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  • Margot Fonteyn - A Portrait [1989] Margot Fonteyn - A Portrait | DVD | (20/04/2001) from £7.81  |  Saving you £9.06 (45.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Just two years before she died in 1991, Margot Fonteyn finally allowed a documentary to be made about her life and legendary career as the most romantic prima ballerina of all. Fortunately, the task fell to Patricia Foy. Together with her later appreciation of Rudolf Nureyev, this study offers an invaluable insight into the two dominant and most widely popular dancers of the 20th century. Fonteyn talks directly to camera, with disarming simplicity, about a professional career which endured for more than 40 remarkable years. Reminiscences of a childhood and youth in which she entertained ideas of being a tap dancer (it took Ninette de Valois to spot her unique talent) give way to archive footage of famous performances and interviews with key collaborators including Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpmann. Fascinating home movies give a brief glimpse of a hard-working but jet-set lifestyle which included sailing on Onassis' yacht with Maria Callas. But Fonteyn was that rarest of beings: a genuine celebrity who didn't appreciate her own authentic claim to greatness for many years. The understated way in which she discusses her marriage to Panamanian diplomat Roberto de Arias, her arrest and deportation during his unsuccessful attempt at a coup and later, the paralysing effect of a gunshot wound which would leave him a permanent invalid in her constant care, is deeply moving. Ultimately though, there is the dancing, and that partnership with Nureyev. Fonteyn was 42 when they first joined forces and she was anxious not to appear as "mutton dancing with lamb". How ironic. The erotic charge which they generated is still palpable in extended excerpts from Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake. Essential viewing for balletomanes of every age. On the DVD: Apart from a trailer for other Arthaus releases, there are no special features. The mono sound does the musical extracts no favours, but it's the interviews that make this an archivist's treat. Well-produced, with the customary detailed booklet. --Piers Ford

  • Coppelia Coppelia | DVD | (03/04/2002) from £24.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    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.

  • Carmen [2003] Carmen | DVD | (12/02/2003) from £25.35  |  Saving you £4.64 (15.50%)  |  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

  • Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) | DVD | (24/03/2003) from £14.61  |  Saving you £2.38 (14.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

    In terms of vocal power, lyrical beauty and idiomatic authenticity, the casting for this 1992 live recording of the Kirov production of Pique Dame ("The Queen of Spades") could hardly be bettered. Gegam Grigorian (Herman) hits his fearsome, anguished high notes with the accuracy of a laser and Maria Gulegina (Liza) has a voice the size of the QEII but uses it with great subtlety--her opening duet with Pauline floats like gossamer, and her declarations of love for Herman at the end of Act 1 are spine-tingling. Kirov superstars Sergei Leiferkus (Tomsky) and rich-toned Olga Borodina (Pauline) also sound divine. In the pit Valery Gergiev renders every nuance of Tchaikovsky's score with clarity, and drives the strings to produce an almost unbearably tense atmosphere of foreboding; Herman's manslaughter of the Countess is preceded by shallow, haunted phrases which rise and fall like a beating heart. It isn't all rosy, however. The production comes from the traditional old Kirov "stand-and-sing" tradition and is somewhat static. The characters don't interact with much detail or generate much chemistry, and the chorus moves in unwieldy blocks. For a more gripping production (though not quite as well sung) try the Glyndebourne performance. But for sheer musical pleasure, you won't find anything to beat this. On the DVD: Pique Dame doesn't feature particularly inventive camerawork, though it does give a good solid account of the production. The sound recording captures all the most important moments with clarity, though just occasionally singers stray away from the microphones. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and some trailers for other Universal Music DVDs. --Warwick Thomson

  • Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1996] Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/07/2004) from £12.55  |  Saving you £5.44 (30.20%)  |  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.

  • Nabucco - Verdi Nabucco - Verdi | DVD | (07/02/2005) from £14.43  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Verdi - Nabucco

  • La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein - Offenbach La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein - Offenbach | DVD | (09/01/2006) from £11.19  |  Saving you £4.80 (30.00%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Recorded at the Theatre Du Chatelet in Paris.

  • Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias [1999] Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias | DVD | (03/12/2007) from £11.49  |  Saving you £3.50 (23.30%)  |  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?

  • Siegfried - Wagner Siegfried - Wagner | DVD | (30/05/2005) from £22.23  |  Saving you £12.76 (36.50%)  |  RRP £34.99

    In the third work of Wagner's epic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen Siegmund's shattered sword is forged once again and kills the dragon that guards the ring. When Siegfried seizes the ring he also receives its curse as he continues his fiery adventure of discovery and love. Filmed at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu in 2004 Harry Kupfer's stunning production first staged in Berlin numbers among the greatest productions of modern times.

  • A Gala Concert With Joan Sutherland And Marilyn Horne A Gala Concert With Joan Sutherland And Marilyn Horne | DVD | (06/08/2001) from £6.58  |  Saving you £9.58 (47.90%)  |  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

  • Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Paris/Gardiner Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Paris/Gardiner | DVD | (15/10/2001) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    It is an oft-repeated saw, about life in the heavenly spheres, that the angels revere Bach but listen to Mozart. If they have DVD players, you can bet theyre now watching this stunning production of Le Nozze di Figaro ("The Marriage of Figaro"), which comes about as close to Mozartian perfection as one could possibly hope to get. The faultlessly cast youthful performers bubble with infectious energy. Alison Hagley is a sprightly Susanna with a voice as clear as a bell, and brilliantly matched by a 28-year-old Bryn Terfel both acting and sounding in fine form. Hillevi Martinpelto demonstrates why she is one of the worlds favourite Mozart singers with her melting tones, richly coloured voice and generous stage presence, and Rodney Gilfry gives a muscular, wonderfully controlled performance as the Count. Olivier Milles direction mixes knockabout comedy and restrained pathos with fluid inventiveness, and there are even--heavens, can this really be an opera?--quite a few belly laughs, and deliciously amusing details. (Susannas guitar playing during Cherubinos "Voi che sapete" is a comic delight, and Figaros hidden sneers at Count Almaviva are hilarious.) John Eliot Gardiner draws exquisite playing from his authentic-instrument orchestra and employs tempos that are ideal. Add to that gorgeous 18th-century costumes and effective sets--it doesnt get much better than this. On the DVD: the production is beautifully realised for home viewing, with clear sound (the sets are simple wooden panels, which continually and flatteringly push the sound to the front) and great camera direction. There are subtitles in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese but no other special features.--Warwick Thompson

  • Prince Igor [1998] Prince Igor | DVD | (06/10/2003) from £18.65  |  Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Borodin's opera 'Prince Igor' performed by the Kirov Opera and Ballet. Tracklisting; Act 1 No. 2 Chorus of the Polovstan Maidens no. 3 Dance of the Polovtsian Maidens No. 4 Cavatina No. 6 recitative & Cavatina No. 7 Duet no. 8 Aria No. 9 Scena No.10 Aria No. 11 Recitative No. 12 Polovstian Dances & Chorus. Act 2 - No. 13a-c Chorus & Song No.13d-e Maidens Chorus & Scena No. 13f-g Song in Honour of Prince Galitsky Act 2 - No. 14 Arioso No. 15 Scena No.16 Scene No. 17 Fin

  • Puccini: Turandot -- Vienna PO/Gergiev [2002] Puccini: Turandot -- Vienna PO/Gergiev | DVD | (23/06/2003) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Puccini's 'Turandot' as directed by David Pountney. His production is based on the idea of fear of civilisation: the fear that the fatal combination of rapid technological progress gradually spinning out of control and inhuman political systems poses a fundamental threat to all human values.

  • Nutcracker: the Motion Picture [DVD] Nutcracker: the Motion Picture | DVD | (16/11/2015) from £6.49  |  Saving you £9.50 (59.40%)  |  RRP £15.99

    The much-loved ballet for all the family is brought to the screen in this classic and faithful adaptation designed by author and artist Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are). Never has this timeless Christmas story looked so magical It is Christmas Eve and guests are arriving at the Stahlbaum home. When Clara's godfather arrives he brings her a gift - an intruiging toy solider nutcracker which she instantly falls in love with. That night, as the house sleeps, she creeps downstairs to take another look at her present. As the cloch strikes midnight she suddenly finds herself transported to an enchanted world.

  • Michael Flatley - Celtic Tiger Michael Flatley - Celtic Tiger | DVD | (03/04/2006) from £3.27  |  Saving you £18.72 (85.10%)  |  RRP £21.99

    The international acclaimed master of dance Michael Flatley returns to the stage to spearhead his powerful new 90 minute dance spectacular Celtic Tiger. With his unrivalled skill and artistry Flatley ignites the world of dance once again with a bold dramatic and daring production which fuses the spirit of Ireland with its history with dance and music. The result is an epic masterpiece in which Irish dance is delivered as a dynamic and powerful art form. Perfromance list: Act I: 1.The Heartbeat of the Tiger 2.Dancing in the Dark 3.St Patrick 4.The Sleeping Tiger 5.The Vikings 6.Celtic Fire 7.The Garden of Eden 8.The Red Coats 9.The Famine 10.Four Green Fields 11.Bloody Sunday 12.A Call to Arms 13.The 1916 Rising 14.The Banshee 15.A Nation Once Again Act Two: 1.Freedom 2.A New World 3.The Lost Rose 5.Celtic Kittens 6.Capone 7.Forever Free 8.Cowboy Cheerleaders 9.These Colours Don't Run 10.Yankee Doodle Dandy 11.Celtic Fire II 12.The Celtic Tiger

  • Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala [1982] Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £12.01  |  Saving you £3.71 (20.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The hugely successful production of Verdi's romantic drama Ernani features four legendary opera stars: Placido Damingo Mirella Freni Renato Bruson and Nicolai Ghiaurov all at the height of their powers. They were described in The Times review as 'possibly the best quartet of singers any opera house has managed to assemble this year'. They give an impassioned electric performance under the conductor Riccardo Muti an acclaimed Verdi interpreter. The producer Luca Ranconi has cre

  • Samson Et Dalila - The Royal Opera Samson Et Dalila - The Royal Opera | DVD | (27/02/2006) from £12.55  |  Saving you £5.44 (30.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Jon Vickers plays Samson while Shirley Verrett plays Dalila in this production of the classic tale which was performed at the Royal Opera House. The dramatic story based on Chapter 16 of the Book of Judges lends itself to spectacular presentation not least in the final scene as the blinded Samson summons all his strength to bring down the pillars of the temple. The opera also features a magnificent and voluptuous score.

  • Christopher Bruce's Triple Bill Christopher Bruce's Triple Bill | DVD | (12/07/2006) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Three features from choreographer Christopher Bruce including: 'Silence Is The End Of Our Song (1983)' 'Rooster (1994)' and 'Swansong (1989)'.

  • Michael Flatley - The 10th Anniversary Complete Collection - Lord Of The Dance/Feet Of Flames/Celtic Tiger Michael Flatley - The 10th Anniversary Complete Collection - Lord Of The Dance/Feet Of Flames/Celtic Tiger | DVD | (27/11/2006) from £59.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £34.99

    Celtic Tiger: The international acclaimed master of dance Michael Flatley returns to the stage to spearhead his powerful new 90 minute dance spectacular Celtic Tiger. With his unrivalled skill and artistry Flatley ignites the world of dance once again with a bold dramatic and daring production which fuses the spirit of Ireland with its history with dance and music. The result is an epic masterpiece in which Irish dance is delivered as a dynamic and powerful art form. Perfromance list: Act I:

  • Eugene Onegin - Glyndebourne Festival Opera Eugene Onegin - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (21/11/2005) from £12.55  |  Saving you £5.44 (30.20%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Graham Vick s acclaimed production of Eugene Onegin for Glyndebourne Festival Opera was premiered and recorded in the first season of Glyndebourne s new opera house in 1994. Pushkin s tale of doomed love tragedy and rejection is set against an acutely observed backdrop of Russian society with spectacular choruses and dances yet in a staging of breathtaking simplicity. The star of this production is undoubtedly Russian soprano Elena Prokina an enthralling singing actress whose shy

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