Mozart's immortal adaptation of Beaumarchais' satirical tale has always been a Glyndebourne staple, so it was appropriate that this delightfully traditional production of Le Nozze di Figaro was chosen to reopen a refurbished Gyndebourne in May, 1994. Here, John Gunter's set design is airy and uncluttered, leaving the actors plenty of breathing space, while director Stephen Medcalf likewise allows the characters to speak (and sing) for themselves. Gerald Finley's Figaro and Alison Hagley's Susanna make a charming central pairing; Renee Fleming and Andreas Schmidt are a formidable aristocratic duo, while Marie-Ange Todorovitch fills Cherubino's trousers with pleasing playfulness. Haitink and the London Philharmonic sparkle, as of course they should. Unfussily filmed, this is as close to the real thing as you are likely to get without a Glyndebourne season ticket.On the DVD: This is a double-sided disc requiring a changeover between Acts 2 and 3. With a running-time of 189 minutes, the disc is no longer than some epic Hollywood movies, so such flipping is hard to justify. But at least opera lends itself to natural breaks like this. The sound options are Dolby stereo or 5.1 and the picture is in 4:3 ratio. Subtitles are provided in English, French or German and the booklet contains a plot synopsis. --Mark Walker
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.
A performance of Glinka's opera 'Ruslan And Lyudmila'.
Acclaimed film and stage director Franco Zeffirelli spared no costs to reproduce the opulent setting of Violetta Val''ry''s happiness and downfall. The unparalleled musical quality of the production is guaranteed by some of the world''s most famous musicians: The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York conductor James Levine and singers Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo. As Violetta soprano Teresa Stratas strikes the right balance between emotional grandeur and physical weakness. And with his meltingly lyrical voice and magnetic stage presence Placido Domingo embodies Alfredo Germont with a rarely seen passion.
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
A performance of Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' by puppet theatre.
This luxuriously cast film of Mozart's beloved opera buffa features a host of legendary interpretations including Kiri Te Kanawa's exquisite Countess Almaviva Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as her philandering husband Hermann Prey as the wily title character Mirella Freni a delight as his no less savvy bride Susanna and Maria Ewing hilarious as the lovesick page Cherubino. Director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's imaginative camera-work tellingly emphasizes character and mood of this immortal story of love intrigue and class struggle set against the historical background of ancien regime Europe sliding inexorably towards revolution.
La Cenerentola is Rossini's version of the popular Cinderella story an entertaining mixture of comedy pathos coloratura fireworks and masquerade.
A production of Strauss' opera 'Der Rosenkavalier' performed at the Saltzburg Festival in 1984. Includes the Vienna State Opera Choir the Philharmonic Orchestra with singers Wilma Lipp Anna Tomowa-Sintow and Agnes Baltsa. Conducted by Herbert Von Karajan.
Eurydice is married to Orpheus but has started an affair with a local shepherd called Aristaeus. However Aristaeus is really Pluto in disguise and he becomes so besotted with Eurydice that he lures her to a field where she is bitten by a snake. He then reveals his true identity and whisks her away to Hades so they can be together. Orpheus now a free man is happy about this new situation until his mother insists he rescues Eurydice from Hades. Meanwhile King Of The Gods Jupiter ha
Opera in three acts produced live at the Metropolitan Opera on 7 November 1977.
Internationally renowned director Franco Zeffirelli brings Verdi's masterpiece to the screen. Based on Shakespeare's enduring classic 'Otello' is an epic tragedy of jealousy and betrayal. When the scheming Iago (Diaz) believes Otello (Domingo) has overlooked him for promotion he wreaks a subtle and terrible revenge on his master convincing him that his young wife Desdemona (Katia Ricciarelli) is unfaithful. Otello realises the deception too late spiralling into madness and murd
'Idomeneo is Mozart's grandest most richly coloured and most ambitious opera' David Cairns Sunday Times. This highly acclaimed production of Idomeneo marked the operatic debut of Trevor Nunn whose distinguished career includes Cats and Les Miserables. It was much praised for its simple but effective dramatic style blending Minoan Crete with the ritualistic delicacy of Japanese theatre. This dynamic stylization is appropriately reflected in John Napier's considered and elegant d
The epic grandeur of Der Rosenkavalier stems not just from its immense length (over three hours) but from the all-too-human complexity of its characters--each of whom is smitten with someone else--and the endless stream of graceful melodies the composer conjures. After the tonality-stretching dissonance of Salome and especially Elektra, Strauss moved onto a different musical path here: the music's sheer gorgeousness has given this most heartbreaking of 20th-century operas its pride of place in the repertory. For this 1994 performance at the Vienna Opera House, conductor Carlos Kleiber leads a committed reading of the buoyant score that savours every note. The three leads are superb singer-actresses who get full marks for embodying Strauss's most richly romantic creations: Felicity Lott (the Marschallin), Anne Sophie von Otter (Octavian) and Barbara Bonney (Sophie) also offer a truly entrancing final trio, one of the great scenes in all opera. The stereo sound mix is solid, as is the video transfer. --Kevin Filipski, Amazon.com
Based on the stage production by Anthony Besch.
Recorded live at the Salzburg festival 1965.
One of the most acclaimed Wagner productions of the postwar period this electrifying revolutionary Bayreuth staging of The Flying Dutchman catapulted the German director Harry Kupfer to international fame. Kupfer's psychologically acute production presents the entire story as a hallucination in which Senta's yearning for the eternally wandering Dutchman sends her into a trance-like state. Senta is sung by Danish soprano Lisbeth Balslev the American bass-baritone Simon Estes portrays the Dutchman while the Finnish bass Matti Salminen is Daland.
In March 2001 some of the world's greatest lyric voices assembled in the cavernous Teatro Padiglione Palacassa in Parma for a Verdi Gala to commemorate the centenary of the composer's death. The works included in this concert are generally taken from his most famous operas, but there are one or two surprises too: it's not often you get the chance to hear the gorgeous "Dieu nous separe" from the Parisian grand opera Jerusalem (1847), for example, or arias from Il Corsaro (1848). The singing is mostly of a very high standard: Barbara Frittoli uses her glorious voice with intelligence in the excerpt from Il Trovatore, and Daniela Dessi is stunning in "Pace, pace" from La Forza del Destino. Older singers like Carreras and Domingo are also still on superb form, too, and both men manage to sound heavenly while packing a mighty dramatic punch. But there are also some weak links: Mariella Devia is a little too slippy-slidy in her coloratura to be a convincing Violetta, and Leo Nucci simply shouts his way through Il Trovatore. Despite the familiarity of the material, Zubin Mehta conducts with a beguiling freshness of approach and plenty of warmth and wit: the playful phrasing in "La donna e mobile" is simply charming On the DVD: Verdi Gala comes with fine picture quality, but the recording balance favours the singers over the orchestra and leaves some details of the ensemble inaudible. Each number is introduced with a personal comment from the singers, leading to some old ham from Jose Cura and some silly journalese from the others: "And thus La Traviata was born overnight", is one particularly vacuous example. The DVD also includes a slide-show of stills from the rehearsals, and subtitles in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. --Warwick Thompson
Nabucco was Verdi's first real success and its nationalistic theme of yearning for freedom made it highly popular in an Italy of 1842 under Austrian rule. The great chorus of the exiled Hebrews 'Va pensiero' has become one of the best-loved of operatic melodies and made Verdi the voice of the Italian people. This performance was recorded in Verona in 1981 where the huge open-air Roman Arena provides a magnificent setting for this vast and spectacular opera. The great baritone Renat
The great Italian stage and screen director Franco Zeffirelli made these widely acclaimed films both starring Placido Domingo with Georges Pretre conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala. Pagliacci which co-stars the great singing actress Teresa Stratas brought Zeffirelli the coveted Emmy as Best Director in the category of Classical Music Programming. Cavalleria was filmed on location in Sicily which adds immeasurably to the power and atmosphere of this timeless story of love honour justice and violence.