View Full Version : Recommend me your *MUST HAVE*/desert island DVD recordings

February 18th, 2015, 05:05 AM
I have just started watching opera DVDs. So I would like to ask what are your favourite DVDs?

I don't think this will clash with the favourite recording thread as some of your favourite choices will not be in the top 100 opera choice.

No limit with the number this time...

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 18th, 2015, 06:05 AM
While this thread has recommendations for must have blu-ray discs, most of these have also been released on DVD:


February 18th, 2015, 07:38 AM
Surprised there is no Meistersinger on this list. I would add it as my favoutite DVD (of my very small list of watched)...

Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Recorded live at Glyndebourne, Lewes, July 2011
Gerald Finley (Hans Sachs), Anna Gabler (Eva), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), Marco Jentzsch (Walther von Stolzing), Topi Lehtipuu (David), Michaela Selinger (Magdalene), Alastair Miles (Veit Pogner), Henry Waddington (Fritz Kothner), Mats Almgren (Nightwatchman), Colin Judson (Kunz Vogelgesang), Andrew Slater (Konrad Nachtigall), Alasdair Elliott (Balthasar Zorn), Adrian Thompson (Ulrich Eisslinger), Daniel Norman (Augustin Moser), Robert Poulton (Hermann Ortel), Maxim Mikailov (Hans Schwarz), Graeme Broadbent (Hans Foltz)
London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Glyndebourne Chorus, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor) & David McVicar (stage director)


March 17th, 2015, 10:08 PM
Review Deidamia DeNederlandse Opera

This bypasses the watching thread and comes straight through to the desert island discs

Now I like the opera Deidamia; Handel is my favourite composer and this is one of his best...

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)


It is like he threw the kitchen sink at the English public. If you don't like this then I'm not going to do any more Italian opera! It is curtain to curtain brilliant arias, including light and fun, profound, romantic and dramatic. Yes, I love this opera.

So maybe I approach this with prejudice or Handel tinted spectacles, I don't know. Though I did think this would be good and was intending to save it for that moment but I could not hold off and watched it at the first instance.

The gripes out first, the sound is not great. It is not bad but a bit wonky. Not your builder/plasterer whistling through his teeth saying I've never seen walls so pissed, but just the balance is off between orchestra and vocals. Either that or really Bolton did smother the cast in places but as I said not bad, just not very good.

That might sound bad but wait, lemme finish.

The lighting is not working great for me. Perhaps it was part of the design with the sets (more to come) but somewhere between the TV director and the lighting director and the stage director, something went wrong and I will slap them with a wet fish. On the screen (it may have worked well in the theatre) the shadows were too much and looked like a third tier stage production.

But this is small change.

This is a great dvd. It is one of my favourites yet to date. It is an absolute credit to the opera and I am sure our friend George would give his nod.

It is cheeky chappy humour. The costumes and set are not of traditional period as much as Glyndebourne-McVicar-Giulio is not. One could call it regie but there is no major story retelling with the changes, no profound allegorical symbolism and definitely no baby-doll-head lap-dancers like in the Wagner Die Meistersinger. No this is just pure fun, imaginative and beautiful settings.

The sets are somewhere between fun, beautiful and absolute genius. I will skip the submarine (fun and nothing controversial) and say the main theme seems to fuse geometrics with Constable lights and colours and Vettriano moods all combined to a wonderful cocktail of visuals that don't distract but enhance the mood brilliantly so the viewer is just in a delightful mood all the way through.

The choreography is a mix between fun and brave (maybe a tad embarassing at times as I'm sure Achilles' moves were inspired by Clayton dance floor operations) but all carried out well to make it look good.

The vocals are good to excellent. Perhaps none will be remembered through history as the great interpreters of the roles but maybe Sally Matthews. She is definitely excellent in demonstrating a sexy Deidamia that sons of Gods or Greek generals would fall head over heels for. Her performance for Se'l timore in act 2 or M'hai resa infelice in act 3 to just mention a couple are those that make you nod towards the screen.

There are of course other performances too that will tickle you. All will have expectations of Licomede's Nel riposo e nel contento, here sung by Umberto Chiummo. Whilst delivered with a beautiful Mediterranean herb garden of a voice, it lacks a little in the emotional content but more than made up again with the setting and the stage (indication in the pictures below).

Keeping this post to under a million words; Veronica Cangemi is a very good Nerea balancing the entire casting, Olga Pasichnyk good Achille and Silvia Tro Santafe (a favourite of Clayton) suffering a little with volume in parts but otherwise good Ulisse. Andrew Foster-Williams, a performer I was unfamiliar with, is a bass singer with a voice that is pleasant and I am sure would please most fans of this fach.

But back to the staging. It is really some of the best designs I have seen as in terms of composition, colour and texture; architecturally brilliant (though to be honest, I have not seen that many). I post this hours after seeing the dvd as I wanted to show some screen shots.

All in, a very fun opera beautifully and skilfully presented to make a thoroughly enjoying time.

******Spoiler alert******








I probably have shown too many... though there were eleven more favourite screen shots...

March 18th, 2015, 02:14 AM
These three for sure: