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  • Die Zauberflote - Mozart Die Zauberflote - Mozart | DVD | (29/08/2005) from £26.21  |  Saving you £3.78 (12.60%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's expert direction of this Mozart masterpiece from the 1982 Salzburg Festival provides a feast of colour drama and wit featuring the supreme talents of Edita Gruberova Ileana Cotrubas and Peter Schreier with James Levine at the podium.This production of Mozart's Magic Flute from the Salzburg Festival received enormous and unanimous approval when it was premiered in Salzburg on July 29 1978. Endless applause on the night and an unusual state of accord from the international press quickly gave this staging legendary status with each soloist receiving individual acclaim.Recorded live at the Felsenreitschule Salzberg 21 August 1982.

  • 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 £5.99  |  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

  • Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path [2007] Exploring The Northumberland Coast Path | DVD | (17/12/2007) from £14.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Join Keith Hartnell as he explores the six stages of this beautiful coastal path exploring the many fascinating places of interest and meeting some of the characters that make this part of the North East so special. Stunning widescreen digital film makes this DVD the perfect souvenir for anybody interested in Northumberland. The Northumberland Coast is best known for its sweeping beaches rolling dunes high rocky cliffs and isolated islands. Amidst this striking landscape is the evidence of an area steeped in history covering 7000 years of human activity. A host of conservation sites including two National Nature Reserves testify to the great variety of wildlife and habitats also found on the coast. The special qualities of this coastal landscape led to it being designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

  • Les Troyens - Berlioz/The Met/James Levine Les Troyens - Berlioz/The Met/James Levine | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £14.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Filmed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1983 Berlioz's masterpiece Les Troyens is a tragic tale of love and fate based on Virgil's Aeneid. Under the baton of James Levine Jessye Norman is stunning in the part of Cassandra and Pl''cido Domingo makes for a strong compelling Aeneas. This benchmark performance was hailed by both critics and audiences and performed to greatest critical acclaim. Norman's role debut as Cassandra emerged as one her most significant and compelling performances and this DVD is also a stand-out release among Domingo's extensive filmography.

  • Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (14/03/2008) from £14.30  |  Saving you £7.40 (24.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London on 10th 13th and 17th February 2006.

  • Boris Godunov - Mussorgsky [1992] Boris Godunov - Mussorgsky | DVD | (05/08/2002) from £8.00  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    The legendary Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky helmed his one and only opera in 1983 with this famed production of Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov'. Staged at London's famed Royal Opera House the staging features Robert Lloyd giving a masterful performance in the title role. Conductor Valery Gergiev known primarily for his fine work leading St. Petersburg's Kirov Opera takes the baton.

  • Tosca - Puccini [1976] Tosca - Puccini | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Opera is an inherently theatrical medium that does not lend itself readily to the realism of film treatment. The shining exception is Puccini's Tosca, an action-packed melodrama that unfolds in three taut and gripping acts, like the meatiest of Hollywood films noir. And unlike most operas, these three acts are set in three very specific Roman locales. Thus this 1976 film takes place in the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle (Act 1), the Palazzo Farnese (Act 2) and the Castel Sant'Angelo (Act 3). The evocative settings, however, would be mere window-dressing if the cast wasn't just right; fortunately here Placido Domingo is at his virile peak in the heroic tenor role of Cavaradossi; Raina Kabaivanska is a sultry, vocally beautiful Tosca; while a more infamous and domineering Scarpia than that of Sherrill Milnes can hardly be imagined. Bruno Bartoletti and the New Philharmonia Orchestra give lustily dramatic support. Here the music and vocals are pre-recorded and the singers mime to the playback. Occasionally the result is a little unnatural, but overall the cast are good enough actors to bring off the conceit even in the close-ups. It all pays off triumphantly with the gripping realism of the rooftop finale, the one place where film can improve on stage. With the authenticity of the settings assured and such distinguished leads singing so well, this is an almost ideal filmed Tosca. On the DVD: Tosca on disc is presented in 4:3 ratio with a choice of Dolby 5.1 or LPCM Stereo. The picture is adequate but a little flat (possibly because the format is NTSC not PAL) and the same can be said for the sound, which does what it should but is never revelatory. Subtitles are provided in the main European languages and Chinese. --Mark Walker

  • Verdi: Rigoletto [2002] Verdi: Rigoletto | DVD | (27/03/2002) from £15.00  |  Saving you £4.58 (18.30%)  |  RRP £24.99

    If there are doubts still lingering about the Royal Opera House's artistic renaissance after its mid-1990s doldrum years, David McVicar's gritty and sexy production of Rigoletto should blow them all away. One of the principal reasons is McVicar's decision to emphasise the tyrannical nature of the Duke (beautifully sung by Marcelo Alvarez), and the appalling social injustice that springs from a corrupt leader: his court is a place of physical and sexual abuse (graphically, but by no means gratuitously, depicted). This violence throws the dual nature of Rigoletto into relief, making his toadyism seem all the worse and his vengefulness all the more sympathetic. The singing and acting are first rate, with Paolo Gavanelli's energetic, insect-like Rigoletto worthy even to stand against Anthony Sher's Richard III. Christine Schafer has a gorgeous voice, an intelligent sense of phrasing, and plays Gilda as a frail, morbid creature whose ultimate self-sacrifice is as much an act of neurotic despair as of love. The production is also a visual and orchestral success. Michael Vale's set is a masterpiece of economy--both the Duke's palace and Rigoletto's home are surrounded by broken objects, wire fencing and gloomy shadows--and Edward Downes draws some stunning playing from the Royal Opera Orchestra. This is undoubtedly the best Rigoletto committed to DVD thus far. On the DVD Rigoletto comes with an entertaining 17-minute BBC biography of the composer, "Verdi Through the Looking Glass", presented by conductor Charles Hazlewood, as well as an illustrated synopsis of the opera, and a revealing 10-minute interview with the director. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish.--Warwick Thomson

  • Don Giovanni - Mozart Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (14/03/2005) from £9.75  |  Saving you £7.00 (31.80%)  |  RRP £21.99

    The Opera Don Giovanni drama in two acts.

  • Verdi: Aida -- Metropolitan Opera Verdi: Aida -- Metropolitan Opera | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £10.77  |  Saving you £6.22 (36.60%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A star-studded production from New York's Metropolitan Opera with Aprile Millo and Placido Domingo in the lead roles supported by the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; conducted by James Levine. Please note: This is a NTSC disc please ensure the compatibility of your TV.

  • Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte - Mozart | DVD | (23/07/2004) from £8.59  |  Saving you £1.40 (14.00%)  |  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.

  • R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Royal Opera House/Solti [1985] R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Royal Opera House/Solti | DVD | (23/02/2004) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Strauss' dazzling opera Der Rosenkavalier set in 1740's Vienna combines farce romance and a world of weary acknowledgement of getting older. It features some of the most gorgeous music ever written for the female voice.

  • Bizet: Carmen -- film version [1984] Bizet: Carmen -- film version | DVD | (13/03/2000) from £9.87  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    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

  • Franco Corelli and Renata Tebaldi - Live in Tokyo 1973 Franco Corelli and Renata Tebaldi - Live in Tokyo 1973 | DVD | (29/10/2007) from £12.98  |  Saving you £3.24 (16.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Live in Tokyo - NHK Hall 21st November 1973Tokyo Philharmonic OrchestraTadashi Mori, Conductor

  • Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi [2001] Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi | DVD | (04/11/2002) from £11.98  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The present recording was made at a performance in Busseto Verdi's birthplace in the Emilia Romagna region. There in 2001 a whole series of events marked the 100th anniversary of the composer's death. This Falstaff performance along with Aida staged by Franco Zeffirelli constituted the high point of the impressive anniversary celebrations. The small 328-seat Teatro Verdi built in Verdi's lifetime provided the ensemble of La Scala Milan under its principal conductor Riccardo Muti with a particularly captivating backdrop and the mainly young singers including 31-year-old shooting star Ambrogio Maestri in the title role exciting young tenor Juan Diego Florez as Fenton and internationally acclaimed Barbara Frittoli as Alice - gave superb performances.

  • The Mikado The Mikado | DVD | (07/02/2005) from £7.92  |  Saving you £8.07 (50.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    A lavish 1982 production of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera in which Nanki-Poo the son of the Mikado escaping a distasteful marriage arrives in the town of Titipu disguised as a musician...

  • 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 £19.79  |  Saving you £5.20 (20.80%)  |  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 £10.00  |  Saving you £7.99 (44.40%)  |  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

  • Salome Salome | DVD | (03/03/2003) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of Strauss's biblical 'Salome' at the Royal Opera House.

  • Rameau - Les Boréades / Robert Carsen, La La La Human Steps, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie, Opéra National de Paris [2003] Rameau - Les Boréades / Robert Carsen, La La La Human Steps, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie, Opéra National de Paris | DVD | (20/06/2004) from £22.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (24.70%)  |  RRP £29.99

    A performance of the Rameau opera which follows the tale of Queen Alphise who is contemplating abdication rather that an arranged marriage.

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