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The Likely Lads | DVD | (24/12/2007)
from £4.74 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
One of the best British sitcoms of all-time, The Likely Lads focuses on the friendship between two working-class men, James Bolam and Rodney Bewes, living in the north east of England.Bob (Bewes) is the 'sensible' one, doing his best to get on with his job and 'better' himself. Terry (Bolam) is the 'irresponsible' one, intent on living life to the full. He's forever getting himself (and Terry) into trouble of one kind or another...Episodes Comprise:1. Entente Cordiale2. Double Date3. Older Women Are More Experienced4. The Suitor5. The Last Of The Big Spenders6. Rocker7. Goodbye To All That
Rossini - Maometto Secondo | DVD | (14/11/2005)
from £18.41 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Rossini - Maometto Secondo
Jessye Norman - A Portrait | DVD | (11/02/2008)
from £14.99 | Saving you £2.00 (11.80%) | RRP
In this unique film portrait, the tropical gardens of Marrakech provide a lush backdrop for a rare series of intimate interviews in which the great soprano talks openly about her life, fears and inspirations. The interviews frame specially filmed performances of highlights from her best-loved repertoire - from Mozart and Schubert to Wagner and Richard Strauss - in fantastical studio settings specially designed for this film by artists including Arnulf Rainer, Peter Kogler and Brian Eno.
Verdi - Otello | DVD | (31/03/2008)
from £12.15 | Saving you £2.84 (18.90%) | RRP
Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera Otello - At the Royal Opera House.
Carmen | DVD | (28/06/2004)
from £26.55 | Saving you £3.44 (11.50%) | RRP
The passionate tale of the self-willed gypsy Carmen the scene in front of the imposing backdrop of a Roman amphitheatre lit by the flickering flames of candles.
Verdi: Aida -- San Francisco/Navarro | DVD | (11/05/1998)
from £10.54 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
This spectacular 1981 San Francisco production of Aida, directed by Sam Wanamaker, boasts production values more commonly associated with Hollywood to portray scenes from the time of the Pharaohs, notably a striking interior for the temple of Vulcan from where Radames is sent forth on his mission to conquer the invading Ethiopian army. With Margaret Price in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as Radames, there is much going for this version, both musically and visually. Price and Pavarotti are in superb voice throughout. Pavarotti sings his initial aria, "Celeste Aida", very much as a showpiece, ignoring Verdi's quadruple pianissimo ending for the very opposite, milking (dare one say it) the audience for a thunderous round of applause which he duly receives! Initial doubts about his commitment to the drama, however, are dispelled in Act 3 when he denies Amneris his hand and bids farewell to life entombed in the same temple from where he'd once been sent forth as conqueror. Margaret Price may not be a natural actress but her singing throughout, particularly in the concluding farewell with Pavarotti ("O terra, addio"), is very touching. Stefania Toczyska is a compelling Amneris and no more so than when she's offering Radames a lifeline at the start of the last act. With assured conducting from Garcia Navarro, this Aida is a very desirable acquisition. On the DVD Aida on disc has both subtitles and surtitles, depending on the picture image, in the main European languages. Brian Large's direction for video homes in on the salient points of the drama and also picks up on an uncomfortable looking extra or two in the "Grand March" where space on stage seems at a premium. The picture quality and sound are satisfactory.--Adrian Edwards
Giacomo Puccini - Puccini - Turandot | DVD | (21/07/2008)
from £10.59 | Saving you £4.40 (29.40%) | RRP
Turandot: Puccini - Arena di Verona
100 Premiership Goals - Vol. 1 | DVD | (26/11/2007)
from £1.63 | Saving you £2.36 (59.10%) | RRP
100 Premiership Goals 15th Anniversary Edition Vol 1
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002)
from £45.68 | Saving you £0.31 (0.70%) | RRP
The James Levine cycle of Wagners Der Ring des Nibelungen is humane and emotionally powerful rather than monumental or spiritual; Levine is more interested in finding our sympathy for the characters than inspiring pity or terror. These are very traditional productions in which you see a rock where you need to see a rock, a dragon where the libretto says a dragon (the Metropolitan Opera has never been a place for experiment). What Levine and the Met can and do offer is excellent orchestral playing and some of the best singers in these roles in the world. Siegfried Jerusalem is boyish and naive and touching as Siegfried, and he is also surprisingly good as the detached mischievous Loge of Das Rheingold. James Morris is uniformly impressive as Wotan and makes the character evolve from the young ruthless god of the first opera to the tired old god of Siegfried, who seeks nothing more than his own necessary defeat and death. As Brunnhilde, Hildegard Behrens makes a convincing shift from goddess to woman, from callousness to tenderness and on to vindictiveness and self-sacrificing wisdom. Overall, this is an attractive Ring cycle, well-cast and beautifully played; others have greater strengths in some areas, but Levine is reliable across the board. On the DVD: Der Ring des Nibelungen has all four operas, which are also available individually, contained in a single box. All the DVDs come with a photo gallery of the Metropolitan Opera productions and with menus and subtitles in German, French, English, Spanish and Chinese. Its a little disappointing, though, that they are presented in American NTSC format, not European PAL, and the picture ratio is standard TV 4:3. On the plus side, they all have an excellent clear acoustic in the three audio options: PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. --Roz Kaveney
Puccini: Manon Lescaut -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £10.59 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
This famous production of Manon Lescaut from The Royal Opera recorded in 1983 features two of the biggest stars in opera Placido Domingo and Kiri Te Kanawa in their vocal prime. Placido Domingo's performance of Des Grieux is considered to be unsurpassed. Conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli made his British operatic debut with this production which has not been available on video for 10 years. Puccini's first masterpiece was rapturously received on its first night. It has his hallmark se
Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden | DVD | (07/05/2007)
from £10.59 | Saving you £7.40 (41.10%) | RRP
Verdi was almost eighty when he startled the musical world with his mastery of comic invention in his last opera Falstaff with its brilliant libretto by Arrigo Boito. The story is taken from Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Windsor although the central character is much closer to the Falstaff of Henry IV. The roguish Sir John embroils himself in numerous plots and dupes of love and marriage until eventually the Merry Wives get their revenge on him and all plans are thwarted. When Carlo Maria Giulini returned to conducting public performances of opera after an absence of fourteen years he chose this comic masterpiece for the occasion. The great lyric baritone Renato Bruson sings the title role. Katia Ricciarelli leads the trio of merry wives with Lucia Valentini-Terrani as Mistress Quickly and Brenda Boozer as Meg Page. Leo Nucci sings the role of Ford and the young lovers are here portrayed by Dalmacio Gonzalez and Barbara Hendricks. Stunning designs by Hayden Griffen and Michael Stennett provide the perfect setting for this witty interpretation of Shakespeare's masterpiece.
Handel: Xerxes | DVD | (16/08/2000)
from £21.25 | Saving you £3.74 (15.00%) | RRP
The English National Opera has always had an attractively light touch in Handel; this classic production, designed by Nicholas Hytner (director of The Madness of King George and The Crucible), manages to preserve both the work's occasional passion and its undercutting of that passion into urbane absurdity. Anne Murray's Xerxes is a tyrant in love, who learns the hard way that he can neither play with, nor command, his subjects' affections; her forthright declamatory singing, not least in the famous "Larghetto", conveys both the petulance and the final grandeur of a man undergoing a sentimental education. Valerie Masterson and Christopher Hudson, as the principal pair of lovers, combine perfect singing with an attractive romantic ardour; Hudson in particular makes clear just how heroic a counter-tenor can sound, listened to without preconceptions. In the soubrette role of Atalanta, Lesley Garrett is a cute trouble-maker. Sir Charles Mackerras' conducting gives each of the genre arias of which the work consists both an appropriate intensity of emotion and an overall charm. The English libretto is by Hytner. The recording is decent PCM stereo and the picture, originally produced for TV broadcast, is in 4:3 ratio. --Roz Kaveney
Various Composers - Opera and Ballet Favourites | DVD | (29/09/2008)
from £9.39 | Saving you £5.60 (37.40%) | RRP
Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (27/06/2005)
from £6.58 | Saving you £1.64 (10.90%) | RRP
Arthaus present another in the Glyndebourne classic opera series this time the long-awaited 1977 production of Don Giovanni directed by Sir Peter Hall.Don Giovanni represents a force of nature without conscience and sense of responsibility. His sole aim in life is to win the female he has just fallen in love with. Therefore all the people around him become his victims. Not able to own up to his crimes he is dragged down to hell.Sir Peter Hall has long been associated with Glyndebourne having directed there since 1970. His production of Mozart's tragic 'opera of all operas' as E.T.A. Hoffman once called it for the 1977 Glyndebourne seasons has received universal praise - a high accolade for such an original production. Celebrated baritone and Glyndebourne favourite Benjamin Luxon perfectly embodies the unconscionable seducer Don Giovanni - although he nearly didn't appear after injuring himself during rehearsals jumping from a balcony as stage directions instructed.
A Gala Concert With Joan Sutherland And Marilyn Horne | DVD | (06/08/2001)
from £6.58 | Saving you £8.62 (43.10%) | RRP
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
La Cenerentola | DVD | (30/01/2006)
from £5.99 | Saving you £4.64 (15.50%) | RRP
Vladimir Jurowski and Sir Peter Hall are re-united for a fresh and vibrant but timelessly elegant production of Rossinin's much-loved setting of the Cinderella story with a fine cast led by Ruxandra Donose in the title role. Filmed in June 2005 with high definition cameras and recorded in multi-track 5.1 surround sound
Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Vienna/Furtwangler | DVD | (08/10/2004)
from £11.27 | Saving you £2.72 (19.40%) | 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.
Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk - Shostakovich | DVD | (01/09/2004)
from £8.03 | Saving you £7.96 (49.80%) | RRP
Filmed in Barcelona at the Gran Teatro Del Liceu this new production of the 'Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk' by composer Dimitry Shostakovitch features the Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatro Del Liceu; conducted by Alexander Anissimov.
Lo Frate Nnamorato - Pergolesi | DVD | (18/06/2004)
from £6.36 | Saving you £1.40 (14.00%) | RRP
A rare 1989 recording of Pergolesi's second opera a comic and colourful tale of tangled love in which three girls resist their arranged marriages in pursuit of the same young man.
Die Lustige Witwe - Lehar | DVD | (30/05/2005)
from £18.76 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Recorded Live from the Zurich Opera House 2004Based on the comedy L'Attache d'ambassade by Henri Meilhac.