Widely remembered as the composer of one of the most popular operas of all time CARMEN Georges Bizet was also responsible for this lesser-known gem. Written when he was only 25 the work was not well-recieved upon its initial performance in 1863 but has since come to be appreciated for its beauty and orchestral subtlety. The libretto deals with two men King Zurga of Ceylon and his friend Nadir who are both in love with a high priestess Lla. Though each claim to be over Leila when Nadir recognizes her in the temple he cannot deny his feelings which are returned; though she has vowed celibacy they meet in secret and are discovered. The jealous Zurga condemns Lla to death but when he realizes she intervened on his behalf years ago he changes his mind with catastophic results. This production of the only Bizet opera to remain in the repertoire was performed in Venice with an extraordinary Annick Massis as Lla while the staging was executed by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Highlights of the show include Leila's aria ""Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombre "" and the stunning duet between Lla and Nadir ""Ton coeur n'a pas compris le mien.""
A rare 1989 recording of Pergolesi's second opera a comic and colourful tale of tangled love in which three girls resist their arranged marriages in pursuit of the same young man.
Bizet: Carmen (Zeffirelli)
Turandot: Puccini - Arena di Verona
Join Kiri and friends for a very special musical celebration as she sings the greatest hits from her sensational international career: from favourite operatic arias by Mozart and Puccini to musical theatre classics by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. A traditional ensemble from New Zealand perform a Maori tribute, and special guests Andre Previn and his join trio Kiri for intimate performances of popular American songs.The evening culminates in spectacular style with the arrival of a huge birthday cake, celebrating the 50th birthday of a unique musical star.
Vladimir Jurowski and Sir Peter Hall are re-united for a fresh and vibrant but timelessly elegant production of Rossinin's much-loved setting of the Cinderella story with a fine cast led by Ruxandra Donose in the title role. Filmed in June 2005 with high definition cameras and recorded in multi-track 5.1 surround sound
Filmed in Barcelona at the Gran Teatro Del Liceu this new production of the 'Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk' by composer Dimitry Shostakovitch features the Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatro Del Liceu; conducted by Alexander Anissimov.
James Levine makes Siegfried, sometimes the problem child among the four operas of Wagner's Ring cycle, attractive and interesting. He is aware of the darker side of some of the comic scenes--the seemingly benevolent dwarf Mime carries the weight of Wagner's many prejudices--but manages to keep them uneasy rather than positively sinister thanks to the finally judged performance of Heinz Zednik. Siegfried Jerusalem is admirable as Siegfried, full of boyish enthusiasm during the reforging of the sword, and of authority in his confrontations with the dragon and with Wotan. (The dragon itself is, as so often, an unfortunate compromise between realism and stylisation.) James Morris is extraordinary in Wotan's scenes here, his combination of injured pride and relieved joy when Siegfried demonstrates, by shattering his spear, that Wotan has entirely lost control of events is exemplary. This is an opera whose many and various scenes are all preludes to its emotional core: the love duet which comes when Siegfried awakens Brunnhilde. Jerusalem and Hildegard Behrens convey both the innocence and the ardor of this duet; while Levine gets extraordinary playing from the Metropolitan Opera orchestra throughout, but especially here, where a chamber-like delicacy applies to much of the music. On the DVD Siegfried on this disc is a recording of the 1990 Metropolitan Opera production and comes with both menus and subtitles in German, French, English, Spanish and Chinese as well as a picture gallery. Awkwardly it is presented in (American) NTSC format not PAL, and the visual ratio is standard TV 4:3. Better is the choice of sound formats--PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital and DTS digital--which provide a spacious acoustic that gives proper weight to the climaxes, and an appropriate delicacy to Wagner's subtler passages. --Roz Kaveney
Fidelio - Recorded At The Glyndebourne Festival Opera 1979.
In the 1970s Yes were among the most recognized representatives of progressive rock joined by the likes of Genesis Emerson Lake & Palmer and King Crimson. Those bands often referred to as the Big Four of prog rock set the tone for the genre their influence remaining undiminished to date. During their Relayer Tour Yes played a total of 89 concerts between November 1974 and August 1975 including this one at London's Queen's Park football stadium before a crowd of 25 000. At that time immediately following the release of Relayer (arguably their best and most ambitious album ever) Yes were on the peak of their career. Tracklist: 1. And You & I 2. Cord Of Life 3. Eclipse 4. The Preacher/The Teacher 5. Apocalypse 6. Ritual 7. Round About 8. Sweet Dreams 9. Yours Is No Disgrace
Lesley Garrett is the focus of a small performing troupe who choose the desert as their stage. With songs and arias from the Barogue period to the modern day she brings this stark mysterious location to life.Tracklisting01. Soave Sia Il Vento02. If Music Be The Food Of Love03. Stabat Mater - 1st movement04. O Delle Mie Speranze05. Dido's Lament06. Where The Bee Sucks07. Song To The Moon08. Apres Un Reve09. Sure On This Shinin
Filmed at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1995 this rendition of Verdi's 'Otello' is beautifully crafted by leading stars Placido Domingo and Renee Fleming. This was the first major success for Fleming at the Met and as this release illustrates she tackled the character of Desdemona wonderfully.
Filmed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1983 Berlioz's masterpiece Les Troyens is a tragic tale of love and fate based on Virgil's Aeneid. Under the baton of James Levine Jessye Norman is stunning in the part of Cassandra and Pl''cido Domingo makes for a strong compelling Aeneas. This benchmark performance was hailed by both critics and audiences and performed to greatest critical acclaim. Norman's role debut as Cassandra emerged as one her most significant and compelling performances and this DVD is also a stand-out release among Domingo's extensive filmography.
Nicolas Lehnhoff's stunning 1995 production of Janacek's extraordinary black comedy The Makropulos Case was one of the first to be recorded in the superb new opera house at Glyndebourne. It was received with unanimous acclaim especially for its star the astounding singing-actress Anja Silja. Silja won an Evening Standard Award for her performance.
I Now Pronounce You Ralph And Vince
In terms of vocal power, lyrical beauty and idiomatic authenticity, the casting for this 1992 live recording of the Kirov production of Pique Dame ("The Queen of Spades") could hardly be bettered. Gegam Grigorian (Herman) hits his fearsome, anguished high notes with the accuracy of a laser and Maria Gulegina (Liza) has a voice the size of the QEII but uses it with great subtlety--her opening duet with Pauline floats like gossamer, and her declarations of love for Herman at the end of Act 1 are spine-tingling. Kirov superstars Sergei Leiferkus (Tomsky) and rich-toned Olga Borodina (Pauline) also sound divine. In the pit Valery Gergiev renders every nuance of Tchaikovsky's score with clarity, and drives the strings to produce an almost unbearably tense atmosphere of foreboding; Herman's manslaughter of the Countess is preceded by shallow, haunted phrases which rise and fall like a beating heart. It isn't all rosy, however. The production comes from the traditional old Kirov "stand-and-sing" tradition and is somewhat static. The characters don't interact with much detail or generate much chemistry, and the chorus moves in unwieldy blocks. For a more gripping production (though not quite as well sung) try the Glyndebourne performance. But for sheer musical pleasure, you won't find anything to beat this. On the DVD: Pique Dame doesn't feature particularly inventive camerawork, though it does give a good solid account of the production. The sound recording captures all the most important moments with clarity, though just occasionally singers stray away from the microphones. There are subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and some trailers for other Universal Music DVDs. --Warwick Thomson
Recorded at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera 1975
Donizetti's great tragedy is his undisputed masterpiece of melancholic romanticism with the doomed love between Lucia and Edgardo retold from Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor. The 1992 production heightens the story's powerful libretto with its dramatic visual design and first-class musical performances. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this is a classic recording from one of the world's great opera houses.
A performance of Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro featured at the Salzburg Festival in 1966. Karl Bohm conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
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