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Opus Arte (other)

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Wagner: Das Rheingold

Wagner: Das Rheingold

Stage Director Pierre Audi


John Bröcheler (Wotan), Henk Smit (Alberich), Reinhild Runkel (Fricka), Chris Merritt (Loge), Peter Mikulás (Fasolt), Carsten Harboe Stabell (Fafner), Graham Clark (Mime), Jürgen Freierin (Donner), Albert Bonnema (Froh), Anne Gjevang (Erda), Carola Höhn (Freia), Gabriele Fontana (Woglinde), Hanna Schaer (Wellgunde), Catherine Keen (Flosshilde)

Residentie Orkest, Hartmut Haenchen

Recorded at Het Muziektheater Amsterdam.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 198 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NL/JP

“The drama is played straight, the mythical elements respected, with towering giants, sinister Nibelungen, and suitable god-like gods… musically this is equally promising. Haenchen's studied reading… is refreshingly brisk, as Wagner preferred.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2006 ****

“Amsterdam’s new Ring has begun very promisingly: the crucial architecture is already in place” The Independent

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA0946D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$43.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Rossini: La Cenerentola

Rossini: La Cenerentola


Ruxandra Donose (Cenerentola), Maxim Mironov (Don Ramiro), Simone Alberghini (Dandini), Luciano di Pasquale (Don Magnifico), Raquela Sheeran (Clorinda), Lucia Cirillo (Tisbe), Nathan Berg (Alidoro)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Glyndebourne Chorus, Vladimir Jurowski, stage direction by Sir Peter Hall

Bonus Insights feature with Sir Peter Hall and Vladimir Jurowski.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 187 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“Some found Peter Hall's staging… too dark and serious, but for me it was an invigorating evening. …Vladimir Jurowski… draws highly polished and brilliant playing from the LPO of one of Rossini's greatest scores. …presenting a down-and-out Don Magnifico - dirty to his fingernails - works well when you have such a strong singing-actor as Luciano Di Pasquale. Ruxandra Donose is winning in the title role…” BBC Music Magazine, May 2006 *****

“This is a truly marvellous performance on all counts - staging, conducting and singing. Sir Peter Hall… manages to breathe new life into the routines without ever slipping over into farce, while exploring each character in some depth. The sense of an ensemble on top form is underlined by Vladimir Jurowski's exacting, pellucid and vivid interpretation, so that the music, like the libretto, is presented afresh. The superb cast has no weaknesses and many strengths, Ruxandra Donose may not have the idiomatic Italian timbre of Cecilia Bartoli... but she is the more consistent singer, using her wide range and rich tone to startling effect. Her youthful (24-year-old) partner, Russian tenor Maxim Mironov, proves an ideal Ramiro, fluent in every aspect of his role and delivering its appreciable demands in a light, pliant voice of delicate beauty.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006

“This is a performance that meets the Glyndebourne gold standard… Hall has decided to keep it real and produced something understated, sensitive and thus deeply pleasurable.” The Telegraph

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - May 2006

Building a Library

First Choice (DVD) - December 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - May 2006

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OA0944D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$43.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Michelangeli plays Debussy

Michelangeli plays Debussy

RAI 1962 Turin recording


Debussy:

Images pour piano - Books 1 & 2

Children's Corner

Préludes - Book 2: No. 10, Canope

Préludes - Book 2: No. 5, Bruyères


1962 RAI television recording, newly restored and re-mastered for this release.

PICTURE FORMAT: 4:3
LENGTH: 83 Mins
SOUND: LPCM MONO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA0941D

(DVD Video)

$29.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527

Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527


Wojtek Drabowicz (Don Giovanni), Kwanchul Youn (Leporello), Regina Schörg (Donna Anna), Véronique Gens (Donna Elvira), Marcel Reijans (Don Ottavio), Marisa Martins (Zerlina), Felipe Bou (Masetto), Anatoly Kocherga (Commendatore)

Orchestra Academy of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Chamber Choir of the Palau de la Música Catalana, Bertrand de Billy, stage direction by Calixto Bieito

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 156 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/CA

“Calixto Bieito's 2002 production is a potent parable not only for our time, but of any society in decadence… everyone is caught in a self-destructive cycle of abuse - from the mutually manipulative Don and Leporello to the binge-drinking Zerlina. …Bertrand de Billy's conducting maintains the pacing and brutality of the production... It's a strong cast, led by Drabowicz's nobly-voiced, savage Don, and Youn's powerful Leporello. Schörg is Bieito's voluptuous Donna Anna, her voice the equal of her passion; Véronique Gens eloquent as a desperate, shop-till-you-drop Elvira.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2006 ****

“Calixto Bieito's staging of Mozart's opera buffa caused something close to apoplexy among the more conservative daily newspapers when it appeared at the London Coliseum in the early 2000s. Was this because, like Da Ponte's libretto, the Catalan director's vision of the last hours in the life of the 'extremely licentious', not-very-noble man is set in a contemporary world of sex, violence, remorse and social and psychological breakdown? The crises that bind these characters' lives together are explored with unflinching directness.
Regina Schorg's virtuoso Donna Anna, happily bonking Wojtek Drabowicz's charismatic, sleazy Giovanni in the back seat of her father's car (Kwangchul Youn's infectiously energetic Leporello is the chauffeur), has to call out her boring, safe boyfriend Don Ottavio (Marcel Reijans, superb playing Mr Nobody) when Giovanni slashes out too hard at interfering daddy (Anatoly Kocherga, a busman's holiday from his noted Boris). Mozart hints at all kind of hidden dangers as Anna makes Ottavio swear to avenge her; Bieito suggests that she's trading sex for a cover-up of the fatal accident that her actions provoked. The always tricky Ottavio/Anna relationship continues in this vein (her invention of what happened with Giovanni before 'Non mi dir' is another tease), via Anna's bitchy frustration when she realises (Act 1 Quartet) that Elvira (Véronique Gens) was an event in Giovanni's life, up to the point when Ottavio gains some small satisfaction (but almost by force) in her second aria.
That is all to concentrate on one relationship to give a flavour of Bieito's approach. There are any number of other illuminations – the Giovanni/ Leporello hierarchy of control/exploitation/ need; the tabloid, Ibiza clubworld of Masetto and Zerlina; Gens's terrifyingly complete portrait of a woman who loves too much; the convincing resituating in today's clothes of a world where indulgent caprice and exploitation can literally destroy people's lives. This, then, is no concert in costume but, even if you think you prefer your Don Giovanni as a clone of Errol Flynn's 1930s Elizabethan movies, do try this serious, black and often wickedly funny piece of theatre.
The musical performance has its own distinction, as well as complete integration with the staging concept.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Calixto Bieito's staging of Mozart's opera buffa caused something close to apoplexy among the more conservative daily newspapers when it appeared at the London Coliseum in the early 2000s. Was this because, like Da Ponte's libretto, the Catalan director's vision of the last hours in the life of the "extremely licentious", not-very-noble man is set in a contemporary world of sex, violence, remorse and social and psychological breakdown? ...even if you think you prefer your Don Giovanni as a clone of Errol Flynn's 1930s Elizabethan moves, I urge you to try this serious, black and often wickedly funny piece of theatre. The musical performance has its own distinction, as well as complete integration with the staging concept.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2006

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA0921D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$43.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Mozart: La clemenza di Tito, K621

Mozart: La clemenza di Tito, K621


Susan Graham (Sesto), Christoph Prégardien (Tito), Hannah Ester Minutillo (Annio), Roland Bracht (Publio), Catherine Naglestad (Vitellia), Ekaterina Siurina (Servilia)

Choir and Orchestra of L’Opéra de Paris, Sylvain Cambreling, stage direction by Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann

Bonus feature: 'A Masterpiece Revisited', a documentary film by Reiner E. Moritz, including interviews with Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann, Sylvain Cambreling, Susan Graham, Christoph Prégardien, Hannah Ester Minutillo, Ekaterina Siurina, Catherine Naglestad & Gerard Mortier.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9

LENGTH: 212 Mins

SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO

SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“Everybody was taken by the warmth and the emotion in Susan Graham’s voice as well as her breathtaking acting” Le Figaro

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA0942D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$43.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Michelangeli plays Chopin

Michelangeli plays Chopin


Chopin:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 'Marche funèbre'

Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23

Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise, Op. 22

Fantasia in F minor, Op. 49

Waltz No. 9 in A flat major, Op. 69 No. 1 'Farewell Waltz'

Waltz No. 2 in A flat major 'Grande Valse Brillante', Op. 34 No. 1

Waltz No. 17 in E flat major, Op. post., KKIVa:14, B 46

Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31

Mazurka No. 47 in A minor, Op. 68 No. 2

Mazurka No. 25 in B minor, Op. 33 No. 4

Mazurka No. 20 in D flat major, Op. 30 No. 3

Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57


1962 RAI television recording, mono, newly restored and re-mastered for this release.

PICTURE FORMAT: 4:3
LENGTH: 106 Mins
SOUND: LPCM MONO
SUBTITLES: N/A

“But this recital of Chopin is intensely inspired from first note to last… Michelangeli… begins with the largest work in the programme, the Funeral March Sonata, played with precision but extremely flexible tempos, and a vast dynamic range. It is all great, but the way Michelangeli plays the whirlwind last movement is stunning. Despite his undemonstrativeness, seeing him adds to the intensity of the experience. Only his hands move, with extraordinary seeming individual wills in each of his fingers.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2006 *****

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - March 2006

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA0940D

(DVD Video)

$29.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Claude Vivier: Rêves d'un Marco Polo

Claude Vivier: Rêves d'un Marco Polo


Vivier:

Rêves d'un Marco Polo

An ‘opéra fleuve’: a series of tableaux about Marco Polo, some vocal, others instrumental.

Kopernikus

An opéra rituel de mort in two parts (1980)


Susan Narucki, Claron McFadden, Tomoko Makuuchi, James Ottaway, Harry van der Kamp, Johan Leysen

Asko Ensemble, Schönberg Ensemble, Reinbert de Leeuw

Many consider Claude Vivier the greatest composer Canada has yet produced.

György Ligeti once called him 'the finest French composer of his generation'. A pupil under Gilles Tremblay and Karlheinz Stockhausen, he soon created his own dazzling vocal and orchestral language, profoundly marked by his travels to the Far East. The interweaving of his personal and professional life, of the real and the imaginary, reveals a compelling global awareness, deep human compassion and a universal quest for ultimate enlightenment. Vivier himself pursued this journey of discovery, until his tragic murder in Paris at the age of thirty-four.

The two parts of Rêves d’un Marco Polo are like shadow and light, forming a dreamlike ritualistic experience and encompassing stage productions of his finest compositions. Pierre Audi's superb and moving staging is complemented by refined, passionate musical direction from Reinbert de Leeuw, leading the soloists, the Asko Ensemble and the Schönberg Ensemble to great heights.

Bonus feature: Claude Vivier - a spellbinding and insightful 60-minute documentary by Cherry Duyns, from his acclaimed contemporary composer portrait series, on the life and work of Claude Vivier, including rare footage, interviews with conductor Reinbert de Leeuw and people close to Vivier and his music.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9

LENGTH: 260 Mins

SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO

SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NL

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA0943D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$43.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Rameau: Les Paladins

Rameau: Les Paladins


Topi Lehtipuu, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Laurent Naouri, Sandrine Piau, René Schirrer, François Piolino

Les Arts Florissants, William Christie

Bonus feature: ‘Baroque that rocks!’ – A documentary film by Reiner E. Moritz featuring interviews with William Christie, Dominique Hervieu, Topi Lehtipuu, Stéphanie d’Oustrac and other members of the cast.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 204 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“José Montalvo's production provides the spectacle with magical video back projections: characters trampoline on clouds and walk through ornamental gardens and buildings, and a veritable menagerie of animals amplifies ironic points in the plot. …the musical and dramatic performances are terrific. Christie conducts with infectious enthusiasm and the singers, especially the romantic leads, Argie (Stephanie d'Oustrac) and Atis (Top Lehtipuu), are superb. An added benefit is an engaging and helpful documentary.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2006 ****

“…Les Paladins dates from 1760, four years before Rameau's death. A pair of lovers, a guardian, a maid and a gaoler call to mind not only Die Entführung but Il barbiere di Siviglia. With a rather thin plot, Rameau takes the opportunity to parody the conventions of opera, including those of his own tragédies lyriques. The production is hugely entertaining. José Montalvo makes use of video techniques to dazzle the eye with a variety of metamorphoses: a dancer becomes a butterfly, stone lions come to life, a tiger turns into a wolf, which becomes an elephant. These and similar transformations, Montalvo explains, reflect La Fontaine's attribution of animal characteristics to the human race. Stéphanie d'Oustrac and Topi Lehtipuu are credible young lovers, d'Oustrac singing her Act 2 ariette, 'Je vole, Armour', with a deeply moving intensity. Sandrine Piau and Laurent Naouri couldn't be bettered as the secondary pair. Rameau's orchestration is a delight... The sheer exuberance of the performance, recorded at the Châtelet in Paris, makes for a life-enhancing experience.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2006

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - April 2006

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Early Music - up to 25% off

Opus Arte - OA0938D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $43.75

Special: $32.81

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Michelangeli plays Beethoven

Michelangeli plays Beethoven


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2 No. 3

Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

Galuppi:

Sonata in C major

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K11 in C minor

Keyboard Sonata K159 in C major 'La caccia'

Keyboard Sonata K322 in A major

Keyboard Sonata K27 in B minor


Recorded 1962, digitally restored and re-mastered.

PICTURE FORMAT: 4:3
LENGTH: 84 Mins
SOUND: LPCM MONO
SUBTITLES: N/A

“…Beethoven's last piano sonata, Op. 111 in C minor. It is an astonishing performance… The second movement, of increasingly sublime variations, is played with a detachment which paradoxically adds to its intensity - that is one of Michelangeli's secrets. it reaches a calm and ecstatic resolution which alone would make this disc worth buying.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2006 ***

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA0939D

(DVD Video)

$29.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


John Mark Ainsley, Brigitte Balleys, Michael Chance, David Cordier, Mario Luperi, Russell Smythe

Tragicomedia and Concerto Palatino, Stephen Stubbs, stage direction by Pierre Audi

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

“Simply the most compelling account of L'Orfeo yet produced” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005

“John Mark Ainsley is simply superb as Orfeo… Balleys (the Messenger) and Lascarro (Euridice) are mature and acutely alert singers who help to deepen the emotions, and the use of powerful countertenors for la Musica (Cordier) and Speranza (Chance) may seem novel, but it is closer than we usually get to the original performance which has castratos in these roles. The terrific instrumental playing, and the staging and lighting, also add illumination to the internal drama. First rate.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****

“In a perceptive documentary made during rehearsals, director Pierre Audi comments that L'Orfeo is 'an opera about the crisis of an artist: whether art and life are really compatible; what the personal intimate experience of an artist in confronting love and death has to do with his own artistic expression'. Audi's production is starkly conceptual in some ways but the performance has a simplicity and fidelity to the drama.
Carefully timed effects, controlled gestures and economical directness have a powerful impact.
The action is focused around a circular pool of water set towards the back of the stage, behind a dilapidated wall that is used for different purposes – such as sinking to become the passageway to Hades. The Arcadian frolics of the shepherds and nymphs allow dancing, skipping and splashing in the pool; but later, flames emerge to transform it into the Styx.
Audi weds his own ideas about characters to a faithful reproduction of the libretto. Audi's action shows that the Messenger who brings news of Euridice's death is shunned by the Arcadians, whose society is evidently only superficially pleasant (this reinforces the idea that all earthly pleasure is fleeting, as Orfeo is told by his father Apollo in the opera's conclusion).
Plutone's bargain with Orfeo is a vindictive mind game with his wife Proserpina, who desires Orfeo. Likewise, Orfeo seems to yearn for Proserpina despite his quest for Euridice, thus making his moral character tarnished. Audi's skill is to make these ambiguities subtle and paradoxical, for Orfeo's grief and confusion at his permanent loss of Euridice lack nothing in sincerity.
John Mark Ainsley's blend of head and chest voices has beauty and depth, and his acting is equally impressive. Bernarda Fink provides outstanding singing and acting as Proserpina, and Michael Chance delivers a compelling cameo as La Speranza. But it was a bizarre decision to cast David Cordier as an androgynous La Musica who struggles to sing poetically, especially when Suzie Le Blanc – the ideal soprano for this part – steps forward for only a few solo lines.
There are assured contributions from Jean- Paul Fouchécourt, Russell Smythe, Dean Robinson, Brigitte Balleys and Juanita Lascarro.
Mario Luperi looks the part as a giantlike Caronte, although his fast vibrato will not please everybody. The trump card is the superb accompaniment from Concerto Palatino and Tragicomedia, expertly directed by Stephen Stubbs.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“John Mark Ainsley sets the gold standard as Orfeo. Add to this...the alert and inspired conducting of Stephen Stubbs and you have a production able to withstand repeated listening and viewing. This is the version I would want to have permanently on my shelf.” Opera Now, Summer 2011

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - December 2005

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: PAL

Early Music - up to 25% off

Opus Arte - OA0928D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $43.75

Special: $32.81

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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