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  • Hamlet - Ambroise Thomas Hamlet - Ambroise Thomas | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £13.70  |  Saving you £2.10 (11.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Staged at the Gran Teatro Del Liceu in Barcelona October 2003 this opera - written by Ambroise Thomas - is performed by the Symphony Orchestra And Chorus of the Gran Teatro Del Liceu; conducted by Bertrand De Billy.

  • Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies [2001] Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies | DVD | (10/11/2003) from £7.98  |  Saving you £1.03 (6.90%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Andrea Bocelli - Tuscan Skies

  • Gugielmo Tell - Rossini Gugielmo Tell - Rossini | DVD | (23/04/2004) from £10.65  |  Saving you £2.14 (16.50%)  |  RRP £12.99

    A performance of Rossini's 'Guglielmo Tell'. Sung in Italian with subtitles.

  • Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart [1988] Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart | DVD | (06/03/2001) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The point of a good production of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia is to have a Rosina and a Figaro who will knock your socks off in their respective arias, while holding back enough in all those crescendo ensembles in which the farce plot reaches its several culminations that the other stars get a chance to shine too. Cecilia Bartoli and Gino Quilico give full-blooded enough performances when on stage by themselves that self-effacement seems far from imminent, yet both are capable of less, and give it when it is needed. Of the others, David Kuebler is an attractively raffish Almaviva, while Robert Lloyd turns Basilio into a memorable cameo. Gabriele Ferro is one of the most intelligent of Rossini conductors--he understands the relationship between the pulse of the music and its dramatic function, and he is also outstanding in the delicacy of phrasing, even in climaxes, that ensures that every voice, every instrument, gets the moment of glory Rossini intended. Michael Hampe's solid reliable unfussy production keeps everything moving without drawing attention to itself. The DVD has subtitles in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, as well as trailers for other Arthaus Musik discs. --Roz Kaveney

  • Bellini: Norma Bellini: Norma | DVD | (02/04/2001) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Bellini's Norma, first performed in 1831, is one of the most glittering jewels in the bel canto repertoire, placing huge vocal demands on the soprano in the title role. The druid priestess who falls prey to human frail ties before redeeming her grace in the flames of the sacrificial fire must also be played with a high degree of dramatic truth. In the 20th century, two singers scaled new heights in combining these requirements: Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland. Sutherland's great achievement, preserved in this 1978 recording of Opera Australia's production at Sidney Opera House, was to render Norma a very human being, unravelling her complex reactions to the events which bring her personal world tumbling down around her. Using Bellini's deceptively simple melodies to tender effect, she reveals the essential purity of many of his greatest arias, not least "Casta diva": an equally valid alternative to Callas' pyrotechnics. Ronald Stevens as Norma's errant Roman lover Pollione and Margreta Elkins as Adalgisa, the unwitting agent of the priestess's ultimate downfall, strike vocal sparks in their duets with Sutherland. But this is essentially a treasurable record of one of the all-time great divas in a role that brought her some of her finest notices, with her husband and long-time collaborator Richard Bonynge in the conductor's box. On the DVD: In all respects, this is a solid offering with few frills. The only extra is an Arthaus trailer. The 4:3 picture format and PCM stereo-sound quality are adequate media for a theatrical performance which is very much of its time: crudely-edited plot explanations separate the acts and there is the imposition of some rather naff stills of the ill-fated lovers on flickering flames to suggest the pyre. But Sutherland's performance triumphs over all. --Piers Ford

  • Handel: Ariodante [1996] Handel: Ariodante | DVD | (23/06/2000) from £12.50  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Ariodante makes extraordinary vocal and acting demands, which the English National Opera brilliantly fulfils in a curious combination of baroque music and post-modern production styles. Handel's intensely emotional arias and the surreal staging combine their energies with powerful impact, aided by some imaginative choreography and a remarkable English singing translation of the Italian text. The subject is the painfully complex love entanglements of five characters: pure idealism and raging jealousy, nefarious plots and deceptions, unscrupulous exploitation, and opportunism, hopelessness mounting to the brink of insanity. The plot, as often happens in baroque opera, is riddled with improbabilities, exaggerations, and coincidence, but they matter not at all. It is essentially no more than a framework on which Handel mounts music of tender passion, rage, delirious joy, hope, resignation--nearly three hours of unrestrained emotional intensity and vocal brilliance. Ann Murray and Joan Rodgers are appealing as the young lovers Ariodante and Ginevra, but the show is nearly stolen by countertenor Christopher Robson as the villainous Polinesso, who convinces Ariodante that Ginevra has been unfaithful. Lesley Garrett performs brilliantly as Polinesso's dupe and accomplice, Dalinda, and Ivor Bolton conducts with a fine sense of baroque style. --Joe McLellan, Amazon.com

  • Fidelio - Beethoven [2000] Fidelio - Beethoven | DVD | (19/01/2004) from £13.16  |  Saving you £3.83 (22.50%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of the Beethoven's Fidelio. James Levine conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

  • Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart | DVD | (23/07/2004) from £8.85  |  Saving you £1.14 (11.40%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Daniela Dessi and Delores Ziegler lead the cast in Mozart's brilliant and witty opera as the two women whose faithfulness in the face of romantic love is ruthlessly tested in Da Ponte's comic tale. Mozart lavishes some of the finest music ever written on the unfolding story of the two sisters' chaotic and fickle love affairs with their two Italian army officers. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this 1989 recording is a classic from one of the world's great opera houses.

  • Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor [1986] Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor | DVD | (15/10/2001) from £21.03  |  Saving you £3.96 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    In the annuals of music history Joan Sutherland's name will always be inextricably linked with the tragic heroine of Donizetti's dark romantic opera. It was the role which catapulted her to international stardom in 1959 and remained the perfect showcase for her remarkable vocal agility and acting ability throughout her career.

  • Ruslan And Lyudmila Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003) from £17.75  |  Saving you £-2.76 (-18.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    A performance of Glinka's opera 'Ruslan And Lyudmila'.

  • Verdi: Don Carlos [1996] Verdi: Don Carlos | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £12.55  |  Saving you £7.44 (37.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This is a 1996 all-star-cast version from Paris of the original French version of Verdi's epic five-act opera, Don Carlos. First produced in 1867, only Wagner would write musical drama on a grander scale, and due to the three-and-a-half-hour running time most subsequent productions have made substantial cuts. This is therefore a rare opportunity to witness Verdi's tragedy in its entirety.Set in the 16th century in the aftermath of war between Spain and France, Don Carlo (Roberto Alagna), the heir to the Spanish throne comes to France to meet with his beloved Elizabeth de Valois (Karita Mattila). Inevitably politics divide the lovers, and while Rodrigue (Thomas Hampson) falls in with Flemish rebels, the Inquisition is determined to be the power behind the peace. This is certainly not Verdi's greatest work, but it contains great music and the stars are allowed to shine with strong characterisations in an elegantly designed production. There are no gimmicks or attempts at spurious contemporary relevance here, simply singers of the calibre of Alagna, Mattila, Hampson, plus the outstanding Eric Halfvarson as the Grand Inquisitor. This is a production that continues in the 19th-century tradition, and in the process delivers the frisson of world-class opera. --Gary S. DalkinOn the DVD: While the running time precludes much in the way of special features, via DVD-ROM the libretto can be printed in French, together with an article and biographies. The picture is presented at approximately 1.7:1 and while far superior to video could still benefit from anamorphic enhancement. The sound is stereo or excellent Dolby Digital 5.0. The booklet offers a detailed synopsis in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and there are subtitles in the same languages. The disc is encoded for regions two to six. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • The Workshop The Workshop | DVD | (21/07/2008) from £5.29  |  Saving you £14.70 (73.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Get In Touch With Yourself... Like so many before Jamie Morgan asked the question 'What's it all about?' His spiritual search took him to California to a workshop run by a white-haired spiritual 'guru' promoting sexual adventure and the possible existence of aliens. Jamie shed his clothes inhibitions and defences on an emotional amusing and provocative roller coaster ride towards enlightenment.

  • Rosenkavalier - Strauss [1979] Rosenkavalier - Strauss | DVD | (15/08/2005) from £18.65  |  Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Comedy for music in three acts.

  • Handel: Julius Caesar -- ENO [1984] Handel: Julius Caesar -- ENO | DVD | (21/06/2002) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Dame Janet Baker in one of her greatest roles leads a cast of some of Britain's finest interpreters of baroque opera under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras. John Copley's acclaimed English National Opera production was restaged in studio skilfully using all the technical advantages offered to create this top quality recording.

  • Carmen Carmen | DVD | (07/03/2005) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £5.99

    Bizet's powerful opera staged at London's Earls Court in Steven Pimlott's production....

  • Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/09/2005) from £10.79  |  Saving you £7.20 (40.00%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Handel wrote his Italian opera Rodelinda at the height of his musical powers and it is considered to be one of his greatest with music of astonishing power and beauty. This highly praised production filmed in 1998 was the first ever staging of a Handel opera by the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Jean-Marie Villegier's stylish production sets Handel's tale of royal exile and fidelity in the silent movie era. Starring Anna Caterina Antonacci in a glamorous portrayal of Rodelinda an

  • Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Royal Opera House/Davis [2003] Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) -- Royal Opera House/Davis | DVD | (22/08/2003) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    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.

  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Venice [1992] Verdi: La Traviata -- Venice | DVD | (10/04/2000) from £11.25  |  Saving you £6.51 (36.20%)  |  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

  • The Death Of Klinghoffer The Death Of Klinghoffer | DVD | (09/02/2004) from £15.39  |  Saving you £-1.40 (-10.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    An adaptation of John Adam's opera 'The Death Of Klinghoffer' which tells the story of the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship the Achile Lauro.

  • L'Elisir D'Amore - Donizetti L'Elisir D'Amore - Donizetti | DVD | (18/04/2005) from £14.67  |  Saving you £-0.70 (-5.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    L'Elisir D'AmoreMelodramma In Two Acts.

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