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Opera

  • Il Trittico Il Trittico | DVD | (22/03/2004) from £12.69  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Puccini's trio of mini masterpieces Il Trittico features a melodrama (Il Tabarro) a sentimental piece (Suor Angelica) and finally a comedy (Gianni Schicchi). These three one-act operas feature some of Puccini's most beautiful music. Puccini's passionate and ruggedly realistic opera Il Tabarro is a tale of deception and murder along the banks of the Seine. Suor Angelica is the story of Sister Angelica who was born a princess but had an illegitmate son and so was banished to a co

  • Lohengrin - Richard Wagner [1990] Lohengrin - Richard Wagner | DVD | (28/03/2003) from £25.45  |  Saving you £4.54 (15.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Richard Wagner was a one-man artistic movement a figure so massive that his influence was felt by all of his contemporaries and all of his major successors.Wolfgang Weber's simple staging muted colours dark clouds barren landscapes and simple shapes succeeds in evoking clear middle ages symbolism. His staging does not impress by means of the spectacular but underlines the dramatic sense embodied in the music allowing the outstanding singers full scope to express themselves.This remarkable production under Claudio Abbado has a stellar cast. Cheryl Studer as Elsa and Placido Domingo as Lohengrin (a role which he first performed on debut at the Hamburg State Opera in 1968 at the age of 27) are the cornerstone of a dream cast.

  • Verdi - La Traviata [2007] Verdi - La Traviata | DVD | (12/11/2007) from £16.59  |  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.

  • The Fairy Queen - Purcell [1995] The Fairy Queen - Purcell | DVD | (25/05/2001) from £5.82  |  Saving you £3.64 (14.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    David Pountney and Quinny Sacks' production of Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen caused something of a sensation when it hit the ENO stage in 1995. It has the feel of a decadent 17th-century masque re-invented with late-20th-century energy: half the principals and chorus are in cross-dressing costumes, female characters are played by men (leading to some rather wonderful polymorphous perversity), and everything has an air of mad, hallucinogenic hipness about it. While Robert Israel's wild sets don't appear to their full advantage on the small screen, Dunya Ramicova's costumes look fantastic (the details are simply stunning). The very fine singing is recorded with excellent clarity: while this is obviously a live performance, there are remarkably few moments that go out of microphone range, and the balance with the orchestra is handled very sensitively. The ENO band, under the baton of Nicholas Kok, respond to Purcell's wiry lines and spiky harmonies with glee, and sound like they're having a ball, as do the singers. In particular Jonathan Best as The Drunken Poet is hilarious, and it is a wonderful testament to his acting skills that he is as funny close-up as he was from the auditorium stalls.--Warwick Thompson

  • Wagner: Parsifal Wagner: Parsifal | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £17.98  |  Saving you £4.01 (18.20%)  |  RRP £21.99

    A performance of Wagner's opera 'Parsifal' featuring the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Conducted by James Levine. The action takes place in the Middle Ages. At the castle of Monsalvat cut off from the rest of the world the brotherhood of Grail Knights guards the chalice in which the blood of the crucified Saviour had once been caught. In an effort to seize possession of the Grail Klingsor a powerful magician has established his realm at the foot of the mountain peop

  • Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Royal Opera House [1977] Strauss: Die Fledermaus -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (16/01/2001) from £19.79  |  Saving you £5.20 (20.80%)  |  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

  • 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 £12.69  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  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.

  • Philomena Begley - Live in Concert Philomena Begley - Live in Concert | DVD | (03/03/2008) from £7.99  |  Saving you £-2.99 (-37.40%)  |  RRP £7.99

    Recorded at The Whitehall Theatre, Dundee 1990

  • Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £15.49  |  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.

  • 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.

  • Tosca - Puccini/Terfel/Malfitano/Chailly Tosca - Puccini/Terfel/Malfitano/Chailly | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £15.99  |  Saving you £1.00 (5.90%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Riccardo Chailly conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and an outstanding cast in Nikolaus Lehnhoff's sensational staging of Puccini's great operatic thriller. Stars Catherine Malfitano as Tosca Bryn Terfel as Scarpia and Richard Margison as Cavaradossi. Bryn Terfel plays the 'tough guy' in contrast to many of his other stage characters which makes this Tosca immediately stand out as unusual from others. Outstanding orchestral performance with Riccardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.

  • Verdi: Otello -- Royal Opera House/Solti [1992] Verdi: Otello -- Royal Opera House/Solti | DVD | (29/10/2001) from £20.40  |  Saving you £14.59 (41.70%)  |  RRP £34.99

    A coproduction by BBC Covent Garden Pioneer and the Royal Opera House of Verdi's classic opera about the Moor who loved not wisely but too well. Conducted by George Solti.

  • Handel: Xerxes [1988] Handel: Xerxes | DVD | (16/08/2000) from £21.35  |  Saving you £3.64 (14.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The English National Opera has always had an attractively light touch in Handel; this classic production, designed by Nicholas Hytner (director of The Madness of King George and The Crucible), manages to preserve both the work's occasional passion and its undercutting of that passion into urbane absurdity. Anne Murray's Xerxes is a tyrant in love, who learns the hard way that he can neither play with, nor command, his subjects' affections; her forthright declamatory singing, not least in the famous "Larghetto", conveys both the petulance and the final grandeur of a man undergoing a sentimental education. Valerie Masterson and Christopher Hudson, as the principal pair of lovers, combine perfect singing with an attractive romantic ardour; Hudson in particular makes clear just how heroic a counter-tenor can sound, listened to without preconceptions. In the soubrette role of Atalanta, Lesley Garrett is a cute trouble-maker. Sir Charles Mackerras' conducting gives each of the genre arias of which the work consists both an appropriate intensity of emotion and an overall charm. The English libretto is by Hytner. The recording is decent PCM stereo and the picture, originally produced for TV broadcast, is in 4:3 ratio. --Roz Kaveney

  • Bizet - Les Pecheurs De Perles Bizet - Les Pecheurs De Perles | DVD | (04/04/2005) from £15.11  |  Saving you £4.88 (24.40%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Widely remembered as the composer of one of the most popular operas of all time CARMEN Georges Bizet was also responsible for this lesser-known gem. Written when he was only 25 the work was not well-recieved upon its initial performance in 1863 but has since come to be appreciated for its beauty and orchestral subtlety. The libretto deals with two men King Zurga of Ceylon and his friend Nadir who are both in love with a high priestess Lla. Though each claim to be over Leila when Nadir recognizes her in the temple he cannot deny his feelings which are returned; though she has vowed celibacy they meet in secret and are discovered. The jealous Zurga condemns Lla to death but when he realizes she intervened on his behalf years ago he changes his mind with catastophic results. This production of the only Bizet opera to remain in the repertoire was performed in Venice with an extraordinary Annick Massis as Lla while the staging was executed by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Highlights of the show include Leila's aria ""Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombre "" and the stunning duet between Lla and Nadir ""Ton coeur n'a pas compris le mien.""

  • Don Pasquale - Donizetti [2007] Don Pasquale - Donizetti | DVD | (10/09/2007) from £15.49  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Donizetti: Don Pasquale - Juan Diego Florez

  • Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Zurich/Harnoncourt Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Zurich/Harnoncourt | DVD | (12/03/2002) from £9.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £29.99

    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

  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Venice [1992] Verdi: La Traviata -- Venice | DVD | (10/04/2000) from £11.25  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This performance of Verdi's La Traviata comes from the Gran Teatro La Fenice, Venice in 1992. The intimacy and social realism of the story make it one of the most dramatically successful of all operas, while the score contains some of the finest music of the 19th century. Despite the strong production values and well-staged party scenes, any production of La Traviata stands or falls on the performers in the vital roles of the lovers Violetta and Alfredo, and that of Alfredo's father, Giorgio. Here Giorgio Zancanaro is suitably decent and morally serious as Giorgio, and Neil Shicoff makes a strong impression as an ordinary man suddenly overwhelmed by love. The drawback is that--and there is no polite way to say this--Edita Gruberova is not only too old to play the sparkling young society girl, Violetta, but she is a much better singer than she is an actress. She comes into her own in the tragic last act, but is otherwise awkward and uncomfortable when the part requires her to demonstrate confidence and sensuality. This remains a production with considerable merits, but overall a more dramatically, not to say visually, compelling version is that originally broadcast world-wide live from Paris in 2000 starring Eteri Gvazava and José Cura.On the DVD: The production is presented at 4:3 with above average picture quality for a live opera DVD, and with excellent PCM stereo sound. The disc and booklet both offer a synopsis, but other than the option to watch with or without subtitles there are no special features. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Gounod: Romeo et Juliette [1995] Gounod: Romeo et Juliette | DVD | (19/11/2001) from £21.99  |  Saving you £10.90 (31.20%)  |  RRP £34.99

    A performance of Gounod's opera 'Romeo Et Juliette' in five acts recorded live at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

  • Relic Hunters Relic Hunters | DVD | (21/04/2008) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £4.99

  • Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1996] Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/07/2004) from £12.69  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  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.

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