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Giacomo Puccini - Puccini - Turandot | DVD | (21/07/2008)
from £10.59 | Saving you £4.40 (29.40%) | RRP
Turandot: Puccini - Arena di Verona
Tosca's Kiss | DVD | (06/09/2004)
from £14.59 | Saving you £-0.60 (-4.30%) | RRP
Daniel Schmid's film set in a home for retired opera singers in Casa Di Riposa in Milan. Characters are seen re-enacting their greatest moments in a film which centres on the aging process and inspirational music
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier -- Vienna/Kleiber | DVD | (03/09/2004)
from £18.65 | Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%) | RRP
The epic grandeur of Der Rosenkavalier stems not just from its immense length (over three hours) but from the all-too-human complexity of its characters--each of whom is smitten with someone else--and the endless stream of graceful melodies the composer conjures. After the tonality-stretching dissonance of Salome and especially Elektra, Strauss moved onto a different musical path here: the music's sheer gorgeousness has given this most heartbreaking of 20th-century operas its pride of place in the repertory. For this 1994 performance at the Vienna Opera House, conductor Carlos Kleiber leads a committed reading of the buoyant score that savours every note. The three leads are superb singer-actresses who get full marks for embodying Strauss's most richly romantic creations: Felicity Lott (the Marschallin), Anne Sophie von Otter (Octavian) and Barbara Bonney (Sophie) also offer a truly entrancing final trio, one of the great scenes in all opera. The stereo sound mix is solid, as is the video transfer. --Kevin Filipski, Amazon.com
The Golden Ring - Wiener Philharmoniker/Sir Georg Solti | DVD | (11/06/2007)
from £15.39 | Saving you £-1.40 (-10.00%) | RRP
The legendary 1965 BBC film on the pioneering recording by Sir Georg Solti of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Filmed during the recording of Gotterdammerung in the Sofiensale with the Vienna Philharmonic, it features performances by the great Wagner singers Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Gottlob Frick, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The DVD also includes ORF's German-language version of the programme (Hinter den Kulissen der Gotterdammerung) featuring different interview footage with Sir Georg Solti.
Mountain Of The Cannibal God | DVD | (25/08/2008)
from £8.84 | Saving you £4.15 (31.90%) | RRP
Mountain Of The Cannibal God
Verdi: Macbeth | DVD | (29/01/2001)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
One of the best of Verdi's earlier operas, Macbeth has a distinctive energy to which, in this performance, conductor Sinopoli gives full rein. His excellent chorus--terrifyingly skittish witches, mournful exiles, sinister-facetious murderers, outraged and vengeful courtiers in the aftermath of Duncan's murder--is as much a participant as the principals, and the orchestral accompaniment reminds us that what the young Verdi lacked of his later subtlety he made up in sheer vigour. Renato Bruson is an extraordinary Macbeth, caught in a nightmare of his own making and unable to find release save through further killings and eventually self-destruction; Maria Zampieri has the sort of voice Verdi specified and which many productions avoid, a voice prepared to give its all, not to any sort of lyric beauty but to a harshness that is dramatically appropriate--this is a fine characterisation. Dennis O'Neill has comparatively little to do, but makes his vengeance aria a memorable reminder that guilt and shame are not all that this opera is about. --Roz Kaveney
La Clemenza Di Tito - Mozart | DVD | (03/01/2006)
from £22.59 | Saving you £7.40 (24.70%) | RRP
Commissioned for the coronation of Leopold II in Prague Mozart's last opera is a deep humane reflection on relationships power and forgiveness. With the composition of some of the most beautiful passages in his oeuvre Mozart has succeeded in giving this opera seria both a noble sobriety and transparent instrumentation to which this commanding production by the Hermann partnership does full justice on all levels. Susan Graham's most extraordinary Sesto and Christoph Pregardien's Superb Tito set the standard for this riveting Opera National de Paris Performance conducted by the outstanding Sylvain Cambreling.
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.
L'Incoronazione Di Poppea - Monteverdi | DVD | (01/08/2005)
from £8.75 | Saving you £9.99 (33.30%) | RRP
Almost four decades before creating his Poppea Monteverdi wrote in the preface to his fifth book of madrigals The modern composer must create his works solely on the basis of the truth - a credo to which the music of his final opera is utterly faithful.Poppea is a potent work from opera's first true creator and pioneering genius. The fact that at the close of this highly charged 'dramma in musica' he allows evil to triumph over good (albeit temporarily) has frequently led to his being decried as amoral.Monteverdi's timeless masterpiece which creates a deep involvement in performers and audiences alike is brilliantly captured in this High Definition live recording of Pierre Audi's moving and beautifully style production from Het Muziektheater Amsterdam in 1994.
Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (23/07/2004)
from £12.95 | Saving you £2.04 (13.60%) | RRP
Recorded at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera 1973.
Massenet - Manon | DVD | (07/01/2008)
from £5.19 | Saving you £8.62 (43.10%) | RRP
For their first-ever encounter in a staged opera Natalie Dessay as Manon and Rolando Villazn as des Grieux were the much-awaited highlight of Barcelona's Liceu season in June 2007 in David McVicar's beautiful stage production of Massenet's Manon. The DVD captures this outstanding production of Massenet's most popular and enduring opera which has since its creation in Paris in 1884 maintained an important place in the repertory.
L'Occasione Fa Il Ladro - Rossini | DVD | (28/04/2006)
from £12.49 | Saving you £12.50 (50.00%) | RRP
L'occasione fa il ladro is one of the five one-act operas - farsa giocosa - in which the teenage Rossini first demonstrated his operatic genius and in musical terms is by far the most riotous one This sparkling production continues the Rossini one-act opera series emerging from the Schwetzingen Festival.
La Scala Di Seta - Rossini | DVD | (27/02/2006)
from £19.26 | Saving you £5.73 (22.90%) | RRP
Gioacchino Rossini's La scala di setaA stage production of the Oper der Stadt Koln and the Opera de Montpellier from the Schwetzinger Festspiele.Recorded live at the Rokokotheater Schwetzingen 6-8 May 1990.
Donizetti: L'Elisir D'Amore (The Elixir of Love) | DVD | (11/03/2002)
from £13.94 | Saving you £2.05 (12.80%) | RRP
It's hard to think of a couple better suited to play the romantic leads in Donizetti's comedy L'Elisir d'amore than husband-and-wife team Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu. Both are charming on stage, and both have voices to die for: Gheorghiu's dark liquid tones are particularly spine-tingling, and her coloratura abilities awe-inspiring, and though Alagna has mainly concentrated on the more spinto (powerful) roles of the tenor repertoire, in 1996 when this live production was recorded his voice was just a little fresher and lighter and thus perfect for the bel canto gracefulness of Donizetti's writing. His performance of "Una furtiva lagrima", for example, is meltingly sung and free from all temptation to overplay the high notes. Frank Dunlop's 1920s-set production doesn't quite produce the belly laughs some stagings manage (in Dulcamara's patter song, for example), but has a certain small-town wistful charm nonetheless. The orchestral accompaniment under Donizetti expert Evelino Pidò is spot on, and never falls into the banal "oom-pah" trap that such simple writing can often lead to. Overall, it's a production of great charm. On the DVD: L'Elisir d'amore comes to disc with a 52-minute film on the history of the opera and its recording, with contributions from Alagna and Gheorghiu, and subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese. The Lyon opera house is particularly well set up for video recording, and Brian Large does a sophisticated job of capturing a live performance: it's hard to believe at some points that the cameras aren't actually on stage in the middle of the action. Just occasionally this leads to the singers not knowing where to look and seeming a trifle lost, but generally the performances work superbly well on the small screen. --Warwick Thomson
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
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (20/02/2004)
from £24.39 | Saving you £5.60 (18.70%) | RRP
Johann Strauss II's wonderfully convoluted and ingenious Viennese farce Die Fledermaus is a masterpiece of operetta. The tale spins waltz-like around the philandering Von Eisenstein (Thomas Allen), his wife Rosalinde (Pamela Armstrong), who is tempted by singing teacher Alfred (Par Lindskog), and Adele (Lyubov Petrova), Rosalinde's maid. Following Shakespeare's romantic comedy template there is much mistaken identity, confusion of purpose and cross-dressing, with the events unfolding around an increasingly drunken masked ball and the morning after in the local jail. The champagne-fuelled entertainment carries various satiric undertones, but this adaptation by director Stephen Lawless and Daniel Dooner emphasises colour, wit and flamboyance, always ensuring the jokes work well for a modern audience. The production requires acting as strong as the excellent singing, and Thomas Allen delivers a subtly layered interpretation of Eisenstein, while Pamela Armstrong's Rosalinde offers a winning study in smouldering sensuality, well contrasted with Lyubov Petrova's more directly sexual Adele. The revolving set mirrors the swirling Strauss dances and the elegant design is a perfect match for the boldly extrovert costumes. If this Glyndebourne 2003 production doesn't match Dame Joan Sutherland's retirement performance at the Royal Opera House in 1977 for historic value, it is easily as much fun and the production values are second to none. On the DVD: Die Fledermaus is presented on a two-disc edition with Acts 1 and 2 on the first disc and Act 3 and 37 minutes of extras on the second DVD. The 16:9 anamorphically enhanced image is as strong and detailed as BBC live digital video recording can be and the sound is offered in excellent stereo, as well as superb 5.1 DTS, which places the listener in the acoustic equivalent of the best seat in the house. The extras begin with 20 minutes of short but worthwhile interviews with Pamela Armstrong, Thomas Allen, Hakan Hagegard, conductor Vladimir Jurowski and director Stephen Lawless. There is a five-minute feature on the history of the waltz and a four-minute humorous interlude in which Udo Samel explores the pleasures of champagne in his character as the gaoler Frosch. More substantial if less entertaining is Return of the Architect (8 min), a look at the design and construction of the modern Glyndebourne opera house. The set is completed with routine photo and costume galleries and a nicely produced booklet illustrated with good quality colour photographs. Optional subtitles are available in Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish. --Gary S Dalkin
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
Verdi - Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Falstaff (Haitink, Rizzi) | DVD | (21/05/2007)
from £34.49 | Saving you £15.50 (31.00%) | RRP
Contains the operas:- Falstaff.- Il Trovatore.- Rigoletto.
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.
La Boheme | DVD | (17/04/2003)
from £17.83 | Saving you £7.16 (28.70%) | RRP
Recorded live at the Sydney Opera house this Australian Opera Production of Puccini's masterpiece was staged by the makers of the film 'Strictly Ballroom' with music under the direction of Julian Smith.