"Director: Jean Pierre Ponnelle"

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  • 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

  • Rigoletto: The Wiener Philharmoniker (Chailly) [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]Rigoletto: The Wiener Philharmoniker (Chailly) | Blu Ray | (29/07/2014) from £18.95   |  Saving you £3.04 (16.04%)   |  RRP £21.99

    I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

  • 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.

  • Rossini - Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (Abbado)Rossini - Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (Abbado) | DVD | (09/05/2005) from £13.39   |  Saving you £6.60 (33.00%)   |  RRP £19.99

    Jean-Pierre Ponnelle directed this film of Rossini's comic masterpiece four years before filming Mozart's Figaro. The result was an irresistibly entertaining and musically rewarding film starring Hermann Prey as Beaumarchais's scheming barber of Seville. The other main roles in Ponnelle's Barber are taken by four of the most celebrated Rossini interpreters of the past decades: Teresa Berganza as the cunning heroine Rosina Luigi Alva as her devoted suitor Count Almaviva Enzo Dara as the long-suffering outfoxed Dr. Bartolo and Paolo Montarsolo as the shifty music master Don Basilio.

  • Verdi - Rigoletto [1981]Verdi - Rigoletto | DVD | (12/06/2006) from £13.59   |  Saving you £3.40 (25.02%)   |  RRP £16.99

    Filmed on location in Italian Renaissance landmarks including the Castello di San Giorgio in Mantua the Piazza Duomo in Cremona and the Teatro Farnese in parma Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's lavish production of Rigoletto captures all the tenderness and tragedy of Verdi's heartbreaking drama. Luciano Pavarotti in his formidable prime is the dashing dissolute Duke of Mantua who seduces fair innocent Gilda - a virtuoso performance by Edita Gruberova - away from her protective father the hunchback court jester Rigoletto sung and acted with indelible pathos by Ingvar Wixell.

  • Rossini - La Cenerentola (Abbado)Rossini - La Cenerentola (Abbado) | DVD | (17/10/2005) from £13.99   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £13.99

  • Orff - Carmina Burana (Eichhorn, Munich Radio Orchestra)Orff - Carmina Burana (Eichhorn, Munich Radio Orchestra) | DVD | (03/05/2002) from £12.29   |  Saving you £-0.30 (-2.50%)   |  RRP £11.99

    Wine woman and singing on Latin -- on this formula one could bring Carl Orffs Carmina Burana. Nothing could become detrimental the popularity of the Carmina Burana so far also not the circumstance the fact that Carl Orff had itself with this work 'recommended' for a project which the author Fred Prieberg in its book music in the LV state under the chapter 'a summer eight-dream - arisch'

  • Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi [1976]Falstaff - Giuseppe Verdi | DVD | (12/01/2005) from £16.18   |  Saving you £-1.19 (N/A%)   |  RRP £14.99

    Verdi's opera based on Shakespeare's character Falstaff who attempts to woo two wealthy married women in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy....

  • Mozart - La Clemenza Di Tito [1984]Mozart - La Clemenza Di Tito | DVD | (13/03/2006) from £13.39   |  Saving you £0.60 (4.30%)   |  RRP £13.99

    Filmed in 1980 among the ruins of ancient Rome Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's stunning production marked the beginning of a renaissance for Mozart's late opera and continues to stand out as one of finest opera films of all time. James Levine conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker in this performance of Mozart's operatic marvel driven by imperial intrigue fury and forgiveness.

  • Mozart - Mitridate (Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien)Mozart - Mitridate (Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien) | DVD | (13/03/2006) from £13.39   |  Saving you £3.60 (21.20%)   |  RRP £16.99

  • Mozart - Cosi Fan Tutte (Harnoncourt)Mozart - Cosi Fan Tutte (Harnoncourt) | DVD | (10/04/2006) from £16.59   |  Saving you £9.40 (36.20%)   |  RRP £25.99

    Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte (Harnoncourt)

  • Tristan Und Isolde - Wagner/Daniel BarenboimTristan Und Isolde - Wagner/Daniel Barenboim | DVD | (16/07/2007) from £17.29   |  Saving you £4.70 (27.18%)   |  RRP £21.99

    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

  • Verdi: Rigoletto -- Vienna/Chailly [1983]Verdi: Rigoletto -- Vienna/Chailly | DVD | (12/06/2006) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £19.99

  • Monteverdi: L'Orfeo [2007]Monteverdi: L'Orfeo | DVD | (19/02/2007) from £22.98   |  Saving you £-2.99 (-15.00%)   |  RRP £19.99

  • Homage A Sevilla - Placido DomingoHomage A Sevilla - Placido Domingo | DVD | (19/03/2007) from £18.98   |  Saving you £-4.99 (-35.70%)   |  RRP £13.99

    Placido DomingoHommage A SevillaWith scenes from Don Giovanni, Carmen, Fidelio, Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, La Forza Del Destino, El Gato Montes.

  • Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- La Scala [1974]Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- La Scala | DVD | (19/11/2001) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £24.99

    Like all successfully filmed operas, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's 1974 film of his 1972 La Scala production of The Barber of Seville weaves its magic on multiple levels: naturalistic lighting and camera-work which break through the invisible barrier of the proscenium arch and take the viewer to the heart of the action; wonderful casting and magnificent singing; opera singers who can act to the camera (Teresa Berganza, in particular, is luminous); and conducting which simply revels in the richness of a much-loved score (Claudio Abbado wrings every ounce of levity and brilliance from the music). Rossini's 1816 work, based on Beaumarchais' Figaro characters and an earlier libretto by Paisiello, is one of the great joys of comic opera, crammed with familiar arias and duets, all of which drive the galloping pace of the book without ever interrupting the plot. Its ingredients of romance, disguise and intrigue merge in Rossini's extraordinarily vibrant and increasingly explosive score. At the heart of the tale is the love triangle of Count Almaviva (a lusty Luigi Alva), the wilful Rosina (Teresa Berganza at the peak of her mezzo-soprano powers) and her guardian with an ulterior motive Bartolo (Enzo Dara, constantly foiled). Thanks to the machinations of Figaro (Hermann Prey, making the most of his trademark theme "Largo al factotum") they are put through a series of hoops in which love conquers all and no real harm is ever done. On the DVD: If this Barber has dated at all it's largely thanks to Abbado's pudding-basin haircut and the film's inevitable 1970's quality. It is presented in standard 4:3 format with a PCM Stereo soundtrack, producing a merely average video-standard viewing experience. Apart from a good choice of subtitles there are no extras. A history of the production would have been useful. But these shortcomings, and the occasionally dull sound quality, are soon forgotten in the heat of the action.--Piers Ford

  • Monteverdi: Il Ritorno D' Ulisse in Patria [2007]Monteverdi: Il Ritorno D' Ulisse in Patria | DVD | (19/02/2007) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £29.99

  • Monterverdi: L'Incoronazione Di Poppea [2007]Monterverdi: L'Incoronazione Di Poppea | DVD | (19/02/2007) from £23.88   |  Saving you £6.11 (20.40%)   |  RRP £29.99

  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- 1974 film version/Von KarajanPuccini: Madama Butterfly -- 1974 film version/Von Karajan | DVD | (15/10/2001) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £19.79

    Of all Puccinis 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 Ponelles 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 Domingos rakish Pinkerton and Mirella Frenis rubicund Butterfly. Their singing is incomparable, as is Herbert von Karajans 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

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