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  • Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1996] Theodora - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/07/2004) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    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.

  • Verdi - Macbeth Verdi - Macbeth | DVD | (22/10/2007) from £14.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (31.80%)  |  RRP £21.99

    Verdi Macbeth

  • Carmen [2003] Carmen | DVD | (12/02/2003) from £23.15  |  Saving you £6.84 (22.80%)  |  RRP £29.99

    All too often Bizet's great comic opera Carmen has been pared down to its basic bodice-ripping components, leaving its adored melodies with only torrid clichés to cling on to. Nothing of the sort happens here. David McVicar's 2002 production for Glyndebourne restores it to its rightful place as a stupendous musical entertainment. Bold, lusty, tightly directed and designed in sanguine shades of red and black, this Carmen spills and bustles across the stage and out of the screen like a living painting. At first glance, Anne Sofie von Otter is not an obvious choice for the title role, but just look at how she seizes and inhabits the character, wrenching her from the jaws of dark, sultry stereotype and rendering a complex modern woman. Her Carmen both revels in and is tormented by the ripe sexuality that fascinates her lovers and sets her apart from the other women. Von Otter's interpretation suggests it has its roots in a hinterland of wretched, bitter experience; the "Habanera", the "Gypsy Song" and the "Seguidilla" become multi-layered expressions of hope and desire: we never forget that for all its gusto, Carmen ends up a tragedy. And the men aren't ciphers. Laurent Naouri's proud Escamillo and Marcus Haddock's immature, damaged Don José are rounded, richly sung characters. So too, is Lisa Milne's touching Micaëla. All told, this Carmen is full-length, fibrous and, with conductor Philippe Jordan at the helm, a triumph. On the DVD: Carmen is spread over two discs, presented in anamorphic widescreen format that opens up the stage and capitalises on some refreshingly brisk camerawork. The sound quality (Digital Surround sound) is finely balanced. A rich set of extras includes fascinating short documentaries on various aspects of the production, from stage fights to characterisation and costume design. There's also a useful spoken synopsis and a stroll through the famous Glyndebourne Gardens. --Piers Ford

  • Verdi: Il Trovatore -- Royal Opera House [2002] Verdi: Il Trovatore -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (24/09/2002) from £21.25  |  Saving you £3.74 (15.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Carlo Rizzi conducts Verdi's Il Trovatore with the assistance of the Royal Opera House Orchestra.

  • Le Coq D'Or [2002] Le Coq D'Or | DVD | (20/08/2004) from £22.28  |  Saving you £2.71 (10.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    From the Theatre Musical De Paris - ChateletA fairy tale with a moral Opera in three acts.

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- Zeffirelli film version [1967] Puccini: La Boheme -- Zeffirelli film version | DVD | (12/06/2006) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Zeffirellis 1963 Milan production of La Boheme, preserved in this 1965 film, provides a richly satisfying take on Puccinis much-loved romantic tragedy. The staging is opulent, not least in the way Zeffirelli opens up the Cafe Momus and turns it into a warm, vibrant haven for the bohemians and their followers. But its the relationships which really matter here. Puccinis score--conducted with restrained passion by Herbert von Karajan--develops in a wonderfully linear way, with some of his most intensely moving arias and duets underpinning the evolution of the bohemian artists, particularly Rodolfo and Marcello, from immature egotists to rounded human beings, touched by tragedy. The film does look dated now--Mirella Frenis Mimi, sung with moving clarity, has the doe-eyed look of a 1960s pop star and the camera work is a tad unsophisticated--but the singing still puts the listener through the wringer. Gianni Raimondis Rodolfo ("Che gelida manina") struggles manfully to come to terms with his emotional shortcomings and Adriana Martino (Musetta) has some fine comic moments before playing her vital part in the overwhelming sadness of the final scenes. Soul food for the tragically inclined. On the DVD: La Boheme has no extras here, but excellent booklet notes accompany the disc. The PCM Stereo soundtrack has been digitally remastered to decent effect. The 4:3 picture format inevitably imposes some limitations and the 1960s video quality is a little dull, but after all, this is a product of its time and a vital record of one of Zeffirellis most successful productions.--Piers Ford

  • Gershwin: Porgy And Bess [1992] Gershwin: Porgy And Bess | DVD | (14/05/2001) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £15.99

    This production is directed by Trevor Nunn and is based on his highly successful Glyndebourne staging in 1986/87 which was revived at Covent Garden in the autumn of 1992 with most of the original cast including Willard White and Cynthia Haymon. Immediately after that performance the production was moved to the giant stage at Shepperton Studios with much expanded sets and lighting. It was then recorded using the original award-winning EMI soundtrack. The romance and beauty of this tender story its dramatic development and the sheer vitality of the characters come alive in this exciting visual production.

  • Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin -- film version/Solti [1988] Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin -- film version/Solti | DVD | (03/06/2002) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    It's a common complaint that opera singers can't act, and actors can't sing opera. In this handsome 1988 film of Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin, director Petr Weigl attempts to solve the problem by letting each group of performers do what they do best. Thus the music is a studio recording with some great voices in the principal roles, and the film is a lip-synched performance shot in stunning locations by a good-looking cast of players. On the positive side this means that the whole thing looks gorgeous, and sun-drenched dachas, glittering ballrooms and snowy steppes are all captured with painterly verve. The musical performances are also splendid, with Bernd Weikl making a passionate, tortured Onegin, Teresa Kubiak a honeyed, fresh-sounding Tatyana, and Solti conducting with driven intensity. But realism and opera rarely make happy bed-fellows, and the down-side of this film is that the naturalistic "speaking-style" lip-synching and understated acting are entirely at odds with the grand musical gestures, and occasionally give rise to a somewhat absurd alienation effect. Thus while Kubiak's voice is at full blast, Magdalena Vasaryova looks like she's making polite chit-chat at a cocktail party. But the project feels like a brave experiment, nonetheless, and if the whole isn't quite the sum of its different elements, those elements are still jolly good. On the DVD: Eugene Onegin on disc has excellent picture quality (which is fortunate in such a visually exquisite film), though the sound is a little distant and muffled. The film starts with the entry of the peasants in Act 1, but the DVD includes the Prologue and music before this point as an audio bonus. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and a series of trailers for other Decca DVDs. --Warwick Thompson

  • Peter Grimes Peter Grimes | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Benjamin Britten's powerful opera 'Peter Grimes' is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. In this famous production by Elijah Moshinsky for The Royal Opera Canadian tenor Jon Vickers stars as the complex and misunderstood fisherman. The conductor is Sir Colin Davis who worked for several years with the cast of this production resulting in a masterly interweaving of characters in this gripping drama. ""One of the most riveting operatic impersonations o

  • Yes - the Gates of Q.P.R. Vol. 2 Yes - the Gates of Q.P.R. Vol. 2 | DVD | (21/07/2008) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £10.99

    In the 1970s Yes were among the most recognized representatives of progressive rock joined by the likes of Genesis Emerson Lake & Palmer and King Crimson. Those bands often referred to as the Big Four of prog rock set the tone for the genre their influence remaining undiminished to date. During their Relayer Tour Yes played a total of 89 concerts between November 1974 and August 1975 including this one at London's Queen's Park football stadium before a crowd of 25 000. At that time immediately following the release of Relayer (arguably their best and most ambitious album ever) Yes were on the peak of their career. Tracklist: 1. And You & I 2. Cord Of Life 3. Eclipse 4. The Preacher/The Teacher 5. Apocalypse 6. Ritual 7. Round About 8. Sweet Dreams 9. Yours Is No Disgrace

  • The Makropulos Case - Glyndebourne Festival Opera [1995] The Makropulos Case - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Nicolas Lehnhoff's stunning 1995 production of Janacek's extraordinary black comedy The Makropulos Case was one of the first to be recorded in the superb new opera house at Glyndebourne. It was received with unanimous acclaim especially for its star the astounding singing-actress Anja Silja. Silja won an Evening Standard Award for her performance.

  • Herbert von Karajan: Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 [1977] Herbert von Karajan: Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 | DVD | (31/03/2008) from £12.49  |  Saving you £12.50 (50.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Beethoven:Symphony No.9

  • Ruslan And Lyudmila Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003) from £18.65  |  Saving you £-3.66 (-24.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    A performance of Glinka's opera 'Ruslan And Lyudmila'.

  • Verdi: Nabucco -- La Scala/Muti Verdi: Nabucco -- La Scala/Muti | DVD | (26/04/2004) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This magnificent production of Verdi's biblical epic Nabucco marked the return of Riccardo Muti as Musical Director of La Scala Milan Italy's greatest opera house. Nabucco was Verdi's first real success. This vast opera has great scenes for the chorus most famously in 'Va pensiero' the hymn of longing sung by the Hebrew slaves on the banks of the Euphrates. This DVD is a marvellous opportunity to hear La Scala's famous Chrous on top form.

  • La Traviata - Verdi La Traviata - Verdi | DVD | (13/06/2005) from £5.99  |  Saving you £7.55 (30.20%)  |  RRP £24.99

    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.

  • Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Glyndebourne [1982] Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (26/04/2004) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Funny fast and furious Rossini's masterpiece Il Barbiere di Siviglia is one of the most popular of comic operas with its sparkling and stylish score. John Cox's innovative production for Glyndebourne Festival Opera with good looking authentic designs by William Dudley put plenty of fizz into this old favourite and was a real hit with the critics. The usual Glyndebourne hallmarks of team work and extended rehersal paid handsome dividends in this production filmed in 1982.

  • Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera Rodelinda - Glyndebourne Festival Opera | DVD | (05/09/2005) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Handel wrote his Italian opera Rodelinda at the height of his musical powers and it is considered to be one of his greatest with music of astonishing power and beauty. This highly praised production filmed in 1998 was the first ever staging of a Handel opera by the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Jean-Marie Villegier's stylish production sets Handel's tale of royal exile and fidelity in the silent movie era. Starring Anna Caterina Antonacci in a glamorous portrayal of Rodelinda an

  • The Rake's Progress - Stravinsky [1975] The Rake's Progress - Stravinsky | DVD | (01/08/2005) from £5.84  |  Saving you £3.42 (22.80%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Recorded at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera 1975

  • Runrig - Beat the Drum Drumnadrochit Runrig - Beat the Drum Drumnadrochit | DVD | (20/03/2008) from £12.90  |  Saving you £8.96 (39.00%)  |  RRP £22.99

  • Handel: Alcina [1999] Handel: Alcina | DVD | (21/01/2002) from £21.03  |  Saving you £3.96 (15.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Produced with the cast of a year-2000 Stuttgart stage version, this performance of Handel's 1735 opera Alcina has been specially shot for home viewing without the audience present (though applause is heard during the closing credits). Director Janos Darvas enhances the usual low theatre illumination with stronger television-friendly lighting to provide more detail, and he also takes his cameras much closer to the artists than live performance permits, offering film-style close-ups that greatly enhance the drama. With just eight performers and an essentially static set--though some intriguing interesting things are done with a large "mirror"--this intimate approach proves an enormous advantage. Handel's complex tale of intense romantic entanglement on the island of the enchantress Alcina focuses as much on high-voltage acting as powerful music-making. The 20th-century costumes are initially disconcerting, but soon become part of a psychologically intense world where time seems out of joint and charged with otherwise-unimaginable emotional possibilities. As Alcina, Catherine Naglestad gives an extraordinary performance, both strikingly passionate and deeply sensual, her revealing costuming being just the most obvious sign of a production intent on the erotic. Though Naglestad dominates, each performer offers memorable characterisation and fine singing. On the DVD: Alcina comes to disc with an anamorphically enhanced 16:9 picture that is clear and detailed, while the PCM stereo audio is natural and is recorded with good presence. Other than various optional subtitles, including English, extras are entirely absent. Within the booklet is a brief biography of Handel, background notes on Alcina and a synopsis, but nothing on the artists or performance. --Gary S Dalkin

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