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Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail - Mozart | DVD | (03/04/2006)
from £11.17 | Saving you £3.74 (15.00%) | RRP
Recorded live at the Rococo Theatre Schwetzingen May 1991.Directed for TV by Claus Viller.A stage production of the Oper der Stadt Koln and the Opera de Nice from the Schwetzinger Festspiele.
Nabucco - Verdi | DVD | (07/02/2005)
from £13.99 | Saving you £3.00 (17.70%) | RRP
Verdi - Nabucco
Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) | DVD | (21/01/2002)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
This Glyndebourne production of Pique Dame ("The Queen of Spades") received rave reviews when it appeared in 1992 due to its claustrophobic intensity and powerful acting, and these qualities help it to transfer to DVD with great success. Graham Vick's direction ensures that the story is told clearly and simply but includes a wealth of telling details: the pastoral scene from Act 2, for example, uses the boys from the opening chorus as comical sheep and the effect is enchanting. But there are much darker undertones too: Richard Hudson's slanting, angular designs produce a disorientating atmosphere which mirrors Herman's increasing mental deterioration with uncanny precision. There is a brilliant stroke of visual assonance when the Countess returns to haunt Herman and all the furniture from her death scene appears on the roof. The singing is generally good, though Yuri Marusin's voice may not be to everyone's taste; sometimes he sounds like he's shouting, and his frequent lack of vibrato produces a piercing, uncomfortable effect. Nancy Gustafson is a fine Lisa, however, and Dimitri Kharitonov (Yeletsky) is heartbreaking in the famous "Ya vas lyublyu" ("I love you") aria. For overall better singing but a more plodding production, try the 1992 Kirov recording, but for spine-tingling drama this is the one to go for. On the DVD: Pique Dame on disc has subtitles in English, German, French and Spanish. The camerawork captures the odd angularity of the designs and gives an excellent account of a fast-paced, powerful production.--Warwick Thomson
Glyndebourne Diamonds | DVD | (30/04/2007)
from £33.09 | Saving you £11.90 (26.50%) | RRP
All enclosed operas are recorded live at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.Contains the operas:- Macbeth (1972).- Il Ritorno D'Ulisee In Patria (1973).- The Rake's Progress (1975).- Falstaff (1976).- Fidelio (1979).
Puccini: Madame Butterfly -- 1995 film version | DVD | (04/03/2002)
from £19.30 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Like the finest of film scores with its fluid beauty and succession of intensely romantic tunes, Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly has a surprisingly cinematic feel. In 1995 director Frederic Mitterand exploited this quality of the story, exposing a young woman's disillusionment against a backdrop of cultural chasms. Shot on location, with Tunisia doubling convincingly as a turn of the century Nagasaki, this Butterfly shines with fragile beauty. The house becomes a brilliantly used set; airy and full of the scent of flowers and at the same time a cage for the trapped woman. Archive footage of bygone Nagasaki is used skilfully to underline the distance between the 15-year-old bride and Pinkerton. Purists may prefer a more traditionally robust, stage-bound Butterfly, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more visually heartbreaking interpretation. Chinese soprano Ying Huang doesn't rock the rafters with her vocal power; hers is a tender, delicately observed performance. Tenor Richard Troxton's self-seeking Pinkerton is well sung. Overall, this is a haunting cinematic treatment of an enduringly popular opera. On the DVD: Madame Butterfly is presented in a letterbox widescreen format (enhanced for 16:9 widescreen televisions). The Dolby Digital surround soundtrack engulfs the listener in some of Puccini's most memorable tunes, stringing you out and leaving you emotionally spent. The main special feature is a charming portrait of Ying Huan, providing interesting insights into how the film was made and how she won the role. --Piers Ford
Mozart - Don Giovanni | DVD | (28/04/2008)
from £14.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
Classical Ballet 2 - From Dream To Reality - The Dancing Lesson Years 1 And 2 | DVD | (06/10/2008)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Chloe's dream is coming true. The ballerina of her imagination has magically appeared and is going to introduce her to classical ballet. Chloe is going to start her training by taking part in a dance lesson. This programme is divided into four main parts: Barre Exercises Centre Work The Enchainement The Reverence (Acknowledgement) You will then find a retrospective - The development of classical ballet up to the neo-classical style. At the end of the DVD you will discove
The Singing Kettle | DVD | (07/05/2007)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
You Can Be A Ballet Dancer | DVD | (11/04/2005)
from £4.08 | Saving you £1.91 (31.90%) | RRP
An instructional film for children interested in beginning ballet The film follows the basic steps for absolute beginners and takes you right through to preparing for your 'presentation class'.
La Donna Del Lago - Rossini | DVD | (22/10/2004)
from £8.59 | Saving you £1.40 (14.00%) | RRP
La donna del lagoGiachino Rossini (1792-1868)Director Werner Herzog and conductor Riccardo Muti combine with the finest of casts to lavish Rossini's rarely performed Neapolitan masterpiece set in feudal sixteenth-century Scotland with the genius it deserves. June Anderson is an outstanding Elena (the Lady of the Lake) in the 1992 production of the melodrama based on Sir Walter Scott's poem. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this is a classic recording from one of the world's great opera houses.
Billy Budd | DVD | (01/04/2004)
from £18.79 | Saving you £6.20 (24.80%) | RRP
Benjamin Britten's opera 'Billy Budd' in two acts tells of the sadism and injustice abroad a British man-of-war.
Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games | Blu Ray | (24/11/2014)
from £14.99 | Saving you £5.00 (25.00%) | RRP
Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games - a spectacular new staging of the traditional masterpiece; a magical adventure of sight and sound that transports its audience to a mythical time and place lifting the spirits and capturing the hearts of all who experience it. Based on Irish folklore this classic tale of Good vs. Evil expressed through the universal language of dance has thrilled audience's worldwide and catapulted Irish dance to a new dimension and unprecedented worldwide acclaim. With all the visceral precision and thrills of the original Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games features new staging new costumes and choreography and 40 of the world's most outstanding young performers directed by Michael Flatley. With new music by composer Gerard Fahy this latest iteration combines the best of tradition with all the excitement of new music and dance!
Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Royal Opera House/Davis | DVD | (22/08/2003)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
A performance of the David McVicar production of Mozart's last opera. Colin Davis conducts the Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Recorded at Covent Garden.
Coppelia | DVD | (03/04/2002)
from £24.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
The Royal Ballet.Orchestra of The Royal Opera House.Conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu.Coppelia, a mechanical doll made by the toy-maker Dr. Coppelius, is so lifelike that some believe she is his daughter. The mistake leads to intrigue and jealousy in love.This 19th century classic, in an enchanting production of Royal Ballet choreographer Dame Ninette de Valois, with original designs by Sir Osbert Lancaster, was broadcast live by BBC television in February 2000.
Bizet: Carmen -- film version | DVD | (13/03/2000)
from £9.87 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
This movie version of Bizet's popular opera Carmen was filmed on location, conveying a kind of atmosphere, a sense of space, movement, and presence that's hard to achieve in a staged performance. It takes the action out of doors for many scenes, with the opening titles superimposed on the bloody conclusion of a bullfight. Elsewhere the changing of the guard, the crowd scenes, the dance number that opens Act 2, and the panoramic scenery of the smugglers' mountain hideout all benefit from the freedom granted by movie cameras. It's an exciting Carmen, too, with a young-looking Placido Domingo in top form for a role he has sung hundreds of times. For Julia Migenes, though, it was her first performance in a role she would have trouble performing in an opera house. Her voice does not fit easily into Carmen's range, and she spent months training it, very successfully, before singing the role in a recording studio where the soundtrack was taped before the film was shot. Casting her in the role was a gamble, but it worked; she is a convincing actress. Unlike most opera-house performances this movie version uses the opera's original opera comique form with some spoken dialogue rather than recitatives.--Joe McLellan, Amazon.com
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake | DVD | (20/07/1998)
from £9.80 | Saving you £8.19 (45.50%) | RRP
This Swan Lake was the unexpected popular hit of 1996, when radical choreographer Matthew Bourne took Tchaikovsky's traditional ballet by the scruff of the neck and reworked it with a myriad of modern influences and themes to astonishing effect. Seldom have the dark psychological riptides at the heart of so many classical ballets been so brilliantly exposed. The Prince (Scott Ambler) is a wretched and dissolute young man dominated by his mother, the Joan Collins-like Queen (Fiona Ambler). Shades of Tennessee Williams, indeed. Von Rothbart becomes a press secretary, more sinister éminence grise than hissable villain. Most startling of all, The Swan (Adam Cooper) is a muscular, emphatically masculine male. Bourne has stressed the universality of his interpretation, which proved such a success for his Adventures in Motion Pictures dance company. And indeed this is never an overtly "gay" Swan Lake, although the electricity of the pas de deux at the height of Act 2 delivers a palpably homoerotic charge. Its universal threads--as Bourne suggests, the need to be held and understood is common to us all--are synthesised in the utterly moving conclusion as the Swan cradles the lifeless Prince and raises him to a better place. Swan Lake becomes a human, rather than simply romantic, tragedy. On the DVD: Swan Lake is presented in full screen 4:3 video format and this version would certainly have benefited from widescreen to show off the dazzling court and night club scenes as well as the lake and the impact of the all-male swan corps de ballet. But the lush Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound serves the rich interpretation of Tchaikovsky's score from The New London Orchestra to handkerchief-wringing effect. Extras include menu-driven resumes and a synopsis. --Piers Ford
Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (14/03/2008)
from £22.59 | Saving you £7.40 (24.70%) | RRP
Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London on 10th 13th and 17th February 2006.
Giulio Cesare - Handel | DVD | (07/02/2005)
from £7.81 | Saving you £5.20 (14.90%) | RRP
A performance of Handel's Guilio Cesare. Richard Hickox conducts the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Recorded live at the Sydney Opera House in June 1994.
The Mikado | DVD | (22/08/2011)
from £11.65 | Saving you £5.34 (31.40%) | RRP
Based on the stage production by Anthony Besch.
Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena | DVD | (11/06/2001)
from £10.59 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
This traditional production of Puccini's enduringly popular opera Madama Butterfly should give much pleasure. It was recorded at the open-air theatre in Verona in 1983 with the local orchestra and chorus under the aptly named Maurizio Arena. The video direction is by an expert in the field, Brian Large, who brings home all the intimate moments of Puccini's drama from an open set that ascends and sprawls across rows of seating. His camera draws the viewer into scenes that the audience cannot witness at their distance--most movingly when Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki, gives up his attempt to read Pinkerton's letter to Butterfly saying he has no intention of seeing her again (set to that magical melody which will recur as the humming chorus). It's of little matter that there are no operatic stars in the cast for this ensemble consists of experienced singers who fill the night air with lungs to match Puccini's heaviest demands. The audience, many of them evidently on holiday, greet the show-stopping moments with waves of applause. Their enthusiasm may drown a few bars of orchestral continuity but the orchestra itself is always at the service of the singers on a soundtrack that captures the atmosphere of an open-air performance with astonishing verisimilitude. Butterfly, sung by the statuesque Raina Kabaivanska, may not see Cio-Cio San (to give "butterfly" her real name) 16 years again and some of her arm movements are overdone but her big number "Un bel di" and its reprise when she's holding her child by Pinkerton are touchingly conveyed. Neither does she overplay the final scene where she prepares to follow her father's example using the Mikado's dagger to commit suicide--a moment that sends a shiver down the spine in its economy. Nazzareno Antinori as her Pinkerton, with his matinée idol looks and resonant voice, complements her well; their singing of Puccini's spacious love duet at the close of Act One goes down a treat with the crowd. --Adrian Edwards