Daniela Dessi and Delores Ziegler lead the cast in Mozart's brilliant and witty opera as the two women whose faithfulness in the face of romantic love is ruthlessly tested in Da Ponte's comic tale. Mozart lavishes some of the finest music ever written on the unfolding story of the two sisters' chaotic and fickle love affairs with their two Italian army officers. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this 1989 recording is a classic from one of the world's great opera houses.
Acknowledged to be the finest Karajan recording of this overwhelming sacred masterpiece. This 1967 performance features four of the 20th century's greatest Verdi singers - Price Cossotto and Ghiaurov were at the peak of their careers while the young Pavarotti was still comparatively unknown (though not for long).
A performance of Rossini's 'Guglielmo Tell'. Sung in Italian with subtitles.
Recorded live at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi Milan 14 April 2004La Scala's 2004 Swan Lake brings together two world stars of classical ballet in the lead roles Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle in this traditional production of Tchaikovsky's fairy story. The production comes from the Teatro degli Arcimboldi La Scala's temporary home at the time.There is certainly scope for various interpretations of the swan myth which goes back to antiquity when Jupiter took the shape of a swan and seduced Leda the wife of the king of the Spartans. The Milan production does not deny the psychological subtexts - the transformation of the girl Odette into a swan by being taken under Rothbart's huge wings in the prologue sets of black and white in the white acts and the most varied and colourful costumes in the merry ball scenes. The world of Prince Siegfried before the intrusion of Rothbart is characterised by Arcadian like pastel-colours and when Siegfried successfully fights him to free Odette from the spell the staging creates a most impressive lake scenery with roaring waters which acts as a transforming experience for Siegfried as well as Odette.Directed by Florence Clerc from Paris and Frederic Olivieri Artistic Director with the La Scala Ballet the Milan staging combines the best of both worlds in ballet: Russian classical school with the history of choreographic adaptation in the West. The filming underlines both aspects - in the expressive and soulful moments of the ballet the camera draws close to the dancers while it zooms out for the outstandingly symmetrical dancing of the swan scenes which the ballet has become so famous for.
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