This mammoth box set includes the following BBC Shakespeare Adaptations: 1. Romeo And Juliet - Directed by Alvin Rakoff (1978) 2. Richard II - Directed by Jane Howell (1983) 3. As You Like It - Directed by Basil Coleman (1978) 4. Julius Caesar - Directed by Herbert Wise (1979) 5. Measure For Measure - Directed by Desmond Davis (1979) 6. Henry VIII - Directed Kevin Billington (1979) 7. Henry IV: Parts I & II - Directed by David Giles (1979) 8. Henry V: Parts I & II - Directed by Davi
Meet Maurice Allington. This money grabber, alcoholic, letch and all round oddball is owner of the ‘quaint’ country inn, The Green Man. When he isn’t trying to bed them, he’s regaling his guests with tales of the ghosts and ghouls who haunt his hotel. The fun really begins when Maurice realises the phantoms are real – and they’re not playing his game. Part sex farce, part supernatural thriller, this ghost story will have you screaming…with laughter! Based on the 1969 satirical ghost story by Kingsley Amis and adapted by Malcolm Bradbury (The History Man, Eating People is Wrong) this BBC series won a BAFTA for Best Original Music. Albert Finney (Big Fish, Annie, Skyfall) takes the lead as the slimy Maurice alongside co-stars Josie Lawrence and Michael Hordern (Where Eagles Dare, Gandhi, Labyrinth).
One of the best known Shakespeare comedies which blends romance fun confusion and fairies.
Carlo Rizzi conducts Verdi's Il Trovatore with the assistance of the Royal Opera House Orchestra.
Mozart's comic masterpiece is set in a Turkish palace and tells the exciting and amusing story of the 'escape from the harem'. In this acclaimed production from The Royal Opera by Elijah Moshinsky filmed in 1988 the Turkish atmosphere is created by Timothy O'Brien's imaginative set of garden and crumbling palace strikingly complemented by Sir Sidney Nolan's colourful front and backcloths. The Spanish nobleman Belmonte is ably sung by Deon van der Walt and his beloved Konstanze is sung by Inga Nielsen with both dramatic conviction and brilliant secure coloratura. The actor Oliver Tobias gives a sensuous and powerful performance in the speaking role of Pasha Selim and Lillian Watson is a charming Blonde.
Mozart in Turkey is a feature-length 88-minute hybrid BBC co-production which interleaves making-of documentary footage (24 minutes) and filmed highlights (64 minutes) from Mozart's opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail ("The Abduction from the Seraglio"). Working to their pre-recorded performance of the complete opera conducted by leading Mozartian Sir Charles Mackerras with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Choir, we see the cast mime to playback key arias, duets and quartets from Mozart's gorgeous work. The story of a Spanish noble woman, Konstanze (soprano Yelda Kodalli), her English maid, Blonde (soprano Désirée Rancatore), fiancé, Belmonte (tenor Paul Groves) and his servant, Pedrillo (tenor Lynton Atkinson) in the Turkish Harem of Pasha Selim (Oliver Tobias in a speaking role) is beautifully filmed in the famous Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The documentary sections offer a brief, rather superficial look at Mozart's writing of the opera and the ideas that influenced it and are expressed within the drama. The music-making is hardly to be faulted and the staging is ravishing. Unfortunately the whole seems like an over-length DVD extra that should accompany a complete film of the opera--the very thing that is mysteriously missing from this release. On the DVD Mozart in Turkey is presented anamorphically, enhanced at 16:9 for widescreen televisions, with a virtually flawless picture taken, presumably, from digital tape. If the programme is watched complete the sound is stereo only and the music sometimes sounds harsh. If music highlights are selected, sound is available in stereo or a much fuller and more rounded Dolby Digital 5.1. There are optional subtitles in English, German, Spanish, French and Dutch, but if any of these is selected it is imposed over the English-language documentary sections as well as the German-language opera scenes. When playing music highlights there are rather abrupt and unmusical fades in and out between scenes. The menu is awful, offering the option either to play all or select a given track, but not to play from a particular scene onwards. Switching subtitles on or off, or changing audio tracks, entails returning to the main menu then starting the programme afresh. There is no resume play facility and there are no extras. --Gary S Dalkin
Benjamin Britten's powerful opera 'Peter Grimes' is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. In this famous production by Elijah Moshinsky for The Royal Opera Canadian tenor Jon Vickers stars as the complex and misunderstood fisherman. The conductor is Sir Colin Davis who worked for several years with the cast of this production resulting in a masterly interweaving of characters in this gripping drama. ""One of the most riveting operatic impersonations o
Il Trovatore, Verdi's 1853 maelstrom of passion, infanticide, double-crossing and revenge, would be a mightily gamy affair if it didn't contain some of his finest arias, a cracker of a tenor's role and one of opera's most powerfully-written characters in the old gypsy woman, Azucena. Although Joan Sutherland, who plays the self-sacrificing lady-in-waiting Leonora in this 1983 Australia Opera production at Sydney Opera House, is the headline star, in truth the supreme assets of this recording are mezzo-soprano Lauris Elms' Azucena, a beautifully sung performance of haunted, wild-eyed sadness; and Sydney Nolan's wonderfully infernal sets, all purple and burnt ochre with suggestions of distorted faces. Sutherland came late to a part which allowed her to sing up a storm without taxing her rather stolid acting style. Her husband and musical director Richard Bonynge gives her the space to unleash some of Verdi's most fluidly opulent melodies--"D'amor sull'ali rosee" is a case in point--whose beauty is often at odds with the underlying horrors of the tale, based on a rather dodgy Spanish melodrama by Gutierrez. Sutherland has strong support from tenor Kenneth Collins as the doomed Manrico and Jonathan Summers as the vengeful Count. On the DVD: Il Trovatore on disc offers the inevitable shortcomings of a filmed for television performance: to the detriment of Nolan's designs (and the hard-pressed make-up team), the lighting doesn't translate well to video. Presented in 4:3 picture format, the quality is frequently murky. The PCM Stereo soundtrack also has its flat and fuzzy moments, particularly during chorus scenes ("Vedi! Le fosche notturne spoglie") when the orchestra drowns out the singing. But on the whole Sutherland et al sound great.--Piers Ford
Featuring a performance of Verdi's opera 'Aida' recorded live at the stunning Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Tracklisting: 1. Ariadne Auf Naxos - Opening Titles 2. Ariadne Auf Naxos - Prologue 3. Ariadne Auf Naxos - Vorhang - 'Mein Herr Haushofmeister' 4. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Hier Finden Euer Gnaden...' 5. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Eselsgesicht' 6. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Wer Ist Dieses Entz''ckende M'dchen....' 7. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Hast Ein St''ckerl Notenpapier?' 8. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Im Gegenteil....' 9. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Ihnen Allen Habe Ich....' 10. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Ich Wei''Ÿ Nicht Wo Mir Der Kopf Steht' 11. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Der Ariadne M''ssen Sie Streichen' 12. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Sie H'lt Ihn F''r Den Todesgott' 13. Ariadne Auf Naxos - Sie Gibt Sich Dem Tod Hin!' 14. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Ein Augenblick' 15. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'An Ihre Pl'tze' 16. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Seien Wir Wieder Gut' 17. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Was Ist Das?' 18. Ariadne Auf Naxos - Ouverture 'Ariadne' 19. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Schl'ft Sie?' 20. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Wo War Ich' 21. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Wie Jung Und Sch''n' 22. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Ein Sch''nes War....' 23. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Lieben Hassen' 24. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Es Gibt Ein Reich....' 25. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Die Dame Gibt Mit Tr''bem Sinn' 26. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Gro''Ÿm'chtige Prinzessin' 27. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'H''bsch Gepredigt Aber Tauben Ohren' 28. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Elne St''rrische Zu Tr''sten' 29. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Ein Sch''nes Wunder' 30. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Circe Circe....' 31. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'T''ne T''ne....' 32. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Doch Da Ich Unverwandelt....' 33. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Circe Circe...' 34. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Das Waren Zauberworte' 35. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Gibt Es Kein Hin''ber?' 36. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Du! Alles Du!' 37. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'T''ne T''ne - 'Was H'ngt Mir....' 38. Ariadne Auf Naxos - 'Deiner Hab' Ich Um Alles Bedurft' 39. Ariadne Auf Naxos - Opening Titles
Albert Finney plays an alcoholic pub-owner whose visions of a 17th-century Doctor of the Occult are blamed on the booze - until the ghost turns its malevolent glare on his daughter. A monumental clash between good and evil ensues involving grave-robbing exorcism and a terrible tree. Adapted by Malcolm Bradbury from the Kingsley Amis novel.
Aida Live From Royal Opera House July 1994
Once regarded as Verdi's lost opera because of early censorship and controversy, Stiffelio has now established its rightful place in Verdi's canon. In this 1993 recording from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Jose Carreras, as the Protestant minister whose faith is shattered when he discovers his wife's adulterous liaison with a family friend, leads a fine cast that includes Catherine Malfitano, Gregory Yurisich, Gwynne Howell and Robin Leggate under the baton of Edward Downes.
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