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Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Vienna/Furtwangler | DVD | (08/10/2004)
from £13.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
The incomparable Cesare Siepi stars in this legendary Salzburg production of Mozart's masterpiece. Wilhelm Furtwangler conducts the internationally renowned Vienna Philharmonic in what has become one of the definitive productions of a classic opera.
Yes - the Gates of Q.P.R. Vol. 2 | DVD | (21/07/2008)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
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
Luciano Pavarotti In Barcelona | DVD | (03/12/2001)
from £3.99 | Saving you £9.65 (60.40%) | RRP
No longer the great operatic tenor of his heyday, Pavarotti proves in Pavarotti--Barcelona that he's still capable of remarkable things on a smaller scale. This recital mostly consists of attractive trifles, but the operatic extracts--"Un Aura Amorosa" from Cosi fan Tutte, in particular--remind us of his gift for vocal characterisation and his capacity for real subtlety. Most of the programme is made up of Neapolitan songs--many of them by Tosti, including the less common "A'Vuchella" with words by the poet D'Annunzio--where Pavarotti has a real feel for both music and words. In some of the songs, notably the two late Rossini songs "La Promessa" and "La Danza Gioacchino", he also demonstrates a sense of fun, playing with the tarantella rhythms of the latter song in a flirtatious yet still musical way. On the DVD: the disc, which is presented in 4:3 ratio, has excellent Dolby sound that gives us just enough of the ambient audience sound to remind us that this is a live performance. It comes with a short interview, a biography and discography as bonuses. --Roz Kaveney
L'Amour De Loin - Saariaho | DVD | (15/08/2005)
from £17.69 | Saving you £2.30 (11.50%) | RRP
Kaija SaariahoL'Amour De LoinOpera in five acts
Il Ritorno D'Ulisse In Patria - Monteverdi | DVD | (28/11/2005)
from £13.15 | Saving you £1.84 (12.30%) | RRP
Il Ritorno D'Ulisse In Patria - Recorded At The Glyndebourne Festival Opera 1973.
Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (23/04/2004)
from £8.59 | Saving you £1.40 (14.00%) | RRP
A performance of the Mozart opera Don Giovanni.
Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Zurich/Harnoncourt | DVD | (12/03/2002)
from £57.45 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
In this Zurich Opera House staging of Mozart’s darkly comic cautionary fable Don Giovanni the lighting and stage design keep the characters shaded in half-shadow: even Zerlina’s wedding feels like a subdued affair here, and the Don’s banqueting room is a suitably gloomy venue for the Stone Guest’s climactic visit for a spot of dinner and damnation. Both this staging and video director Brian Large’s filming play no tricks with the audience’s expectations, opting for a largely traditional presentation of this tragedy of swaggering bravado, cuckolded lovers and revenge from beyond the grave. Nikolaus Harnoncourt brings all the sensitivity of his historically informed approach to the orchestra pit. Heading a very strong cast are Rodney Gilfry, defiantly strong-voiced but also haughtily handsome as the seducing Don, and Cecilia Bartoli, a mercurial presence as Donna Elvira. Their scenes together crackle and fizz, even when Bartoli’s extremely ripe vibrato contrasts a little uncomfortably with Harnoncourt’s authenticity. Liliana Nikiteanu makes for a pretty, naïve Zerlina, convincingly torn between her Masetto (Oliver Widmer) and the animalistic attraction of the Don. Laszlo Polgar’s Leporello is wheedling and base, but still the inheritor of his master’s charisma; Isabel Rey and Roberto Sacca are solid as the colourless moralists Anna and Ottavio; while Matti Salminen’s powerful Commendatore isn’t expected to do anything more than stand still and declaim. Overall this is an excellent musical performance, unexceptionally staged. On the DVD: Don Giovanni on disc has a good 24-minute "Behind the Scenes" feature, including interviews with Cecilia Bartoli, Harnoncourt, Gilfry and Isabel Rey. There’s also a trailer for other ArtHaus releases. The 16:9 picture sometimes struggles to bring definition to the dimly lit sets; sound though is crisp and clean PCM stereo or Dolby 5.1. There are subtitles in five languages. --Mark Walker
Die Verkaufte Braut - Smetana/Adam Fischer/Orchester Der Wiener Staatsoper | DVD | (10/09/2007)
from £13.99 | Saving you £3.00 (17.70%) | RRP
Smetana: Die Verkaufte Braut (Aka: The Bartered Bridge)
I Lombardi | DVD | (06/09/2004)
from £10.59 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
The magnificent cast of this production of I Lombardi is headed by Ghena Dimitrova Jose Carreras Silvano Carroli and Carlo Bini. The haunting designs of Spartan grandeur are by Giovanni Agostinucci who uses the motif of a blood-red cross as a double-edged symbol throughout the opera which is set at the time of the first crusade. The performance is conducted by a La Scala conductor of long-standing repute Gianandrea Gavazzeni.
Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies | DVD | (10/11/2003)
from £12.78 | Saving you £1.03 (6.90%) | RRP
Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies
Die Tote Stadt - Korngold | DVD | (06/08/2002)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Any fan of Alfred Hitchcock - and in particular of Vertigo his film in which Kim Novak gives male fantasies something to feed on - is certain to love Eric Wolfgang Korngold's Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City). This was the finest opera to come from the pen of this composer of film scores who found both fame and fortune in Hollywood. It relates the remarkable tale of the protagonist Paul and his individualistic approach to dealing with the loss of his beloved wife Marie. As the drama unfolds all is not what it seems - dream and reality intertwine as Paul attempts to come to terms with the past in exchange for a tolerable future.
Verdi: Aida -- La Scala | DVD | (28/08/2000)
from £17.99 | Saving you £-0.06 (-0.30%) | RRP
La Scala went all-out for its 1986 production of this grandest of grand operas, with a strong cast and--most important for a video recording--a larger-than-life staging. The Triumph Scene in Act II is by no means Aida's only attraction, but it is the part that makes the strongest and most lasting impression and it is the visual and musical climax of this production. Stage director Ronconi brings on a procession to dwarf all processions: looted treasures, heroic statuary, miserable captives struggling under the lash of whip-bearing slave-drivers. On par with these visuals is Lorin Maazel's first-class performance of the popular "Grand March" with the outstanding La Scala chorus and orchestra. In Act III, the contrasting tranquillity of the Nile Scene also gets a visual treatment to match the music's qualities.When it is not an epic spectacle, Aida is a tragic story of love, jealousy and horrible revenge. The shifting focus between vast spectacle and intimate moments-sometimes awkward in a live performance onstage--presents special opportunities and challenges for a video recording. In this Aida, the camera work shows an acute awareness of those opportunities and challenges. The soloists have a variety of strengths that outweigh a few small weaknesses. Luciano Pavarotti sings one of his signature roles in superb voice, but his weight problems are visually evident and detract from his impact as the dashing hero Radames. Maria Chiara has moments of vocal imperfection but gives a dramatically compelling performance. Ghena Dimitrova sings powerfully and the supporting cast is excellent throughout. --Joe McLellan, Amazon.com
Tosca's Kiss | DVD | (06/09/2004)
from £14.59 | Saving you £-0.60 (-4.30%) | RRP
Daniel Schmid's film set in a home for retired opera singers in Casa Di Riposa in Milan. Characters are seen re-enacting their greatest moments in a film which centres on the aging process and inspirational music
A Gala Concert With Joan Sutherland And Marilyn Horne | DVD | (06/08/2001)
from £6.63 | Saving you £10.08 (50.40%) | RRP
In 1986 one of opera's legendary partnerships was celebrated in A Gala Concert with Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne at Sydney Opera House. Under the musical direction of Sutherland's husband and long term conductor Richard Bonynge, the great soprano and mezzo soprano treated their audience to an epic evening of solos and duets from works with which they had long since become indelibly linked. The concert was preserved and transmitted as an Esso-sponsored night at the opera by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Each diva is given ample room to shine individually. Here in all their glory are Sutherland's "Les Oiseaux dans la Charmille", the mechanical doll's aria from Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann and Horne's "Iris, Hence Away" from Handel's Semele. Magical duets include "Serbami Ognor si Fido" (Rossini's Semiramide), "Viens Mallika, les Lianes en Fleurs" (Delibes' Lakme, much-used in their advertisements by British Airways) and of course the "Barcarolle" from Hoffmann. The overwhelming effect is of their passion for the music and the great professional respect and friendship which Sutherland and Horne clearly feel for each other as two of the greatest champions of the bel canto repertoire in living memory. Essential viewing for anyone remotely interested in operatic history. On the DVD: Digitally restored and remastered from the original tape, this disc at least offers the benefit of crystalline PCM stereo sound quality. In all other respects, it is a television production which inevitably shows its age. The curtain calls and long waits between every item, while Horne and Sutherland are fetched singly or together by Bonynge, are interminable and should have been cut. The 4:3 picture format is sharp enough and reveals the cumbersome dullness of the staging in all its glory. But none of this detracts from the wonder of two appealing prima donnas near their vocal peak. --Piers Ford
Puccini: Manon Lescaut -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £10.59 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
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
Boris Godunov - Bolshoi Opera | DVD | (30/01/2006)
from £9.75 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
Boris Godunov is the quintessential Russian opera and stands as the greatest operatic product of the Russian school. This classic Bolshoi production recorded in 1987 live from the magnificent Bolshoi theatre in Moscow is a chance to see Mussorgsky's opera in a traditional Russian production.The original staging is by Leonid Baratov with designs by Fyodor Fedorovsky. After Mussorgsky's death the work was revised by Rimsky-Korsakov and this is the version sung in t
Verdi - Il Corsaro | DVD | (23/05/2005)
from £17.28 | Saving you £2.04 (10.20%) | RRP
Verdi: Il Corsaro - Renato Palumbo (Parma Teatro Regio Chorus)
Rosenkavalier - Strauss | DVD | (15/08/2005)
from £18.65 | Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%) | RRP
Comedy for music in three acts.
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin -- film version/Solti | DVD | (03/06/2002)
from £14.52 | Saving you £2.47 (14.50%) | RRP
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
La Boheme | DVD | (17/04/2003)
from £14.66 | Saving you £7.16 (28.70%) | RRP
Recorded live at the Sydney Opera house this Australian Opera Production of Puccini's masterpiece was staged by the makers of the film 'Strictly Ballroom' with music under the direction of Julian Smith.