This movie version of Bizet's popular opera Carmen was filmed on location, conveying a kind of atmosphere, a sense of space, movement, and presence that's hard to achieve in a staged performance. It takes the action out of doors for many scenes, with the opening titles superimposed on the bloody conclusion of a bullfight. Elsewhere the changing of the guard, the crowd scenes, the dance number that opens Act 2, and the panoramic scenery of the smugglers' mountain hideout all benefit from the freedom granted by movie cameras. It's an exciting Carmen, too, with a young-looking Placido Domingo in top form for a role he has sung hundreds of times. For Julia Migenes, though, it was her first performance in a role she would have trouble performing in an opera house. Her voice does not fit easily into Carmen's range, and she spent months training it, very successfully, before singing the role in a recording studio where the soundtrack was taped before the film was shot. Casting her in the role was a gamble, but it worked; she is a convincing actress. Unlike most opera-house performances this movie version uses the opera's original opera comique form with some spoken dialogue rather than recitatives.--Joe McLellan, Amazon.com
Puccini's Wild West opera based on Belasco's play The Girl of the Golden West has the California gold rush as its dramatic backdrop for a story in which Minnie the only woman in a mining camp gambles on her one chance of happiness. Lorin Maazel conducts a fine cast in Jonathan Miller's 1991 production of the compelling and evocative opera which Puccini himself considered his best work. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this is a classic recording from one of the world's great opera houses.
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.
Opera arias and duets from Mozart Rossini Haydn Donizetti and Handel.
A performance of Strauss's biblical 'Salome' at the Royal Opera House.
A performance of Wagner's opera 'Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg'.
Opera in three acts produced live at the Metropolitan Opera on 7 November 1977.
Giordano's Andrea Chenier is one of the greatest of verismo operas, full of heart-stopping big tunes and powerful emotional situations. If it is not as well-known as it should be, it is because in summary it sounds a little too like Puccini's Tosca: there is a tussle between political opponents over a woman, an attempt to save a condemned man, a tenor aria about writing poetry on the eve of execution. The difference is that Gerard (Giorgio Zancanaro) is not a villain like Scarpia, he is an idealist whom the French Revolution has betrayed as much as it has his rival the poet Chenier (Placido Domingo). His temptation to abuse his power to seduce the virtuous Maddalena (Anna Tomowa-Sintow) is a momentary one, though its consequences are terrible. There is a streak of post-Wagnerian decadence in much of this--Maddalena is at least as much in love with death as she is with Chenier, and the final love duet has a deeply sinister aspect. Domingo is at his best in this Covent Garden Opera House performance from 1985; at once ardent and serious-minded, we believe in his Chenier as a poet and political figure. Conductor Julius Rudel gives the rich score all the weight and lyricism it demands and the Covent Garden chorus is at its occasional best in the scenes of revolutionary excess. On the DVD: Andrea Chenier is presented a little disappointingly in NTSC format and 4:3 picture ratio. At least the sound is sumptuous Dolby Digital 5.0. Subtitles are in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. --Roz Kaveney
A performance of Debussy's beautiful opera recorded in France in 1987.
A coproduction by BBC Covent Garden Pioneer and the Royal Opera House of Verdi's classic opera about the Moor who loved not wisely but too well. Conducted by George Solti.
This famous and highly-praised Royal Opera production by film director John Schlesinger filmed in 1981 is as good as we are ever likely to see. The spectacular designs by Maria Bjornson and William Dudley vividly bring Hoffman's nightmare world to life. The brilliant cast is led by Placido Domingo as Hoffmann in one of his towering portrayals. He has become wholly identified with this part in a way that no other artist has.
Many illustrious stars of the twentieth century are featured in sound and vision in rare footage much of it previously unavailable. The accompanying booklet includes comprehensive notes by John Steane. Includes rare footage much of it previously unseen. Based on an original BBC TV series.
Clint Eastwood's career is the stuff of legend and so is the man. As riveting as many of the characters he has created from the Man With No Name to the man with an unforgettable one Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood has left an indelible mark on every role he has played and on the films he has directed with such distinction that they have earned him two Best Director Oscars'' for Unforgiven and Mystic River. In his interview with the Actors Studio the two-time Academy Award''-winner reveals the frank knowledgeable highly articulate man behind the laconic images that have made him world-famous for forty years.
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
A performance of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra which tells the story of the struggle for power in 14th Century Genoa. Claudio Abbado conducts.
The operetta 'Die Fledermaus' is Johann Strauss' most brilliant and best-known stage work. It's a glittering comedy packed with Viennese music that has become a firm favourite in opera houses all over the world. A top international cast really have a ball in this highly-acclaimed 1983 New Years Eve performance from The Royal Opera Covent Garden in which Placido Domingo makes a very stylish British conducting debut. Kiri Te Kanawa stars with her celebrated performance as Rosalinde
Recorded live at the Salzburg festival 1965.
Please wait. Loading...