That's Rentertainment Logo
516 E John Street, Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 384-0977

Urbana-Champaign's Best Independent DVD Rental store
(locally owned and operated since 1985)

Try out our new "work-in-progress" movie catalog search engine right here!
That's Rentertainment is now CLOSED forever -- sorry.
Follow us elsewhere...
facebook twitter twitter

Get our weekly updates
(info)

More Information...

Mailing List
Rental Info/Hours
Blocks
New Arrivals
Coming Soon
News
Renter Merch Booth
Red Green Show
Pocket Pal
Tape Transfer Service
Miscellaneous Stuff
Frequently Asked ???
Links, etc

Shop locally
Support Not-For-Profits
Find us (or at least get close)
Contact info
vert line
Operas available at That's Rentertainment:
NOTE: All of these are available on DVD unless otherwise noted. We may have gotten a few more operas that haven't made this list yet -- check the opera section in the store to see what's in stock.
A
G
H
J
K
L
N
Q
U
V
X
Y
Z

The Barber of Seville / Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1988)

Written by: Gioacchino Rossini
Directed by: Claus Viller
Conducted by: Gabriele Ferro
Choir of Cologne City Opera, Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart

This performance of Giaocchino Rossini's opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia features the Choir of Cologne City Opera. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

 

The Barber of Seville / Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1992)

Written by: Gioacchino Rossini
Directed by: Dario Fo
Conducted by: Alberto Zedda
Chorus of the Netherlands Opera / The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

Innovative stage director Dario Fo made his operatic debut with this staging of Rossini's masterful comic opera Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), in which Figaro the barber attempts to help Count Almaviva win the hand of Rosina, with much confusion as the result. The cast features Richard Croft, David Malis, and Jennifer Larmore, accompanied by the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

 

(watch Bugs Bunny in "The Rabbit of Seville" on YouTube - also available on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol 1, Disc 1.)  

Bluebeard's Castle (1981)

Written by: Béla Bartók
Directed by: Miklós Szinetár
Conducted by: Georg Solti
London Philhamonic

A visually stunning all-Hungarian production of Bartók's only opera, memorably led by Sir Georg Solti, one of the composer's greatest interpreters.

 

Bluebeard's Castle

La Boheme (1965)

Written by: Giacom Puccini
Directed by: Franco Zeffirelli
Conducted by: Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro all Scala

The second of Franco Zeffirelli's filmed operas (it was originally made for TV), La Boheme is of course based on the masterwork by Giacomo Puccini, itself based on a novel by Henri Murger. Mirella Freni plays the tragic Mimi, who is devoted to fickle "starving artist" Rodolfo (Gianni Raimondi). Adriana Martino has most of the best scenes -- and steals those that she hasn't--in the role of the coquettish Musetta. The film's style was dictated by Zeffirelli's staging of La Boheme at Milan's La Scala opera house. Herbert von Karajan wields the baton for this sumptuous stage-to-screen event. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

La Boheme (1993)

Written by: Giacomo Puccini
Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
Conducted by: Julian Smith
The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

This imaginative production of Puccini's beloved opera about the triumphs and tragedies of a group of young artists in Paris is set in the early 1950s, using the economic doldrums in post-war Europe as its subtext. It was staged by director Baz Luhrmann and designers Catherine Martin and Bill Marron, who later went on to make the film Strictly Ballroom. Taped in a live performance at the Sydney Opera House, this production features The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra under the direction of Julian Smith, and stars Cheryl Baker, David Hobson, and Roger Lemke. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

 

Boris Godunov (1990)

Written by: Modest Mussorgsky
Directed by: Andrei Tarkovsky
Conducted by: Valery Gergiev

Filmed in Russia during the collapse of the Soviet Union, this particular production of Mussorgsky's 1872 tale of political upheaval is considered a highly unique and historical moment in opera. Robert Lloyd stars in the title role of Boris Godunov.

 

Boris_Godunov

Boris Godunov (2004)

Written by: Modest Mussorgsky
Directed by: Willy Decker
Conducted by: Sebastiane Weigle

Modest Mussorgsky's crowning masterpiece is captured live during a 2004 performance at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in this release directed for television and video by Xavi Bovt. Matti Salminen, Brian Asawa, and Marie Arnet star, and Willie Decker directs for the stage.

 

Boris Godunov

Carmen (1984)

Written by: Georges Bizet
Directed by: Francesco Rosi
Conducted by: Lorin Maazel

All the passion and spectacle of Bizet's Carmen comes to life in this dazzling screen opera starring Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes-Johnson. In 19th century Seville, the lusty, tempestuous Carmen (Migenes-Johnson) seduces a naive Army corporal, Don Jose (Domingo), newly assigned to the village fortress. Jose abandons his career, his fiance and even his dying mother for the love of this sultry gypsy. But soon she spurns him in favor of a toreador, Escamillo (Ruggero Raimondi). Crazed with jealousy, Jose begs Carmen to return to him, but her taunting declaration of independence results in tragedy. Shot entirely on location in Andalusia Spain, Bizet's Carmen has been hailed as the definitive version of this classic opera. Superbly directed by Francesco Rosi (Illustrious Corpses).

 

Carmen (1984)

Carmen (2003)

Written by: Georges Bizet
Directed by: Franco Zeffirelli
Conducted by: Alain Lombard
Orchestra, Choir and Corps de Ballet of the Arena di Verona

This 2003 performance of Georges Bizet's 19th century opera Carmen was produced and directed by filmmaker and stage director Franco Zeffirelli, best known to many for the Academy Award-winning big-screen adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Shot at the Arena di Verona, the production features Marina Domashenko in the title role and music by the Orchestra of the Arena di Verona under conductor Alain Lombard. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

 

Carmen (2005)

Written by: Georges Bizet
Directed by: Peter Hall
Conducted by: Bernard Haitink

Carmen is one of the few indisputable masterpieces of its time to be composed for a small theater and Glyndebourne provides a heaven-sent backdrop for this sizzling Peter Hall production. "Bizet's score sounds miraculous in this theatre. " FINANCIAL TIMES. The accent is on stark realism and dramatic intensity. An electrically vivid Carmen is portrayed by Maria Ewing. "a rare combination of gifted singer and outstanding actress" SUNDAY TELEGRAPH. Bizet's famous Spanish gypsy is matched with the sentimental Don José of Barry McCauley "an American tenor of real promise.a thrilling Don José" OBSERVER. Bizet's famous score includes such favorites as the Habanera, The Flower Song, The Toreador's Song and perhaps the most famous overture of all opera. "The London Philharmonic under Bernard Haitink is honouring every treasurable detail of Bizet's enchanting score." INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE.

 

Also available: alternate takes on Bizet's Carmen (located in places other than the opera section)...

Bizet's Carmen (1984) (available as PAL DVD only) Directed by: Francesco Rosi
Carmen (1983) (Spain) Directed by: Carlos Saura
Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001) (GEN) Directed by: Robert Townsend
Carmen, Baby (1967) (GEN) Directed by: Radley Metzger
Carmen Jones (1954) (CLA) Directed by: Otto Preminger
U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (2005) Directed by: Mark Dornford-May

 

La Cenerentola (1988)

Written by: Gioacchino Rossini
Directed by: Michael Hampe
Conducted by: Riccardo Chailly
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
(from the Salzburg Festival)

This witty production of the classic Cinderella fairy tale, La Cenerentola, by Gioacchino Rossini, is performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus at the Salzburg Festival. Under the direction of Michael Hampe, the story unfolds with unexpected twists and turns. There is a stellar performance by soprano Ann Murray in the title role, with her prince played by Francisco Araiza. ~ Rose of Sharon Winter, All Movie Guide

 

Così Fan Tutte (1983)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: Michael Hampe
Conducted by: Riccardo Muti

Michael Hampe mounted Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Così fan tutte at the Kleines Festspielhaus in Salzburg c. August 1983; a film of that live production appears in this home video release. Margaret Marshall performs as Fiordiligi, Ann Murray as Dorabella, James Morris as Guglielmo, Francisco Araiza as Ferrando, Kathleen Battle as Despina, and Sesco Bruscantini as Don Alfonso. The Wiener Philharmoniker, under the baton of Riccardo Muti, and the Konzertvereinigung Wienerstaatsopernchor, led by chorus master Walter Hagen-Groll, provide musical accompaniment. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

 

Così Fan Tutte (2005)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: Patrice Chéreau
Conducted by: Daniel Harding
Arnold Schönberg Chor, Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera buffa Cosi Fan Tutte premiered in 1790 at the behest of Emperor Joseph II of Austria; the premise concerns Ferrando and Guglielmo, two military officers who attempt to "test" the faithfulness of their wives, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, during the men's periods of military service. To create the work, Mozart interweaves elements from the myth of Procris as documented by Ovid with the 13th century theme of fiancée-swapping. The Aix-en-Provence Festival mounted the work in 2005; a film of that production now comes to home viewers in this video release. Stéphane Degout stars as Guglielmo, Shawn Mathey as Ferrando, Elina Garanca as Dorabella, and Erin Wall as Fiordiligi. The Arnold Schönberg Chor and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Daniel Harding, provide musical accompaniment; the legendary Patrice Chéreau (Intimacy) directs, and Richard Perduzzi designed the sets. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

 

Death in Venice (1981)

Written by: Benjamin Britten
Directed by: Tony Palmer
Conducted by: Steuart Bedford
The English Chamber Orchestra

Tony Palmer directs this film version of Benjamin Britten's opera Death in Venice, based on the 1912 novella by Thomas Mann. Robert Gard plays Gustav von Aschenbach, a troubled writer who travels from Munich to Venice. While he struggles with his own personal pain, he becomes obsessed with a handsome youn boy named Tadzio. Music is provided by the English Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Steuart Bedford. Filmed on-location in Venice, Italy, in 1981. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

 

Don Giovanni (1979)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: Joseph Losey
Conducted by: Lorin Maazel
Paris Opera

At first glance, Joseph Losey seems a curious directorial choice for this 1979 film adaptation of the Mozart opera Don Giovanni. But it had been Losey's lifelong dream to commit the opera to film, and he does full justice to the material, exhibiting a sense of spectacle hitherto untapped in Losey's filmic collaborations with minimalist playwright Harold Pinter. The plotline adheres faithfully to the original Lorenzo Da Ponte libretto, with rakish Don Giovanni (Ruggerio Raimondi) putting the make on the aristocratic Dona Ana (Edda Moser). Giovanni's enemies warn him that he'll suffer mightily for his amorous escapades. And when the gates of hell open up on cue in the last act, and Don Giovanni is dragged screaming into perdition, it turns out those enemies were right. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

Don Giovanni (1990)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: Peter Sellars
Conducted by: Craig Smith
Arnold-Schonberg-Chor, Wiener Symphoniker

This production stems from Peter Sellars' famously updated stagings of the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy at the PepsiCo Summerfare Festival in Purchase, New York. Relocated to modern Harlem, the relationships established primarily by social class and gender are reinterpreted in a mixed racial world tinged by drugs. Don Giovanni and Leporello are performed by Eugene and Herbert Parry, African-American twins in real life. Their physical similarity is particularly effective in scenes in which Leporello is supposed to be disguised as his master, and Leporello's frequently uttered wishes to be just like the Don gain visual reinforcement. Sellars' view that this opera resonates with very dark sides of modern society is underscored by his omision of the final sextet in D major; this concluding tragic tone was often favored in performances in the 19th Century and by such notable conductors such as Mahler. - KS

 

Don Giovanni (2001)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by:
Conducted by: Nickolaus Harnoncourt
The Orchestra of the Opernhaus Zurich

Recorded at the Opernhaus Zurich in 2001, this release from Arthaus Musik features a live performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni. Along with Rodney Gilfry in the title role, the cast includes Laszlo Polgar as Leporello and Isabel Rey as Donna Anna. The Orchestra of the Opernhaus Zurich provides the music under conductor Nickolaus Harnoncourt. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

 

La Donna del Lago (1992)

Written by: Gioacchino Rossini
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Conducted by: Riccardo Muti
Teatro alla Scala

Based on Sir Walter Scott's narrative poem "The Lady of the Lake," opera composer Gioacchini Rossini's La Donna del Lago follows a pair of lovers through the pitfalls of feudal Scotland. This video production was recorded in 1992 at the Teatro alla Scala in Italy, and features director Werner Herzog as well as vocalists Riccardo Muti, and June Anderson. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide

 

The Enchanted Island (2011)

Written by: Jeremy Sams
Directed by: Barbara Willis Sweete
Conducted by: William Christie
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus

"A Showcase for and a love letter to a century of amazing music" is how the creator of The Enchanted Island, Jeremy Sams, described this spectacular operatic pasticcio of music by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Purcell and others. Premiered at the Metropolitan in New York on New Year's Eve 2011, it stars Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, Danielle de Niese and Placido Domingo, and is conducted by William Christie.

With a story based on Shakespear's The Tempest and a Midsummer Night's Dream, it was not the work of a contemporary composer, but instead, drew on works by figures of the Baroque era Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Purcell, Campra, Ferrandini, Leclair and Rebel. Devised by the British writer, librettist and translator, Jeremy Sams, the piece revived the 18th century tradition of the plasticcio, taking arias from a variety of different sources and setting them to a new libretto.

 

Enchanted Island

Fidelio (1979)

Written by: Ludwig van Beethoven
Directed by: Peter Hall
Conducted by: Bernard Haitink
The Glyndebourne Chorus, The London Philharmonic Orchestra

Elisabeth Söderstrom and Curt Applegren headline this performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's classic Fidelio in an elaborate performance staged at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in 1979 and featuring The Glyndebourne Chorus and London Philharmonic Orchestra performing under the wand of conductor Bernard Haitink. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

 

Fidelio (2004)

Written by: Ludwig van Beethoven
Directed by: Jürgen Flimm
Conducted by: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Choir and Orchestra of Opernhauses Zürich

This performance of Beethoven's opera, Fidelio was recorded live at the Opernhaus Zurich in February of 2004. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

 

Der Fliegende Holländer (2013)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by: Andreas Homoki
Conducted by: Alain Altinoglu
Philharmonia Zürich

Bryn Terfel stars in Richard Wagners Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman). This exceptional recording was made at the Zurich opera house in January 2013.

 

Der Fliegende Hollander

Lo Frate 'nnamorato (1990)

Written by: Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Directed by: Roberto de Simone
Conducted by: Riccardo Muti
Teatro alla Scala

The internationally famous Teatro La Scalla opera company presents this production of Pergolesi's comic opera of romantic misadventure and misunderstandings. Alessandro Corbelli, Nuccia Focile and Amelia Felle star in this rediscovered treasure of the baroque era. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

 

Iolanta / Persephone (2012)

Written by: Giuseppe Verdi
Directed by: Peter Sellars
Conducted by: Teodor Currentzis
Young Singers of the Jorcam
Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real

Unanimously acclaimed, Peter Sellars' new production of these two masterpieces was one of the great highlights of Gerard Mortier's season at the Teatro Real. The orchestra and cast, including Ekaterina Scherbachenko and Paul Groves, are lifted to rare heights of poetic expression under the daring and insightful baton of Teodor Currentzis.

 

Iolanta / Persephone

Macbeth (1987)

Written by: Giuseppe Verdi
Directed by: Luca Ronconi
Conducted by: Giuseppe Sinopoli
Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Shakespeare's MACBETH proves itself to be perfectly suited to the opera genre in Verdi's operatic adaptation of the great drama. The story of passion, family, power, and betrayal is one of high emotion and timeless themes, all of which Verdi's music serves to accentuate. This 1987 production, directed by Luca Ronconi and conducted by Guiseppe Sinopoli, concentrates on the characters of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the witches, and brings new life to the music.

 

Madama Butterfly (1974)

Written by: Giacomo Puccini
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Ponelle
Conducted by: Herbert von Karajan
w/ Mirella Frein, Plácido Domingo, Christa Ludvig
Wiener Philharmoniker

Of all Puccini's major operas, the intimate tragedy of Madama Butterfly is least in need of elaborate staging and might therefore benefit most from the close scrutiny of film. The story is domestic, the setting Spartan, the incidental characters kept to a minimum. This 1974 version, however, demonstrates that Butterfly still needs a healthy injection of proscenium arch melodrama. Director Jean-Pierre Ponelle's production strives for realism but remains unfortunately studio-bound, having neither the benefit of location filming nor the heightened reality of an opera stage. The exterior is a perpetually fog-shrouded heath of indeterminate locale; the interior is cramped and unadorned. The setting is just too prosaic to contain the epic emotions of grand opera.

Thankfully, the cast is a superb one, headed by Plácido Domingo's rakish Pinkerton and Mirella Freni's rubicund Butterfly. Their singing is incomparable, as is Herbert von Karajan's musical direction of the Vienna Philharmonic. The singers mime to prerecorded music, which is occasionally disconcerting since when film demands close-ups, opera provides broad gestures. Musically, this Butterfly is impeccable. Visually it adds nothing that could not be seen to better effect in a stage version. -- Mark Walker

 

Madama Butterfly (1986)

Written by: Giacomo Puccini
Directed by: Keita Asari
Conducted by: Lorin Maazel
Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro Alla Scala, Milan

The Teatro Alla Scala of Milan sought to give an authentic Eastern flavor to their 1987 production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, the classic story of a tragic love affair between an American sailor and a Japanese maiden. With this in mind, Keita Asari was commissioned in to direct, and he brought with him two of the most gifted vocalists in the Asian opera community, Yasuko Hayashi and Hak-Nam Kim. The result was a spectacular presentation which combined the subtle visual motifs of classic Japanese art with a musical approach that merged the best of East and West, and this video records this special presentation of Madama Butterfly in full. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

 

Madama Butterfly (2003)

Written by: Giacomo Puccini
Directed by: Robert Wilson
Conducted by: Edo de Waart
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and The Chorus of the Netherlands Opera

Robert Wilson mounted Giacomo Puccini's legendary operatic opus Madame Butterfly on stage, in a 2003 production featuring the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and The Chorus of the Netherlands Opera. Starring Cheryl Barker as the title character, Madama Butterfly, (aka Cio-Cio San) and Martin Thompson as B.F. Pinkerton, the opera sings the tragic song of the marriage of geisha Cio-Cio and soldier Pinkerton during military service (which requires the bride to renounce her faith and much of her family in favor of her new husband), Pinkerton's abandonment of his Japanese wife when his tour of duty ends, and her eventual suicide. Edo de Waart assumes musical direction. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

 

The Magic Flute (1975)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: Ingmar Bergman

A longtime pet project of Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera The Magic Flute was finally brought to the screen in 1973. In so doing, Bergman used a device he'd been toying with in other films, notably Persona: he offers a stage production of the opera while detailing the backstage intrigues of its participants. While the opera itself is offered in a highly stylized and theatrical fashion, the fluidity of the camerawork turns the affair into a purely cinematic experience. Sung in Swedish, the libretto remains as ever: a gentle parody of the initiation ceremonies of the Masons, offered as an other-worldy fantasy involving a kidnapped princess (Irma Urrila), a vengeful Queen of the Night (Ulric Cold), and a carefree wanderer who periodically plays the titular flute. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

The Magic Flute / Die Zauberflöte (1992)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: Axel Manthey
Director of Music: Wolfgang Gonnenwein

Live from the Ludwigsburger Schlosstheater

Recorded in 1992 at the Ludwigsburger Schlosstheater, this release from Art Haus Musik features a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's two-act opera Die Zauberflote. The production stars Deon Van Der Walt as Tamino and Ulrike Sonntag as Pamina and includes music by The Ludwigcburger Festspiele. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

 

The Magic Flute / Die Zauberflöte (2003)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: David McVicar
Conducted by: Colin Davis

Recorded live at Covent Garden

From BBC and Opus Arte comes this production of one of the final works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Magic Flute. Directed by David McVicar, Die Zauberflöte comes from a 2003 performance of the opera at Covent Garden. The orchestra of the Royal Opera House provides the music under conductor Colin Davis and the cast includes Simon Keenlyside and Dorothea Roschmann. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

 

The Magic Flute (2006)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: Gary Halvorson
Stage Director: Julie Taymor
Conductor: James Levine

The inaugural broadcast of the Peabody and Emmy®-award winning series The Met Live in HD. The Magic Flute has delighted audiences of all ages for centuries. Julie Taymor's dazzling English-language production brings one of Mozart s greatest works to life as never before. James Levine leads a cast that includes Ying Huang as Pamina in her Met debut, Nathan Gunn, Matthew Polenzani, Erika Miklosa and Rene Papa. Taken from the December 30, 2006 live performance.

 

Magic Flute (Metropolitan Opera)

The Marriage of Figaro / Le Nozze di Figaro (1973)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: David Heather
Conducted by: John Pritchard
The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Glydebourne Chorus

Filmed at the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris

Knut Skram, Ileana Cotrubas, and Kiri Te Kanawa headline this production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's classic opera in this performance captured live at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in 1973. Conductor John Pritchard leads The London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Chorus. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

 

The Marriage of Figaro / Le Nozze di Figaro (1994)

Written by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by: Olivier Mille
Conducted by: John Eliot Gardner
The Monteverdi Choir / The English Baroque Soloists

Filmed at the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris

Mozart's comic opera of love, lies, betrayal, and various degrees of underhanded behavior is captured in both sound and image in this home video release. Starring Alison Hagley, Bryn Terfel, and Rodney Gilfry, Le Nozze Di Figaro features the English Baroque Soloists under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

 

Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg (2011)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by: David McVicar
Conducted by: Vladimir Jurowski
The London Philharmonic Orchestra
The Glyndebourne Chorus

David McVicar's production of Die Meistersinger is updated to the early-19th century of Wagner's childhood. At the center of the cast is Gerald Finley, an 'eminently believable' Sachs, supported by the dynamic conducting of Vladimir Jurowski which uses Glyndebourne's special intimacy to focus on the subtlety of Wagner's musical and dramatic counterpoint.

 

Die Meistersinger

Orpheus in the Underworld (1997)

Written by: Jacques Offenbach
Directed by: Herbert Wernicke
Conducted by: Patrick Davin
Theatre de la Monnaie Brussels

Experience Offenbach's burlesque classic as never before in this performance of Orpheus in the Underworld -- captured live at Brussels' Theatre de la Monnaie. An audacious take on the Greek legend of Orpheus, Offenbach's version tells the decadent tale of a group of dissolute gods who choose to seek adventure in hell after growing bored with the amenities and comforts of heaven. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

 

Orpheus

Otello (1986)

Written by: Giuseppe Verde
Directed by: Franco Zeffirelli
Conducted by: Lorin Maazel
w/ Placido Domingo, Katia Ricciarelli, Justino Diaz

Having previously staged Verdi's 1887 opera Otello at the Met and La Scala, filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli committed his production to film in 1986. Starring as the fatally jealous Moor of Venice is Placido Domingo, who had also headlined Zeffirelli's 1976 La Scala staging (production on the film was briefly interrupted while Domingo participated in the rescue operations following the Mexico City earthquake). While Katia Ricciarelli as Desdemona and Justino Diaz as Iago perform their own singing, Zeffirelli's Cassio--played by real-life European prince Urbano Barberini--is dubbed by Ezio de Cesare. The director made several cuts in the original libretto and score in order to accommodate the film's two-hour time limit, but these excisions are done with taste and discretion. Because of the excessive violence in the third act--two murders, a suicide, a superficial throat-slashing--Otello was released with a PG rating. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

Parsifal (aka Parsifal: The Search for the Grail) (1998)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by: Tony Palmer
Conducted by: Valery Gergiev
The Kirov Orchestra and Choir
w/ Placido Domingo, Violeta Urmana, Matti Salminen, Nikolai Putilin

British filmmaker Tony Palmer directed the Russian professional premiere of Parsifal, in St. Petersburg in 1997. This production was remounted in 1998 at the Bolshoi in Moscow, and in Ravello, a city that provided much inspiration for Wagner in the creation of his last opera. Working with Valery Gergiev, who has committed himself to restoring Wagner's operas to Russia's stages, Palmer rigorously explored the opera and its background. This film, with Placido Domingo as narrator, surveys the opera's background and genesis, profiles the question of its resonance with 20th Century anti-Semitism, and considers its influence on popular culture. It includes generous excerpts from Palmer's productions of Parsifal in St. Petersburg and Ravello, as well as footage from Siena and Bayreuth. Palmer urges us to consider afresh, from a modern perspective, the idea of compassion that is central to Wagner's treatment of the quest for the Holy Grail. -- KS

Here is an excellent web page devoted to Parsifal.
And here is Tony Palmer's web page.

NOTE #1: This American release was edited without consent of the director, with the result that some especially powerful and provocative material has been cut. Palmer's perspective is not lost, just slightly denatured.

NOTE #2: If you are hardcore about Wagner's Parsifal, check out local celebrities Bill Kinderman and Katherine Syer's exhaustive book "A Companion to Wagner's Parsifal (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)"

 

Il Postino (2012)

Written by: Daniel Catán
Directed by: Ron Daniels, Ryan Large
Conducted by: Grant Gershon
Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and chorus

This performance of the Daniel Catan opera Il Postino performed at the Los Angeles Opera House features vocalists Placido Domingo, Charles Castronovo, and Cristina Gallardo-Domas in the leading roles.

 

Il Postino

Rigoletto (2000)

Written by: Giuseppe Verdi
Directed by: David McVicar
Conducted by: Edward Downes
Orchestra and chorus of the Royal Opera House

This performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera, Rigoletto was directed by David McVicar. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

 

Rigoletto

Rigoletto (2001)

Written by: Giuseppe Verdi
Directed by: Charles Roubaud
Conducted by: Marcello Viotti
Orchestra, Choir and Corps de Ballet of Arena di Verona

This performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto is based on the libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and the vocal talents of Aquiles Machado. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

 

Salome (1974)

Written by: R Strauss
Directed by: Götz Friedrich
Conducted by: Carl Böhm

Conductor Karl Böhm leads the Wiener Philharmoniker in this production of Strauss' Salome. Teresa Stratas, Bernd Weikl, Astrid Varnay, and Hans Beirer star in a lavish stage production directed by Götz Friedrich.
-- Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

 

 

Salome

Salome (1997)

Written by: R Strauss
Directed by: Luc Bondy
Conducted by: Christoph von Dohnanyi

Under the direction of conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, performs this 1997 production of Richard Strauss' opera Salome, from the 1896 play by Oscar Wilde. Libretto from Hedwig Lachmann's German translation. Catherine Malfitano plays Salome, Bryn Terfel plays Jachanaan, Kenneth Riegel plays Herodes, and Anja Silja plays Herodias. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

 

Salome

Satyagraha (1983)

Written by: Phillip Glass
Directed by: Hugo Kach
Conducted by: Dennis Russell Davis

Composer Philip Glass embraced his interest in both Indian music and the political and spiritual philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi in his opera Satyagraha, and this home video release preserves a German production staged in 1983. Philip Glass: Satyagraha presents a stylized interpretation of the period when Gandhi developed his philosophy of "Satyagraha" (or "passive resistance"), and moves back and forth through time so that the audience sees both Gandhi's revolutionary actions and the lives of three other men who studied his teachings -- Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, and Martin Luther King Jr. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

 

Semiramide (1990)

Written by: Gioacchino Rossini
Directed by: John Copley
Conducted by: James Conlon
Metropolita Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Gioacchino Rossini's final masterwork gets the royal treatment by the New York Metropolitan Opera in this filmed performance of John Copley's elaborate adaptation starring Marilyn Horne and June Anderson. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

 

Tannhauser (1998)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Conducted by: Gustav Kuhn
Orchestra of the San Carlo Theatre, Naples

A romantic opera in three acts with music and libretto by Richard Wagner, performed by the Orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo. The original title, Tannhauser und der Sangerkrieg auf Wartburg, reveals the real nature of the opera, born by a fusion of two traditional sagas and dedicated to the dualism of spirituality and sensuality and the possibility of redemption through love. Composed between 1843 and 1845, Tannhauser has a tormented musical theme, made up of constant variations. It debuted in Dresden in 1845 when Wagner was just over 30. 186 minutes.

 

Tosca (1976)

Written by: Giacomo Puccini
Directed by: Gianfranco de Bosio
Conducted by:
Bruno Bartoletti
Ambrosian Singers, New Philharmonia Orchestra
w/ Raina Kabaivanska, Placido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes

Internationally renowned tenor Plácido Domingo leads the cast of this production of Puccini's tale of a doomed romance between star-crossed lovers. Tosca was filmed on authentic locations in Rome under the direction of Gianfranco de Bosio, with accompaniment by the New Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Bruno Bartoletti. The cast also includes Raina Kabaivanska as Tosca, Sherrill Milnes and Giancarlo Luccardi. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

 

Tosca (1985)

Written by: Giacomo Puccini
Directed by: Franco Zeffirelli
Conducted by: Giuseppe Sinopoli
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Franco Zeffirelli both stage-directed and designed the sets for this 1985 Metropolitan Opera production of Puccini's romantic opera Tosca. The story revolves around the singer Floria Tosca (Hildegard Behrens), who is jealous of her lover, painter Mario Cavaradossi (Placido Domingo). The corrupt police chief Scarpia (Cornell MacNeil) is after the escaped political prisoner Cesare Angelotti (James Courtney), who is friends with Mario. The treacherous Scarpia arrests Mario, Angelotti kills himself, and Tosca gets homicidal. Several murders and betrayals later, the conclusion involves Mario and Tosca before a firing squad in the dramatic final act. Conducted by Guiseppe Sinopoli. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

 

Tosca (2007)

Written by: Giacomo Puccini
Directed by:
Conducted by: Ulf Schirmer
The Vienna Symphony Orchestra

 

 

Tosca 2007

La Traviata (1982)

Written by: Giuseppe Verdi
Directed by: Franco Zeffirelli
Conducted by: James Levine
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Tenor Plácido Domingo and soprano Teresa Stratas star in director Franco Zeffirelli's lushly cinematic version of Verdi's opera La Traviata ("The Woman Gone Astray"), a story of doomed love in 1840s Paris. Violetta (Stratas), who is the mistress of a wealthy baron, hosts a lavish party to celebrate her improved health after a bout with tuberculosis. There she meets Alfredo (Domingo) and becomes smitten with him as he, she, and the guests join in the famous "Drinking Song." Violetta leaves the baron, and she and Alfredo move into a secluded country villa together, where they live happily for a while. But unknown to Alfredo, his father (baritone Cornell MacNeil) convinces Violetta that continuing her relationship with Alfredo will prevent Alfredo's sister from making a good marriage. With great sadness, Violetta decides that she must not only break permanently with Alfredo, she must keep him at a distance by returning to the baron. Misunderstanding her motives, Alfredo goes into a jealous rage that leads to tragic consequences. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

 

La Traviata (1988)

Written by: Giuseppe Verdi
Directed by: Peter Hall
Conducted by: Bernard Haitink
The London Philharmonic

Acclaimed soprano Marie McLaughlin headlines this performance of Guiseppe Verdi's heartbreaking tale of ill-fated love directed for the stage by Sir Peter Hall and featuring conductor Bernard Haitink leading the London Philharmonic. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

 

La Traviata (2005)

Written by: Giuseppe Verdi
Directed by: Brian Large
Conducted by: Carlo Rizzi
Wiener Philharmoniker

The release La Traviata brings to at-home audiences the Salzburg Festival's 2005 production of Giuseppe Verdi's titular masterpiece. This interpretation stars Anna Netrebko as Violetta Valery, Helene Schneidermann as Flora Bervoix, Diane Pilcher as Annina and Rolando Villazon as Alfredo Germont. It features musical accompaniment by the Konzertverzinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor as conducted by Rubert Huber. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

 

Tristan und Isolde (1983)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by:
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Conducted by: Daniel Barenboim

Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's celebrated Bayreuth production filmed on the Festspielhaus stage with six cameras and in digital sound to recreate the unique intensity of a live performance in studio quality.

 

 

Tristan und Isolde

Tristan und Isolde (2007)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by:
Nikolaus Lehnhoff
Conducted by: Jiri Belohlavek

London Philhamonic Orchestra
The Glyndenbourne Chorus

Lyndebourne's celebrated production of Nikolaus Lehnhoff's Tristan und Isolde is gravely beautiful, haunting and meditative. Nina Stemme's Isolde and Robert Gambill's Tristan are matched by a superb performance from Rene Pape.

 

 

Tristan und Isolde

Turandot (1988)

Written by: Giacomo Puccini
Directed by: Franco Zeffirelli
Conducted by: James Levine
Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra

Acclaimed director of both stage and screen Franco Zeffirelli produced this performance of Puccini's Turandot by the Metropolitan Opera. With a cast that includes Plácido Domingo, Eva Marton, and Leona Mitchell, the production also features the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under conductor James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet under choreographer Chiang Ching.
-- Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

 

Turn of the Screw (2001)

Written by: Benjamin Britten
Directed by: Luc Bondy
Conducted by: Daniel Harding
Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Based on the unsettling supernatural novella from author Henry James, this opera by Benjamin Britten stars Mireille Delumsch as the governess sent to a remote castle to look after two troubled children, and features Gregory Monk and Nazan Fikret disturbed young charges. Myfanwy Piper pens libretto for a production staged by Luc Bondy, and featuring the Mahler Chamber Orchestra as conducted by Daniel Harding.
-- Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

 

Turn of the Screw

Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen (1980) (DVD)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by: Patrice Chereau
Conducted by: Pierre Boulez
Bayreuther Festspiele Orchestra and Choir

8-disc set includes: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, Gotterdammerung and The Making of Der Ring Des Nibelungen.

 

Wagner: Ring

Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen (2010) (DVD)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by: Robert Lepage
Conducted by: James Levine
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus

8-disc set includes: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, Gotterdammerung and Wagner's Dream.

 

Wagner: Ring

Die Walküre (2005)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by: Patrice Chereau
Conducted by: Pierre Boulez
Bayreuther Festspiele Orchestra

One of the most popular operas in Richard Wagner's epic "Der Ring des Nibelungen" cycle, "Die Walkure follows Wotan and Alberich as they scheme to reclaim the all-powerful Ring from Fafner the dragon; Brunnhilde, one of the goddesses of War, has become Wotan's trusted advisor in his quest, and he has also trained his son Siegmund to take up the cause in the event of his death. This production of "Die Walkure", staged as part of Patrice Chereau's Centenary celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the completion of the "Ring", this lavish performance features Donald McIntyre as Wotan, Peter Hofmann as Siegmund, and Gweneth Jones as Brunnhilde; Pierre Boulez conducts the Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiel. ~ Mark Deming

 

Die Walkure

Die Walküre (2007) (DVD & BluRay)

Written by: Richard Wagner
Directed by: Stephane Braunschweig
Conducted by: Simon Rattle
Berlin Philhamonic Orchestra

This Die Walküre from the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence features the second installment of what is both Simon Rattle's and the festival's first Ring Cycle. Filmed last year in the recently built Grand Theatre de Provence and staged by Stephane Braunschweig, the opera is performed in modern dress in a modern setting (although the Valkyries do wear helmets). Wotan is played by the great Jamaican bass-baritone Willard White. Fricka is sung by Lilli Paasikivi with Robert Gambill as Siegmund and Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde. Rattle's Ring Cycle in Aix continues with Siegfried in late 2008 and Gotterdammerung in 2009.

 

Die Walkure

Documentaries about Opera and Opera Singers:  

Maria Callas: La Divina - A Portrait (1987)

Directed by Tony Palmer

No other opera singer this century has aroused such public interest, such adulation and such controversy as Maria Callas, "La Divina Assoluta." Her dramatic and musical reincarnations of operatic heroines were invested with a psychological depth which made her performances and recordings definitive, and her recordings still outsell every other major classical singer. Callas transformed herself from an overweight ugly duckling into a dazzling beauty, inspired by the sylph-like Audrey Hepburn. She was labeled a "tigress" for her temperamental image, others thought her behavior so unforgivable she was pelted with eggs, but her unique and haunting voice and personality dominated public life in the 1950s and early 1960s. Tony Palmer's award-winning film charts her rapid rise to fame and offers a glimpse into the private life of this remarkable woman. 91 minutes. (link to IMDB review and Tony Palmer homepage)

 

Callas Forever (2002)

A Film by Franco Zeffirelli

A mournful look at the last days of opera diva Maria Callas, director Franco Zeffirelli's biographical drama attempts to explore the irresistible allure of a comeback for a fallen star who hungers for the success of her past. Weathered from the excess of the previous decade and with her best performances long behind her, Callas (Fanny Ardant) withdraws to her Paris apartment to live her final days in seclusion. Despite being ravaged by a throat disease and being stuck in an extended period of mourning following the death of her true love, Callas' manager Larry Kelly (Jeremy Irons) nevertheless suggests that the former reigning queen of opera attempt a spectacular comeback. Though she is physically unable to perform the pieces the way that she once did, the suggestion to lip-sync to recordings of her previous performances offers a tentative chance for latter day fame. Despite her belief that lip-syncing her performance would be dishonest to her fans, the prospect of performing Carmen, an opera that she once recorded but never performed on stage, offers Callas one last shot at reliving her former glory. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

 

Wagner's Dream (2012)

The Metropolitan Opera

The documentary behind the biggest and most elaborate production in the history of Metropolitan Opera. Experience the technical marvel and intense preparation on a scale ever to be imagined. A true must-see for any fan of the Opera.

 

Wagner's Dream

Some useful Opera links:

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts - the local way to watch opera -- Live!
Opera Base - Opera Houses, Productions, Cast (worldwide)

What's Opera, Doc? (1957) - watch this hilarious Looney Tunes cartoon at archive.org - also available on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol 2, Disc 4.

vert line
Things we love...
(Back to the Rentertainment Home Page, please)
all contents copyright That's Rentertainment, 1997 - 2010 (and beyond...)

(who's looking)