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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
La Scala Collection | DVD | (02/05/2006)
from £46.89 | Saving you £13.10 (21.80%) | RRP
Various Composers: La Scala Collection - 11 Operas
Wagner-Der Ring Des Nibelunge | DVD | (02/07/2007)
from £32.67 | Saving you £27.32 (45.50%) | RRP
This legendary Bayreuth Festival production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen directed by Harry Kupfer with designs by Hans Schavernoch and conducted by Daniel Barenboim is considered perhaps the finest video recording of these four operas ever made. For their innovative modernist staging Kupfer and his team turned away from the work's time of origin and located The Ring at a road of history a meeting-place of past present and future which sets the scene for the story's struggles of power and love. Barenboim's authoritative yet highly responsive reading of the immense score and the extraordinary performances of the cast help to make this a truly memorable Ring.
Glyndebourne Diamonds | DVD | (30/04/2007)
from £31.20 | Saving you £13.79 (30.70%) | RRP
All enclosed operas are recorded live at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.Contains the operas:- Macbeth (1972).- Il Ritorno D'Ulisee In Patria (1973).- The Rake's Progress (1975).- Falstaff (1976).- Fidelio (1979).
Mozart: The Mozart Glyndebourne Collection | DVD | (28/11/2005)
from £45.39 | Saving you £14.60 (24.30%) | RRP
Six Mozart features: 'Cosi Fan Tutte (1975)' 'Don Giovani (1977)' 'Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail (1980)' 'Idomeneo (1974)' 'Le Nozze Di Figaro (1973)' and 'Die Zauberflote (1978)'.
Hercules - Handel | DVD | (06/02/2006)
from £30.75 | Saving you £-0.76 (-2.50%) | RRP
Musical drama in three acts.
Maria Callas - La Callas... Toujours - Paris, 1958 | DVD | (26/03/2001)
from £7.95 | Saving you £-14.01 (-87.60%) | RRP
La Callas... Toujours is a black-and-white televised recital (Callas' Paris debut) that took place at the Paris Opera on December 19, 1958 when television was still in its infancy. We might wish that it had happened earlier, when her voice was in better condition, or later, when video recording technology was more advanced--so that, for example, we would not have to take the narrator's word that Callas is wearing a red dress. After all, visual elements were as important as the vocal dimensions in her art but her fans will welcome this warmly. The material, carefully chosen to show Callas at her best and most versatile, includes "Casta Diva" from Bellini's Norma (a Callas speciality), the haunting "Miserere" scene from Verdi's Il trovatore, and the mischievous "Una voce poco fa" from Rossini's Barber of Seville, a fine series of stylistic contrasts in which the essential point is not pure tonal beauty but characterisation and subtle expressive nuances. Others have made this music sound prettier; nobody has presented it with more impact. But the climax of this programme is its second half, a staged performance of Act II of Puccini's Tosca. This is a study in police brutality, sexual harassment and sheer violence, psychological and physical, that has some of opera's most extreme moments--including the great aria "Vissi d'arte", the murder of the villain Scarpia and the contemptuous dismissal flung at his corpse--"and all Rome trembled before him". In this segment, Callas goes mano a mano with Tito Gobbi, her only equal as a singing actor during her career. They savour this material in a virtuoso performance. --Joe McLellan, Amazon.com
Verdi - Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Falstaff (Haitink, Rizzi) | DVD | (21/05/2007)
from £32.63 | Saving you £17.36 (34.70%) | RRP
Contains the operas:- Falstaff.- Il Trovatore.- Rigoletto.
Nessun Dorma - Favourite Puccini Operas - La Boheme/Turandot/Madama Butterfly/Manon Lescaut | DVD | (01/10/2007)
from £41.09 | Saving you £8.90 (17.80%) | RRP
La Boheme - Live Recording From the San Francisco Opera House 1988.Turandot - Live Recoding From The San Francisco Opera House 1994.Madama Butterfly - Live Recording From Teatro Alla Scala Milano 1986.Manan Lescaut - Live Recording From The Flemish Opera 1991.
Luciano Pavarotti - La Boheme/Aida/Die Fledermaus | DVD | (29/10/2007)
from £36.49 | Saving you £8.50 (18.90%) | RRP
Luciano Pavarotti: La Boheme / Aida / Die Fledermaus
Verdi: Jerusalem -- Teatro Felice/Plasson | DVD | (03/03/2003)
from £47.69 | Saving you £-22.70 (-90.80%) | RRP
Verdi's 'I Lombardi' became 'Jerusalem' in 1847 when he made substantial alterations to his opera for a production in Paris. This production is under the baton of Michel Plasson.
Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti - Three Concerts | DVD | (21/01/2008)
from £30.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
This DVD features the following concerts: Luciano Pavarotti In Central Park: On 26 June 1993 Luciano Pavarotti performed to over half a million New Yorkers in the city's famous Central Park. Features the entire 24-item concert. Pavarotti And Levine In Recital: Recorded in 1998 in front of a packed house at New York's prestigious Metropolitan Opera Luciano Pavarotti gave one of his greatest recitals accompanied by the Met's celebrated music direcror James Levine. Luciano Pavarotti: 30th Anniversary Gala Concert: On 29 April 1991 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his very first stage appearance Luciano Pavarotti invited a galaxy of today's operatic stars to the picturesque Teatro Valli in Italy's Reggio Emilia. Headed by the great tenor himself his gala celebration proved one of the most distinguished and memorable of its kind.
Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur -- Teatro alla Scala | DVD | (05/05/2003)
from £39.99 | Saving you £-15.00 (-60.00%) | RRP
When Adriana Lecouvreur makes her entrance in the first act of Francesco Cilea's opera to the strains of her characteristic sweeping melody and chides her admirers that she is only 'the humble maidservant of the creative spirit the echo of human drama her modest desire for self-effacement conceals one of the essential truths of this and many of the operas of Cilea's Italian contemporaries: their unswerving focus on one remarkable woman. Like Tosca or Madama Butterfly Adriana is the character at the very centre of the action the one who draws all the audience's sympathies. Unsurprisingly when the historical figure Adrienne Lecouvreur of the Comedie-Francaise returned to theatrical life in 1849 as the subject of a play by the dramatist Eugene Scribe and his collaborator Ernest Legouve the role became associated with such legends of the stage as Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse. And in her musical incarnation at the hands of Cilea the part has similarly been something of a vehicle for great singing actresses.
Don Giovanni / Cosi Fan Tutte | DVD | (28/11/2005)
from £41.15 | Saving you £8.84 (17.70%) | RRP
Cosi Fan Tutte:Live from the Zurich Opera House 2000Don Giovanni:Live from the Zurich Opera House 2001
Cecilia Bartoli - The DVD Collection | DVD | (08/03/2004)
from £33.99 | Saving you £0.00 (0.00%) | RRP
The DVD CollectionCecilia Bartoli: A PortraitThe original and unique portrait of the amazing Cecilia Bartoli filmed at the outset of her career and giving a fascinating insight into her background personality and approach to her art. Includes her Savoy Hotel recital.Cecilia Bartoli: Live in ItalyCecilia Bartoli's acclaimed 1998 recital in the Palladian splendour of Vicenza's Teatro Olimpico. Accompanied by French virtuoso Jean-Yves Thibaudet it ranges from v