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Opera

  • 4 Collection: Chills 4 Collection: Chills | DVD | (05/11/2007) from £1.60  |  Saving you £4.20 (42.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Night Of The Living Dead:Special DVD release of George A. Romero's 1968 horror classic, with two versions on the same DVD disc - the original black and white version plus a colourised version. One quiet morning, Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and Johnny's (Russell Streiner) visit to their father's grave is interrupted when Johnny is killed by a flesh-eating stranger. Barbara escapes to a nearby farmhouse, meets up with a few other desperate individuals, and prepares to do battle with the zombies who ...

  • Rossini: Semiramide [1991] Rossini: Semiramide | DVD | (31/12/2007) from £28.69  |  Saving you £6.30 (18.00%)  |  RRP £34.99

    Bel canto can be translated as "pretty singing", and that definition seems tailor-made for this production, which offers grace, charm, and a fine-tuned sense of style in abundance to compensate for its limited psychological and emotional impact. The four principal singers are all specialists in the bel canto style and this opera has played a key role in building their substantial reputations. For its sweeping musical imagination and technical wizardry, Rossini's epic about royal assassination and misdirected lust in the ancient Babylonian Empire deserves a place in any inclusive opera collection, and we are not likely to have a better video recording of Semiramide in the foreseeable future. June Anderson has an attractive appearance and sounds exactly right in the music's florid melodic lines. But she is not dramatically compelling as the wicked queen who had her husband killed and fell in love with a man who turned out to be her long-lost son, Arsace. Marilyn Horne rose to the highest levels of international fame in the role of that conflicted son, and her presence alone would be enough to give this video classic status. Her voice was a bit past its prime when this performance was recorded in 1991, but still there is no other voice quite like it, no other voice so suited to Rossini's heroic mezzo roles. Samuel Ramey is a close bass counterpart to Anderson: great tone, agile florid singing, and a rather wooden but visually appealing stage presence. Sanford Olsen has a small role and sings it near perfectly. James Conlon gets excellent musical results; John Copley's staging is massive and static. --Joe McLellan, Amazon.com

  • Rudolf Nureyev's Romeo And Juliet [1995] Rudolf Nureyev's Romeo And Juliet | DVD | (10/04/2000) from £11.04  |  Saving you £6.95 (38.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The combination of Prokofiev's masterful score with Nureyev's choreography for the ballet company of the Paris Opera could hardly make this Romeo and Juliet anything but a success. However, as it's Nureyev, God is in the detail, and while the sheer exuberance of Manuel Legris and Monique Loudieres in the leading roles is undeniable, it's the little things that count, such as Romeo's shyness as he shuffles from one foot to another in the presence of the object of his affections (it's one thing to do dying swans and amorous raptures, but not everyone can effectively choreograph a fidget). The production is visually stunning, although there's an am-dram overstatedness to the glary lighting thatcan take one aback somewhat. What's very good indeed, however, is the presence of surround and stereo audio options and a multi-angle option, which are all too often omitted altogether from dance DVDs. The booklet notes are detailed but unfussy.--Roger Thomas

  • L'Amour De Loin - Saariaho [2004] L'Amour De Loin - Saariaho | DVD | (15/08/2005) from £18.99  |  Saving you £1.00 (5.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Kaija SaariahoL'Amour De LoinOpera in five acts

  • Parsifal - Wagner Parsifal - Wagner | DVD | (29/03/2005) from £25.99  |  Saving you £9.00 (25.70%)  |  RRP £34.99

    Nikolaus Lehnoff's visionary staging of Wagner's opera for ENO.

  • A Gala Concert With Joan Sutherland And Marilyn Horne A Gala Concert With Joan Sutherland And Marilyn Horne | DVD | (06/08/2001) from £4.88  |  Saving you £8.83 (44.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    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

  • Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti In Concert - Modena Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti In Concert - Modena | DVD | (19/11/2007) from £2.00  |  Saving you £1.70 (34.10%)  |  RRP £4.99

    A rare and intimate evening with Pavarotti live in Modena.

  • Beethoven - Fidelio Beethoven - Fidelio | DVD | (12/05/2008) from £13.29  |  Saving you £3.70 (21.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

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

  • Don Giovanni - Mozart Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (14/03/2005) from £9.26  |  Saving you £7.00 (31.80%)  |  RRP £21.99

    The Opera Don Giovanni drama in two acts.

  • Carmen [2003] Carmen | DVD | (12/02/2003) from £23.15  |  Saving you £6.84 (22.80%)  |  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

  • Cimarosa - Il Matrimonio Segreto (Travis, Fissore, Baiano) Cimarosa - Il Matrimonio Segreto (Travis, Fissore, Baiano) | DVD | (29/01/2007) from £4.49  |  Saving you £10.50 (70.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Partly based on the 1766 English comedy 'The Clandestine Marriage' by David Garrick and George Colman, Domenico Cimarosa's Il Matrimono Segreto was a widely popular example of opera buffa in its day. This sparkling comedy tells the story of Geronimo, a wealthy citizen of Bologna, who is trying to arrange aristocratic marriages for his two daughters, Carolina and Elisetta. However his plans seem destined to fail as his daughter Carolina is already secretly married to Paolino, his young secretary. Through a series of humorous situations the young couple confess their marriage and all ends well.

  • Don Giovanni - Mozart [1987] Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (23/04/2004) from £8.85  |  Saving you £1.14 (11.40%)  |  RRP £9.99

    A performance of the Mozart opera Don Giovanni.

  • Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias [1999] Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias | DVD | (03/12/2007) from £11.09  |  Saving you £3.90 (26.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    In reflecting on this DVD of sacred arias it is significant that Andrea Bocelli refers to the dawn of 'a new millennium' and it is appropriate that this concert was taped in Rome. In no other city of the world did the millennium have such immediate resonance and what better place for the recording of a universal jubilee celebrating the two-thousandth anniversary of the birth of Christ?

  • Inside the Actors Studio - Dave Chappelle Inside the Actors Studio - Dave Chappelle | DVD | (26/01/2009) from £4.72  |  Saving you £5.27 (52.80%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Dave Chappelle continues the close relationship betweenInside the Actors Studio and America''s masters of comedy.His career which began in high school and has taken him -and us - through his film appearances standup televisionspecials and the Comedy Central series Chappelle''s Show deserves that rarest of entertainment accolades ''meteoric.''Chappelle''s Show broke many of the molds for sketchcomedy and pushed the boundaries of even as audaciousa network as Comedy Central. He has continued his boldvoyage toward comedy''s outer limits with the featurefilm Dave Chappelle''s Block Party.The sometimes hilarious often touching and alwaysintriguing answers to many different questions are waiting here in this Emmy''-nominated episode of Inside the Actors Studio.

  • Verdi - La Traviata [2007] Verdi - La Traviata | DVD | (12/11/2007) from £11.99  |  Saving you £0.40 (2.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A lavish period production of Verdi's best -loved opera featuring two of today's most celebrated stars - American soprano Renee Fleming and Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon. The tragic love-story of the courtesan Violetts and her young admirer Alfredo Germont is set to some of the most popular in all opera, including the irresistible Brindisi (Drinking Song) and Violetta's thrilling Act One finale Sempre Libera. For this performance, filmed live in Los Angeles, the role of Alfredo's father is sung by the great Verdi baritone Renato Bruson.

  • Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1996] Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/07/2004) from £11.79  |  Saving you £6.20 (34.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This production of Handel's tragic and moving oratorio took Glyndebourne by storm when it was first staged in 1996. Sellars took Handel's tale of self-sacrificial love between a Christian virgin and a Roman imperial bodyguard in fourth century enemy occupied Antioch and by resetting it in modern-day America transformed it into a timeless parable of spiritual resistance to tyranny and persecution.

  • Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur -- Teatro alla Scala [2000] Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur -- Teatro alla Scala | DVD | (05/05/2003) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    When Adriana Lecouvreur makes her entrance in the first act of Francesco Cilea's opera to the strains of her characteristic sweeping melody and chides her admirers that she is only 'the humble maidservant of the creative spirit the echo of human drama her modest desire for self-effacement conceals one of the essential truths of this and many of the operas of Cilea's Italian contemporaries: their unswerving focus on one remarkable woman. Like Tosca or Madama Butterfly Adriana is the character at the very centre of the action the one who draws all the audience's sympathies. Unsurprisingly when the historical figure Adrienne Lecouvreur of the Comedie-Francaise returned to theatrical life in 1849 as the subject of a play by the dramatist Eugene Scribe and his collaborator Ernest Legouve the role became associated with such legends of the stage as Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse. And in her musical incarnation at the hands of Cilea the part has similarly been something of a vehicle for great singing actresses.

  • England Cricket's Greatest Matches England Cricket's Greatest Matches | DVD | (17/03/2008) from £7.93  |  Saving you £7.06 (47.10%)  |  RRP £14.99

    The ultimate collection of England's most memorable test perfomances from over 35 years of cricket

  • Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Royal Opera House [1977] Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (16/01/2001) from £13.90  |  Saving you £11.09 (44.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Originally broadcast live by the BBC from the Royal Opera House on New Year's Eve 1990, this production of Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss' masterpiece of comic operetta, was a truly historic occasion, marking the retirement from the stage of one of the greatest sopranos of the 20th century, Dame Joan Sutherland. Sung in English, in a version by John Mortimer, conducted by Sutherland's husband Richard Bonynge and directed for television by Humphrey Burton, this is an exceptional translation from stage to screen. The story, an elaborate farce with elements of satirical comedy set around a lavish masked ball in 19th-century Vienna comes to life through outstanding performances by a large, vivacious cast, including Judith Howarth, Nancy Gustason and Jochen Kowalski as Prince Orlofsky. Gorgeously designed, wonderfully costumed and enthusiastically played as it is, attention inevitably centres on the "special recital" by the "surprise guests": Sutherland herself, Marilyn Horne and Luciano Pavarotti. No finer, more exhilarating and touching a farewell could have been imagined. After the curtain there is a short, on-stage tribute to Sutherland by Jeremy Isaacs, bringing to a close a glorious, unforgettable evening of music-making for which the word "glittering" might have been invented. --Gary S. Dalkin On the DVD: By presenting the production on two discs the picture quality is maximised, and, by the standards of live-filmed opera, is very good indeed. The discs are presented with PCM stereo sound and a 4:3 TV ratio image. There are options for French and German subtitles, but unless trailers for two further Arthaus DVDs count, there are no extras. The booklet is well documented, though lacking the libretto. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • La Cenerentola [2005] La Cenerentola | DVD | (30/01/2006) from £22.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (24.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Vladimir Jurowski and Sir Peter Hall are re-united for a fresh and vibrant but timelessly elegant production of Rossinin's much-loved setting of the Cinderella story with a fine cast led by Ruxandra Donose in the title role. Filmed in June 2005 with high definition cameras and recorded in multi-track 5.1 surround sound

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