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  • Ariadne Auf Naxos [1988] Ariadne Auf Naxos | DVD | (02/09/2002) from £17.69  |  Saving you £2.30 (11.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Strauss's opera 'Ariadne Auf Naxos' performed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Artists include: Jessye Norman Kathleen Battle Tatania Troyanos and James King. Conducted by James Levine.

  • England Cricket's Greatest Matches England Cricket's Greatest Matches | DVD | (17/03/2008) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £14.99

    The ultimate collection of England's most memorable test perfomances from over 35 years of cricket

  • Offenbach: La Belle Helene -- Zurich/Harnoncourt [1997] Offenbach: La Belle Helene -- Zurich/Harnoncourt | DVD | (25/09/2000) from £18.75  |  Saving you £6.24 (25.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Offenbach's operetta La Belle Hélene, which pokes fun at the Parisian upper class of a century and a half ago through tales of ancient Greece, requires a leap of imagination on behalf of today's audience that this production only partly succeeds in reconciling. On musical grounds we're on sure footing. Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts the chorus and orchestra of the Zurich Opera House with his customary flair for precise and taut rhythms and an appreciation of the composer's wit and the good tunes that are a-plenty. His multi-national cast headed by Vesselina Kasarova as Helen of Troy and Deon van der Walt as her lover Paris are excellent and among the smaller parts there's a lively and stylish performance from Liliana Nichiteanus as Oreste. The video direction by Hartmut Schroder and the superb sound obtained from the relatively intimate Zurich Opera House, a delightful setting for this operetta, are further assets. The production alas is unenlightening and perpetrates an over-the-top style that seems to be synonymous with Offenbach. The backdrop, a pink concave awning is hideous. The costumes by designer Jean-Charles de Castelibajac are silly: Paris is dressed in lederhosen and looks a twerp, Calchac, the high priest wears a Ku Klux Klan hat and Helen at one point looks as though she'll take to absailing. Kasarova suggests the lure of Helen in her voice but a beauty she's not. So it's left to Harnoncourt who joins the company at the curtain call with a twinkle in his eye and a nifty side step and his superb orchestra to remind us what might have been. --Adrian Edwards

  • Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan Patience - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (29/05/2006) from £12.15  |  Saving you £2.84 (18.90%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Gilvert And Sullivan: Patience (Stanhope Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra)

  • La Boheme - Puccini La Boheme - Puccini | DVD | (06/12/2004) from £21.03  |  Saving you £3.96 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    La Boheme - Recorded live at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi Milan February 2003 - Staged by the Teatro all Scala.

  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena [1983] Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena | DVD | (11/06/2001) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This traditional production of Puccini's enduringly popular opera Madama Butterfly should give much pleasure. It was recorded at the open-air theatre in Verona in 1983 with the local orchestra and chorus under the aptly named Maurizio Arena. The video direction is by an expert in the field, Brian Large, who brings home all the intimate moments of Puccini's drama from an open set that ascends and sprawls across rows of seating. His camera draws the viewer into scenes that the audience cannot witness at their distance--most movingly when Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki, gives up his attempt to read Pinkerton's letter to Butterfly saying he has no intention of seeing her again (set to that magical melody which will recur as the humming chorus). It's of little matter that there are no operatic stars in the cast for this ensemble consists of experienced singers who fill the night air with lungs to match Puccini's heaviest demands. The audience, many of them evidently on holiday, greet the show-stopping moments with waves of applause. Their enthusiasm may drown a few bars of orchestral continuity but the orchestra itself is always at the service of the singers on a soundtrack that captures the atmosphere of an open-air performance with astonishing verisimilitude. Butterfly, sung by the statuesque Raina Kabaivanska, may not see Cio-Cio San (to give "butterfly" her real name) 16 years again and some of her arm movements are overdone but her big number "Un bel di" and its reprise when she's holding her child by Pinkerton are touchingly conveyed. Neither does she overplay the final scene where she prepares to follow her father's example using the Mikado's dagger to commit suicide--a moment that sends a shiver down the spine in its economy. Nazzareno Antinori as her Pinkerton, with his matinée idol looks and resonant voice, complements her well; their singing of Puccini's spacious love duet at the close of Act One goes down a treat with the crowd. --Adrian Edwards

  • Madama Butterfly - Puccini [1974] Madama Butterfly - Puccini | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £11.03  |  Saving you £-1.40 (-10.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Of all Puccini's major operas, the intimate tragedy of Madama Butterfly is least in need of elaborate staging and might therefore benefit most from the close scrutiny of film. The story is domestic, the setting Spartan, the incidental characters kept to a minimum. This 1974 version, however, demonstrates that Butterfly still needs a healthy injection of proscenium arch melodrama. Director Jean-Pierre Ponelle's production strives for realism but remains unfortunately studio-bound, having neither the benefit of location filming nor the heightened reality of an opera stage. The exterior is a perpetually fog-shrouded heath of indeterminate locale; the interior is cramped and unadorned. The setting is just too prosaic to contain the epic emotions of grand opera. Thankfully, the cast is superb, headed by Placido Domingo's rakish Pinkerton and Mirella Freni's rubicund Butterfly. Their singing is incomparable, as is Herbert von Karajan's musical direction of the Vienna Phil. The singers mime to pre-recorded music, which is occasionally disconcerting since when film demands close-ups opera provides broad gestures. Musically, this Butterfly is impeccable. Visually it adds nothing that could not be seen to better effect in a stage version. On the DVD: Madama Butterfly is presented disappointingly on disc in a poor NTSC transfer full of distracting graininess that makes every scene, both inside and out, look like it takes place in an omnipresent drizzle. Sound is reasonable stereo and adequate 5.0 surround. There are subtitles in the major European languages as well as Chinese, and the booklet contains a background essay plus synopsis. --Mark Walker

  • I Now Pronounce You Vince and Ralph I Now Pronounce You Vince and Ralph | DVD | (31/12/2007) from £4.25  |  Saving you £-1.49 (-21.30%)  |  RRP £6.99

    I Now Pronounce You Ralph And Vince

  • Il Barbiere Di Siviglia [1988] Il Barbiere Di Siviglia | DVD | (17/04/2003) from £21.03  |  Saving you £3.96 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Mozart - Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (Bartoli Kuebler)

  • Popular Puccini - Tosca/La Boheme/Madama Butterfly Popular Puccini - Tosca/La Boheme/Madama Butterfly | DVD | (26/02/2008) from £14.75  |  Saving you £1.24 (7.80%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Puccini's most popular operas in three of the most widely acclaimed opera films ever produced.Includes:ToscaLa BohemeMadama ButterflyClassic films of Puccini's best-loved operas in a specially priced 3-DVD set to celebrate the composer's anniversary year.

  • Verdi: Requiem Verdi: Requiem | DVD | (04/01/2001) from £16.49  |  Saving you £3.50 (17.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Produced by the BBC in association with RM ARTS from the Usher Hall, Verdi's 'REQUIEM'.

  • Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann -- Royal Opera House/Pretre [1981] Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann -- Royal Opera House/Pretre | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This famous and highly-praised Royal Opera production by film director John Schlesinger filmed in 1981 is as good as we are ever likely to see. The spectacular designs by Maria Bjornson and William Dudley vividly bring Hoffman's nightmare world to life. The brilliant cast is led by Placido Domingo as Hoffmann in one of his towering portrayals. He has become wholly identified with this part in a way that no other artist has.

  • Samson Et Dalila - The Royal Opera Samson Et Dalila - The Royal Opera | DVD | (27/02/2006) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Jon Vickers plays Samson while Shirley Verrett plays Dalila in this production of the classic tale which was performed at the Royal Opera House. The dramatic story based on Chapter 16 of the Book of Judges lends itself to spectacular presentation not least in the final scene as the blinded Samson summons all his strength to bring down the pillars of the temple. The opera also features a magnificent and voluptuous score.

  • Victor Herbert - Naughty Marietta / Munsel / Drake Victor Herbert - Naughty Marietta / Munsel / Drake | DVD | (05/01/2004) from £18.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £18.99

    Naughty Marietta is one of Victor Herbert's most enduring and beloved operettas boasting such favourite Herbert melodies as Ah Sweet Mystery of Life Italian Street Song I'm Falling in Love with Someone and Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!In 1935 MGM Studios chose Naughty Marietta as the premiere vehicle for Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy although much of the original storyline and music were drastically altered. Twenty years later Producer-Director Max Liebman brought Naughty Marietta to television in a production which was according to Variety prepared with painstaking care and devotion. Unlike the Hollywood approach Liebman's production is quite faithful to the original work allowing the unforgettable Herbert score to speak (or sing) for itself.For his leads Liebman chose two reigning stars from the worlds of Opera and Broadway: Patrice Munsel and Alfred Drake. Ms. Munsel a Met Opera favourite in such roles as Lucia Juliet and Adele gives a spirited account of the saucy Marietta d' Altena. Mr. Drake famous for creating the leading roles in Oklahoma! and Kismet made his television debut in this production lending his rich baritone voice to the role of Captain Warrington (appearing without his trademark beard).The strong supporting cast of singers and dancers - including the lovely Gale Sherwood - helps to make this a memorable evening.

  • I Lombardi [1984] I Lombardi | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The magnificent cast of this production of I Lombardi is headed by Ghena Dimitrova Jose Carreras Silvano Carroli and Carlo Bini. The haunting designs of Spartan grandeur are by Giovanni Agostinucci who uses the motif of a blood-red cross as a double-edged symbol throughout the opera which is set at the time of the first crusade. The performance is conducted by a La Scala conductor of long-standing repute Gianandrea Gavazzeni.

  • The Flying Dutchman - Wagner The Flying Dutchman - Wagner | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    One of the most acclaimed Wagner productions of the postwar period this electrifying revolutionary Bayreuth staging of The Flying Dutchman catapulted the German director Harry Kupfer to international fame. Kupfer's psychologically acute production presents the entire story as a hallucination in which Senta's yearning for the eternally wandering Dutchman sends her into a trance-like state. Senta is sung by Danish soprano Lisbeth Balslev the American bass-baritone Simon Estes portrays the Dutchman while the Finnish bass Matti Salminen is Daland.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1981] A Midsummer Night's Dream - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (02/08/2004) from £12.49  |  Saving you £5.50 (30.60%)  |  RRP £17.99

    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

  • Le Corsaire [1998] Le Corsaire | DVD | (21/06/2000) from £6.63  |  Saving you £13.96 (55.90%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A story of love between a young girl sold by a slave trader and a pirate who is sentenced to death for stealing her away.

  • Parsifal - Wagner/Stein Parsifal - Wagner/Stein | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £14.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Wolfgang Wagner's arrestingly beautiful production filmed live at Bayreuth in 1981 and directed by Brian Large features a stellar cast led by Eva Randova Bernd Weikl and Siegfried Jerusalem.

  • Verdi: Simon Boccanegra -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine Verdi: Simon Boccanegra -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £14.10  |  Saving you £2.89 (17.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of the Verdi opera 'Simon Boccanegra'. Conducted by James Levine.

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