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Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann -- Royal Opera House/Pretre | DVD | (22/09/2003)
from £9.46 | Saving you £8.14 (45.20%) | RRP
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.
The Magic Flute (DVD + Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (23/04/2018)
from £7.59 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Ingmar Bergman puts his indelible stamp on Mozart's exquisite opera in this sublime rendering of one of the composer's best-loved works: a celebration of love, forgiveness, and the brotherhood of man. The Magic Flute (TrollflÃ¶jten) stars Josef KÃ¶stlinger as Tamino, the young man determined to rescue a beautiful princess from the clutches of parental evil. Available for the first time on Blu-ray the BFI are proud to present this film from one of the world's most acclaimed directors. Features: Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film and full film credits
Masters of Cinema - Judex/Nuits Rouges | DVD | (25/08/2008)
from £8.85 | Saving you £16.14 (64.60%) | RRP
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.
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Metropolitan/Levine | DVD | (14/10/2002)
from £48.75 | Saving you £-2.76 (-6.00%) | RRP
The James Levine cycle of Wagners Der Ring des Nibelungen is humane and emotionally powerful rather than monumental or spiritual; Levine is more interested in finding our sympathy for the characters than inspiring pity or terror. These are very traditional productions in which you see a rock where you need to see a rock, a dragon where the libretto says a dragon (the Metropolitan Opera has never been a place for experiment). What Levine and the Met can and do offer is excellent orchestral playing and some of the best singers in these roles in the world. Siegfried Jerusalem is boyish and naive and touching as Siegfried, and he is also surprisingly good as the detached mischievous Loge of Das Rheingold. James Morris is uniformly impressive as Wotan and makes the character evolve from the young ruthless god of the first opera to the tired old god of Siegfried, who seeks nothing more than his own necessary defeat and death. As Brunnhilde, Hildegard Behrens makes a convincing shift from goddess to woman, from callousness to tenderness and on to vindictiveness and self-sacrificing wisdom. Overall, this is an attractive Ring cycle, well-cast and beautifully played; others have greater strengths in some areas, but Levine is reliable across the board. On the DVD: Der Ring des Nibelungen has all four operas, which are also available individually, contained in a single box. All the DVDs come with a photo gallery of the Metropolitan Opera productions and with menus and subtitles in German, French, English, Spanish and Chinese. Its a little disappointing, though, that they are presented in American NTSC format, not European PAL, and the picture ratio is standard TV 4:3. On the plus side, they all have an excellent clear acoustic in the three audio options: PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. --Roz Kaveney
La Scala Collection | DVD | (02/05/2006)
from £47.79 | Saving you £12.20 (20.30%) | RRP
Various Composers: La Scala Collection - 11 Operas
Adriana Lecouvreur - Cilea | DVD | (22/10/2004)
from £5.14 | Saving you £1.04 (10.40%) | RRP
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.
Bizet - Carmen (Mcvicar, Jordan, Lpo, Von Otter) | DVD | (12/02/2003)
from £12.99 | Saving you £-18.59 (-62.00%) | RRP
'Carmen' is here restored to the original Opera Comique in a production from Glyndebourne. Music is under the direction of Philippe Jordan.
Lost Voyage | DVD | (07/04/2008)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Lehar - The Land Of Smiles | DVD | (01/01/2005)
from £39.85 | Saving you £-14.86 (-59.50%) | RRP
Lehar: Das Land Des Lachelns (Bibl Habermann)
Don Giovanni - Mozart | DVD | (23/04/2004)
from £8.95 | Saving you £1.04 (10.40%) | RRP
A performance of the Mozart opera Don Giovanni.
Rameau - Platée / Marc Minkowski, Laurent Pelly, Opéra de Paris | DVD | (19/03/2004)
from £46.65 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Platee - Rameau
Opera Night 2007 - Deutsche Oper Berline - For The German Aids Foundation | DVD | (03/03/2008)
from £9.97 | Saving you £10.02 (50.10%) | RRP
Chorus Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin Orchestra Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin Conducted By Lawrence Foster Live from the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Offenbach: Orphee aux Enfers -- Lyon National Opera/Minkowski | DVD | (25/10/2002)
from £39.63 | Saving you £-14.64 (-58.60%) | RRP
In the role of Eurydice Natalie Dessay begins at once with a display of vocal and verbal pyrotechnics which are then taken up by Yann Beuron as Orpheus. Together they give us an ideal of the developments to follow. Dancers and singers melt into a unit. The stage setting and an unconventional choreography sparkle with inventiveness. When Pluto for example arrives on skis from the underworld onto Mt. Olympus and Offenbach quotes the famous can-can right in the middle of Pluto's aria it seems to be a parody of his own work. The production offers a wealth of material for modern interpretations and immorality. Thus we see a bored Eurydice lying on the sofa in her apartment as she zaps her way through the TV channels constantly looking for diversion showing us how timeless an opera buff can really be. Sometimes she sings upside down hopping around - a vocal masterpiece. Laurent Naouri also captivates in the role of Jupiter and costumed as a fly demonstrates his vocal and acting talent with Jacques Offenbach's Buzz aria. To sum up; the present production is a fountain-of-youth cure for Offenbach's operetta classic. A cascade of ideas and ironic allusions turns this ingenious work into a feast for eyes and ears.
The Three Tenors - In Concert 1994 | DVD | (29/06/1998)
from £9.85 | Saving you £8.14 (45.20%) | RRP
Featuring Jose Carreras Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti in concert on July 16th 1994 at the Dodger Stadium Los Angeles California. Zubin Mehta conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus. Tracklist includes: 'America' (West Side Story) 'O Sole Mio' (Di Capua) 'Brindisi' (La Traviata) and 'Tribute To Hollywood' (Medley).
Zombie Flesheaters 2 | DVD | (25/08/2008)
from £5.15 | Saving you £5.51 (42.40%) | RRP
Zombie Flesheaters 2
Aria | DVD | (15/06/2009)
from £5.39 | Saving you £14.60 (73.00%) | RRP
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.
Carmen | DVD | (23/04/2012)
from £9.79 | Saving you £3.20 (24.60%) | RRP
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...
Hercules - Handel | DVD | (06/02/2006)
from £46.95 | Saving you £-16.96 (-56.60%) | RRP
Musical drama in three acts.
The Ultimate Opera Collection | DVD | (14/05/2007)
from £5.89 | Saving you £11.00 (55.00%) | RRP
Titles Comprise: CARMEN by Bizet from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 1998 AIDA by Verdi from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 1997 DON GIOVANNI by Mozart from the Prague National Theatre 1991 TOSCA by Puccini from the O'Keefe Centre Toronto 1989 NABUCCO by Verdi from the St. Margarethen Opera Festival 2000.
The Cunning Little Vixen - Janacek | DVD | (15/11/2001)
from £21.01 | Saving you £-16.18 (-64.70%) | RRP
Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen is a real charmer of an opera, a tale that shows the natural world the composer had loved from childhood in its true colours: miraculous, beautiful, mysterious but also cruel. The inspiration came from a series of illustrated stories published in a Czech newspaper. The Vixen of the title is captured by a forester and taken home as a plaything for his children. She is soon thrown out of the house and has to make her own way in the world, encountering lust, stupidity, pride, love and ultimately death. This 1995 performance was taken from the Chatelet Theatre in Paris. Visually, Nicholas Hytner's production is a triumph, the animals wonderfully wittily wrought (the mosquito with its syringe for a nose, the mangey old dog, distasteful in baggy Y-fronts, the hideous, goggle-eyed frog). And it's also brilliantly cast: Eva Jenis's Vixen is funny, sexy, endearing and youthful enough in voice and figure to convince. Thomas Allen is a veteran of the role of the Forester, a huge presence and singing in impeccable Czech. In fact, there's not a weak performance here, and that goes for the dancers and instrumentalists as well as the singers. And at the helm, who better than Sir Charles Mackerras, arguably the greatest living interpreter of Janacek's music? This is in essence a grown-up fairy tale, ravishingly done and extremely highly recommended. On the DVD: The Cunning Little Vixen is presented on disc in vividly remastered PCM stereo, with 16:9 picture format that does full justice to the alluringly colourful designs. The disc is encoded for regions 2 and 5, and the menu and subtitle languages are English, German, French and Spanish. The useful booklet gives coherent background information and synopsis as well as full casting details. There's also a substantial (23-minute) trailer of other offerings from Arthaus Musik. --Harriet Smith