Opera DVD Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BarryNS, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. BarryNS

    BarryNS Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll be giving the parental units their first-ever DVD player for Christmas...my old man is a huge opera buff, and knowing how vast the opera genre is with respect to most admirable performances and most-loved works, I'm looking to "narrow the field" a bit to just those discs that sport excellent video transfers and sound quality, and hopefully have a few nice features (languages, subtitling, scripts, etc.) to boot....can someone help me out?
     
  2. Sam_K

    Sam_K Stunt Coordinator

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    I highly recommend the ff two:

    1. Bizet's Carmen - a film by Francesco Rosi, featuring Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes. Anamorphic.

    2. La Traviata - a film by Franco Zeffirelli featuring Placido Domingo and Teresa Stratas. Anamorphic.

    I heard that the live recording of Turandot at the Beijing Forbidden City is very good. It's directed by Zhang Yimou, conducted by Zubin Mehta and featuring an Italian opera singers. But I haven't watch it yet.
     
  3. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    Dario Argento's OPERA! just kidding.
     
  4. Tom Fynan

    Tom Fynan Stunt Coordinator

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    Barry,

    The video and audio quality of most of the opera DVDs I have seen have not been reference quality. Most are Stereo, and most are full frame, derived from TV broadcasts. That said, there are some very good DVDs out there. The Metropolitan Opera has many of their TV Broadcasts on DVD, which are usually excellent performances of standard operas with big stars, with better-than-VHS video quality. If your parents like Wagner, the Metropolitan Walkure DVD is wonderful. The Criterion Collection has the movie of Mozart's Magic Flute, directed by Ingmar Bergman, which is probably the best opera movie ever made. The Met DVDs are mainly on Pioneer. Digitally Obsessed has a section of opera DVD reviews.

    Hope this helps,

    Tom Fynan
     
  5. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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    Let me second the recommendation for Bergman's Magic Flute DVD -- really an increadibly great film.
    Also I would recommend the Carmen mentioned above -- I only saw it in a movie theater, so I can't speak about the DVD, but the movie itself is good.
    Ted
     
  6. Thomas W

    Thomas W Agent

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    I recently purchase a couple of opera DVD's and I highly recommend them. The first is a new release of Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte" with Cecilia Bartoli in the lead role. It's in Dolby 5.1 and anamorphic widescreen. The other is Handel's "Ariodante" also in Dolby 5.1 and anamorphic widescreen. The Handel production is especially good for it's camera work, clarity of sound and picture (from Image Entertainment). You feel that you're in the first row of the theater.

    Of course I caution anyone who is buying operas for another person to try and get a feel for that persons taste in operas. There's quite a range from the Monteverdi and Handel operas of the late 16th to the 18th centuries that are full of vocal flamboyance that some find a bit too much, to the more modern Italian operas by Puccini that are more melodic. I think Mozart operas are a nice compromise if you're not sure.
     
  7. Jaehoon Heo

    Jaehoon Heo Stunt Coordinator

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    I am not sure of his preference in composers and sound format. But if he is accustomed to 2-ch audio + video reporduction, I guess stereo PCM track may be better for him. Actually I also prefer PCM to poor-sounding DD5.1, especially in classical music. DD just doesn't sound right.

    My recommendations would be mostly from Universal/Polygram (DGG/Philips/Decca) and Arthaus Musik. How about "Die Fledermaus"(though it is an operetta) to cheer up the feeling? It is directed by Carlos Kleiber (music) and Otto Schenk(act?). But please note that the sound/video quality is as good as an LD. It is good enough for me, but not sure for him.

    I also found some interesting titles like Rigoletto by

    Pavarotti/Chailly and La Traviata featuring Angela Gheorgiu

    and Georg Solti...
     
  8. Angsty

    Angsty Stunt Coordinator

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    Being the Puccini fan, I have to add my vote for La Boheme. For a different experience, try the Baz Luhrmann production for the Australian Opera. Looks great and the singing is wonderful.
    My VHS copy was played to death - thank-goodness the DVD version will last longer [​IMG]
    Angela
     
  9. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I have the Turandot disc. (I think there are 2 different DVD's of Turandot. . .I have the funky one filmed in Beijing with the red cover.)
    It's awesome! Great performance, great disc. Plus it has plenty of neat features like alternate angles to whet your parents' appetites for more DVD-licious fun. Unfortunately I don't know of any other opera discs with the same amount of goodies, but if anyone else can recommend any, I'll buy 'em! [​IMG]
     
  10. Rich Corle

    Rich Corle Stunt Coordinator

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    Dario Argento's OPERA is without a doubt the greatest opera ever.
     

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