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  • Aria [DVD] [1987] Aria | DVD | (15/06/2009) from £6.69  |  Saving you £13.30 (66.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Conceived developed and produced by Don Boyd Aria is a completely unique film both structurally and also in the sheer scale of the production itself. Ten of the world's most creative and celebrated directors were each given the same brief; to choose a piece of opera music and then present a visual interpretation of that music. The result is by turns erotic violent funny and poignant. The stills photographers assigned to each were equally celebrated among them David Bailey Annie Leibovitz Lord Snowdon Terry O'Neill and John Swannell. The impressive cast list includes John Hurt Tilda Swinton Bridget Fonda and Elizabeth Hurley Teresa Russell. A remarkable collective achievement Aria is a cinematic experience like no other.

  • Verdi - La Traviata Verdi - La Traviata | DVD | (12/11/2007) from £15.39  |  Saving you £1.60 (9.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Acclaimed film and stage director Franco Zeffirelli spared no costs to reproduce the opulent setting of Violetta Val''ry''s happiness and downfall. The unparalleled musical quality of the production is guaranteed by some of the world''s most famous musicians: The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York conductor James Levine and singers Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo. As Violetta soprano Teresa Stratas strikes the right balance between emotional grandeur and physical weakness. And with his meltingly lyrical voice and magnetic stage presence Placido Domingo embodies Alfredo Germont with a rarely seen passion.

  • The Mikado The Mikado | DVD | (22/08/2011) from £11.63  |  Saving you £5.34 (31.40%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Based on the stage production by Anthony Besch.

  • Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni / Pagliacci - Leoncavallo [1983] Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni / Pagliacci - Leoncavallo | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £12.63  |  Saving you £1.36 (9.70%)  |  RRP £13.99

    The great Italian stage and screen director Franco Zeffirelli made these widely acclaimed films both starring Placido Domingo with Georges Pretre conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala. Pagliacci which co-stars the great singing actress Teresa Stratas brought Zeffirelli the coveted Emmy as Best Director in the category of Classical Music Programming. Cavalleria was filmed on location in Sicily which adds immeasurably to the power and atmosphere of this timeless story of love honour justice and violence.

  • Rigoletto - Verdi Rigoletto - Verdi | DVD | (09/08/2004) from £13.30  |  Saving you £3.69 (21.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Opera in three acts produced live at the Metropolitan Opera on 7 November 1977.

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli Puccini: La Boheme -- Royal Opera House/Gardelli | DVD | (21/08/2000) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This full-blooded 1982 performance of Puccini's most-loved opera demonstrates just how much drive and powerful emotion can make up for a certain lack of subtlety. Cotrubas' Mimi is entirely moving in both joy and death, while never quite feeling as thoroughly frail as some of her quieter rivals; stronger tenor voices than Neil Shicoff's have recorded the role, and yet he has a Romantic passion and a dignity that many of his rivals fail to bring to the role. That under-rated singer Gwynne Howell is especially moving in Colline's farewell to his cloak--one of those perfect little showcase sections Puccini sometimes gives to minor parts. Marilyn Zschau's Musetta is broad and comic and yet somehow includes the audience in the glorious joke that her sexuality is for her; when Thomas Allen sings, to her waltz theme, of youth that is not yet dead, his ardour transcends realism. Gardelli knew this score in his bones--the production bounces along from comedy to tears to eroticism to tragedy and neither cast nor orchestra miss a single one of Puccini's wonderful touches of emotional exploitation. --Roz Kaveney

  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001) from £7.97  |  Saving you £2.69 (19.20%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Angela Gheorghiu's stunning debut as Violetta from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden it was this performance that turned the Romanian soprano into an international sensation. The occasion also marked Sir George Solti's first performances of Verdi's ever-popular tragedy. World-class performances by opera's finest - Frank Lopardo (Alfredo) Leo Nucci (Germont) Leah-Marian Jones (Flora) and Gillian Knight (Annina). With Richard Eyre's dramatic staging Bob Crowley's elegant strik

  • Puccini: Tosca -- 2002 Film Version Puccini: Tosca -- 2002 Film Version | DVD | (23/06/2003) from £8.99  |  Saving you £5.20 (20.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Benoit Jacquot's filmed Tosca treads a fine line between operatic staginess and cinematic contrivance. As per the libretto, each act takes place in a single setting, but with the singers here miming to a pre-recorded soundtrack. Jacquot freely reminds us of the conceit with cutaways to the recording session itself--revealing conductor, orchestra and soloists at work--thus a bridge is made between the on-screen action and the music-making itself, and the inherent duality of any opera production is laid refreshingly bare. The same cannot be said for the director's decision to interpolate spoken dialogue over the music in key places--a distraction not an enhancement. Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna are glamorous and attractive enough to make the most of their Hollywood-style close-ups; their singing easily bears similar close scrutiny--as anyone who owns the CD soundtrack album will surely already know. If Alagna lacks a little power as Cavaradossi on record, his charismatic screen presence happily compensates; Gheorghiu is both vocally and physically almost ideal as Tosca. Ruggero Raimondi's Scarpia completes an outstanding trio, and in the pit (or, rather, in the studio) conductor Antonio Pappano handles the drama of Puccini's score without missing a single nuance. Both musically and visually, then, this is a Tosca to treasure. On the DVD: Tosca on disc looks vibrant in this warm, widescreen picture accompanied by a DTS 5.1 soundtrack. Three filmed interviews--with Gheorghiu, Pappano and Jacquot--provide some insight into the making of this production. --Mark Walker

  • Otello Otello | DVD | (11/04/2005) from £5.99  |  Saving you £9.20 (57.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    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

  • Il Trittico Il Trittico | DVD | (22/03/2004) from £10.59  |  Saving you £7.40 (41.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Puccini's trio of mini masterpieces Il Trittico features a melodrama (Il Tabarro) a sentimental piece (Suor Angelica) and finally a comedy (Gianni Schicchi). These three one-act operas feature some of Puccini's most beautiful music. Puccini's passionate and ruggedly realistic opera Il Tabarro is a tale of deception and murder along the banks of the Seine. Suor Angelica is the story of Sister Angelica who was born a princess but had an illegitmate son and so was banished to a co

  • Verdi - Aida Verdi - Aida | DVD | (10/09/2007) from £14.68  |  Saving you £0.31 (2.10%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Alagna: Aida

  • Puccini: Turandot -- San Francisco [1994] Puccini: Turandot -- San Francisco | DVD | (18/07/2000) from £20.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (19.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Not only is Puccini's final opera Turandot among the composer's most popular works, but following The Three Tenors and a certain football contest, it has in "Nessun dorma!" what is almost certainly the best-loved aria in all opera. Written 20 years after Madame Butterfly (1904), Puccini's version of an 800-year-old fairy-tale is set in a legendary Peking and scored on a grand scale, incorporating not only Chinese musical techniques but a vast range of oriental percussion. Puccini draws heavily on the chorus, and as ever makes intense demands on his heroine, to which Eva Marton rises powerfully, very well complemented by the tenor Michael Sylvester as Calaf. However, what makes this 1994 San Francisco Opera version so enchanting as a visual experience is the realisation by David Hockney, who not only designed the sets and costumes but also directed the production. His vision is highly stylised, richly imagined, atmospheric and very beautiful, and it is a testament to how well this version is directed that much of the original magic is communicated through the confines of a TV screen. --Gary S. DalkinOn the DVD: Other than a well-appointed booklet, and the option to watch with or without subtitles, there are no special features. The 4:3 picture is a major improvement on video, though no doubt due to the original source materials, not as detailed as the best DVDs. The sound is powerful PCM stereo, with a slight tendency to become strident at especially dramatic moments. The layer change is particularly badly done, interrupting the choir in full flow, rather than being placed between tracks.

  • Verdi: Don Carlos [1996] Verdi: Don Carlos | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £10.59  |  Saving you £9.40 (47.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This is a 1996 all-star-cast version from Paris of the original French version of Verdi's epic five-act opera, Don Carlos. First produced in 1867, only Wagner would write musical drama on a grander scale, and due to the three-and-a-half-hour running time most subsequent productions have made substantial cuts. This is therefore a rare opportunity to witness Verdi's tragedy in its entirety.Set in the 16th century in the aftermath of war between Spain and France, Don Carlo (Roberto Alagna), the heir to the Spanish throne comes to France to meet with his beloved Elizabeth de Valois (Karita Mattila). Inevitably politics divide the lovers, and while Rodrigue (Thomas Hampson) falls in with Flemish rebels, the Inquisition is determined to be the power behind the peace. This is certainly not Verdi's greatest work, but it contains great music and the stars are allowed to shine with strong characterisations in an elegantly designed production. There are no gimmicks or attempts at spurious contemporary relevance here, simply singers of the calibre of Alagna, Mattila, Hampson, plus the outstanding Eric Halfvarson as the Grand Inquisitor. This is a production that continues in the 19th-century tradition, and in the process delivers the frisson of world-class opera. --Gary S. DalkinOn the DVD: While the running time precludes much in the way of special features, via DVD-ROM the libretto can be printed in French, together with an article and biographies. The picture is presented at approximately 1.7:1 and while far superior to video could still benefit from anamorphic enhancement. The sound is stereo or excellent Dolby Digital 5.0. The booklet offers a detailed synopsis in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and there are subtitles in the same languages. The disc is encoded for regions two to six. --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Pirates Of Penzance - Gilbert And Sullivan [1982] Pirates Of Penzance - Gilbert And Sullivan | DVD | (13/12/2004) from £7.92  |  Saving you £8.07 (50.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Having mistakenly been sent as an apprentice to pirates young Frederic is happy to leave his indentures on his 21st birthday. Falling in love with the beautiful Mabel one of the many daughters of Major-General Stanley he decides to marry. However the pirates are all to keen to marry the rest of Stanley's daughters! A spectacular interpretation of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic!

  • Lehar - Der Zarewitsch Lehar - Der Zarewitsch | DVD | (13/08/2007) from £11.99  |  Saving you £1.33 (7.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Lehar: Der Zarewitsch - The Tsarevich

  • Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Glyndebourne [1994] Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (25/10/1999) from £11.79  |  Saving you £6.20 (34.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Mozart's immortal adaptation of Beaumarchais' satirical tale has always been a Glyndebourne staple, so it was appropriate that this delightfully traditional production of Le Nozze di Figaro was chosen to reopen a refurbished Gyndebourne in May, 1994. Here, John Gunter's set design is airy and uncluttered, leaving the actors plenty of breathing space, while director Stephen Medcalf likewise allows the characters to speak (and sing) for themselves. Gerald Finley's Figaro and Alison Hagley's Susanna make a charming central pairing; Renee Fleming and Andreas Schmidt are a formidable aristocratic duo, while Marie-Ange Todorovitch fills Cherubino's trousers with pleasing playfulness. Haitink and the London Philharmonic sparkle, as of course they should. Unfussily filmed, this is as close to the real thing as you are likely to get without a Glyndebourne season ticket.On the DVD: This is a double-sided disc requiring a changeover between Acts 2 and 3. With a running-time of 189 minutes, the disc is no longer than some epic Hollywood movies, so such flipping is hard to justify. But at least opera lends itself to natural breaks like this. The sound options are Dolby stereo or 5.1 and the picture is in 4:3 ratio. Subtitles are provided in English, French or German and the booklet contains a plot synopsis. --Mark Walker

  • Coppelia Coppelia | DVD | (03/04/2002) from £24.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The Royal Ballet.Orchestra of The Royal Opera House.Conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu.Coppelia, a mechanical doll made by the toy-maker Dr. Coppelius, is so lifelike that some believe she is his daughter. The mistake leads to intrigue and jealousy in love.This 19th century classic, in an enchanting production of Royal Ballet choreographer Dame Ninette de Valois, with original designs by Sir Osbert Lancaster, was broadcast live by BBC television in February 2000.

  • Nabucco - Verdi Nabucco - Verdi | DVD | (07/02/2005) from £13.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (17.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Verdi - Nabucco

  • Dvorak: Rusalka -- Paris Opera/Conlon Dvorak: Rusalka -- Paris Opera/Conlon | DVD | (03/11/2003) from £25.17  |  Saving you £4.82 (16.10%)  |  RRP £29.99

    A performance of Dvorak's opera 'Rusalka' which tells the story of a water nymph who becomes human. James Conlon conducts.

  • Strauss: Arabella [1995] Strauss: Arabella | DVD | (16/04/2001) from £17.69  |  Saving you £-3.70 (-26.40%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Like most of his later operas, Richard Strauss' Arabella ends with a meltingly lovely duet. But then criticising Strauss for composing melodically enduring operas is as pointless as lambasting Vermeer for painting only exquisite interior scenes. Those who say Strauss never improved on Rosenkavalier may be right but when such beguiling sounds kept coming from his music for the next 30 years of his life, there shouldn't be any quibbles. Arabella is, in a nutshell, the story of a woman who cannot make up her mind about a suitor. Taped at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1994 under the baton of conductor Christian Thielemann, this production features Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role; her acting is mediocre but vocally she never forces anything and at least sounds like the perfect Arabella. Wolfgang Brendel does well with Mandryka, who finally ends up with Arabella and Marie McLaughlin makes a sympathetic younger sister to the heroine as Zdenka. Otto Schenk's production is sturdily conservative, the video transfer is acceptable if unspectacular and the sound mix is CD-quality. --Kevin Filipski, Amazon.com

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