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  • War And Peace - Prokofiev [1991] War And Peace - Prokofiev | DVD | (01/04/2004) from £29.99  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £29.99

    A performance of Prokofiev's opera at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Valery Gergiev conducts the Kirov Opera Orchestra. Sung in Russian.

  • Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner | DVD | (17/01/2005) from £12.95  |  Saving you £6.00 (30.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A performance of Wagner's opera 'Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg'.

  • Carmen [2003] Carmen | DVD | (12/02/2003) from £22.39  |  Saving you £7.60 (25.30%)  |  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

  • Don Giovanni - Mozart Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (14/03/2005) from £12.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (35.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The Opera Don Giovanni drama in two acts.

  • La Cenerentola [2005] La Cenerentola | DVD | (30/01/2006) from £22.39  |  Saving you £7.60 (25.30%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Vladimir Jurowski and Sir Peter Hall are re-united for a fresh and vibrant but timelessly elegant production of Rossinin's much-loved setting of the Cinderella story with a fine cast led by Ruxandra Donose in the title role. Filmed in June 2005 with high definition cameras and recorded in multi-track 5.1 surround sound

  • Boris Godunov - Mussorgsky [1992] Boris Godunov - Mussorgsky | DVD | (05/08/2002) from £10.94  |  Saving you £9.05 (45.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The legendary Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky helmed his one and only opera in 1983 with this famed production of Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov'. Staged at London's famed Royal Opera House the staging features Robert Lloyd giving a masterful performance in the title role. Conductor Valery Gergiev known primarily for his fine work leading St. Petersburg's Kirov Opera takes the baton.

  • 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

  • Rosenkavalier - Strauss [1979] Rosenkavalier - Strauss | DVD | (15/08/2005) from £18.89  |  Saving you £6.10 (24.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Comedy for music in three acts.

  • La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein - Offenbach La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein - Offenbach | DVD | (09/01/2006) from £11.69  |  Saving you £4.30 (26.90%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Recorded at the Theatre Du Chatelet in Paris.

  • The Ultimate Opera Collection The Ultimate Opera Collection | DVD | (14/05/2007) from £7.98  |  Saving you £5.01 (38.60%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Titles Comprise: CARMEN by Bizet from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 1998 AIDA by Verdi from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 1997 DON GIOVANNI by Mozart from the Prague National Theatre 1991 TOSCA by Puccini from the O'Keefe Centre Toronto 1989 NABUCCO by Verdi from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 2000.

  • Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti - Three Concerts Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti - Three Concerts | DVD | (21/01/2008) from £16.16  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    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.

  • Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (03/03/2008) from £22.39  |  Saving you £7.60 (25.30%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London on 10th 13th and 17th February 2006.

  • Ruslan And Lyudmila Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003) from £13.89  |  Saving you £6.10 (30.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

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

  • Verdi - Macbeth Verdi - Macbeth | DVD | (22/10/2007) from £11.50  |  Saving you £4.60 (23.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Verdi Macbeth

  • J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus -- Glyndebourne J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (20/02/2004) from £24.06  |  Saving you £5.93 (19.80%)  |  RRP £29.99

    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

  • Mozart: Cosi fan tutte [2000] Mozart: Cosi fan tutte | DVD | (30/06/2001) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Mozart's third and final opera with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, the hugely ambitious dramatic comedy Così fan Tutte (roughly translated as: "They're All Like That"), is brought passionately to life in a first-class production conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and featuring one of the great starring roles for Cecilia Bartoli. Filmed live at the Zurich Opera House in February 2000 on a set which visualises the subtitle "The School for Lovers", the plot revolves around two army officers arguing about the fidelity of their brides, then setting out to test their chastity. Despite the often playful humour, this is not only psychologically telling music-making, but reveals Mozart exploring the structure of opera, discarding convention to mix large ensemble sections with arias for as many different combinations of singers as possible. With Liliana Nikiteanu attractively contrasted with Bartoli, and thoroughly convincing performances by Roberto Sacca (Ferrando) and Oliver Widmer (Guilelmo), this Così has a freshness and flow which, coupled with the timeless romantic themes, feels very contemporary. On the DVD: the presentation, which includes an interesting 22-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, is spread over two DVDs. There is a multi-language booklet minus libretto, though there is the option to watch with English subtitles. Given the difficult live stage lighting conditions the 16:9 anamorphically enhanced picture is as good as can be expected. There are both stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks, though the latter gives the voices a disconcertingly disembodied character, leaving the former to be preferred. The total running time is approximately 213 minutes, not 275 minutes stated on the packaging. --Gary S Dalkin

  • Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg -- Australian Opera / Mackerras [1988] Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg -- Australian Opera / Mackerras | DVD | (20/02/2004) from £25.05  |  Saving you £4.94 (16.50%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is Wagner's most life-affirming opera, a romantic comedy about life and love in 16th century Nürnberg with none of the mythological characters and settings of the composer's other operas. The story concerns a knight, Walther Von Stolzing (here sung by Paul Frey) who must win the hand of the woman he loves, Eva (Helena Doese) by competing in a competition to become the Master Singer of the city. Against him are various romantic rivals, while in the role of his eventual mentor is the shoemaker Hans Sachs (Donald McIntyre). Doese brings just the right innocent femininity to one of only two important female roles--the other is filled by Rosemary Gunn as her governess, Magdalene. Paul Frey is fine as the romantic young knight, but the opera belongs to the great New Zealand Wagnerian bass-baritone, Donald McIntyre. His performance is richly insightful as only one so steeped in the world of the composer could be. The staging is deliberately unspectacular, the colours muted to the natural earth tones of the Middle Ages, focusing all attention on the characters, drama and exhilarating music. Though running three-and-a-half hours, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is an excellent introduction to Wagner's art; especially as presented in this 1990 performance in an engagingly direct and unpretentious style, one that draws the audience in and makes for highly effective small-screen viewing. On the DVD: Die Meistersinger is presented on two DVDs to maximise picture quality over the 227-minute playing time. The image is 4:3 and is typical of a 1990 live opera performance recorded on video, being perfectly acceptable while revealing all the faults of the medium. The stereo sound is very good without being exceptional. There are optional subtitles in English, German, French and Spanish but no extras. --Gary S Dalkin

  • Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £43.19  |  Saving you £2.80 (6.10%)  |  RRP £45.99

    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

  • Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte --Gardiner Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte --Gardiner | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £11.80  |  Saving you £13.19 (52.80%)  |  RRP £24.99

    A performance of Mozart's 'Cosi Fan Tutte' performed by the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists. Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.

  • Parsifal - Wagner/Stein Parsifal - Wagner/Stein | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £14.75  |  Saving you £5.24 (26.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    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.

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