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Opera

  • 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

  • Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Ludwigsburg/Gonnenwein Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Ludwigsburg/Gonnenwein | DVD | (20/04/2001) from £5.59  |  Saving you £19.24 (77.00%)  |  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

  • Handel - Serse / Rasmussen · Hallenberg · Bardon · Bayrakdarian · Piau · Lippi · Peirone · Les Talens Lyriques · Rousset · Hampe [Semperooper Dresden 2000] Handel - Serse / Rasmussen · Hallenberg · Bardon · Bayrakdarian · Piau · Lippi · Peirone · Les Talens Lyriques · Rousset · Hampe | DVD | (01/08/2005) from £21.03  |  Saving you £3.96 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Opera in three acts.Recorded live at the Semperoper Dresden 2-3 June 2000.

  • The Three Tenors Christmas [1999] The Three Tenors Christmas | DVD | (29/10/2007) from £8.99  |  Saving you £-1.00 (-12.50%)  |  RRP £7.99

    1. Medley: White Christmas - Let It Snow - Oh Tannenbaum - Ay! Para - Navidad2. Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle3. Carol Of The Drum4. Medley: Ave Maria, Dolce Maria- Brahms' Wiegenlied5. Jingle Bells6. Medley: Children of Christmas - La Virgen Lava Panales - I'll Be Home for Christmas7. Adeste Fideles8. Cantique de Noel (O Holy Night)9. Amazing Grace10. Feliz Navidad11. Silent Night12. Pregaria (El Cant de L'Anima a la Verge)13. Medley: Winter Wonderland - Strauss's Wiegenlied - Sleigh Ride - Susani14. Un Nuevo Siglo15. Medley: Dormi, O Bambino - Happy Christmas/ War Is Over

  • 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 £13.30  |  Saving you £11.69 (46.80%)  |  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

  • Cecilia Bartoli - Live In Italy [1998] Cecilia Bartoli - Live In Italy | DVD | (25/06/2001) from £10.60  |  Saving you £6.39 (37.60%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Cecilia Bartoli gives a performance from Teatro Olimpico Vincenza Italy. The tracklist includes 'Voi Che Sapete' Seguedille' and many more.

  • Carmen - Bizet [1967] Carmen - Bizet | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    This famous film of the world's best loved opera, directed by Herbert von Karajan, features the three greatest exponents of their respective roles at the time: Grace Bumbry's magnificently seductive-toned Carmen, Mirella Freni's ineffably lovely, touching Micaela, and Jon Vickers's thrillingly manic-depressive Don Jose.

  • Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Bavarian State Opera [1985] Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Bavarian State Opera | DVD | (19/03/2001) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

  • 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 £22.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (24.70%)  |  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.

  • Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/09/2005) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  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

  • Undercover Kids Undercover Kids | DVD | (07/04/2008) from £2.99  |  Saving you £1.48 (24.70%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Nicole and Nelson are not ordinary kids - they have psychic powers. With the help of the school boff George and his high-tech gadgets the twins embark on a mission to reveal who is vandalizing their school.

  • Luciano Pavarotti - Dal Vivo - Gran Teatre Del Liceu Barcelona [1989] Luciano Pavarotti - Dal Vivo - Gran Teatre Del Liceu Barcelona | DVD | (04/02/2008) from £5.25  |  Saving you £39.75 (88.30%)  |  RRP £45

    The world's greatest tenor in concert. Luciano Pavarotti recorded this wonderful selection of 23 great songs at the legendary Gran Teatre del Liceu at Barcelona on 8 June 1989. Just hours after this performance was filmed this historic theatre burned to the ground. One of the great palaces of opera was reduced to rubble. This DVD offers a last chance to relive the splendour and passion of Barcelona opera.

  • Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin -- film version/Solti [1988] Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin -- film version/Solti | DVD | (03/06/2002) from £7.99  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    It's a common complaint that opera singers can't act, and actors can't sing opera. In this handsome 1988 film of Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin, director Petr Weigl attempts to solve the problem by letting each group of performers do what they do best. Thus the music is a studio recording with some great voices in the principal roles, and the film is a lip-synched performance shot in stunning locations by a good-looking cast of players. On the positive side this means that the whole thing looks gorgeous, and sun-drenched dachas, glittering ballrooms and snowy steppes are all captured with painterly verve. The musical performances are also splendid, with Bernd Weikl making a passionate, tortured Onegin, Teresa Kubiak a honeyed, fresh-sounding Tatyana, and Solti conducting with driven intensity. But realism and opera rarely make happy bed-fellows, and the down-side of this film is that the naturalistic "speaking-style" lip-synching and understated acting are entirely at odds with the grand musical gestures, and occasionally give rise to a somewhat absurd alienation effect. Thus while Kubiak's voice is at full blast, Magdalena Vasaryova looks like she's making polite chit-chat at a cocktail party. But the project feels like a brave experiment, nonetheless, and if the whole isn't quite the sum of its different elements, those elements are still jolly good. On the DVD: Eugene Onegin on disc has excellent picture quality (which is fortunate in such a visually exquisite film), though the sound is a little distant and muffled. The film starts with the entry of the peasants in Act 1, but the DVD includes the Prologue and music before this point as an audio bonus. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and a series of trailers for other Decca DVDs. --Warwick Thompson

  • Handel - a Musical Journey: England [2008] Handel - a Musical Journey: England | DVD | (30/06/2008) from £8.85  |  Saving you £0.14 (1.60%)  |  RRP £8.99

    Our tour takes us to three great English houses. The first, near Oxford, is Blenheim Palace, built for the first Duke of Marloborough by Sir John Vanbrugh. The second is the romantic Leeds Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, designed for the Howard family by Vanbrugh.The music chosen to accompany out tour is by George Frideric Handel, who finally settled in England in 1712, assuming a dominant position in English music. Hos Water Music was written to entertain King George I, probably in 1717, as he sailed up the Thames, and the second, the Music For The Royal Fireworks was commissioned to celebrate the Peace of Aix-La-Chapelle in 1749, accompanying a firework display in Green Park.

  • Beethoven: Fidelio [1991] Beethoven: Fidelio | DVD | (31/07/2000) from £9.99  |  Saving you £2.90 (11.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Beethoven's lone opera Fidelio had a troubled gestation, as its no fewer than four overtures suggest. The finished product, while obviously a work of genius, exposes its patchwork qualities even in the best of productions. Luckily, the 1991 staging by the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, is so lucid and intelligent that the opera--a forceful plea for freedom, even in the most severely dictatorial regimes--comes across as both a forceful drama and a thought-provoking "message".Stage director Adolf Dresen, together with set designer Margit Bardy and lighting designer Erich Falk, presents the characters (which on paper have a tendency to remain "types") as fully human, their interactions made understandable and plausible not only by Beethoven's humanising music but also the realistic period settings. Video director Derek Bailey has succeeded admirably at getting this across for the home viewer as well. Musically, this Fidelio is a whirlwind, with conductor Christoph von Dohnányi leading the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus in an energetic but never too-fast performance (by the way, they perform the fourth overture); and the singers are top-notch vocally and dramatically. Soprano Gabriela Benacková makes an arresting, emotionally complex Leonore, and Josef Protschka as her imprisoned husband, Florestan, brings down the house with his impassioned aria at the beginning of Act II. --Kevin Filipski, Amazon.com

  • Hercules - Handel [2005] Hercules - Handel | DVD | (06/02/2006) from £29.24  |  Saving you £0.75 (2.50%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Musical drama in three acts.

  • Nabucco - Arena Di Verona [1981] Nabucco - Arena Di Verona | DVD | (25/07/2005) from £12.09  |  Saving you £5.90 (32.80%)  |  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

  • Bach:  St John Passion / St Mark Passion - Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, Covey Crump, Cleobury [2007] Bach: St John Passion / St Mark Passion - Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, Covey Crump, Cleobury | DVD | (12/11/2007) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £13.99

  • Carmen - Bizet [2002] Carmen - Bizet | DVD | (27/02/2006) from £4.49  |  Saving you £10.50 (70.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Carmen is a timeless tragedy never more relevant than today. It is a tale of desire seduction jealousy and betrayal. And in this Ted Brandsen's minimalist production the devastating finale is heightened by the complete lack of artifice. Rodion Shchedrin's fluid and muscular musical adaptation fits this raw and original performance by the West Australian Ballet like Carmen's red dress - tight revealing and like the production impossible to ignore.

  • Oedipus Rex - Stravinsky Oedipus Rex - Stravinsky | DVD | (13/06/2005) from £14.44  |  Saving you £2.55 (15.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

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

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