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A Midsummer Night's Dream - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (02/08/2004)
from £12.62 | Saving you £5.37 (29.80%) | RRP
Benjamin Britten's enchanting opera adapted from Shakespeare's most English play is just the thing for a summer evening at Glyndebourne. In Peter Hall's magical and highly-acclaimed production for Glyndebourne Festival Opera filmed in 1981 the wood literally comes alive a perfetc setting for the mystical world of lovers fairies and rustics. The gorgeous and imaginative sets costume and lighting designs are by John Bury. Ileana Cotrubas is a majestic Tytiana James Bowman is a
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002)
from £45.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | 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
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
Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/07/2004)
from £12.55 | Saving you £5.44 (30.20%) | RRP
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.
Natural World | DVD | (25/06/2007)
from £12.99 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Fromthe ice age and woolly mammoth to the oceans and rainforests Discovery looks at all that is incredible about our world
Prince Igor | DVD | (06/10/2003)
from £18.65 | Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%) | RRP
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
Philomena Begley - Live in Concert | DVD | (03/03/2008)
from £7.99 | Saving you £-1.49 (-18.60%) | RRP
Recorded at The Whitehall Theatre, Dundee 1990
Inside the Actors Studio - Robert Redford | DVD | (26/01/2009)
from £4.99 | Saving you £3.00 (37.50%) | RRP
With powerful performances in films like The Sting All The President s Men and Out Of Africa making his case and his mark as an actor Robert Redford then expanded his horizons and ours stepping behind the lens to become one of only six actors ever to win a Best Director Academy Award'' as he was saluted for Ordinary People in 1980. Pursuing his passion for the art of film Redford went on to revolutionize independent cinema in 1980 by launching the acclaimed Sundance Institute for aspiring filmmakers. His charm wit and wisdom make this interview taped in 2004 an effective reminder that before there was the Sundance Institute there was the Sundance Kid.
Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner | DVD | (17/01/2005)
from £18.33 | Saving you £3.66 (16.60%) | RRP
A performance of Wagner's opera 'Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg'.
Tancredi | DVD | (01/08/2005)
from £9.97 | Saving you £15.02 (60.10%) | RRP
Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- La Scala/Maazel | DVD | (31/10/2000)
from £23.25 | Saving you £1.74 (7.00%) | RRP
This 1986 production of Madama Butterfly strives, with its Japanese director and designer, for authenticity in the Japanese setting, yet is somehow entirely Italian at the same time. Yasuko Hayashi's Cio-Cio-San is surprisingly tough, rejecting the arguments of her uncle and the marriage broker with more anger than usual, and her suicide is as much a moral statement of integrity as a sentimental gesture. Accordingly, Dvorsky's sexually magnetic Pinkerton is even less sympathetic--you can see what she sees in him, but he is arrogant and a user, except when he is being lyrical--and Zancanaro's Sharpless, the consul who expedites Pinkerton's betrayal of his wife but develops his own compassion for her, is all the more complex and interesting. The production has real charm as well as authenticity on its side; the staging of the love duet is impressive in its use of shadow and delicate light. Maazel's interpretation has a forceful energy that the recording impressively conveys. --Roz KaveneyOn the DVD: The DVD has scene selection, and subtitles in German, French and English; the menu adds Spanish.
Landi - Sant' Alessio | DVD | (19/05/2008)
from £11.25 | Saving you £1.86 (13.30%) | RRP
First performed at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome in 1632 Landis Sant Alessio (Saint Alexius) is recognised as the earliest opera on an historical rather than mythological subject. Staged in Caen (where the DVD was filmed) and Paris in October 2007 the opera was subsequently presented in concert form in London and New York and is scheduled for the opera houses of Luxembourg and Nancy in early 2008.
Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione di Poppea | DVD | (04/12/2000)
from £20.05 | Saving you £4.94 (19.80%) | RRP
Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea (1642) marks one of the very foundations of opera. Revolving around real historical characters, the Roman emperor Nero, his love for Poppea, the betrayal of the empress Octavia, and death of the philosopher Seneca, Monteverdi pits human love, ambition and intrigue against the fates. The set, a symbolic part-globe, and the costumes drawn from various ages suggest--very much in the way of the surreal film of Shakespeare's Titus (1999)--that the concerns of ancient Rome are timeless. With the emphasis on the text (the music alone does not hold the attention for 150 minutes) conductor Jacobs depends upon an excellent cast to bring the production alive. Patricia Schumann dominates the stage, her Poppea is warm, sensual and likeable, without being entirely trustworthy, an effective counterpart to Richard Croft's Nero. Darla Brooks brings just the right degree of vivacious gullibility to Drusilla, while Curtis Ryam offers eccentric comedy as Arnalta. As Ottone Jeffrey Gall is a man acutely tormented by love. Recorded at the 1993 Schwetzinger Festspiele, there is no sign of an audience, the many close-ups suggesting this performance was specially given for video. On the DVD: There are subtitle options for English, French and German, but no special features. The booklet is well documented but does not contain the libretto. The sound is good PCM stereo while the 4:3 image (not 16:9 as stated on the packaging) is better than video but otherwise unremarkable. --Gary S. Dalkin
Lucia Di Lammermoor | DVD | (21/05/2004)
from £8.85 | Saving you £1.14 (11.40%) | RRP
Donizetti's great tragedy is his undisputed masterpiece of melancholic romanticism with the doomed love between Lucia and Edgardo retold from Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor. The 1992 production heightens the story's powerful libretto with its dramatic visual design and first-class musical performances. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this is a classic recording from one of the world's great opera houses.
R. Strauss: Die Frau Ohne Schatten -- Salzburg Festival/Solti | DVD | (09/09/2002)
from £18.65 | Saving you £3.34 (15.20%) | RRP
A performance of Richard Strauss' opera 'Die Frau Ohne Schatten' performed at the Salzburg Festival in 1992.
The Miserly Knight - Rachmaninov | DVD | (30/05/2005)
from £12.96 | Saving you £7.03 (35.20%) | RRP
Vladimir Jurowski conducts Rachmaninov's dark setting of Alexander Pushkin's 'little tragedy' with an outstanding performance from Sergei Leiferkus in the role written for the great Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin.Rachmaninov's dramatically brooding score - beautifully recorded in an atmospheric surround sound - portrays the miser consumed by the power of his glinting gold as it pushes him to his ultimate collapse.
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier -- Vienna/Von Karajan | DVD | (09/07/2001)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
A production of Strauss' opera 'Der Rosenkavalier' performed at the Saltzburg Festival in 1984. Includes the Vienna State Opera Choir the Philharmonic Orchestra with singers Wilma Lipp Anna Tomowa-Sintow and Agnes Baltsa. Conducted by Herbert Von Karajan.
R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Royal Opera House/Solti | DVD | (23/02/2004)
from £11.19 | Saving you £6.80 (37.80%) | RRP
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.
Les Troyens - Hector Berlioz | DVD | (05/09/2002)
from £11.49 | Saving you £3.44 (11.50%) | RRP
The gates of Troy are open again after a ten-year siege. The Greek troops appear to have departed the battlefield - their fleet of ships having disappeared over the horizon. Rejoicing at such an unexpected victory the Trojen citizens pour out of their city to take a look at what the Greeks appear to have left behind: a giant wooden horse which they take to be an offering to pallas Athene. The only one among them not to be lulled into the general festive spirit is Cassandra who has seen Hector's ghost wandering the city ramparts with a look of foreboding about him - she senses impending disaster. Nobody pays any heed to her warnings however least of all her suitor Coroebus who tries in vain to soothe her with a tender serenade. In the presence of King Priam and Hecuba his queen the Trojens thank the gods for their safe release. But a shadow is cast over the festivities with the appearance of Hector's widow Andromache and their son Astyanax her silent mourning a memorial to those sacrificed in the long years of fighting.
Bizet - Carmen (Levine, Metropolitan Opera) | DVD | (20/11/2000)
from £13.70 | Saving you £0.29 (2.10%) | RRP
George Bizet's opera 'Carmen' performed by the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Conducted by James Levine.