I don't know if there are any opera fans here, but I am, and lately I've found myself buying a few favorite operas on DVD. The good thing about operas on DVD is that they usually cost less than audio recordings while providing the visual element that opera requires. The bad things include less-than-optimal picture quality, over-enthusiastic audience applause, and good musical performances compromised by bad directing or sets or costumes. With the major record labels giving up on audio opera recordings (which are too expensive for smaller labels to make), it seems like the future of opera recording is on DVD, and there will be more and more productions taped for DVD release. What I would like to see more of is "studio" DVD operas -- by which I mean not actually taping in a television studio, but taping a stage production without the audience (some of this is already done to fix mistakes etc). This would allow more freedom in where to put the cameras and the microphones, and allow the singers to play to the camera, just like in an audio recording they play to the microphone. I'd like to see more opera DVDs that are specifically conceived for the format, rather than just being souvenirs of a night in the theatre. Meanwhile, here are some opera DVDs I've gotten recently that I like a lot: - Mozart, Cosi Fan Tutte, cond. John Eliot Gardiner -- a really well-done production, directed by the conductor himself, with a cast of singers who actually look their parts as well as sing them well (unfortunately Gardiner's Marriage of Figaro DVD, which he didn't direct himself, isn't as good a production, though it's still worthwhile) - Verdi, Falstaff, cond. Riccardo Muti, with the La Scala Orchestra and an almost all-Italian cast performing in a small theatre in Verdi's hometown, using the sets and costumes from a production from 1913 -- has a great "retro" feel to it because the sets and costumes and staging are so deliberately old-fashioned - Verdi, Otello, cond. Riccardo Muti, with Placido Domingo and the La Scala Opera company (TDK) I also picked up the Carlos Kleiber DVDs of Die Fledermaus and Der Rosenkavalier, both with good casts (though Fledermaus suffers from an Eisenstein who can no longer sing) and productions that aren't very imaginative but at least don't detract from the music. Unfortunately these seem to be going out of print because Unitel (which taped these productions) is going out of business. Any other favorites?