Opera DVD Recommendations

Discussion in 'DVD' started by BarryNS, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. BarryNS

    BarryNS Stunt Coordinator

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    My father is a huge opera fan, and by association/immersion while I was growing up I've come to know a little bit about it, but am by no means an expert or very well versed in which works with which performers are considered the "essential" operas to own for opera fanatics. So I'm looking for recommendations for good DVD releases with the tastes he has, namely, more of the "classic" performers from the 1950's to early 1980's, and also those titles which have very good audio and image quality - this may be a tall order given the era when many of the great opera performances were filmed of course so any that have been particularly well-remastered and mixed would be ideal.
     
  2. BarryNS

    BarryNS Stunt Coordinator

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    My father is a huge opera fan, and by association/immersion while I was growing up I've come to know a little bit about it, but am by no means an expert or very well versed in which works with which performers are considered the "essential" operas to own for opera fanatics. So I'm looking for recommendations for good DVD releases with the tastes he has, namely, more of the "classic" performers from the 1950's to early 1980's, and also those titles which have very good audio and image quality - this may be a tall order given the era when many of the great opera performances were filmed of course so any that have been particularly well-remastered and mixed would be ideal.
     
  3. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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  4. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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  5. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I have a few operas on DVD, of which I just received a couple by Janacek, Jenufa and The Cunning Little Vixen, in the last two or so weeks. Haven't watched The Cunning Little Vixen, but the conductor, Mackerras, is known to be a wonderful match with Janacek. I can say that Jenufa is outstanding. The sound quality is just so-so, but some of the performances are outstanding and it is a great opera, imo, to boot. Janacek is a bit out of the mainstream opera composers though.
     
  6. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I have a few operas on DVD, of which I just received a couple by Janacek, Jenufa and The Cunning Little Vixen, in the last two or so weeks. Haven't watched The Cunning Little Vixen, but the conductor, Mackerras, is known to be a wonderful match with Janacek. I can say that Jenufa is outstanding. The sound quality is just so-so, but some of the performances are outstanding and it is a great opera, imo, to boot. Janacek is a bit out of the mainstream opera composers though.
     
  7. Werner_R

    Werner_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Most recordings on dvd are not older then 1980, for obvious reasons: video quality and mono soundtrack.

    There are some good labels which provide good video and audio quality, check out the catalog of:

    http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/

    Their dvd's are usually R0 and NTSC

    http://www.arthaus-musik.com/

    Arthaus dvd's are region coded and in PAL, I've noticed that some of their dvd's in R1 are distributed by Naxos of America.

    Arthaus has Joan Sutherland in her signature role (Norma) recorded in the late 1970's and Luci Di Lammermoor (1980's).
    Both of these labels have good recordings from Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras,...

    There are some recordings from the 1970's (there is a film version of Lucia Di Lammermoor with Anna Moffo) but as you can imagine the further you go back the worse it gets.
    There is a decent version of Tosca with Renata Tebaldi and George London, released through VAI from the 1960's. The video quality is decent at its best, sound is mono but the voices are great.

    If you want to see the great stars of the 1950's and 1960's performing you can also check out the 2 dvd's of Great Stars of Opera released through VAI, they are Telecasts From the Bell Telephone Hour 1959-1968. You can see each of them performing several famous arias.

    If you're after Maria Callas, EMI classics has 2 concerts of her on 1 dvd: Maria Callas in Concert, Hamburg 1959 and 1962.

    http://www.emiclassics.com/

    They have some great historical performances of great artists, mostly classical music, no opera.

    Here's a list of Opera dvd's I've bought:

    Il Barbiere Di Siviglia - 1988 - Arthaus - Cecilia Bartoli
    La Bohème - 1988 - Arthaus - Pavarotti
    Madama Butterfly - 1986 - Arthaus
    Turandot - 1988 - Deutsche Grammophon - Domingo (with DTS!)
    Don Giovanni - 1991 - Arthaus
    Aida - 1986 - Arthaus - Pavarotti
    La Traviata - 1988 - Arthaus
    Tosca - 1961 - VAI - Renata Tebaldi & George London
    Otello - 1996 - Deutsche Grammophon - Domingo & Fleming (with DTS!)

    There is however one label which seems to release old recordings from the 1950's and 1960's, I've only found them today while browsing the La Scala website:

    http://www.klassikon.com/HARDY_LIST.HTM
     
  8. Werner_R

    Werner_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Most recordings on dvd are not older then 1980, for obvious reasons: video quality and mono soundtrack.

    There are some good labels which provide good video and audio quality, check out the catalog of:

    http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/

    Their dvd's are usually R0 and NTSC

    http://www.arthaus-musik.com/

    Arthaus dvd's are region coded and in PAL, I've noticed that some of their dvd's in R1 are distributed by Naxos of America.

    Arthaus has Joan Sutherland in her signature role (Norma) recorded in the late 1970's and Luci Di Lammermoor (1980's).
    Both of these labels have good recordings from Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras,...

    There are some recordings from the 1970's (there is a film version of Lucia Di Lammermoor with Anna Moffo) but as you can imagine the further you go back the worse it gets.
    There is a decent version of Tosca with Renata Tebaldi and George London, released through VAI from the 1960's. The video quality is decent at its best, sound is mono but the voices are great.

    If you want to see the great stars of the 1950's and 1960's performing you can also check out the 2 dvd's of Great Stars of Opera released through VAI, they are Telecasts From the Bell Telephone Hour 1959-1968. You can see each of them performing several famous arias.

    If you're after Maria Callas, EMI classics has 2 concerts of her on 1 dvd: Maria Callas in Concert, Hamburg 1959 and 1962.

    http://www.emiclassics.com/

    They have some great historical performances of great artists, mostly classical music, no opera.

    Here's a list of Opera dvd's I've bought:

    Il Barbiere Di Siviglia - 1988 - Arthaus - Cecilia Bartoli
    La Bohème - 1988 - Arthaus - Pavarotti
    Madama Butterfly - 1986 - Arthaus
    Turandot - 1988 - Deutsche Grammophon - Domingo (with DTS!)
    Don Giovanni - 1991 - Arthaus
    Aida - 1986 - Arthaus - Pavarotti
    La Traviata - 1988 - Arthaus
    Tosca - 1961 - VAI - Renata Tebaldi & George London
    Otello - 1996 - Deutsche Grammophon - Domingo & Fleming (with DTS!)

    There is however one label which seems to release old recordings from the 1950's and 1960's, I've only found them today while browsing the La Scala website:

    http://www.klassikon.com/HARDY_LIST.HTM
     

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