A performance of Verdi's opera 'Il Trovatore' by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus; conducted by James Levine. Singers include: Eva Marton Luciano Pavarotti Sherril Milnes and Dolora Zajick; directed by Brian Large.
Orlando Bloom stars as a stranger in a strange land in this epic Crusades adventure.
Puccini's 'Turandot' performed by the Metropolitan Opera. Artists include: Eve Marton and Placido Domingo. Conducted by James Levine. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Sung in Italian
Features the following musicians: John Macurdy(Bass) Leonie Rysanek(Soprano) Charles Anthony(Tenor) Christian Collins(Other) John Darrenkamp(Tenor) John Gilmore(Tenor) Peter Hofmann(Tenor) Brian Large(Director) Eva Mart''n(Soprano) Metropolitan Opera Chorus Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Anthony Raffell(Bass) Leif Roar(Other) Richard Vernon(Bass)
Wagner's passionate opera about a medieval minstrel torn between the temptations of sacred and profane love is seen here. A distinguished cast is headed by Richard Cassilly who was perhaps the leading exponent of Tannhauser at this time; Eva Marton is the radiant Elisabeth; Tatiana Troyanos a musically and dramatically stunning Venus.
A performance of Richard Strauss' opera 'Die Frau Ohne Schatten' performed at the Salzburg Festival in 1992.
The Vienna State Opera's 1986 production of La Gioconda, Amilcare Ponchielli's only lasting success, was an increasingly rare event. The story--based on a long forgotten Victor Hugo drama--is an emotional roller coaster of high passion and self-sacrifice, but has fallen out of favour with the major international opera companies; instead, Ponchielli's contemporary Verdi and one-time pupil Puccini are today's guaranteed crowd-pullers. This is a shame. Ponchielli's score might be sumptuous to the point of occasional over-ripeness but it contains some marvellous arias, not least Enzo's "Cielo e mar". And whenever La Gioconda herself is on stage, it's hard not become enthralled by the richness of her suffering as painted by Ponchielli's lush, explosive music. Here is a woman who is given every opportunity to ensure the removal of her rival (Laura) for Enzo's affections, but who always does the decent thing, ultimately leaving herself with a stark choice between suicide and the repulsive paws of the evil Barnaba who has pursued her since Act I. As La Gioconda, Hungarian soprano Eva Marton is utterly compelling. It's a role that places extraordinary emotional demands on the singer (Callas, not surprisingly, had a field day with it). Marton maintains total credibility. In voice, she is well matched by Placido Domingo's Enzo, who is at the virile peak of his vocal powers, rather suggesting a strength that the suggestible Enzo doesn't really possess. But perhaps the strongest aspect of Ponchielli's opera is the way in which the vocal jewels are distributed throughout the cast. Ludmilla Schemtschuk is an elegant Laura and Margarita Lilowa as La Gioconda's blind mother, La Cieca, sings an unforgettable "Voce di donna o d'angelo". And the ballet within the opera, the "Dance of the Hours", assumes its rightful place as a gleaming component of the whole work. On the DVD: Originally filmed for television, this La Gioconda is presented in PCM Stereo with 4:3 picture format, neither of which do the overall quality any favours. The sound is uneven; when the singers turn upstage it is sometimes impossible to hear what they are singing and the orchestra, conducted by Adam Fischer, sounds dull. The colours are muted. And while the booklet provides the customary comprehensive notes we have come to expect from Arthaus products, it is surprising that the cover photograph is not of the magnificent Eva Marton in the title role.--Piers Ford
Richard Strauss's wildest and most passionate opera gets an almost ideal performance in this 1989 production with three great female singers at the height of their powers. Marton is terrifyingly unreasonable as Elektra, determined to mourn her dead father in the face of her mother who had him killed, and to hope and pray for the vengeance that her brother will one day bring. Told he is dead, her emotional collapse is equally total, and her eventual self-destructive dance of triumph is a bittersweet ecstasy of anger and joy. Studer gives the sometimes underplayed role of the normal, compromising "feminine" sister the weight and sympathy Strauss intended it to have. Fassbaender is electric as Clytemnestra, collapsing under the weight of her guilt and paranoia, but still scarily sexy and regal in her manipulation of those around her. Abbado's conducting is electric--from the opening "Agamemnon" chords to the final dying fall of Elektra's dance, he never puts a foot wrong or misjudges the pacing of this most difficult of opera scores. The DVD has subtitles in English, German and French. --Roz Kaveney
Tosca is a story of lust crime and idealistic young love originally written for Sarah Bernhardt. Puccini transformed it into an opera of the highest drama and passion and it became central to his career. This production by Sylvano Bussotti of one of Puccini's best loved works comes from the magnificent Roman amphitheatre in Verona and was filmed in 1984. Hungarian soprano Eva Marton is Tosca a role for which she is particularly well-known on stage. Ingvar Wixell is a superbly wick
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.
An opera in three acts from the Teatro Real Madrid. Enjoy the world premiere of the full and original version of Merlin by Isaac Albniz over a century after he completed the work. Albniz composed this 'Wagnerian' opera to an English libretto by his patron Francis Burdett Money-Coutts between 1898 and 1902. Many believed the score was lost until the conductor Jos De Eusebio reconstructed it from various manuscript sources and publishers' proofs. For this stunning production dire
Set in Paris at the time of the French Revolution Andrea Chenier is an opera of great passion and real drama and is Umberto Giordano's most popular work. This 1985 production from La Scala Milan conducted by Riccardo Chailly was a great success and features Jose Carreras as the poet Andrea Chenier. His sensitive passionate performance his elegant artistry together with his good looks make him ideal for this part and demonstrate why this became one of his signature roles. There
This is a live recording of Puccini's popular opera Turandot from the Vienna State Opera in 1983.
Performance of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot.
This DVD features some of the opera world's greatest artists on extracts from works by Verdi and Giordano performed at Italy's leading opera house Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The extracts are from: 1.Verdi's Ernani in an exceptionally strong production from 1982 featuring Placido Domingo Mirella Freni Renato Bruson and Nicolai Ghiaurov conducted by Riccardo Muti. 2.Giordano's Andrea Chenier in a 1985 production starring Jose Carreras Eva Marton and Piero Burchuladze conducted by Riccardo Chailly. 3.Verdi's Nabucco in a 1986 production featuring Renato Bruson Ghena Dimitrova and Paata Burchuladze conducted by Riccardo Muti. 4.Verdi's I Lombardi in a 1984 production with Jose Carreras Ghena Dimitrova and Silvano Carroli.
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