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  • Conspiracy Theories Conspiracy Theories | DVD | (25/06/2007) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Uncovering some of history's most intriguing mysteries

  • Wagner-Der Ring Des Nibelunge Wagner-Der Ring Des Nibelunge | DVD | (02/07/2007) from £32.67  |  Saving you £27.32 (45.50%)  |  RRP £59.99

    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.

  • Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Zurich/Harnoncourt Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Zurich/Harnoncourt | DVD | (12/03/2002) from £9.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £29.99

    In this Zurich Opera House staging of Mozart’s darkly comic cautionary fable Don Giovanni the lighting and stage design keep the characters shaded in half-shadow: even Zerlina’s wedding feels like a subdued affair here, and the Don’s banqueting room is a suitably gloomy venue for the Stone Guest’s climactic visit for a spot of dinner and damnation. Both this staging and video director Brian Large’s filming play no tricks with the audience’s expectations, opting for a largely traditional presentation of this tragedy of swaggering bravado, cuckolded lovers and revenge from beyond the grave. Nikolaus Harnoncourt brings all the sensitivity of his historically informed approach to the orchestra pit. Heading a very strong cast are Rodney Gilfry, defiantly strong-voiced but also haughtily handsome as the seducing Don, and Cecilia Bartoli, a mercurial presence as Donna Elvira. Their scenes together crackle and fizz, even when Bartoli’s extremely ripe vibrato contrasts a little uncomfortably with Harnoncourt’s authenticity. Liliana Nikiteanu makes for a pretty, naïve Zerlina, convincingly torn between her Masetto (Oliver Widmer) and the animalistic attraction of the Don. Laszlo Polgar’s Leporello is wheedling and base, but still the inheritor of his master’s charisma; Isabel Rey and Roberto Sacca are solid as the colourless moralists Anna and Ottavio; while Matti Salminen’s powerful Commendatore isn’t expected to do anything more than stand still and declaim. Overall this is an excellent musical performance, unexceptionally staged. On the DVD: Don Giovanni on disc has a good 24-minute "Behind the Scenes" feature, including interviews with Cecilia Bartoli, Harnoncourt, Gilfry and Isabel Rey. There’s also a trailer for other ArtHaus releases. The 16:9 picture sometimes struggles to bring definition to the dimly lit sets; sound though is crisp and clean PCM stereo or Dolby 5.1. There are subtitles in five languages. --Mark Walker

  • J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus -- Glyndebourne J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (20/02/2004) from £24.39  |  Saving you £5.60 (18.70%)  |  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

  • Gugielmo Tell - Rossini Gugielmo Tell - Rossini | DVD | (23/04/2004) from £8.39  |  Saving you £4.60 (35.40%)  |  RRP £12.99

    A performance of Rossini's 'Guglielmo Tell'. Sung in Italian with subtitles.

  • Boris Godunov - Mussorgsky [1992] Boris Godunov - Mussorgsky | DVD | (05/08/2002) from £11.39  |  Saving you £3.60 (24.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    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.

  • Ruslan And Lyudmila Ruslan And Lyudmila | DVD | (12/05/2003) from £12.05  |  Saving you £2.94 (19.60%)  |  RRP £14.99

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

  • Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro | DVD | (14/03/2008) from £17.29  |  Saving you £12.70 (42.30%)  |  RRP £29.99

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

  • 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

  • Prince Igor [1998] Prince Igor | DVD | (06/10/2003) from £12.05  |  Saving you £2.94 (19.60%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Borodin's opera 'Prince Igor' performed by the Kirov Opera and Ballet. Tracklisting; Act 1 No. 2 Chorus of the Polovstan Maidens no. 3 Dance of the Polovtsian Maidens No. 4 Cavatina No. 6 recitative & Cavatina No. 7 Duet no. 8 Aria No. 9 Scena No.10 Aria No. 11 Recitative No. 12 Polovstian Dances & Chorus. Act 2 - No. 13a-c Chorus & Song No.13d-e Maidens Chorus & Scena No. 13f-g Song in Honour of Prince Galitsky Act 2 - No. 14 Arioso No. 15 Scena No.16 Scene No. 17 Fin

  • Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg - Wagner | DVD | (17/01/2005) from £11.39  |  Saving you £3.60 (24.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

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

  • La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein - Offenbach La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein - Offenbach | DVD | (09/01/2006) from £11.85  |  Saving you £4.14 (25.90%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Recorded at the Theatre Du Chatelet in Paris.

  • Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002) from £43.39  |  Saving you £2.60 (5.70%)  |  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

  • Don Giovanni - Mozart Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (14/03/2005) from £11.39  |  Saving you £3.60 (24.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    The Opera Don Giovanni drama in two acts.

  • Wagner: Gotterdammerung [1976] Wagner: Gotterdammerung | DVD | (15/10/2001) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £29.99

    Gotterammerung is the 'third day' of Wagner's great tetra logy of music dramas Der Ring Des Nibelhngen.

  • Glyndebourne Diamonds Glyndebourne Diamonds | DVD | (30/04/2007) from £32.99  |  Saving you £12.00 (26.70%)  |  RRP £44.99

    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).

  • Puccini's Tosca And La Boheme Puccini's Tosca And La Boheme | DVD | (09/06/2008) from £11.95  |  Saving you £0.00 (0.00%)  |  RRP £18.99

    The Canadian Opera Company Presents: Puccini's 'Tosca' And 'La Boheme' Puccini's Tosca: Puccini's three act opera remains one of the evergreens full of moving and heady arias and apt dramatic twists. Heady stuff beautifully performed on this outstanding DVD. Puccini's La Boheme Acts I & II: Many are hooked on opera on seeing La Boheme. It's a marvellous introduction to the whole opera experience with some of music's best known arias and a touchingtale of doomed love. There's high passion drama and heartrending lyricism. Puccini's La Boheme Acts III & IV: La Boheme features some of opera's most loved arias in an emotionally wrenching taleof doomed love. La Boheme dampens thee and puts lumps in the throat. Is this the exquisite music or the devastating story? Few confess. What's certain is that the combination was so powerful it reduced the composer to copious tears.

  • Rosenkavalier - Strauss [1979] Rosenkavalier - Strauss | DVD | (15/08/2005) from £11.39  |  Saving you £3.60 (24.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Comedy for music in three acts.

  • Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti Sings Verdi - Il Trovatore/Un Ballo In Maschera/Ernani Luciano Pavarotti - Pavarotti Sings Verdi - Il Trovatore/Un Ballo In Maschera/Ernani | DVD | (11/02/2008) from £22.09  |  Saving you £2.90 (11.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Filmed live at New York's Metropolitan Opera, where the legendary Italian tenor sang 378 performances, more than anywhere else in the world.Includes:Giuseppe Verdi:Ernani.Un Ballo In Maschera.Il Trovatore.

  • Tristan Und Isolde - Wagner/Daniel Barenboim Tristan Und Isolde - Wagner/Daniel Barenboim | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £11.39  |  Saving you £3.60 (24.00%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Daniel Barenboim conducts Bayreuth's landmark 1983 production of Wagner's quintessential Romantic music-drama Tristan Und Isolde. The great Wagnerian singers Ren'' Kollo and Johanna Meier perform the title roles in Wagner's romantic masterpiece. Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's celebrated Bayreuth production is filmed on the Festspielhaus stage with six cameras and in digital sound to recreate the unique intensity of a live performance in studio quality. With its exceptional cast of singers - plus the thoughtful staging by Ponelle and the musical expertise of Daniel Barenboim - this DVD is one of the finest Tristan and Isolde productions ever

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