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  • Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House | DVD | (12/03/2001) from £10.89  |  Saving you £3.10 (22.20%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Angela Gheorghiu's stunning debut as Violetta from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden it was this performance that turned the Romanian soprano into an international sensation. The occasion also marked Sir George Solti's first performances of Verdi's ever-popular tragedy. World-class performances by opera's finest - Frank Lopardo (Alfredo) Leo Nucci (Germont) Leah-Marian Jones (Flora) and Gillian Knight (Annina). With Richard Eyre's dramatic staging Bob Crowley's elegant strik

  • Masters of Cinema - Judex/Nuits Rouges Masters of Cinema - Judex/Nuits Rouges | DVD | (25/08/2008) from £9.25  |  Saving you £15.35 (61.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Judex (1963): The magical rarely seen Judex directed by the great Georges Franju (Eyes Without a Face) was largely unappreciated at the time of its release in 1963. This lyrical and dreamlike picture a putative remake of Louis Feuillade's own 1916 Judex is as evocative of the silent master's own works as it is the later films of Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali. A French reviewer wrote in 1963: The whole of Judex reminds us that film is a privileged medium for the expression of poetic magic. Starring the magician Channing Pollock the divine Edith Scob and the mesmerising Francine Berg'' Judex concerns a wicked banker his helpless daughter and a mysterious avenger. It plays like a fairy tale one in which Franju creates a dazzling clash between good and evil eschewing interest in the psychological aspects of his characters for unexplained twists and turns in the action. The beautifully controlled imagery superbly rendered by Marcel Fradetal's black-against-white photography animates a natural world and the spirits of animals all at war with a host of diabolical forces. Franju's Judex and Nuits Rouges both paid overt homage to the surreal silent serial-works of Feuillade. Scripted in collaboration with Feuillade's grandson Jacques Champreux these films evince the same poetic magic that made the art of that earlier master a cause c''l''bre not only for the Surrealist movement but also for the world renowned Cin''math''que Fran''aise. It was the Cin''math''que (co-founded by the legendary Henri Langlois with Franju) that helped resurrect the reputation of Feuillade decades after he'd slipped out of the public consciousness. Nuits Rouges (1973): Nuits Rouges [Red Nights] released in the UK as Shadowman was the second Franju Champreux meditation upon the films of Feuillade. It aggressively escalates a pulp atmosphere steeped in shocking turns of events to an even more vertiginous level. Here the object of pursuit is the fabled treasure of the mythical order of the Knights Templar which the filmmakers use as the jump-off point for staging a series of fantastic set-pieces. As the Fant''mas-esque arch-criminal (known only as The Man Without a Face played by Jacques Champreux himself) violently pursues the treasure the action intensifies amongst a cadre of post '68 bohemians the Paris police bureau and a cult of cowled conspirators. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Georges Franju's two most mindbending films on DVD in the UK for the first time.

  • Rudolf Nureyev's Romeo And Juliet [1995] Rudolf Nureyev's Romeo And Juliet | DVD | (10/04/2000) from £9.24  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The combination of Prokofiev's masterful score with Nureyev's choreography for the ballet company of the Paris Opera could hardly make this Romeo and Juliet anything but a success. However, as it's Nureyev, God is in the detail, and while the sheer exuberance of Manuel Legris and Monique Loudieres in the leading roles is undeniable, it's the little things that count, such as Romeo's shyness as he shuffles from one foot to another in the presence of the object of his affections (it's one thing to do dying swans and amorous raptures, but not everyone can effectively choreograph a fidget). The production is visually stunning, although there's an am-dram overstatedness to the glary lighting thatcan take one aback somewhat. What's very good indeed, however, is the presence of surround and stereo audio options and a multi-angle option, which are all too often omitted altogether from dance DVDs. The booklet notes are detailed but unfussy.--Roger Thomas

  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena [1983] Puccini: Madama Butterfly -- Verona/Arena | DVD | (11/06/2001) from £12.46  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    This traditional production of Puccini's enduringly popular opera Madama Butterfly should give much pleasure. It was recorded at the open-air theatre in Verona in 1983 with the local orchestra and chorus under the aptly named Maurizio Arena. The video direction is by an expert in the field, Brian Large, who brings home all the intimate moments of Puccini's drama from an open set that ascends and sprawls across rows of seating. His camera draws the viewer into scenes that the audience cannot witness at their distance--most movingly when Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki, gives up his attempt to read Pinkerton's letter to Butterfly saying he has no intention of seeing her again (set to that magical melody which will recur as the humming chorus). It's of little matter that there are no operatic stars in the cast for this ensemble consists of experienced singers who fill the night air with lungs to match Puccini's heaviest demands. The audience, many of them evidently on holiday, greet the show-stopping moments with waves of applause. Their enthusiasm may drown a few bars of orchestral continuity but the orchestra itself is always at the service of the singers on a soundtrack that captures the atmosphere of an open-air performance with astonishing verisimilitude. Butterfly, sung by the statuesque Raina Kabaivanska, may not see Cio-Cio San (to give "butterfly" her real name) 16 years again and some of her arm movements are overdone but her big number "Un bel di" and its reprise when she's holding her child by Pinkerton are touchingly conveyed. Neither does she overplay the final scene where she prepares to follow her father's example using the Mikado's dagger to commit suicide--a moment that sends a shiver down the spine in its economy. Nazzareno Antinori as her Pinkerton, with his matinée idol looks and resonant voice, complements her well; their singing of Puccini's spacious love duet at the close of Act One goes down a treat with the crowd. --Adrian Edwards

  • Tosca - Arena Di Verona [1984] Tosca - Arena Di Verona | DVD | (25/07/2005) from £29.14  |  Saving you £-11.15 (-62.00%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Tosca is a story of lust crime and idealistic young love originally written for Sarah Bernhardt. Puccini transformed it into an opera of the highest drama and passion and it became central to his career. This production by Sylvano Bussotti of one of Puccini's best loved works comes from the magnificent Roman amphitheatre in Verona and was filmed in 1984. Hungarian soprano Eva Marton is Tosca a role for which she is particularly well-known on stage. Ingvar Wixell is a superbly wick

  • Turandot - Puccini [1988] Turandot - Puccini | DVD | (15/09/2003) from £10.72  |  Saving you £6.11 (36.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Puccini's 'Turandot' performed by the Metropolitan Opera. Artists include: Eve Marton and Placido Domingo. Conducted by James Levine. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Sung in Italian

  • Nabucco - Verdi Nabucco - Verdi | DVD | (07/02/2005) from £10.95  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Verdi - Nabucco

  • Adriana Lecouvreur - Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur - Cilea | DVD | (22/10/2004) from £8.95  |  Saving you £1.04 (10.40%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Adriana LecouvreurFrancesco Cilea (1866-1950)Cilea's four-act opera of jealousy and tangled love first performed in Milan in 1902 is based on the true story of Adriana Lecouvreur an 18th-Century actress at the Comedie Francaise whose rival for the love of Maurizio count of Saxony is the married Principessa di Bouillon. Unlocked from the archives of RAI television this 1989 classic recording comes from one of the world's great opera houses.

  • Die Fledermaus [1985] Die Fledermaus | DVD | (22/09/2003) from £9.24  |  Saving you £6.07 (33.70%)  |  RRP £17.99

    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

  • Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione di Poppea -- Glyndebourne [1984] Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione di Poppea -- Glyndebourne | DVD | (26/04/2004) from £10.94  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Peter Hall's lavishly staged L'Incoronazione di Poppea celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Glyndebourne in 1984 with a performance of Monteverdi's most celebrated and also most controversial opera. The score is conductor Raymond Leppard's "enhanced" edition, which he had premiered at Glyndebourne back in 1962, fully scored for a large orchestra. Much debate circles around the forces appropriate for performing Monteverdi's decidedly minimalist work, but one thing at least is certain: it didn't sound anything like this in the 17th century! Never mind, however inauthentic it may be, Leppard's big and beefy orchestral updating--including a fulsome continuo group with pairs of harpsichords, organs and cellos, as well as lute, guitar and harp--supports the weighty melodrama nicely. The singers, too, are full-bodied, led by a fruity Maria Ewing as Poppea (in various revealing outfits) sounding suitably seductive, and Dennis Bailey, oddly lovely of voice as Nero (one of the opera's controversial aspects is the heroic central role accorded to these two thoroughly wicked characters). Perhaps best of all is Robert Lloyd as Seneca, who not only boasts a profound, reverberant bass, but also looks the part under beard and toga. With an onstage chorus to lament him, Seneca's death scene is the most moving in the opera. Peter Hall's clever staging keeps the Olympians--Love, Fortune and Virtue--permanently watching from above as the venal humans below act out this tragedy of poisoned love. The no-frills DVD has subtitles in English, French, German and Spanish. --Mark Walker

  • Lost Voyage Lost Voyage | DVD | (07/04/2008) from £N/A  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £5.99

  • Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail - The Royal Opera - Mozart [1988] Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail - The Royal Opera - Mozart | DVD | (01/11/1997) from £9.24  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    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.

  • Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera -- Metropolitan Opera/Levine | DVD | (09/09/2002) from £15.49  |  Saving you £1.50 (8.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of Verdi's opera 'Un Ballo In Maschera' by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra And Chorus; conducted by James Levine. Singers include: Luciano Pavarotti and Aprile Millo. Directed by Brian Large.

  • Salome - Deutsche Oper Berlin [1990] Salome - Deutsche Oper Berlin | DVD | (30/01/2006) from £9.24  |  Saving you £5.30 (29.50%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Richard Strauss's powerful and erotic one-act opera caused such a sensation when it was first performed in 1905 that it caused protests and was banned in several cities. In Petr Weigl's production for the Deutsche Opera Berlin filmed in 1990 Catherine Malfitano gives a suitably graphic portrayal of Salome a role which demand the utmost physical and emotional commitment throughout the complex vocal passages and choreographed scenes. Simon Estes is Jokannan and Herodias is sung by one of the greatest dramatic singers of the 20th century Leonie Rysanek. The conductor is Giuseppe Sinopoli.

  • Verdi - Aida Verdi - Aida | DVD | (10/09/2007) from £18.23  |  Saving you £-3.24 (-21.60%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Alagna: Aida

  • The Fairy Queen - Purcell [1995] The Fairy Queen - Purcell | DVD | (25/05/2001) from £7.95  |  Saving you £7.02 (28.10%)  |  RRP £24.99

    David Pountney and Quinny Sacks' production of Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen caused something of a sensation when it hit the ENO stage in 1995. It has the feel of a decadent 17th-century masque re-invented with late-20th-century energy: half the principals and chorus are in cross-dressing costumes, female characters are played by men (leading to some rather wonderful polymorphous perversity), and everything has an air of mad, hallucinogenic hipness about it. While Robert Israel's wild sets don't appear to their full advantage on the small screen, Dunya Ramicova's costumes look fantastic (the details are simply stunning). The very fine singing is recorded with excellent clarity: while this is obviously a live performance, there are remarkably few moments that go out of microphone range, and the balance with the orchestra is handled very sensitively. The ENO band, under the baton of Nicholas Kok, respond to Purcell's wiry lines and spiky harmonies with glee, and sound like they're having a ball, as do the singers. In particular Jonathan Best as The Drunken Poet is hilarious, and it is a wonderful testament to his acting skills that he is as funny close-up as he was from the auditorium stalls.--Warwick Thompson

  • Don Giovanni - Mozart Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (14/03/2005) from £17.75  |  Saving you £3.76 (17.10%)  |  RRP £21.99

    The Opera Don Giovanni drama in two acts.

  • Verdi: Il Trovatore Verdi: Il Trovatore | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £10.91  |  Saving you £6.08 (35.80%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A performance of Verdi's opera 'Il Trovatore' by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus; conducted by James Levine. Singers include: Eva Marton Luciano Pavarotti Sherril Milnes and Dolora Zajick; directed by Brian Large.

  • Verdi: Aida -- Metropolitan Opera Verdi: Aida -- Metropolitan Opera | DVD | (20/11/2000) from £12.79  |  Saving you £4.20 (24.70%)  |  RRP £16.99

    A star-studded production from New York's Metropolitan Opera with Aprile Millo and Placido Domingo in the lead roles supported by the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; conducted by James Levine. Please note: This is a NTSC disc please ensure the compatibility of your TV.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - Britten A Midsummer Night's Dream - Britten | DVD | (09/01/2006) from £11.92  |  Saving you £4.07 (25.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Britten's opera recorded live at the Teatro Del Liceu in April 2004.

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