Blu-ray

Berlioz: Les Troyens (Théâtre du Châtelet)

Berlioz: Les Troyens (Théâtre du Châtelet)

Susan Graham (Didon); Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandra / Clio); Gregory Kunde (née); Ludovic Tézier (Chorèbe); Laurent Naouri (Narbal / Le Grand Prêtre);

"In October 2003 John Eliot Gardiner with his Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique had a great success when they visited Paris to give Berlioz's epic opera in the relatively intimate Theatré du Châtelet but, as the video shows, the stage production by Yannis Kokkos neatly achieves clarity and directness in the complex plot with an economical but effective staging....The performance gains from the fine singing in the central role of Cassandra of Anna Caterina Antonacci, then coming to the fore as a star of the future. Ludovic Tezier is also excellent as her lover Chorebus, and the final chorus of Trojan women, led by Cassandra, brings a thrilling climax." (The Penguin Guide)

Birtwistle: The Minotaur (The Royal Opera)

Birtwistle: The Minotaur (The Royal Opera)

John Tomlinson (The Minotaur); Johan Reuter (Theseus); Christine Rice (Ariadne); Andrew Watts (Snake Priestess); Philip Langridge (Hiereus);

"The impact of the opera is greatly heightened not just by the casting but by the staging by Stephen Langridge at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, very well filled on this DVD, with simple yet vividly atmospheric designs by Alison Chitty. The role of The Minotaur as a sort of Jekyll and Hyde figure was expressly designed for John Tomlinson, the famed Wotan from Bayreuth and centrally cast too in Birtwistle's earlier Gawain. His voice may no longer be as steady as it was, but his singing could not be more moving." (The Penguin Guide)

Bizet: Carmen (Glyndebounre)

Bizet: Carmen (Glyndebounre)

Anne Sofie von Otter (Carmen); Marcus Haddock (Don José); Laurent Naouri (Escamillo); Lisa Milne (Micaëla);

"Under the shrewd direction of McVicar, Anne Sofie von Otter gave us a gypsy of mercurial temperament..." (The Daily Telegraph)

Bizet: Carmen (The Royal Opera)

Bizet: Carmen (The Royal Opera)

Christine Rice (Carmen ); Bryan Hymel (Don José ); Aris Argiris (Escamillo); Maija Kovalevska (Micaëla);

"This staging lends itself specially well to film in many ways. It’s as colourful as the music...Rice’s dark good looks make her a good choice for the part. Her singing is precise and attractive ... Argiris’s Escamillo is much deeper than the usual flashy image ... Kovalevska’s Micaëla on the other hand was superb from beginning to end." (Opera Today)

Bizet: Carmen in 3D (The Royal Opera)

Bizet: Carmen in 3D (The Royal Opera)

Christine Rice (Carmen); Bryan Hymel (Don José); Aris Argiris (Escamillo); Maija Kovalevska (Micaëla); Elena Xanthoudakis (Frasquita); Paula Murrihy (Mercedes); Harry Nicoll (Le Remendado); Adrian Clarke (Le Dancaine); Nicolas Courjal (Zuniga); Dawid Kimberg (Morales);

"This staging lends itself specially well to film in many ways. It’s as colourful as the music ... Rice’s dark good looks make her a good choice for the part. Her singing is precise and attractive ... Argiris’s Escamillo is much deeper than the usual flashy image...Kovalevska’s Micaëla on the other hand was superb from beginning to end." (Opera Today)

Britten: Billy Budd (Glyndebourne)

Britten: Billy Budd (Glyndebourne)

John Mark Ainsley (Captain Vere); Jacques Imbrailo (Billy Budd); Philip Ens (Claggart);

"Elder's unerring sense of theatre puts him absolutely at one with the stage in every episode. He's clearly the guiding spirit of this Billy Budd. The production has been directed with laudable unobtrusiveness by Michael Grandage...Video director Francois Rousillon does exceptional work here, with the precision of HD a constant pleasure. Opus Arte's recorded sound is superb." (International Record Review)