Blu-ray Discs

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

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Handel: Acis and Galatea

Handel: Acis and Galatea

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, on 8th April 2009.


Danielle de Niese (Galatea), Charles Workman (Acis), Matthew Rose (Polyphemus), Paul Agnew (Damon), Ji-Min Park (Corydon); Lauren Cuthbertson (Galatea - dancer), Edward Watson (Acis - dancer), Steven McRae (Damon - dancer), Eric Underwood (Polyphemus - dancer), Paul Kay (Coridon - dancer)

Dancers of The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera Extra Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Christopher Hogwood (conductor) & Wayne McGregor (director)

Christopher Hogwood conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and a distinguished cast including Danielle de Niese and Charles Workman in Wayne McGregor's new production of Handel's opera in which The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet appear in a rare and beautifully crafted collaboration. Filmed with High Definition cameras and recorded in true surround sound.

“Charles Workman and Danielle de Niese had bags of vocal and personal charm in the title roles, with strong contributions from Matthew Rose as Polyphemus and Paul Agnew and Ji-Min Park as attendant shepherds; among the dancers, special praise to Lauren Cuthbertson as Galatea's frolicking nymph. …An evening of exquisite sensual pleasure.” The Telegraph

Extra features:

Illustrated synopsis

Cast gallery

Documentary: Staging Acis and Galatea

Running time 110 mins

Region code All regions

Video codec: AVC/MPEG-4

Disc size: BD50

Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9

Sound format 2.0 PCM & 5.0 DTS Master Audio

Menu language EN

Subtitles FR/DE/ES (extra features only)

“Vocally, the star of the show is Matthew Rose, whose pitch-perfect Polyphemus conveys the bruised vulnerability of the inarticulate and ugly...The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment play suavely, with exquisite work from the uncredited sopranino recorders.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 ***

“The most compelling moments...tend to be when the OAE, Christopher Hogwood, Handel and the singer are permitted to possess centre stage (both metaphorical and literal)...As usual, Danielle de Niese looks and glides around the stage like a million dollars” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

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Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OABD7056D

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Handel: Admeto, Re di Tessaglia HWV22

Handel: Admeto, Re di Tessaglia HWV22


Marie Arnet (Alceste), David Bates (Trasimede), Kirsten Blaise (Antigona), Tim Mead (Admeto), Wolf Matthias Friedrich (Meraspe) & Andrew Radley (Orindo)

FestspielOrchester Gottingen & Mamu Dance Theatre, Nicholas McGegan (conductor) & Doris Dörrie (stage director)

Solo dance and choreography: Tadashi Endo

For Handel’s Admeto, Oscar-nominated film director Doris Dörrie – winner of the 2009 Edinburgh International Festival’s prestigious Herald Angel Award – returns to her beloved subject of Japan. In vividly coloured and brilliantly realized set pieces, one of Handel’s most popular operas receives a stunning transformation into the stylishly ritualized world of samurai culture.

Bonus: Baroque and Butoh

Sound format: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM 2.0

Picture: 16:9, HD

Subtitles: Italian (original language), English, German, French / Bonus: English

Booklet: English, German, French

Total running time: 202 mins (Opera: 181 mins + Bonus: 21 mins)

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C Major - 750704

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Handel: Admeto, Re di Tessaglia HWV22

Handel: Admeto, Re di Tessaglia HWV22

Live Recording from The Opernhaus Halle 2006


Matthias Rexroth (Admeto), Romelia Lichtenstein (Alceste), Mechthild Bach (Antigona), Tim Mead (Trasimede), Raimund Nolte (Ercole), Melanine Hirsch (Orindo), Gerd Vogel (Meraspe)

Handel Festival Orchestra Halle (on Historical Instruments), Howard Arman (conductor) & Axel Köhler (director)

Set Design by Roland Aeschlimann & Costumes by Marie-Thérèse Jossen

George Frideric Handel‘s ‘Admeto’ is considered one of the most successful operas produced in the fi rst half of the 18th century. Along with ‘Radamisto’, ‘Giulio Cesare’, ‘ tamerlano’, ‘Rodelinda’ and ‘Alessandro’, which were also written in this period, ‘Admeto’ belongs to Handel‘s so-called ‘London operas’ - works he composed for the Royal Academy of Music. Though born in Halle, Germany, Handel spent most of his adult life in London and became a British subject in 1727.

Axel Köhler, the celebrated counter-tenor who is active in Munich, Halle and Berlin – now also well known for his work as a director - has brought ‘Admeto’ into the modern era in timeless style by the skilful application of imaginative theatrical digressions. Köhler‘s production at the Halle Opernhaus revisits a work that encompasses comedy, tragedy and almost absurd grotesqueness and gives it a convincing metaphor in the form of a modern hospital.

The recording of ADMETO on this Blu-Ray forms the highlight and also the conclusion of our Handel Festival cycle, which began four years ago with TAMERLANO, and was followed by TESEO.

Recording Date: 2006
Place of recording: Live Recording from the Opernhaus Halle
Running Time: 196 min
Picture Format: 16:9
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 7.1
Blue Ray Disc, 50 GB (Double Layer)
Subtitle Languages: IT, GB, D, F, E
Menu Language: GB

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Arthaus Musik - 101258

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Handel: Admeto, Re di Tessaglia HWV22

Handel: Admeto, Re di Tessaglia HWV22


Tim Mead (Admeto), Marie Arnet (Alceste), William Berger (Ercole), Andrew Radley (Orindo), David Bates (Trasimede), Kirsten Blaise (Antigona), Wolf Matthias Friedrich (Meraspe)

Gottingen Festival Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan

When one of Germany’s most famous filmmakers and stimulating operatic directors focuses her creativity on a rarely performed Handel opera, the result is a “mixture of dancers and singers, comedy and pathos” (The Times). “Admeto”, one of Handel’s most popular operas in his lifetime, was premiered in London in January 1727. Doris Dörrie, whose Japan-inspired feature film “Cherry Blossoms – Hanami” was a major German box-office hit and won several international awards, returns to her beloved Japan in this production. Flowing robes, translucent panels and the participation of Japan’s Mamu Dance Theater and ist choreographer/dancer Tadashi Endo add an evocative dimension to the work whose lead roles were written for a popular castrato and two rivaling primadonnas. Sensitively directed for video by Agnes Méth, who worked with Dörrie on Mozart’s “La finta giardiniera” at the Salzburg Festival (available as part of the M22 cycle by UNITEL), the opera is played by Nicholas McGegan’s FestspielOrchester Göttingen on period instruments. For this production, a coproduction of the Internationale Händel- Festspiele in Göttingen and the Edinburgh International Festival on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death, Doris Dörrie was awarded the Edinburgh Festival’s prestigious Herald Angel Award.

For Handel´s Admeto, Oscar® nominated film director Doris Doerrie – winner of the 2009 Edinburgh International Festival´s prestigious Herald Angel Award – returns to her beloved subject of Japan. In vividly coloured and brilliantly realized set pieces, one of Handel´s most popular operas receives a stunning transformation into the stylish ritualized world of samurai culture. “It´s brilliantly played by the period-instrument FestspielOrchester Goettingen, conducted with fine sensibility and sensuality by Nicholas McGegan” (The Times). “In Doerrie´s production … 200 minutes of music fly by” (The Times)

Stage Director: Bernd Lepel

Doris Dörrie and Tadaschi Endo received an Oscar® Nomination in 2008 for Best Foreign Language Film (“Cherry Blossoms – Hanami”).

This production received the prestigious Herald Angel Award, Edinburgh International Festival 2009.

Film and Opera director Doris Dörrie directed successful Operas in Salzburg and Munich.

Recorded live at the Internationale Handel-Festspiele Göttingen, Deutsches Theatre 2009.

“It´s brilliantly played … directed with fine sensibility and sensuality. Weird but delightful.” 5 stars The Times

"Handel would have enjoyed this enchanting shadow theater" Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Bonus Baroque and Butoh (22 minutes)

Picture Format: HD 16:9 - please note this Blu-ray disc - BD is not compatible with standard DVD players

Sound Format: DTS 5.1 PCM Stereo

Region Code: 0

Duration: 181 minutes + 22 minutes bonus material

Recorded: live at the Internationale Handel-Festspiele Gottingen Deutsches Theatre 2009.

Subtitles: English Italian German French

“McGegan conducts the Festival Orchestra with a sure sense of style and no exaggerated stylisation...[Dörrie] has succeeded in creating a distinctive setting, satisfying the eye and yet allowing the music to speak for itself from its due place at the centre.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010

Blu-ray Disc

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C Major - 702104

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

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Handel: Alcina

Handel: Alcina


Patricia Petibon (Alcina), Philippe Jaroussky (Ruggiero), Anna Prohaska (Morgana), Katarina Bradic (Bradamante), Anthony Gregory (Oronte), Krzysztof Baczyk (Melisso), Elias Mädler, Lionel Wunsch (Oberto)

Freiburger Barockorchester, MusicAeterna (Chorus of the Perm Opera), Andrea Marcon (musical director) & Katie Mitchell (stage director)

Stage design: Chloe Lamford

Costumes design: Laura Hopkins

Light: James Farncombe

Choreography: Joseph W. Alford

Alcina, one of Handel’s most popular operas, is named after a dangerously seductive sorceress – soprano Patricia Petibon in this production from the 2015 Aix-en-Provence Festival; but perhaps the central figure is the bewitched warrior Ruggiero, performed here by Philippe Jaroussky. The role, which includes the haunting, lilting aria ‘Verdi prati’, was composed for the celebrated countertenor Giovanni Carestini, who provided the focus for Jaroussky’s superb 2007 album of arias by Handel, Hasse, Porpora, Leo and Gluck.

Ruggiero, captive on Alcina’s magic island, will be transformed into an animal or inanimate object once the enchantress tires of him, but fortunately his betrothed Bradamante (a mezzo-soprano) comes to save him, disguised as her brother, Ricciardo. Further complications ensue when Alcina’s sister, Morgana, falls in love with ‘Ricciardo’.

The production of Alcina, by the British director Katie Mitchell, was welcomed by the Financial Times as “meticulously executed …, rich in detail, consummately polished”. Like Mitchell’s Aix-en-Provence staging of George Benjamin’s hugely successful Written on Skin (first seen in 2012), it offers simultaneous action in multiple zones of the stage, with Alcina’s elegant boudoir taking pride of place. As the New York Times wrote: “It involves a huge sorcery machine for turning people into animals (or whatever). And Ms. Mitchell works magic of her own onstage, constantly showing the enchantresses Alcina and Morgana alternating between glamorous public personas and their ‘real life’, older, private selves …There are also bits of simulated sex, mingling genders and suggesting, among other things, inventive new ways to hit high notes.”

Describing the whole show as “a night of a thousand delights”, Bachtrack wrote that “Philippe Jaroussky cuts a mighty fine dash as the debonair knight Ruggiero … The French countertenor's yearning mezza voce delivery of ‘Verdi prati’ is sublime, possibly the evening's vocal highlight, although there is strong competition from Anna Prohaska's ‘Tornami a vagheggiar’ [Morgana’s spectacular Act 1 closing number] and from Anthony Gregory's [Oronte] physically and vocally energetic ‘È un folle, un vile affetto’. Add some bell-clear, sweetly defined contributions from Katarina Bradić [Bradamante] and Krzysztof Baczyk [Melisso] as the gallant rescuers and this Alcina is a feast for the ear.” Le Monde reported that “Patricia Petibon throws herself into the title role, body, voice, soul and more, toying with the limits of style,” while the New York Times found that she was “little short of sensational vocally … and excellent at eliciting sympathy through her acting.”

The Financial Times praised the Freiburger Barockorchester for playing with “flair, energy and an easy, open sound ... [Conductor] Andrea Marcon lets the phrases breathe, gives a lush continuo section room to unfold, and knows how to drive the pace forward without sounding forced.” Describing Marcon as “exceptional”, Opera News felt that: “Musically, this was a performance of the highest festival level … the continuo and instrumental solos attained a rarely heard level of ensemble with an orchestra honed to perfection.”

Blu-ray Disc

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Erato - 9029597435

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$21.50

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Handel: Alcina & Tamerlano

Handel: Alcina & Tamerlano


Handel:

Alcina

Sandrine Piau (Alcina), Maite Beaumont (Ruggiero), Angelique Noldus (Bradamante), Sabina Puertolas (Morgana), Chloe Briot (Oberto), Daniel Behle (Oronte), Giovanni Furlanetto (Melisso), Edouard Higuet (Astolfo)

Tamerlano

Sophie Karthäuser (Asteria), Ann Hallenberg (Irene), Delphine Galou (Andronico), Christophe Dumaux (Tamerlano), Jeremy Ovenden (Bajazet), Nathan Berg (Leone), Caroline D'Haese (Zaida)


This Handelian diptych, the brainchild of the director Pierre Audi, was conceived in a style of great purity, right down to the costumes, the décors and the sumptuous chiaroscuro lighting. In order to replicate this aesthetic, reminiscent of Renaissance paintings, with the greatest possible fidelity, the performances, filmed in high resolution, are released on Blu-ray only.

Christophe Rousset and his orchestra convey exceptional fervour in this music, here served by the finest Handelian voices imaginable, foremost among them Sandrine Piau, who enjoyed a genuine triumph in the stage production. Nor can one forget the dramatic performance of Jeremy Ovenden in Tamerlano, or the beauty of the voices of Ann Hallenberg, Sophie Karthäuser, Delphine Galou and the countertenor Christophe Dumaux.

Total timing: 378’ 58

BD50, 16/9, stereo 5.1

Subtitles: Fr, Eng, Ger, Nl

“Audi’s post-Baroque stagings are often astutely deliberate in pacing and action, and are designed simply but artfully ...Rousset copiously sprinkles magical fairy dust in a fantastic performance of the music. From the first bow-stroke of the Overture, Les Talens Lyriques play with exceptional mastery of textures, moods and styles...This is essential viewing for those who take Handel as a dramatist seriously.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“The Alcina cast is led by Sandrine Piau’s involving enchantress, who keeps Maite Beaumont’s outstanding Ruggiero in thrall…[Tamerlano is] beautifully sung by Christophe Dumaux…Karthäuser is spirited as the deposed Sultan’s daughter Asteria, with Delphine Galou lyrical and convincingly male as Andronico…Rousset draws vigorous playing from Les Talens Lyriques, whose tonal richness matches their virtuosity” BBC Music Magazine, February 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - January 2017

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A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Alpha - ALPHA715

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Special: $36.20

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Handel: Ariodante

Handel: Ariodante


Ann Murray (Ariodante), Joan Rodgers (Ginevra), Lesley Garrett (Dalinda), Gwynne Howell (The King of Scotland), Christopher Robson (Polinesso), Paul Nilon (Lurcanio), Mark Le Brocq (Odoardo)

English National Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Ivor Bolton (conductor) & David Alden (stage director)

Choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan

Design Ian MacNeil

Lighting Wolfgang Göbbel

When this production of Handel’s Ariodante – directed by David Alden and conducted by Ivor Bolton – had its premiere, it met with unanimous critical and popular acclaim. Alden, as a theatrical modernist, transformed the opera seria into an erotically charged nightmare of lust, betrayal and violated innocence. With a superlative cast including Ann Murray, Joan Rodgers and Gwynne Howell this rich and strange Ariodante is a surprisingly modern drama of psychological and physical cruelty.

Ariodante is Handel’s 1735 setting of an episode from Ariosto, in which the King of Scotland’s daughter is treacherously accused of infidelity to her promised husband. The central situation of sexual jealousy and mistaken identity is set amidst a web of intense family relationships. The range of feelings provoked as the characters develop is caught in music of quite extraordinary emotional power, even by Handel’s own exalted standards.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 16:9

Audio Language: GB

Subtitles: DE, FR, NL

Blu-ray Disc: 50 GB (Dual Layer)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Running Time: 178 mins

FSK: 0

Blu-ray Disc

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Arthaus Musik - 108126

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$35.75

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Handel Box Set

Handel Box Set


Handel:

Giulio Cesare in Egitto

Recorded live at the Glyndebourne Opera House, East Sussex, on 14th & 17th August 2005

Sarah Connolly (Cesare), Danielle de Niese (Cleopatra), Angelika Kirchschlager (Sesto), Christophe Dumaux (Tolomeo), Patricia Bardon (Cornelia), Christopher Maltman (Achilla) & Rachid Ben Abdeslam (Nireno)

William Christie (conductor) & David McVicar (stage director)

Rinaldo

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes August 2011

Sonia Prina (Rinaldo), Varduhi Abrahamyan (Goffredo), Tim Mead (Eustazio), Anett Fritsch (Almirena), Brenda Rae (Armida), Luca Pisaroni (Argante) & William Towers (A Christian Magician)

Ottavio Dantone (conductor) & Robert Carsen (stage director)

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)

Ivor Bolton (conductor) & Barrie Kosky (director)


This set brings together three of Handel’s most compelling works for the stage in lavish Glyndebourne productions featuring period-instrument accompaniment from the renowned Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. David McVicar directs an all-star cast in Giulio Cesare, combining serious insight with entertainment to bring the masterpiece to life, aided by vivid playing from the OAE under William Christie. In Robert Carsen’s fun-filled transformation of Rinaldo, lacrosse sticks and flying bicycles lend the fantasy’s warriors and witches contemporary chic, with conductor Ottavio Dantone leading a youthful cast from the keyboard in Handelian fashion. Director Barrie Kosky’s Glyndebourne debut, Saul stole the 2015 Festival season and had critics raving. The Glyndebourne chorus plays an outstanding role, and the OAE sparkles under Ivor Bolton, as the Old Testament story is retold in Handel’s time with witty anachronisms from costume designer Katrin Lea Tag.

Running time: RUNNING TIME APPROX: 714 MINUTES

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT (Giulio Cesare); EN/FR/DE (Rinaldo); EN/FR/DE/KO (Saul)

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1 DTS

Blu-ray Disc

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7211BD

(Blu-ray - 4 discs)

$41.50

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Handel: Deidamia

Handel: Deidamia

Recorded live at the De Nederlandse Opera, March & April 2012


Sally Matthews (Deidamia), Veronica Cangemi (Nerea), Olga Pasichnyk (Achille), Silvia Tro Santafé (Ulisse), Andrew Foster-Williams (Fenice), Umberto Chiummo (Licomede) & Jan-Willem Schaafsma (Nestore)

Concerto Köln, Ivor Bolton (conductor) & David Alden (director)

DNO presents a new production of Händel's last Italian opera, Deidamia, staged by the American David Alden. No known literary source has been linked directly to this opera, which is set at the time of the Trojan War. After an oracle has predicted the death of Achilles at Troy, Achilles disguises himself as a woman and takes refuge at the court of Lycomedes, whose daughter Deidamia falls in love with the young Greek. Amorous developments and tricks of disguise expose the truth and Achilles is forced to take his place at the side of his countrymen in the battle against the Trojans. Comedy and tragedy are bedfellows in this opera, and the title role in particular covers the entire expressive spectrum, from flirtatious love song to heartfelt lament.

Premiere of this opera on DVD & Blu-ray.

Performed by Concerto Köln, a period instrument orchestra.

This latest release demonstrates the breadth of productions performed by De Nederlandse Opera.

Running time: 208 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/NE

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“Alden's approach is lightly ironic, matching well with a piece that treats its material with a knowing air...Ivor Bolton and Concerto Koln provide the expert musical underpinning. Sally Matthews shines as a vocally and physically poised Deidamia, Olga Pasichnyk emphasises the lusty young man hiding beneath Achille's skirts, and Silvia Tro Santafe's Ulisse presents him with a credible rival.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2013 ****

“David Alden's jokey, modern-dress production is entertaining without quite persuading one that the opera's neglect is undeserved...Sally Matthews is perfect as Deidamia: saucy in 'Nasconde l'usignol', heartfelt in 'M'hai resa infelice'...Ivor Bolton conducts with passion: splendid sforzandos in another intense aria, 'Se il timore'.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2013

Blu-ray Disc

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Opus Arte - OABD7110D

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Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto

Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto

Recorded live at the Glyndebourne Opera House, East Sussex, on 14th & 17th August 2005.


Sarah Connolly (Cesare), Danielle de Niese (Cleopatra), Angelika Kirchschlager (Sesto), Christophe Dumaux (Tolomeo), Patricia Bardon (Cornelia), Christopher Maltman (Achilla) & Rachid Ben Abdeslam (Nireno)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, William Christie (conductor) & David McVicar (stage director)

Note: This Blu-ray Disc (BD) is not compatible with standard DVD players

David McVicar’s production of Giulio Cesare manages to combine serious insight with entertainment, bringing Handel’s masterpiece to life in a powerful, convincing and highly intelligent way. In every line of the complex narrative the subtle nuances are apparent, reflecting perfectly the transparent and exquisite nature of Handel’s musical expression. Filmed in High Definition and recorded in true surround sound, the outstanding singing of the all-star cast, led by a superb Sarah Connolly, and the vivid playing of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the energising baton of William Christie reveal the colour and dramatic character of Handel’s music in a most delightful manner.

‘…a production with performances to savour, led from the pit by William Christie and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on stylish form. Sarah Connolly… gave a ‘complete’ performance full of intelligence and subtlety. Danielle de Niese stole the show as a wily, fun-filled sex kitten who renders men helpless with her irresistible charms.’ Opera Now

Bonus material/features:

Illustrated synopsis & cast gallery.

Entertainment is not a Dirty Word - documentary including interviews with William Christie, David McVicar and the cast.

Danielle de Niese & the Glyndebourne experience - an informal portrait of Danielle de Niese in her first-ever Glyndebourne season.

Production photo gallery & rehearsals photo gallery.

PICTURE FORMAT: 1080i
LENGTH: Approx 305 Mins
SOUND: 5.0 & 2.0 PCM
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“David McVicar's 2005 staging, revived the following summer, provoked a deal of contrasting views among the critical fraternity but was adored by the Glyndebourne public. Chief cause of their delight was the overtly sexual, high-hoofing performance of Cleopatra by the irrepressible Danielle de Niese (who is accorded a delightful 22-minute narrative on her Glyndebourne experience among the extras here). Her vocal command and stage presence are spectacular in every sense, and from her first aria she utterly seduces her audience. McVicar took advantage of her attractive skills to build the opera around her personality. We are here in the high noon of British imperialism and the Ottoman Empire, with Caesar more like a late-19th-century English general than a Roman emperor, and with the Egyptian milieu heavily underlined by milling extras, now always a not-altogether welcome feature of a McVicar production. They clutter the stage and draw attention away from the principals, although one has to admit that the highly disciplined and often captivating choreography is brilliantly executed within Robert Jones's exotic sets. McVicar does at least allow the moments of serious drama to be played out without undue interference – such as the deeply moving duet that closes Act 1 and Cleopatra's 'Piangerò'. Finally it has to be said that only Glyndebourne allows for the rehearsal time to prepare such a complex and ingenious staging. The musical side of things is equally well prepared and thought-through under William Christie's knowledgeable and commanding direction. He manages to balance with the same finesse and care the light and serious parts of the score, even if his love for Handel leads him to a few self-indulgently slow tempi. The OAE play lovingly and with period skills for him. By the time of this DVD recording, near the end of the run, the whole thing moves with eloquence matched by elegance. De Niese sings her airy numbers as to the manner born, seconded by expertly erotic dancing. She manages most of the emotional substance of her sadder arias, but they sometimes seem wanting in the tonal weight ideally required. Sarah Connolly's thoroughly believable Caesar is sung with her firm tone and well schooled mastery of Handelian style, including subtle embellishments. This wilful and imperial Caesar manages to change moods as his music demands. Some of the most accomplished and tender Handelian singing comes from Patricia Bardon's moving Cornelia and Angelika Kirchschlager's concerned Sesto, although the latter does slightly overplay the character's seemingly neurotic state of mind following his father's brutal death. The young countertenor Christophe Dumaux playing Tolomeo is suitably brat-like and spoilt. He, like most of the cast, fulfils all the stringent demands of this very physical staging. Christopher Maltman makes Achilles as nasty as he should be. The sense of teamwork all round is confirmed in the interviews included in the extras. Robin Lough's DVD direction is faultless.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Justly garlanded with awards aplenty, David McVicar's 2005 Glyndebourne production offers a witty, imaginative post-colonial take on Handel's best-known opera. Sarah Connolly is the definitive Caesar, whilst Danielle de Niese's high-glamour, all-singing-all-dancing Cleopatra catapulted her to stardom. William Christie directs with his customary energy and insight in the pit.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, August 2014

“an account at once scholarly, lively and refreshing...Sarah Connolly sings superbly in the title-role, looking very boyish...Patricia Bardon is an excellent Cornelia and Christophe Dumaux a characterful Tolomeo” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

GGramophone Awards 2006

Best of Category

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - June 2006

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2007

DVD of the Year

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7024D

(Blu-ray - 2 discs)

$41.50

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