera 'Peter Grimes' is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. In this famous production by Elijah Moshinsky for The Royal Opera Canadian tenor Jon Vickers stars as the complex and misunderstood fisherman. The conductor is Sir Colin Davis who worked for several years with the cast of this production resulting in a masterly interweaving of characters in this gripping drama. ""One of the most riveting operatic impersonations o

  • Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites | DVD | (29/09/2008) from £9.39  |  Saving you £5.60 (37.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

  • Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies [2001] Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies | DVD | (10/11/2003) from £7.98  |  Saving you £1.03 (6.90%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies

  • Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path [2007] Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path | DVD | (17/12/2007) from £14.99  |  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.

  • La Fanciulla Del West - Puccini La Fanciulla Del West - Puccini | DVD | (15/08/2005) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Giacomo Puccini's 'La Fanciulla del West' a stage production by The Metropolitan Opera 1992.

  • L'Elisir D'Amore - Donizetti L'Elisir D'Amore - Donizetti | DVD | (18/04/2005) from £12.85  |  Saving you £1.14 (8.10%)  |  RRP £13.99

    L'Elisir D'AmoreMelodramma In Two Acts.

  • Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart | DVD | (23/07/2004) from £8.59  |  Saving you £1.40 (14.00%)  |  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.

  • Samson Et Dalila - Saint-Saens Samson Et Dalila - Saint-Saens | DVD | (09/08/2004) from £16.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A production of the Saint-Saens opera performed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Conducted by the esteemed James Levine.

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