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Albert Herring - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/09/2005)
from £11.25 | Saving you £6.10 (33.90%) | RRP
Set in an English market town at the turn of 20th century a gangling greengrocer's lad is crowded May King. The break with the tradition of choosing a girl is virtuous enough to May Queen... The comic opera at Glyndebourne was conducted by Bernard Haitink. 'A Vintage production with a vintage cast.' - Sunday Times.
Vivaldi: Orlando Furioso | DVD | (22/06/2001)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
For those with any interest in Vivaldi's operas Orlando Furioso is essential viewing, being a 1989 San Francisco Opera revival by Pier Luigi Pizzi of his own 1979 production which was largely responsible for beginning modern interest in Vivaldi's stage work. The composer first premiered Orlando finto pazzo in 1714, but the Orlando Furioso finalised in 1727 was so heavily reworked as to be virtually an entirely new opera, and so successful Handel set the same epic poem by Aristo under the title Alcina in 1735. Vivaldi's opera is not of that calibre, offering rather too much functional recitative and only a handful of truly memorable arias. However, the cast perform with such commitment and style as to make the work thoroughly enjoyable. It is a tale of romantic and magical intrigue on a small island, inevitably echoing Shakespeare's The Tempest, and the classically elegant set-design and colourful costumes evoke a suitable sense of fantasy. Mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne makes the title role her own while Susan Patterson is a characterful and strong-minded Angelica. William Matteuzzi makes a sympathetic Medoro, notably outmanoeuvred in love, while as the sorceress Alcina Kathleen Kuhlann is a appropriately complex and powerful in revealing the loneliness at the heart of her corruption. On the DVD: There are no features other than the two trailers which appear on almost all Arthaus releases. The production is presented in the original television 4:3 and the image is little better than a good video. The picture is not especially detailed and too often the performer's faces are slightly out of focus while the sets are pin-sharp. Overall the image suffers the usual problems from originally being shot on professional video, in addition to which some compression artefacting is noticeable. The prologic sound is fine, though appears simply to down mix the main stereo signal to the rear channel and the result is more accurate if switched to straight stereo. --Gary S Dalkin
Luciano Pavarotti - Dal Vivo - Gran Teatre Del Liceu Barcelona | DVD | (04/02/2008)
from £5.25 | Saving you £39.75 (88.30%) | RRP
The world's greatest tenor in concert. Luciano Pavarotti recorded this wonderful selection of 23 great songs at the legendary Gran Teatre del Liceu at Barcelona on 8 June 1989. Just hours after this performance was filmed this historic theatre burned to the ground. One of the great palaces of opera was reduced to rubble. This DVD offers a last chance to relive the splendour and passion of Barcelona opera.
Oedipus Rex - Stravinsky | DVD | (13/06/2005)
from £12.75 | Saving you £4.24 (25.00%) | RRP
Opera-oratorio in two acts. Poem after Sophocles by Jean Cocteau.
Lehar - The Land Of Smiles | DVD | (01/01/2005)
from £22.40 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Lehar: Das Land Des Lachelns (Bibl Habermann)
Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Vienna/Furtwangler | DVD | (08/10/2004)
from £12.75 | Saving you £1.24 (8.90%) | RRP
The incomparable Cesare Siepi stars in this legendary Salzburg production of Mozart's masterpiece. Wilhelm Furtwangler conducts the internationally renowned Vienna Philharmonic in what has become one of the definitive productions of a classic opera.
Die Fledermaus | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £11.59 | Saving you £6.40 (35.60%) | RRP
The operetta 'Die Fledermaus' is Johann Strauss' most brilliant and best-known stage work. It's a glittering comedy packed with Viennese music that has become a firm favourite in opera houses all over the world. A top international cast really have a ball in this highly-acclaimed 1983 New Years Eve performance from The Royal Opera Covent Garden in which Placido Domingo makes a very stylish British conducting debut. Kiri Te Kanawa stars with her celebrated performance as Rosalinde
Otello | DVD | (11/04/2005)
from £5.29 | Saving you £10.70 (66.90%) | RRP
Internationally renowned director Franco Zeffirelli brings Verdi's masterpiece to the screen. Based on Shakespeare's enduring classic 'Otello' is an epic tragedy of jealousy and betrayal. When the scheming Iago (Diaz) believes Otello (Domingo) has overlooked him for promotion he wreaks a subtle and terrible revenge on his master convincing him that his young wife Desdemona (Katia Ricciarelli) is unfaithful. Otello realises the deception too late spiralling into madness and murd
Verdi: Simon Boccanegra -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (09/09/2002)
from £15.39 | Saving you £1.60 (9.40%) | RRP
A performance of the Verdi opera 'Simon Boccanegra'. Conducted by James Levine.
20 Pack: British Heritage Collection (including A Festival Of Transport Fred Dinbah, Continental Organs Vol 1, Continental Organs 2, Appleby Fair 2000, Beautiful World Of Mechanical Music & 15 More) | DVD | (01/01/2008)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
1. It's Fred Dibnah 2. Fred Dibnah Getting Steamed Up 3. 30th Anniversary of the Dorset Steam Fair 4. A Festival of Tractors 5. Appleby 2000 6. Beautiful World of Mechanical Music 7. Continental Organs Volume 1 8. Dorset 95 (Steam Fair) 9. Dutch Steam Fair 10. Great Yorkshire Show 11. Steam in the Midlands 12. Modern Farming 13. Musical Boxes Aroma & Interesting Things 14. National Museum of Organs 15. Steam Heavy Haulage 16. Steam in the North 17. Tractors Down Under 18. Vintage Cars Bikes Commercial Rollers 19. Working with Tractors 20. World of Mechanical Music & Organs
I Now Pronounce You Vince and Ralph | DVD | (31/12/2007)
from £3.39 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
I Now Pronounce You Ralph And Vince
Verdi - Macbeth | DVD | (22/10/2007)
from £15.56 | Saving you £6.43 (29.20%) | RRP
Ivan The Terrible - Prokofiev | DVD | (27/06/2005)
from £3.19 | Saving you £11.80 (78.70%) | RRP
Ballet in Two ActsIn 1942 Sergey Prokofiev was commissioned by Sergey Eisenstein to write music for his film Ivan the Terrible. The score caught the attention of highly acclaimed choreographer Yuri Grigorovich who set out to make the material and music into a self-contained ballet. But it took until the 1970s for the idea of this ambitious project to be put into action with the help of Mikhail I. Tchulaki director of the Bolshoi who composed a ballet score for the new production on the basis of Eisenstein's musical film material. The score of Ivan the Terrible is a collage of no less than 377 fragments of the original film score but also of other works by Prokofiev.
Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (23/04/2004)
from £8.59 | Saving you £1.40 (14.00%) | RRP
A performance of the Mozart opera Don Giovanni.
Strauss: Arabella | DVD | (16/04/2001)
from £11.51 | Saving you £2.48 (17.70%) | RRP
Like most of his later operas, Richard Strauss' Arabella ends with a meltingly lovely duet. But then criticising Strauss for composing melodically enduring operas is as pointless as lambasting Vermeer for painting only exquisite interior scenes. Those who say Strauss never improved on Rosenkavalier may be right but when such beguiling sounds kept coming from his music for the next 30 years of his life, there shouldn't be any quibbles. Arabella is, in a nutshell, the story of a woman who cannot make up her mind about a suitor. Taped at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1994 under the baton of conductor Christian Thielemann, this production features Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role; her acting is mediocre but vocally she never forces anything and at least sounds like the perfect Arabella. Wolfgang Brendel does well with Mandryka, who finally ends up with Arabella and Marie McLaughlin makes a sympathetic younger sister to the heroine as Zdenka. Otto Schenk's production is sturdily conservative, the video transfer is acceptable if unspectacular and the sound mix is CD-quality. --Kevin Filipski, Amazon.com
Busoni - Doktor Faust | DVD | (29/10/2007)
from £22.94 | Saving you £12.05 (34.40%) | RRP
Ferruccio Busoni - Doktor Faust - Live Recording From The Zurich Opera House 2006.
Puccini: La Boheme -- San Francisco/Severini | DVD | (28/08/2000)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
One way to use the DVD format for opera is to provide a video format with a clear picture and sumptuous sound and let a good performance speak more or less for itself. Severini's La Boheme comes with a minimum of trimmings--subtitles in English, French and German; even a short account of the performance history is relegated to text in a booklet. The live performance has real theatrical presence, even to the extent that, at times, the vocal and orchestral subtleties get lost in wild applause. Pavarotti's Rodolfo was, in 1988, as plangently lyrical as ever and Freni's care-worn Mimi is a deeply touching and musical performance; Pacetti is a beefy full-blooded no-nonsense Musetta--the waltz song and ensuing duet with Marcello is for once the Broadway show-stopper it ought to be. Of the supporting roles, though, perhaps the most moving is Ghiaurov's Colline--his farewell to his old coat is a short passage of deep pathos which he has rarely sung as well as he does here. --Roz Kaveney
Salome - Deutsche Oper Berlin | DVD | (30/01/2006)
from £12.55 | Saving you £5.44 (30.20%) | RRP
Richard Strauss's powerful and erotic one-act opera caused such a sensation when it was first performed in 1905 that it caused protests and was banned in several cities. In Petr Weigl's production for the Deutsche Opera Berlin filmed in 1990 Catherine Malfitano gives a suitably graphic portrayal of Salome a role which demand the utmost physical and emotional commitment throughout the complex vocal passages and choreographed scenes. Simon Estes is Jokannan and Herodias is sung by one of the greatest dramatic singers of the 20th century Leonie Rysanek. The conductor is Giuseppe Sinopoli.
Beethoven - Missa Solemnis | DVD | (04/02/2008)
from £10.40 | Saving you £6.59 (38.80%) | RRP
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis from the 1979 Salzburg Easter Festival.
La Traviata - Verdi | DVD | (13/06/2005)
from £17.01 | Saving you £4.14 (16.60%) | RRP
The famous performance of Verdi's romantic tragedy captures one of the most sensational debuts in operatic history. Singing Violetta for the first time was the young Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu whose remarkable interpretation reached the front pages of the world's press and led the BBC immediately to film the production. Equally notable was the masterly conducting of Sir Georg Solti and director Richard Eyre's stylish staging. This DVD and highlights CD present the definitive record of a momentous occasion.