"Actor: Mirella Freni"

  • Madama Butterfly - Puccini [1974]Madama Butterfly - Puccini | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £14.09   |  Saving you £-0.10 (N/A%)   |  RRP £13.99

    Of all Puccini's major operas, the intimate tragedy of Madama Butterfly is least in need of elaborate staging and might therefore benefit most from the close scrutiny of film. The story is domestic, the setting Spartan, the incidental characters kept to a minimum. This 1974 version, however, demonstrates that Butterfly still needs a healthy injection of proscenium arch melodrama. Director Jean-Pierre Ponelle's production strives for realism but remains unfortunately studio-bound, having neither the benefit of location filming nor the heightened reality of an opera stage. The exterior is a perpetually fog-shrouded heath of indeterminate locale; the interior is cramped and unadorned. The setting is just too prosaic to contain the epic emotions of grand opera. Thankfully, the cast is superb, headed by Placido Domingo's rakish Pinkerton and Mirella Freni's rubicund Butterfly. Their singing is incomparable, as is Herbert von Karajan's musical direction of the Vienna Phil. The singers mime to pre-recorded music, which is occasionally disconcerting since when film demands close-ups opera provides broad gestures. Musically, this Butterfly is impeccable. Visually it adds nothing that could not be seen to better effect in a stage version. On the DVD: Madama Butterfly is presented disappointingly on disc in a poor NTSC transfer full of distracting graininess that makes every scene, both inside and out, look like it takes place in an omnipresent drizzle. Sound is reasonable stereo and adequate 5.0 surround. There are subtitles in the major European languages as well as Chinese, and the booklet contains a background essay plus synopsis. --Mark Walker

  • Verdi-Don CarloVerdi-Don Carlo | DVD | (14/11/2005) from £18.96   |  Saving you £6.02 (37.70%)   |  RRP £21.99

  • Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart [1976]Le Nozze Di Figaro - Mozart | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £17.29   |  Saving you £4.70 (27.18%)   |  RRP £21.99

    This luxuriously cast film of Mozart's beloved opera buffa features a host of legendary interpretations including Kiri Te Kanawa's exquisite Countess Almaviva Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as her philandering husband Hermann Prey as the wily title character Mirella Freni a delight as his no less savvy bride Susanna and Maria Ewing hilarious as the lovesick page Cherubino. Director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's imaginative camera-work tellingly emphasizes character and mood of this immortal story of love intrigue and class struggle set against the historical background of ancien regime Europe sliding inexorably towards revolution.

  • Puccini - La Boheme [1965]Puccini - La Boheme | DVD | (12/06/2006) from £13.39   |  Saving you £-2.40 (-21.80%)   |  RRP £10.99

    Zeffirelli's 1963 Milan production of La Boheme, preserved in this 1965 film, provides a richly satisfying take on Puccini's much-loved romantic tragedy. The staging is opulent, not least in the way Zeffirelli opens up the Cafe Momus and turns it into a warm, vibrant haven for the bohemians and their followers. But it's the relationships which really matter here. Puccini's score--conducted with restrained passion by Herbert von Karajan--develops in a wonderfully linear way, with some of his most intensely moving arias and duets underpinning the evolution of the bohemian artists, particularly Rodolfo and Marcello, from immature egotists to rounded human beings, touched by tragedy. The film does look dated now--Mirella Freni's Mimi, sung with moving clarity, has the doe-eyed look of a 1960s pop star and the camera work is a tad unsophisticated--but the singing still puts the listener through the wringer. Gianni Raimondi's Rodolfo ("Che gelida manina") struggles manfully to come to terms with his emotional shortcomings and Adriana Martino (Musetta) has some fine comic moments before playing her vital part in the overwhelming sadness of the final scenes. Soul food for the tragically inclined. On the DVD: La Boheme has no extras here, but excellent booklet notes accompany the disc. The PCM Stereo soundtrack has been digitally remastered to decent effect. The 4:3 picture format inevitably imposes some limitations and the 1960s video quality is a little dull, but after all, this is a product of its time and a vital record of one of Zeffirelli's most successful productions.--Piers Ford

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- San Francisco/Severini [1988]Puccini: La Boheme -- San Francisco/Severini | DVD | (28/08/2000) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £24.99

    One way to use the DVD format for opera is to provide a video format with a clear picture and sumptuous sound and let a good performance speak more or less for itself. Severini's La Boheme comes with a minimum of trimmings--subtitles in English, French and German; even a short account of the performance history is relegated to text in a booklet. The live performance has real theatrical presence, even to the extent that, at times, the vocal and orchestral subtleties get lost in wild applause. Pavarotti's Rodolfo was, in 1988, as plangently lyrical as ever and Freni's care-worn Mimi is a deeply touching and musical performance; Pacetti is a beefy full-blooded no-nonsense Musetta--the waltz song and ensuing duet with Marcello is for once the Broadway show-stopper it ought to be. Of the supporting roles, though, perhaps the most moving is Ghiaurov's Colline--his farewell to his old coat is a short passage of deep pathos which he has rarely sung as well as he does here. --Roz Kaveney

  • Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala [1982]Ernani - Giuseppe Verdi - Teatro Alla Scala | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £15.43   |  Saving you £2.56 (14.20%)   |  RRP £17.99

    The hugely successful production of Verdi's romantic drama Ernani features four legendary opera stars: Placido Damingo Mirella Freni Renato Bruson and Nicolai Ghiaurov all at the height of their powers. They were described in The Times review as 'possibly the best quartet of singers any opera house has managed to assemble this year'. They give an impassioned electric performance under the conductor Riccardo Muti an acclaimed Verdi interpreter. The producer Luca Ranconi has cre

  • Carmen - Bizet [1967]Carmen - Bizet | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £16.30   |  Saving you £0.69 (4.10%)   |  RRP £16.99

    This famous film of the world's best loved opera, directed by Herbert von Karajan, features the three greatest exponents of their respective roles at the time: Grace Bumbry's magnificently seductive-toned Carmen, Mirella Freni's ineffably lovely, touching Micaela, and Jon Vickers's thrillingly manic-depressive Don Jose.

  • Umberto Giordano - FedoraUmberto Giordano - Fedora | DVD | (02/10/2006) from £21.90   |  Saving you £3.09 (12.40%)   |  RRP £24.99

    Giordano: Fedora (Gavazzeni / Freni / Giordano / Umberto)

  • Giacomo Puccini - La Boheme [1988]Giacomo Puccini - La Boheme | DVD | (02/10/2006) from £23.42   |  Saving you £1.57 (6.30%)   |  RRP £24.99

    Puccini: La Boheme (Severini SFOO Pavarotti Freni)

  • Puccini - La Boheme, Madama Butterfly [DVD]Puccini - La Boheme, Madama Butterfly | DVD | (02/12/2002) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £29.99

    La Boheme: Recorded in the San Francisco Opera House in 1988, this performance of Puccini's La Boheme contains an international cast of singers and players. ; ; Madama Butterfly: Puccini's classic opera which was completed in 1904. This performance is the 1986 La Scala production.

  • Adriana Lecouvreur - CileaAdriana Lecouvreur - Cilea | DVD | (22/10/2004) from £10.78   |  Saving you £-0.79 (-7.90%)   |  RRP £9.99

    Adriana LecouvreurFrancesco Cilea (1866-1950)Cilea's four-act opera of jealousy and tangled love first performed in Milan in 1902 is based on the true story of Adriana Lecouvreur an 18th-Century actress at the Comedie Francaise whose rival for the love of Maurizio count of Saxony is the married Principessa di Bouillon. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this 1989 classic recording comes from one of the world's great opera houses.

  • La BohemeLa Boheme | DVD | (30/11/1999) from £37.20   |  Saving you £-18.74 (-101.50%)   |  RRP £18.46

    One way to use the DVD format for opera is to provide a video format with a clear picture and sumptuous sound and let a good performance speak more or less for itself. Severini's La Boheme comes with a minimum of trimmings--subtitles in English, French and German; even a short account of the performance history is relegated to text in a booklet. The live performance has real theatrical presence, even to the extent that, at times, the vocal and orchestral subtleties get lost in wild applause. Pavarotti's Rodolfo was, in 1988, as plangently lyrical as ever and Freni's care-worn Mimi is a deeply touching and musical performance; Pacetti is a beefy full-blooded no-nonsense Musetta--the waltz song and ensuing duet with Marcello is for once the Broadway show-stopper it ought to be. Of the supporting roles, though, perhaps the most moving is Ghiaurov's Colline--his farewell to his old coat is a short passage of deep pathos which he has rarely sung as well as he does here. --Roz Kaveney

  • Fedora - Giordano [1997]Fedora - Giordano | DVD | (13/09/2004) from £13.39   |  Saving you £3.60 (21.20%)   |  RRP £16.99

    Italian composer Umberto Giordano's opera 'Fedora' has all of the qualities of a thrilling murder mystery. On this Bel Canto Society release of an impassioned 1998 performance soprano Mirella Freni lends her remarkable voice to the title role and tenor Sergei Larin provides powerful support.

  • Sherrill Milnes: An All-Star GalaSherrill Milnes: An All-Star Gala | DVD | (22/08/2005) from £16.39   |  Saving you £0.60 (3.66%)   |  RRP £16.99

    I PAGLIACCI: Prologue (Leoncavallo) Sherrill MilnesUP IN CENTRAL PARK: Close as Pages in a Book (Romberg/Fields) Julia Migenes and Sherrill Milnes.COSI FAN TUTTE: Un'aura amorosa (Mozart) Peter Schreier.O TOD WIE BITTER BIST DU: (Brahms) Sherrill Milnes with Jon Spong piano.LA TRAVIATA: Pura siccome un angelo (Verdi) Mirella Freni and Sherrill Milnes.DON CARLO: Dio che nell'alma infondere (Verdi) Placido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes.OTELLO: Credo in un Dio crudel (Verdi) Sherrill Milnes.

  • Puccini - GoldPuccini - Gold | DVD | (07/04/2008) from £18.98   |  Saving you £-1.99 (-11.70%)   |  RRP £16.99

    The ultimate A Night At The Opera collection from the world's most popular opera composer, featuring many o the greatest singers of our time. Eighteen favourite arias and ensembles from the classic operas La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Turandot, performed by Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni and many more.

  • Karajan - a ProfileKarajan - a Profile | DVD | (24/11/2008) from £11.01   |  Saving you £0.98 (8.20%)   |  RRP £11.99

    Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) one of the twentieth century''s most fascinating and complex geniuses dominated the post-war classical music world like a colossus. He won unprecedented musical power and public acclaim; received far more adulation sold far more records and made far more money than any other classical musician of his era. He also had many detractors -those alienated by his superstar status; those who found the purity and beauty of his music-making cold and superficial; those repelled by his headstrong ambition and endlessly demanding pursuit of his artistic ideals; and those for whom he was forever tainted by the shadow of the Third Reich. Yet his musical playboy image was at odds with the private man who was in reality a shy often solitary figure possessed of great directness simplicity and wit who craved inner quiet and concentration and was deeply loyal to his closest associates. He loved the peace and quiet of lakes and mountains as much as he did his private aeroplane and his fast cars. Charismatic and enigmatic Karajan was also the construct that was 'Karajan''. This film reveals the phenomenon of the man and his music. And it is Karajan himself in archive interviews who talks of events in his life and relates them to his work as a conductor. Herbert von Karajan''s life both on and off the podium is charted. From the influential experiences of his childhood and student days; through his emergence as a young conductor with a reputation for being brilliant but difficult; to his years at the forefkont of classical music; and his last decade when despite failing health and beset by acrimonious musical politics he continued to push himself to the limits of his creative and physical powers. The documentary also touches on the controversial issue of Karajan''s membership of the Nazi Party; his rivalry with FurtwSingler; his fitful association with Walter Legge of EM1 and with the Philharmonia orchestra founded by Legge in 1945; his fascination with science technology art and architecture in relation to music and his conducting style and rapport with his musicians. All are brought into focus and illustrated with a wealth of archive material. And throughout the film there is Karajan''s music drawn from the many sound and audiovisual recordings he made during the course of his extraordinary career. Extracts fiom works by Beethoven Mozart Wagner J.S. Bach Puccini Johann Strauss II Mahler Verdi Richard Strauss and Schoenberg testify to the vast range of the classical repertoire he mastered and summon up the sublime beauty of his music-making.

  • Puccini: La Boheme -- Zeffirelli film version [1967]Puccini: La Boheme -- Zeffirelli film version | DVD | (12/06/2006) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £19.99

    Zeffirellis 1963 Milan production of La Boheme, preserved in this 1965 film, provides a richly satisfying take on Puccinis much-loved romantic tragedy. The staging is opulent, not least in the way Zeffirelli opens up the Cafe Momus and turns it into a warm, vibrant haven for the bohemians and their followers. But its the relationships which really matter here. Puccinis score--conducted with restrained passion by Herbert von Karajan--develops in a wonderfully linear way, with some of his most intensely moving arias and duets underpinning the evolution of the bohemian artists, particularly Rodolfo and Marcello, from immature egotists to rounded human beings, touched by tragedy. The film does look dated now--Mirella Frenis Mimi, sung with moving clarity, has the doe-eyed look of a 1960s pop star and the camera work is a tad unsophisticated--but the singing still puts the listener through the wringer. Gianni Raimondis Rodolfo ("Che gelida manina") struggles manfully to come to terms with his emotional shortcomings and Adriana Martino (Musetta) has some fine comic moments before playing her vital part in the overwhelming sadness of the final scenes. Soul food for the tragically inclined. On the DVD: La Boheme has no extras here, but excellent booklet notes accompany the disc. The PCM Stereo soundtrack has been digitally remastered to decent effect. The 4:3 picture format inevitably imposes some limitations and the 1960s video quality is a little dull, but after all, this is a product of its time and a vital record of one of Zeffirellis most successful productions.--Piers Ford

  • Verdi: Otello -- Berlin Opera/von Karajan [1984]Verdi: Otello -- Berlin Opera/von Karajan | DVD | (12/03/2001) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £24.99

    The complete opera 'Otello' by Giuseppe Verdi. Performed by the German Opera Choir and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The cast includes: Jon Vickers Mirella Freni and Peter Glossop. Conducted and directed by Herbert Von Karajan.

  • Songs of Love and Desire / Freni, Schäfer, Alvarez, Keenlyside, Berlin Phil., Abbado - Silvesterkonzert 1998Songs of Love and Desire / Freni, Schäfer, Alvarez, Keenlyside, Berlin Phil., Abbado - Silvesterkonzert 1998 | DVD | (02/12/2002) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £19.99

    Under the musical direction of Claudio Abbado a cast of singers perform works from Bach to Haydn from Donizetti to Verdi and from Schumann to Schonberg.

  • Verdi Favourites [1989]Verdi Favourites | DVD | (06/09/2004) from £3.06   |  Saving you £13.19 (732.78%)   |  RRP £14.99

    This stunning compilation includes some of the greatest scenes from favourite Verdi operas taken from spectacular productions filmed at La Scala Milan The Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Arena di Verona. The DVD features superb performances from major opera stars including Jos Carreras as Oronte in scenes from I Lombardi Mirella Freni as Elvira in Ernani Renato Bruson as Falstaff Nicola Martinucci and Maria Chiara in Aida Ghena Dimitrova as Abigaille in Nabucco an

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