The Royal Ballet.Orchestra of The Royal Opera House.Conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu.Coppelia, a mechanical doll made by the toy-maker Dr. Coppelius, is so lifelike that some believe she is his daughter. The mistake leads to intrigue and jealousy in love.This 19th century classic, in an enchanting production of Royal Ballet choreographer Dame Ninette de Valois, with original designs by Sir Osbert Lancaster, was broadcast live by BBC television in February 2000.
Britten's opera recorded live at the Teatro Del Liceu in April 2004.
This production of Handel's tragic and moving oratorio took Glyndebourne by storm when it was first staged in 1996. Sellars took Handel's tale of self-sacrificial love between a Christian virgin and a Roman imperial bodyguard in fourth century enemy occupied Antioch and by resetting it in modern-day America transformed it into a timeless parable of spiritual resistance to tyranny and persecution.
Tancredi was the work on which Rossini's reputation as a composer of tragic operas rested, just as L'Italiana in Algeri ("The Italian Girl in Algiers") had been his first comic masterpiece. Inevitably, given the opera seria conventions within which he was working, it can seem terribly static nowadays--this is a work whose stage action consists almost exclusively of entrances and exits, and of characters emoting in various combinations--but when the emotions are as powerful as those here it hardly matters. The breeches part of Tancredi is one of Rossini's most powerfully lyrical: Bernadette Manca de Nisa is especially moving in the famous aria "Di Tanti Palpiti". The heroine Amenaide, wrongfully accused of treason, has the most to do emotionally, and Maria Raul is suitably touching, collapsing decorously to the floor as a way of conveying extremes of shame or incredulous hurt. Ildebrando D'Arcangelo does what he can with the stiff villain, Orbazzano. In some ways, the star of the performance is Raul Giménez in the unpromising role of Amenaide's much-deceived father Argirio, combining authority with pain and making both highly musical. Throughout, Gianluigi Gelmetti's intelligent conducting of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra makes the delicate sides of the scoring matter most:he has learned from original instrument performances how to bring out the plangency of Rossini's woodwind writing.On the DVD: The DVD has no additional features except for subitles in Italian, French, German, English and Spanish and menus in French, Spanish, German and English. The sound is presented perfectly adequately but unexcitingly in PCMstereo and the picture ratio is 4:3. --Roz Kaveney
Giuseppe Verdi - The Royal Opera Otello - At the Royal Opera House.
Chorus Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin Orchestra Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin Conducted By Lawrence Foster Live from the Deutsche Oper Berlin
One way to use the DVD format for opera is to provide a video format with a clear picture and sumptuous sound and let a good performance speak more or less for itself. Severini's La Boheme comes with a minimum of trimmings--subtitles in English, French and German; even a short account of the performance history is relegated to text in a booklet. The live performance has real theatrical presence, even to the extent that, at times, the vocal and orchestral subtleties get lost in wild applause. Pavarotti's Rodolfo was, in 1988, as plangently lyrical as ever and Freni's care-worn Mimi is a deeply touching and musical performance; Pacetti is a beefy full-blooded no-nonsense Musetta--the waltz song and ensuing duet with Marcello is for once the Broadway show-stopper it ought to be. Of the supporting roles, though, perhaps the most moving is Ghiaurov's Colline--his farewell to his old coat is a short passage of deep pathos which he has rarely sung as well as he does here. --Roz Kaveney
Dame Janet Baker in one of her greatest roles leads a cast of some of Britain's finest interpreters of baroque opera under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras. John Copley's acclaimed English National Opera production was restaged in studio skilfully using all the technical advantages offered to create this top quality recording.
Opera in three acts.Recorded live at the Semperoper Dresden 2-3 June 2000.
The legendary 1965 BBC film on the pioneering recording by Sir Georg Solti of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Filmed during the recording of Gotterdammerung in the Sofiensale with the Vienna Philharmonic, it features performances by the great Wagner singers Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Gottlob Frick, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The DVD also includes ORF's German-language version of the programme (Hinter den Kulissen der Gotterdammerung) featuring different interview footage with Sir Georg Solti.
A lavish 1982 production of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera in which Nanki-Poo the son of the Mikado escaping a distasteful marriage arrives in the town of Titipu disguised as a musician...
Zombie Flesheaters 2
Laurent Pelly staged this new production and how the singers were perfectly cast. They gave Donizetti's opera a new life at the Royal Opera House
Conceived developed and produced by Don Boyd Aria is a completely unique film both structurally and also in the sheer scale of the production itself. Ten of the world's most creative and celebrated directors were each given the same brief; to choose a piece of opera music and then present a visual interpretation of that music. The result is by turns erotic violent funny and poignant. The stills photographers assigned to each were equally celebrated among them David Bailey Annie Leibovitz Lord Snowdon Terry O'Neill and John Swannell. The impressive cast list includes John Hurt Tilda Swinton Bridget Fonda and Elizabeth Hurley Teresa Russell. A remarkable collective achievement Aria is a cinematic experience like no other.
Based on the French novel and Bizet's most popular opera which it inspired Carlos Saura's exhilarating flamenco Carmen became an instant classic on its release and was rewarded with many international accolades including Academy Award nominations and prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. The film explores the legend by staging a modern ensemble of musicians and dancers busy rehearsing a flamenco interpretation of the Carmen story. The producer and star dancer is Antonio (Antonio Gades) chooses a girl named Carmen (Laura del Sol) to play 'his' Carmen but life begins tragically to imitate art...
First performed at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome in 1632 Landis Sant Alessio (Saint Alexius) is recognised as the earliest opera on an historical rather than mythological subject. Staged in Caen (where the DVD was filmed) and Paris in October 2007 the opera was subsequently presented in concert form in London and New York and is scheduled for the opera houses of Luxembourg and Nancy in early 2008.
Strauss' dazzling opera Der Rosenkavalier set in 1740's Vienna combines farce romance and a world of weary acknowledgement of getting older. It features some of the most gorgeous music ever written for the female voice.
Leos Janacek: From The House Of The Dead, performed by various performers and conducted by Pierre Bouelz.
It is an oft-repeated saw, about life in the heavenly spheres, that the angels revere Bach but listen to Mozart. If they have DVD players, you can bet theyre now watching this stunning production of Le Nozze di Figaro ("The Marriage of Figaro"), which comes about as close to Mozartian perfection as one could possibly hope to get. The faultlessly cast youthful performers bubble with infectious energy. Alison Hagley is a sprightly Susanna with a voice as clear as a bell, and brilliantly matched by a 28-year-old Bryn Terfel both acting and sounding in fine form. Hillevi Martinpelto demonstrates why she is one of the worlds favourite Mozart singers with her melting tones, richly coloured voice and generous stage presence, and Rodney Gilfry gives a muscular, wonderfully controlled performance as the Count. Olivier Milles direction mixes knockabout comedy and restrained pathos with fluid inventiveness, and there are even--heavens, can this really be an opera?--quite a few belly laughs, and deliciously amusing details. (Susannas guitar playing during Cherubinos "Voi che sapete" is a comic delight, and Figaros hidden sneers at Count Almaviva are hilarious.) John Eliot Gardiner draws exquisite playing from his authentic-instrument orchestra and employs tempos that are ideal. Add to that gorgeous 18th-century costumes and effective sets--it doesnt get much better than this. On the DVD: the production is beautifully realised for home viewing, with clear sound (the sets are simple wooden panels, which continually and flatteringly push the sound to the front) and great camera direction. There are subtitles in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese but no other special features.--Warwick Thompson
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