Josephine Barstow

Soprano

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Britten: Owen Wingrave

Britten: Owen Wingrave

Opera Film 2001


Gerald Finley (Owen Wingrave), Peter Savidge (Spencer Coyle), Josephine Barstow (Miss Wingrave), Anne Dawson (Mrs Coyle), Elizabeth Gale (Mrs Julien), Charlotte Hellekant (Kate), Martyn Hill (Sir Philip Wingrave), Hilton Marlton (Lechmere); Andrew Burden (narrator)

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Choristers of Westminster Cathedral Choir, Kent Nagano (conductor) & Margaret Williams (director)

When Britten started to work on Owen Wingrave he conceived the opera both for performance on stage and for TV production.

In fact the first TV production of Owen Wingrave was broadcast in 1971, two years before the staged premiere at Covent Garden. This 2001 production, made for Channel 4 television, intriguingly tells the drama of Owen, who refuses to follow a military career like his ancestors. The story, in which pacifism makes up the main theme, was written by Henry James, and the libretto adapted by Myfanwy Piper. The Canadian baritone Gerald Finley stars as Owen with Peter Savidge, Hilton Marlton and Josephine Barstow at his side.

The production was directed by the award winning TV director Margaret Williams. Highly acclaimed conductor Kent Nagano is the musical director of this performance featuring the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

“The cast is outstanding: Gerald Finley as Owen, the formidable Dame Josephine Barstow as his terrifying aunt and Martyn Hill as his militaristic grandfather. Who says singers can‘t act? One of the best opera films ever.” The Sunday Times

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

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

Running Time: 92 mins

“Finley and his top-drawer British actor/singer colleagues tread an impeccably drawn line beween emotion and excess. Nagano and his German players might have been a strange choice but they are never less than efficient.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“Nagano’s direction of the Berlin orchestra is clean and precise, and the singing is extremely effective, too. In the title role Gerald Finley sounds splendid but looks uncomfortable...The show is comprehensively stolen by Josephine Barstow, however, who chews up the scenery as Owen’s harpy of an aunt.” MusicWeb International, 3rd October 2013

“The unsympathetic fiancee, Kate...seems a more complex character than before, well taken by Charlotte Hellekant, and the gallery of disagreeable family-members is strongly cast too” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ***

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik - 100373

(DVD Video)

$27.25

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Britten: Albert Herring

Britten: Albert Herring


Christopher Gillett (Albert), Josephine Barstow (Lady Billows), Gerald Finley (Sid), Ann Taylor (Nancy), Felicity Palmer (Florence Pike), Robert Lloyd (Budd), Peter Savidge (Mr Gedge), Della Jones (Mum), Susan Gritton (Miss Wordsworth), Stuart Kale (Mr Upfold)

Northern Sinfonia, Steuart Bedford

“Vivid as Hickox's traversal of the score for Chandos may be, Bedford's is just that much more alert, crisper. With his long experience of Britten in the theatre, dating back to Death in Venice under the composer's aegis, his timing carries unique authority and, in better sound than the old Decca set can now offer, he even has the edge over the composer's obviously definitive reading. Bedford's players are at least as accomplished as Hickox's, and are caught in a more immediate, less reverberant acoustic.
As for the singers, in almost every case Bedford's are the equal of, or superior to, Hickox's and several surpass Britten's. For instance, Albert was never one of Peter Pears's happiest assumptions; Christopher Gillett makes a more credible mother's boy and does well when he decides to break loose. Where the crucial role of Lady Billows is concerned, Josephine Barstow's commanding performance may not quite be on a par with Sylvia Fisher for Britten, but the difference is small. Susan Gritton gives us a dotty and cleanly sung Miss Wordsworth (Margaret Ritchie, the role's creator, must have sounded like this), Robert Lloyd is a simpleton of a Budd (as well sung as any), and Felicity Palmer makes a wonderfully fussy Florence Pike.
It only remains to laud once again the score's many delights as regards technical mastery and subtle characterisation, and to suggest you hurry off to enjoy a real bargain.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Gillett in the title-tole has a clear, youthful-sounding tenor...What secures the set's success is the way that in the ensembles Bedford secures such crispness, wittily lifting rhythms, making the music swagger. At the Naxos reissue price this is a phenomenal bargain” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

“Steuart Bedford elicits crisp and witty playing from the Northern Sinfonia, with an outstanding cast headed by Christopher Gillett as a believably youthful Albert and Josephine Barstow suitably gorgon-like as the formidable Lady Billows. Felicity Palmer is on stentorian form as her housekeeper, Gerald Finley is raffish and sensual as Sid, and Susan Gritton's sweetly twittery schoolmistress stands out amongst the village worthies.” Maurice Millward, Presto Classical, March 2014

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Naxos Opera Classics - 8660107-08

(CD - 2 discs)

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(also available to download from $14.00)

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Verdi: Un ballo in maschera

Verdi: Un ballo in maschera

Recorded: Salzburger Festspiele, 1990


Plácido Domingo (Gustavo III), Leo Nucci (Count Anckarström), Josephine Barstow (Amelia) & Florence Quivar (Madame Arvidson)

Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor & Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti (conductor) & John Schlesinger (director)

The outstanding production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera at the Salzburg Festival 1989/90 was Herbert von Karajan's legacy to the Festival.

Supported by a cast of superlative actor-singers in opulent scenery, Sir Georg Solti agreed to conduct the opera at short notice after Karajan's unexpected death in 1989. The production had been expected to be a highlight in Karajan's series of Verdi operas at Salzburg. But this was not to be: stage rehearsals had already begun for the opening performance of the 1989 festival when Karajan died on 16 July. So it was extraordinarily lucky that a conductor of Sir Georg Solti's standing was prepared to undertake the task just a week before the premiere, and with the whole world watching.

He and the staging by Hollywood film director John Schlesinger were acclaimed by audience and press alike.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

Original Language: IT

Subtitles: IT, GB, DE, FR, ES, CN

Running Time: 145 mins

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Blu-ray Disc 25 GB (Single Layer)

FSK: 0

Region: worldwide

Worldwide available

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik Legendary Performances - 109105

(Blu-ray)

$16.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Verdi: Un ballo in maschera

Verdi: Un ballo in maschera

Recorded: Salzburger Festspiele, 1990


Plácido Domingo (Gustavo III), Leo Nucci (Count Anckarström), Josephine Barstow (Amelia) & Florence Quivar (Madame Arvidson)

Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor & Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti (conductor) & John Schlesinger (director)

The outstanding production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera at the Salzburg Festival 1989/90 was Herbert von Karajan's legacy to the Festival.

Supported by a cast of superlative actor-singers in opulent scenery, Sir Georg Solti agreed to conduct the opera at short notice after Karajan's unexpected death in 1989. The production had been expected to be a highlight in Karajan's series of Verdi operas at Salzburg. But this was not to be: stage rehearsals had already begun for the opening performance of the 1989 festival when Karajan died on 16 July. So it was extraordinarily lucky that a conductor of Sir Georg Solti's standing was prepared to undertake the task just a week before the premiere, and with the whole world watching.

He and the staging by Hollywood film director John Schlesinger were acclaimed by audience and press alike.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

Original Language: IT

Subtitles: IT, GB, DE, FR, ES, CN

Running Time: 145 mins

DVD 9 / NTSC

FSK: 0

Region Code: 0

Worldwide available

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik Legendary Performances - 109104

(DVD Video)

$16.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Mozart: Idomeneo, K366

Mozart: Idomeneo, K366

Live Recording from The Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 1974


Richard Lewis (Idomeneo), Leo Goeke (Idamante), Bozena Betley (Ilia), Josephine Barstow (Elettra), Alexander Oliver (Arbace), John Fryatt (Gran Sacerdote), Dennis Wicks (La Voce di Nettuno)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Pritchard (conductor) & John Cox (stage director)

Although Idomeneo is one of Mozart’s lesser known operas, it sparkles with the composer’s usual brilliant melodies. In this 1974 rarity from Glyndebourne John Pritchard once again conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra and gives the stage direction by John Cox a perfect musical foundation.

During a ferocious storm Idomeneo, the King of Crete, makes a vow to Neptune, offering a sacrifice (the first human being Idomeneo sees) in return for the god’s help in bringing his ship safely to shore. As it turns out, the first person he encounters is his own son, Idamante. This dilemma can only be solved by the unselfish love of Ilia, who is willing to give her life in his stead. Richard Lewis confirms his position as the world’s leading exponent of this opera in the title role of Idomeneo, with Josephine Barstow equally mesmerising in her portrayal of Electra’s agony.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

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

Running Time: 125 mins

FSK: 0

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik - 102313

(DVD Video)

$16.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Verdi: Macbeth

Verdi: Macbeth

Live Recording from The Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 1972


Kostas Paskalis (Macbeth), Josephine Barstow (Lady Macbeth), James Morris (Banquo) & Keith Erwen (Macduff)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Pritchard (conductor) & Michael Hadjimischev (stage director)

This epic opera inspired by William Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece was written in 1847, but did not receive its British premiere until 1938, when it was presented for the first time at Glyndebourne. Stage Director Michael Hadjimischev and Conductor John Pritchard made this production a breathtaking experience.

The tragedy is a penetrating, concentrated and harrowing study of the ambition of Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth. In the end both seem to verge on hallucination and madness as they recoil from the mayhem they have created around them.

The production features an outstanding international cast, with the Greek baritone Kostas Paskalis in the title role and British star Josephine Barstow making an exciting Glyndebourne debut as Lady Macbeth. The designer, Emanuele Luzzati, has created a series of stunning visual impressions, including the chilling witches’ chorus, the sumptuous banquet at which Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo and Lady Macbeth’s heart-rending sleepwalking scene.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Original Language: IT

Subtitle Languages: GB, DE, FR, ES

Running Time: 146 mins

FSK: 0

“This is notable for the young Josephine Barstow's Lady Macbeth, overacting but sounding just right, and the superbly complete account of the title role from Kostas Paskalis.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2013 ****

“[Paskalis] is a tower of strength...[Barstow] colours and shades her singing to bring out the meaning of the words in their deepest and darkest sense...a nearly perfect assumption of a fiendishly difficult part...a thrilling musical and visual performance worthy of the composer’s final version.” MusicWeb International, 7th October 2013

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik - 102316

(DVD Video)

$16.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Britten: Gloriana

Britten: Gloriana


Josephine Barstow (Elizabeth), Philip Langridge (Essex), Della Jones (Lady Essex), Jonathan Summers (Charles Blount), Alan Opie (Cecil), Yvonne Kenny (Lady Rich), Bryn Terfel (Henry Cuffe), Richard van Allan (Walter Ralegh)

Chorus of the Welsh National Opera & Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Charles Mackerras

“The Cinderella among Britten's operas finally received its due with this recording. The superb cast and Mackerras's sure touch reveal Gloriana as a touching insight into the travails of leadership.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2013 *****

Decca Operas - 4785269

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.50

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Opera Finales

Opera Finales


Cherubini:

Eh quoi! Je suis Médée (from Médée)

Janacek:

Ona pije whisku (from The Makropulos Case)

Puccini:

Principessa di morte! (from Turandot)

Strauss, R:

Es ist kein Laut zu vernehmen (from Salome)


Josephine Barstow (soprano)

Scottish Opera Orchestra, Scottish Opera Chorus, John Mauceri

Decca - 4302032

Download only from $8.25

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Poulenc: The Carmelites

Poulenc: The Carmelites


Poulenc:

Dialogues des Carmélites

Sung in English (translation by Joseph Machlis)


Catrin Wyn-Davies (Blanche de la Force), Ashley Holland (Marquis de la Force), Peter Wedd (Chevalier de la Force), Felicity Palmer (Madame de Croissy), Orla Boylan (Madame Lidoine), Dame Josephine Barstow (Mother Marie), Sarah Tynan (Sister Constance)

English National Opera Chorus & English National Opera Orchestra, Paul Daniel CBE

This is the premiere recording in English

"Catrin Wyn-Davies acted Blanche most affectingly, unfailingly catching the contrasting facets of the character." Opera Magazine

“…Paul Daniel… draws intense, beautiful playing from his orchestra, helped by one of Chandos's most immediate, well aired recordings. The first third of the performance is commanded by Felicity Palmer's lacerating performance as the Old Prioress. This is a gift of a role for a mezzo of a certain age and Palmer makes the most of it as she conveys the old woman's seeming loss of faith and fear of death. Every word is filled with meaning and delivered with amazing power. As the new Prioress, Orla Boylan provides and admirable line; her final solo before the executions is most moving.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2006

Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3134

(CD - 2 discs)

$18.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Britten: Gloriana

Britten: Gloriana

Director: Phyllida Lloyd


Josephine Barstow (Elizabeth I), Tom Randle (Essex), Emer Mcgilloway (Lady Essex), David Ellis (Mountjoy), Susannah Glanville (Lady Penelope Rich), Eric Roberts (Cecil), Clive Bayley (Raleigh)

Chorus of Opera North & English Northern Philharmonia, Paul Daniel

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 140 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“This is unquestionably among the finest opera films ever made. Phyllida Lloyd's Opera North staging vindicated this problematic piece, but the film she also directed… takes it to new heights of intensity. Lloyd's camera flows between stage and backstage... This is not gimmickry; it captures the rhythm of the action and the changing scenes with exciting immediacy one moment, deep intimacy the next, staring mirror-close into Barstow's deeply expressive features...The fine ensemble cast survives such potentially cruel exposure through sheer involvement...” BBC Music Magazine, September 2006 *****

“Barstow's portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I could not be more magisterial and Tom Randle's Essex is hardly less convincing. A very strong cast with a strong sense of dramatic purpose and a first-class orchestral response under Paul Daniel.” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ***

“an unforgettable portrayal of Gloriana, imperious, fickle, dangerous, noble and in the great final scene when she reviews her life, devastatingly moving. This is a performance to class with Callas’s Tosca in its total believability.’” Sunday Telegraph

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - September 2006

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: PAL

Opus Arte - OA0955D

(DVD Video)

$21.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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