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Opera


The Merry Widow [DVD]

The Merry Widow [DVD] Lowest new price: $14.67
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Model: 35220555

Renée Fleming heads an all-star cast with elegance and glamour including Broadway legend Kelli O Hara and veteran baritone Sir Thomas Allen.

Lehár s evergreen comic operetta - The Merry Widow - is given a gala performance in this sumptuous new MET English-language production.

The scintillating score is given a glowing, subtle performance (New York Times) under Sir Andrew Davis.

Renée Fleming reprises her role as Hanna in performances at the Chicago Lyric Opera in November and December 2015. Andrew Davis conducts.

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Donizetti - L'Elisir d'Amore / Eschwe, Netrebko, Villazon, Wiener Staatsoper

Donizetti - L'Elisir d'Amore / Eschwe, Netrebko, Villazon, Wiener Staatsoper Lowest new price: $8.97
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Brand: DONIZETTI,G.
Model: 2235037

Rolando Villazon, Anna Netrebko, and Leo Nucci star in this 2005 Vienna State Opera production directed by Otto Schenk, with Alfred Eschwe conducting.

Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore is one of the staples of the comic opera repertory. The plot hinges on whether earnest but dim-witted Nemorino will snag Adina, the flirtatious heroine. She's a tease who takes up with Belcore, an army sergeant, to make Nemorino jealous. After numerous (and humorous) plot twists that include a phony love potion, it all ends happily. Adina and Nemorino declare their love for each other, Belcore is dumped, and the fraudulent Dulcamara does a landslide business in love potions. It's all a fast-moving bundle of fun, especially with the star-filled cast of this 2005 Vienna State Opera performance.

The leads are magnificent. Rolando Villazón as Nemorino exhibits a real gift for comic acting, manipulating his rubber face into dozens of hilarious poses, flawlessly turning stock comic gestures into laugh-out-loud moments, and even juggling apples with the panache of a circus performer. More important, he uses his lyric tenor to sing the part with impressive subtlety, suggesting Nemorino's desperation while singing of his love for Adina. His big show-stopper, "Una furtuva lagrima," features melting pianissimos and a breathtaking decrescendo in its final phrase. It literally stops the show, the audience forcing a welcome encore. Netrebko's Adina is every bit as good, with deft acting and a lovely lyric soprano voice that makes you understand why she's the only girl for Nemorino. Dulcamara is Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, whose ample bass joins a stage presence that puts him at the center of his scenes. His famous duet, "Venti scudi," with Villazón, is the highlight it should be. Veteran baritone Leo Nucci is Sergeant Belcore and while his singing tends to the dry and effortful, he's convincingly sleazy, adding to the laughs. Smaller parts and the chorus are fine and conductor Alfred Eschwé efficiently keeps the music bubbling along.

Otto Schenk's production, with sets and costumes by Jürgen Rose, dates from 1980 but still looks fresh with a village square dominating the picture-postcard view of a provincial Italian village. The costumes are realistic, with predominantly pastel colors for the villagers, bright colors for Belcore and his soldiers, and relatively nondescript outfits for the others, though Netrebko can't help exuding glamour no matter what she wears. The video direction smoothly focuses on singers and the stage action, but the sound recording is overly resonant, with inconsistent dynamics and the chorus' words obscured. Still, this is the preferred L'Elisir d'Amore. --Dan Davis

Features:

  • VILLAZON ROLANDO / ANNA NETREBKO DONIZETTI: L ELISIR D AMORE (DVD)

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Carlisle Floyd: Susannah

Carlisle Floyd: Susannah Lowest new price: $19.49
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Puccini: Tosca

Puccini: Tosca Lowest new price: $18.60
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Brand: Andrea
Model: 9441188

Luciano Pavarotti leads the cast for this 1978 Metropolitan Opera production of Puccini's 'Tosca'. James Conlon conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus; Shirley Verrett and Cornell MacNeil co-star.

Features:

  • Factory sealed DVD

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Richard Strauss - Die Liebe der Danae - The Love of Danae [Blu-ray]

Richard Strauss - Die Liebe der Danae - The Love of Danae [Blu-ray] Lowest new price: $19.71
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-Richard Strauss penultimate, satirically mythological opera Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae, after a draft by Hugo von Hoffmansthal.
-The Wiener Philharmoniker play under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst, under whom they conveyed the glittering colors and lyrical intricacies of Strauss s late score (NY Times).
-Krassimira Stoyanova, who is a regular fixture at the Salzburg Festival, is heading a truly supreme cast and emerges as the one in a thousand, the true Strauss lyric-dramatic soprano who can soar and swoop, working miracles on phrases that never stop coming (The Artsdesk).
-Bass-Baritone Tomasz Konieczny, sings this Jupiter almost unsurpassably (FAZ), he is so vocally majestic that Danae s choice of Midas seems implausible (Financial Times).
-Alvis Hermanis colourful production brings oriental flair to the Salzach, his staging was spectacular above all else (Opera Today).

Die Liebe der Danae is narrowly linked to the Festival s rich history. Due to conditions during World War II, the Salzburg Festival, which had commissioned the opera for summer 1944, couldn t give the public premiere. Instead only a single dress rehearsal, attended by Strauss himself, was performed for an invited audience. Thereafter, the opera was staged in Salzburg only twice and very seldom anywhere else in the world.
Once more, this very rarely presented opera returned successfully on stage, leaving the audience with unforgettable impressive images embedded in soft romantic sound. (Opera Online)

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Mozart:Complete Operas

Mozart:Complete Operas Lowest new price: $72.99
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Model: 43382370

The Complete Opera DVD Set
Deluxe Box Set featuring:
33DVDs
Recorded in Hi-Definition

Presented in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound

Subtitles: Italian (only if original language); English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese

Picture Format: NTSC/COLOUR/16:9
Region Code: 0 (Worldwide)
Sound format: PCM Stereo DTS 5.1

The Complete Mozart Operas, including his early and lesser-known operas, every Singspiel, and orchestration of scenic fragments, presented in the most beautiful edition ever created. This collection, the largest audio-visual Mozart project of all time, presents over 47 hours of live recordings, 112 solo performers, 14 directors and 16 conductors including 12 orchestras.

On these complete live recordings, which were the culmination of the Mozart Year celebration in 2006, all the Salzburg Festival s own productions appear a marathon of music on 33 High Definition DVDs in 5.1 Surround Sound, presented in this deluxe edition.

Included are - making-of - bonus material, artist interviews and rehearsal excerpts, providing insight into the Festivals preparation and an introduction to the music, making this Edition invaluable to Mozart scholars as well as concert-goers. Many of the lesser-known works included in this set had not been seen in any video format before this set was originally issued.

This collection recognizes and honors Mozarts life, 225 years after his death, and is the perfect accompaniment to the landmark Mozart 225 Complete Edition.

PACKAGING
Soft touch case with magnetic close fastening, with artwork complementing the Mozart 225 Complete Edition.

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Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) Lowest new price: $8.58
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Brand: BATTLE/LEVINE/MET
Model: 2227899

Opera conducted by James Levine and featuring the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Stars Kathleen Battle, Luciana Serra, Francisco Araiza and Barbara Kilduff.

Features:

  • Factory sealed DVD

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Gaetano Donizetti: La Fille du régiment

Gaetano Donizetti: La Fille du régiment Lowest new price: $8.77
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Model: 35225081

In January 2007, superstar soprano Natalie Dessay, joined on stage by acclaimed tenor Juan Diego Florez dazzled British audiences in Laurent Pelly's new production of Donizetti's "LA FILLE DU REGIMENT". The perfectly staged & cast production became the operatic event of the year, receiving rave press reviews & rapturous audience ovations.

This DVD version of Donizetti’s comic opera zooms right to the top of any list of essential videos for opera fans. It may not be the composer’s best work, but given a top-notch production with world class singing actors, it brings vocal thrills and an abundance of laughs, a combination that’s hard to beat. The stars are Juan Diego Flórez and Natalie Dessay, both unbeatable in bel canto roles, and both in top form here. Flórez’s mellifluous tenor is flexible enough to make child's play of the terrifying (to other tenors) nine high C’s in Ah! mes amis," and supple enough to make his tender love arias moving. Dessay is equally comfortable in the stratospheric coloratura passages and poignant in such heart-tugging set-pieces as her farewell to her regimental "fathers" and her misery as the victim of the Marquise’s well-meaning attempts to teach her to be an aristocratic lady. She’s also a terrific comic actress. In her first appearance she’s doing the regiment’s laundry, and her antics with the iron and the ironing board while singing elaborately difficult coloratura passages induce belly laughs. But then, so do her comic acting in many other scenes, such as her Act II entry in a silk dress and full petticoat, her walk a wonderful parody of a "lady’s" heel-to-toe gait. That moment alone is worth the price of admission. Lesser roles too, are done to perfection. Felicity Palmer, a long-time Covent Garden favorite, is a delicious Marquise de Berkenfield, and Donald Maxwell, is her apt partner as Hortensius, her servant. Sergeant Sulpice, the heroine’s protector, is well-sung and acted by Alessandro Corbelli, and Dawn French almost steals the show as the overbearing Duchess. Conductor Bruno Campanella leads a spirited performance, enhanced by the fine playing by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House. Laurent Pelly’s stage direction is wonderful for its comic touches and Chantal Thomas’ simple but effective sets add to the delights. The video direction efficiently serves the staging, focusing on the action and the singers without adding extraneous shots that detract from the musical flow. All of which makes this DVD a can't-miss for opera fans. --Dan Davis La Fille du regiment is in 16:9 ratio. Sound options include PCM Stereo, Dolby 5.1 Surround and DTS 5.1 Surround. Subtitles include English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

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Carmen

Carmen Lowest new price: $29.93
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Created by Antonio Gades in collaboration with Carlos Saura, this matchless production shows how the explosive power and intensity of feeling in traditional Spanish flamenco can bring vividly to life the sultry passion, earthy emotion, love and rivalry th

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Giacomo Puccini: Turandot

Giacomo Puccini: Turandot Lowest new price: $17.51
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Turandot, the late gem of Italian opera, is a celebration of the sounds and the mythical figures intimately associated with Chinese culture. The dramatic punch of the libretto inspired Giacomo Puccini to imagine a sound world of unusual splendor. The score is entrancing and unique, featuring original Chinese melodies, Asian pentatonic scales, and colorful orchestration with percussion writing that is strongly reminiscent of traditional Asian music. The NCPAs production of this popular opera is a compelling feast for the senses. Chinese composer Hao Weiya gave this Turandot a new finale, performed for the first time in Beijing. In this captivating staging by director Chen Xinyi and under the musical direction of Daniel Oren an excellent cast offers a unique musical experience.

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