Glyndebourne

Opera Company

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Donizetti: Poliuto

Donizetti: Poliuto


Michael Fabiano (Poliuto), Ana Maria Martinez (Paolina), Igor Golovatenko (Severo), Matthew Rose (Callistene), Timothy Robinson (Felice) & Emanuele D’Aguanno (Nearco)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & London Philharmonic Orchestra, Enrique Mazzola (conductor) & Mariame Clément (stage director)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Glyndebourne has brought to light a long-overlooked winner in Donizetti’s Poliuto, delivering ‘a superb musical performance’ (The Telegraph) offering ‘lucent accounts of the principal roles and an incandescent London Philharmonic Orchestra, under Enrique Mazzola’ (New York Times). This first-ever professional UK staging of the story of third-century Armenian martyr St Polyeuctus features a ‘trio of world-class young singers’ with Beverly Sills and Richard Tucker-award-winning Fabiano displaying a ‘thrilling, vibrant tone’ in the title role, Martínez providing Paolina with ‘pinging coloratura’ and Golovatenko giving a ‘radiant-toned’ voice to Severo (The Guardian).

Extra Features:

Passion & Faith: Preparing for a UK premiere

Love & Oppression: An Interview with Mariame Clément

Cast Gallery

Running time: 117 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JP/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“Fabiano [is] febrile and fanatical as the eponymous Christian martyr...Clėment’s loosely twentieth-century setting has overtones of Mussolini’s Italy and 1990s Sarajevo (so don’t expect any lions when the Christian martyrs go to their death)...I found its starkness most effective on screen.” Presto Classical, 22nd July 2016

“[Fabiano] is an exciting talent…Martínez is a tortured Paolina, plumbing the emotional depths, and Matthew Rose is menacing as Callistene…the most notable performance comes from Igor Golovatenko as Severo, his bronzed baritone negotiating legato lines with bel canto ease…Mazzola does sterling work in the pit” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

22nd July 2016

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OA1211D

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Handel: Saul

Handel: Saul

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, October 2015.


Christopher Purves (Saul), Iestyn Davies (David), Lucy Crowe (Merab), Sophie Bevan (Michal), Paul Appleby (Jonathan), Benjamin Hulett (High Priest) & John Graham-Hall (Witch of Endor)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ivor Bolton (conductor) & Barrie Kosky (director)

Read our exclusive interview with Christopher Purves here.

Glyndebourne’s Saul stole the summer and had critics raving. The Guardian (****) applauded ‘virtuoso stagecraft’ from director Barrie Kosky in his debut production there, calling the show ‘a theatrical and musical feast of energetic choruses, surreal choreography and gorgeous singing’. For The Independent, which ranked it amongst five top classical and opera performances of 2015, there was ‘no praise too high’ for the cast. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Ivor Bolton sparkles from the pit with period panache, and designer Katrin Lea Tag’s ‘exuberant costumes’ (The Times ****) set the Old Testament story in Handel’s time, with a witty twinge of the contemporary.

Running time: 185 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Extra Features: A Descent Into Madness, Colour and Texture - An Musical Insight and a Cast Gallery.

“Pivotal is Christopher Purves’s Saul – surely the father-in-law from hell should the Goliath-slaying David choose his daughter Michal (or son Jonathan – tenderly sung by Paul Appleby). Purves has always done rage and menace to the manner born, but his slide into ever-deepening madness is terrifying…his is a tour de force to rival the diametrically opposed inscrutable calm that is Iestyn Davies’s David…taut musical direction from Ivor Bolton consolidates a Glyndebourne bullseye” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 ****

“energetic, highly coloured entertainment” Financial Times, June 2016

“Christopher Purves is utterly consumed by his role as Saul...Iestyn Davies is vocally outstanding as David, with his customary melting melismas.” Opera, January 2017

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7205D

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Handel: Saul

Handel: Saul

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, October 2015.


Christopher Purves (Saul), Iestyn Davies (David), Lucy Crowe (Merab), Sophie Bevan (Michal), Paul Appleby (Jonathan), Benjamin Hulett (High Priest) & John Graham-Hall (Witch of Endor)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ivor Bolton (conductor) & Barrie Kosky (director)

Read our exclusive interview with Christopher Purves here.

Glyndebourne’s Saul stole the summer and had critics raving. The Guardian (****) applauded ‘virtuoso stagecraft’ from director Barrie Kosky in his debut production there, calling the show ‘a theatrical and musical feast of energetic choruses, surreal choreography and gorgeous singing’. For The Independent, which ranked it amongst five top classical and opera performances of 2015, there was ‘no praise too high’ for the cast. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Ivor Bolton sparkles from the pit with period panache, and designer Katrin Lea Tag’s ‘exuberant costumes’ (The Times ****) set the Old Testament story in Handel’s time, with a witty twinge of the contemporary.

Running time: 185 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Extra Features: A Descent Into Madness and a Cast Gallery.

“Pivotal is Christopher Purves’s Saul – surely the father-in-law from hell should the Goliath-slaying David choose his daughter Michal (or son Jonathan – tenderly sung by Paul Appleby). Purves has always done rage and menace to the manner born, but his slide into ever-deepening madness is terrifying…his is a tour de force to rival the diametrically opposed inscrutable calm that is Iestyn Davies’s David…taut musical direction from Ivor Bolton consolidates a Glyndebourne bullseye” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 ****

“energetic, highly coloured entertainment” Financial Times, June 2016

“Christopher Purves is utterly consumed by his role as Saul...Iestyn Davies is vocally outstanding as David, with his customary melting melismas.” Opera, January 2017

“A recording that picks up just about as much glamour and nuance as is it is possible to convey using the comparatively limited focus of cameras.” MusicWeb International, 4th January 2017

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

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Early Music

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OA1216D

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Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K384

Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K384

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, October 2015.


Sally Matthews (Konstanze), Edgaras Montvidas (Belmonte), Tobias Kehrer (Osmin), Mari Eriksmoen (Blonde), Brenden Gunnell (Pedrillo) & Franck Saurel (Pasha Selim)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Robin Ticciati (conductor) & David McVicar (director)

Director David McVicar’s original-period vision for this Mozartian gem allows its genius to speak for itself, offering a ‘mesmerising, sensitive … outstanding’ portrayal of Enlightenment-era fascination with the East that is both ‘exquisitely acted and sung’, featuring a Konstanze and a Belmonte sung with ‘finesse and bravura’ and a ‘sensationally voiced’ Osmin (The Guardian *****). Comic relief in Glyndebourne’s ‘brilliant production’ is provided by ‘beautifully sung live-wire performances’ of Pedrillo and Blonde, and Robin Ticciati leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment through a restored, authentic rendition of the critical score with ‘lovely fizz’ and ‘poignant gravitas’ (The Independent). Filmed in High Definition and recorded in true Surround Sound.

Extra Features: Concept, Craft & Collaboration: The Visual Story and a cast gallery.

Running time: 168 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JP/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“This [is] the most convincing dramaturgical presentation of the opera in recent times…Kehrer is magnificent as Osmin, Gunnell is lyrical and alert as Pedrillo, and Eriksmoen steers a delicate path between the amusing and the musically ravishing…the real star is the conductor, Robin Ticciati, whose mercurial energy gives us the most exciting orchestral reading since Solti’s 1987 version” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 ****

“The visual aspect is gorgeous, Vicki Mortimer’s set, with its many scene changes, evoking a romantic view of the Orient…in the pit, Robin Ticciati conducts the heroes of the OAE in a fleet account of the score…[Montvidas’s] Belmonte is ardent, impatient and, at the end, utterly chastened…Sally Matthews sings superbly…the servant couple are very well characterised…[Tobias Kehrer] sings so wonderfully…a delight.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OA1215D

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Rameau: Hippolyte et Aricie

Rameau: Hippolyte et Aricie

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Lewes, June 2013


Ed Lyon (Hippolytus), Christiane Karg (Aricia), Sarah Connolly (Phaedre) & Stéphane Degout (Theseus)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & The Glyndebourne Chorus, William Christie (conductor) & Jonathan Kent (director)

In Glyndebourne’s first-ever staging of a opera by Rameau, director Jonathan Kent presents a production which, in his own words, ‘strives to appeal to every sense and show audiences how engrossing and musically ravishing French Baroque opera can be’. Rameau’s inventive take on Racine’s great tragedy Phèdre is brought to life by Paul Brown’s colourful and elegant designs and Ashley Page’s playful choreography. Ed Lyon and Christiane Karg give captivating performances as the titular young lovers, while Sarah Connolly, making a welcome return to Glyndebourne, ‘invests Phaedra with both grandeur and a desperately human vulnerability’ (The Independent). Leading exponent of early music William Christie ‘sets an exhilarating pace, galvanising the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to playing of tremendous panache’ (The DailyTelegraph).

Extra features: Hippolyte et Aricie - an opera to surprise and delight and a cast gallery.

Running time: 187 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“actually the fridge is an appropriate 21st-century metaphor for the frigidity of the goddess...one of the many good things about this production is the way Jonathan Kent and choreographer Ashley Page have integrated the dancing with the action...Degout is convincingly anguished as Theseus, and Sarah Connolly formidably regal as well as despairing.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2014

“[Degout gives] an immensely impressive and focused performance...there is musical beguilement and exhilaration here, and the wonder of Rameau’s sound-world is beautifully realised, particularly in the dances. This would have made a wonderful CD without the visuals.” Opera Now ****

“if you don’t grin and giggle you should check your pulse...But the performers hold wonderfully steady. Sarah Connolly’s Phaedra throbs with the bottled desire and vulnerability expected of a queen in love with her stepson...Christie lavishes his love and skill on a score whose splendours keep on growing over the show’s three hours.” The Times, 11th July 2014 ****

Blu-ray Disc

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Early Music

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7150D

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Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492


Gerald Finley (Figaro), Alison Hagley (Susanna), Andreas Schmidt (Count Almaviva), Renée Fleming (Countess Almaviva), Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Cherubino), Manfred Röhrl (Bartolo), Wendy Hillhouse (Marcellina), Robert Tear (Don Basilio), Donald Adams (Antonio), John Graham-Hall (Don Curzio), Susan Gritton (Barbarina)

Glyndebourne Festival Opera & London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink (conductor) & Stephen Medcalf (director)

Stephen Metcalf’s production of The Marriage of Figaro opened the new Glyndebourne Theatre in 1994. It is a story of the young engaged couple Figaro and Susanna, and the comedy of romantic fiascos involving the Count and Countess Almaviva, Dr Bartolo and his housekeeper Marcellina, the page Cherubino, and the gardener’s daughter, Barbarina.

SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH, FRENCH, GERMAN, SPANISH

189 MINS • ALL REGIONS • NTSC 4:3 • COLOUR • L-PCM STEREO

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Warner Classics Warner Vision - 2564646101

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Handel: Theodora, HWV 68

Handel: Theodora, HWV 68

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in June 1996


Frode Olsen (Valens), David Daniels (Didymus), Richard Croft (Septimius), Dawn Upshaw (Theodora), Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Irene), Michael Hart-Davis (Messenger)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & The Glyndebourne Chorus, William Christie (conductor) & Peter Sellars (director)

For his 1996 Glyndebourne staging, radical American director Peter Sellars takes George Frideric Handel’s penultimate English oratorio – a 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, transforms it into a timeless parable of spiritual resistance to tyranny and persecution.

SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH, FRENCH, GERMAN

207 MINS • ALL REGIONS • NTSC 4:3 • COLOUR • L-PCM STEREO

Blu-ray Disc

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Early Music

Warner Classics Warner Vision - 2564646145

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Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Festival, June 2012


Sally Matthews (Countess Almaviva), Vito Priante (Figaro), Audun Iversen (Count Almaviva), Lydia Teuscher (Susanna), Isabel Leonard (Cherubino), Andrew Shore (Bartolo), Ann Murray (Marcellina), Alan Oke (Don Basilio), Nicholas Folwell (Antonio), Colin Judson (Don Curzio), Sarah Shafer (Barbarina), Ellie Laugharne (First Bridesmaid) & Katie Bray (Second Bridesmaid)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Robin Ticciati (conductor) & Michael Grandage (director)

Perhaps no opera is closely and affectionately associated with a single house as Le nozze di Figaro is with Glyndebourne. Effortlessly witty yet shot through with pain and sadness, this deeply ambivalent life in the day of masters and servants as they scheme and outwit one another was Glyndebourne’s opening production in 1934. Michael Grandage’s staging is the seventh, set in a louche Sixties ambience. Marshalled by the ‘ideal pacing’ of Robin Ticciati, a youthful cast of principals has ‘no weak link’ and ‘looks gorgeous’ (The Sunday Times) in a production that continues Glyndebourne’s rewarding history of engagement with Mozart’s and da Ponte’s ‘day of madness’.

Glyndebourne's "signature" work, Le nozze di Figaro was the opening production when the theatre re-opened in 1994.

The production is set the 1960s/70s.

Extra features include: ‘The Greatest Opera Ever Written’ and ‘From page to stage’.

Running time: 180 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JP/KR

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“Grandage's 2011 Glyndebourne production excels where it matters: in the truthfulness and warmth of these very human characters' interrelationships...Priante is simply the best [Figaro] I've seen...Ticciati, drawing a non-stop vivacity from the OAE, with horns splendidily vivid, gives his singers space when they need it.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2013 ****

“Ticciati paces almost everything superbly, with good, flowing speeds for the letter duet and 'Deh Vieni'. There are no weak links in the predominantly young cast...Matthews as the Countess is outstanding.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2013

“The absolutely natural stage action eschews slapstick and vulgarity and the singers seem more than happy to adapt...[Priante's] stage presence and singing are extraordinary...Teuscher's Susanna is a rich-voiced, non-soubrette, observant Countess-in-the-making...Leonard's Cherubino is perfect - boyish and sassy and nimble.” International Record Review, June 2013

“Priante is a superb Figaro, perfectly focused of voice and with great stage presence...Teuscher provides a perfectly idiomatic, light-voiced but intensely human Susanna...The OAE is on blistering form throughout...It is fitting that Glyndebourne's most recent Figaro has been captured so effectively, and in the pristine medium of Blu-Ray.” MusicWeb International, 12th March 2014

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7118D

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Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492

Live Recording From The Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 1973


Knut Skram (Figaro), Ileana Cotrubas (Susanna), Kiri Te Kanawa (Countess Almaviva), Benjamin Luxon (Count Almaviva), Frederica von Stade (Cherubino), Marius Rintzler (Bartolo), Nucci Condo (Marcellina)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne Chorus, John Pritchard (conductor) & Peter Hall (director)

Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart’s timeless opera buffa, is one of the greatest of all operatic masterpieces. It is based on Beaumarchais’ comedy Le Mariage de Figaro and tells the tale of the servant Figaro, who is about to marry the maid Susanna. Count Almaviva, keeping an eye on Susanna himself, tries to prevent this marriage with the help of Bartolo, the doctor, but is continually thwarted.

This classic 1973 production by legendary director Peter Hall features a cast of renowned opera singers lead by Kiri Te Kanawa as the Countess, arguably her finest role and certainly the role that made her an international superstar. Knut

Skram’s charming and charismatic take on the character of Figaro complements Ileana Cotrubas’ gentle Susanna, and also noteworthy is the outstanding performance by Frederica von Stade as Cherubino.

It is doubtless thanks to the supreme conductorship of John Pritchard that excellent singers, who perform even in supporting roles, provide a well-rounded ensemble performance. Pritchard had been associated to the Glyndebourne theatre since 1947, and he gradually took over to continue Fritz Busch’s initial work as a Choirmaster and Assistant.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Subtitle Languages: IT (Original Language), GB, DE, FR, ES

Running Time: 185 mins

FSK: 0

“A straightforward production by Peter Hall and a near-ideal cast proves as completely satisfactory as I can imagine this perfect opera being.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 *****

“Skram, lithe of figure and firm of tone is very good...Te Kanawa sings the Countess with beautiful tone, clarity and phrasing...No wonder she was the outstanding exponent of the role in the last decades of the nineteen hundreds...Cotrubas, as ever, presents an appealing stage presence and acts well whilst singing with clear diction and expressiveness.” MusicWeb International, 25th June 2013

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Arthaus Musik - 102301

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Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Recorded live at Glyndebourne, Lewes, July 2011


Gerald Finley (Hans Sachs), Anna Gabler (Eva), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), Marco Jentzsch (Walther von Stolzing), Topi Lehtipuu (David), Michaela Selinger (Magdalene), Alastair Miles (Veit Pogner), Henry Waddington (Fritz Kothner), Mats Almgren (Nightwatchman), Colin Judson (Kunz Vogelgesang), Andrew Slater (Konrad Nachtigall), Alasdair Elliott (Balthasar Zorn), Adrian Thompson (Ulrich Eisslinger), Daniel Norman (Augustin Moser), Robert Poulton (Hermann Ortel), Maxim Mikailov (Hans Schwarz), Graeme Broadbent (Hans Foltz)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Glyndebourne Chorus, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor) & David McVicar (stage director)

English-speaking audiences have always found Die Meistersinger to be a life-enhancing celebration of wisdom, art and song. So it proves in David McVicar's production – the first at Glyndebourne – which is updated to the early-19th century of Wagner's childhood. At the centre of a true ensemble cast is Gerald Finley, a 'gleamingly sung', 'eminently believable' Sachs (The Independent on Sunday), supported by the dynamic conducting of Vladimir Jurowski which, like McVicar's production, uses Glyndebourne's special intimacy to bring sharp focus to bear on the subtlety of Wagner's musical and dramatic counterpoint.

What the press said:

‘‘McVicar has put on a great show with style, intelligence and insight’’ The Telegraph

‘‘Musically, it was judged faultlessly for the scale of the theatre by Vladimir Jurowski, who conjured playing of mercurial clarity – not the first words one would normally choose for this gargantuan score – from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, sustained with unfailing vigilance and concentration.’’ The Guardian

Duration: 300 minutes

Sound type: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE

“The camerawork – mostly close-up – is superb, focusing on the intimacy of the Glyndebourne stage and the visual expressiveness of a young cast. Vicki Mortimer’s Biedermeyer sets are notably more handsome on film than in the theatre, and the performance (captured late in the inaugural run) breathes a general air of wellbeing” Financial Times, 22nd September 2012 ***

“McVicar's staging stokes the glow of Meistersinger's humane heart...and above all he reminds us that this is an opera about youth and self-discovery. Gerald Finley's pivotal Sachs relish[es] this intensely verbal role with a Lieder-singer's skill and beauty...Jurowski completes the ensemble with a beautiful account, unfolding the story with pace and details...Together they make the immense performance the most uplifting performance I can recall” BBC Music Magazine, December 2012 *****

“Jurowski handles the score with seriousness and pomp...Finley has the role of Hans Sachs massively in focus, both musically and dramatically. He is compulsively watchable throughout...McVicar's production is best at one-to-one emotional confrontations but rather loud and messy in ensemble scenes...it would be mealy-mouthed not to notice the commitment and enthusiasm steaming off the stage, while Finley's work has to be seen and heard” Gramophone Magazine, December 2012

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - December 2012

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OA1085D

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$27.25

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