Opera on DVD: News
News Articles about Opera DVDs / Videos


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August 2009

Royal Opera, Bayreuth to release Wagner DVDs (AP)
First release is this summer's TRISTAN UND ISOLDE on Opus Arte

Met to Release 1978 Otello and Cav/Pag DVDs (Playbill)
To be sold at the Met Opera Shop in Lincoln Center and through their website

May 2009

Kultur to Release Its First Performing Arts Program on Blu-Ray
Press release announcing the first Blu-ray disc to be issued by Kultur, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Opera Australia 2007).  It is coming out on 28 July 2009.

January 2009

Defective DVD Alert Update
Read the latest post about Decca's defective Met DVD: CLICK HERE.

Midem Classical Awards Announced
Opus Arte's DOCTOR ATOMIC won in the "Opera/Ballet" DVD category.  The other nominees were Arthaus Musik's DOKTOR FAUST and Virgin's LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT.  Other DVD winners: Abbado's Mahler Symphony No.3 on EuroArts in the "Concerts" category; Herbert von Karajan: Maestro for the Screen from Arthaus Musik in "Documentaries".  For a list of all nominees and winners CLICK HERE.

Major operas to be shown online (BBC News)
Classicaltv.com launches Feb. 2nd with a live performance of English National Opera's new production of LA BOHÈME directed by Jonathan Miller.
In addition to the Metropolitan Opera HD season performances: "Productions by the Bolshoi, Marinsky, Zurich Opera and Paris Opera Ballet will be broadcast live on the Classical TV website".

December 2008

The Indiana University Opera has posted free online videos of their productions of Nicolai's THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, Prokofiev's THE LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES, Puccini's LA BOHÈME, and Tchaikovsky's THE NUTCRACKERClick HERE to access their streaming video page.
Next year they will be streaming performances of Massenet's CENDRILLON and Handel's GIULIO CESARE, among others. 
Click HERE to get audio podcasts of classical, opera, and jazz performances from the Jacobs School of Music that they have made available.

Shock Opera: BBC under fire over Christmas Day fairytale horror (Daily Mail Online)
Article about the planned December 25th BBC2 telecast of HÄNSEL UND GRETEL from the Royal Opera House.  The Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser production is first being transmitted live to movie theaters on December 16th.  Conducted by Colin Davis, the cast includes Angelika Kirchschlager, Diana Damrau, Elizabeth Connell, Thomas Allen, and Anja Silja.

51st Annual Grammy Awards Nominations Announced
This year's "Best Opera Recording" category includes DVDs as well as CD audio recordings.  The three videos nominated in this category are THE FIRST EMPEROR [EMI], EUGENE ONEGIN [Decca] (also available on Blu-ray), and THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY [EuroArts] (which is also nominated in the "Best Classical Album" category).  Winners will be announced during the live televised broadcast on 8 Feb 2009.

November 2008

Charles Cros Award Winners (Playbill)
Natalie Dessay's career honored by the Académie Charles Cros on occasion of the DVD release of LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT (Virgin).  The opera award went to FROM THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD DVD (Deutsche Grammophon), IL SANT'ALESSIO DVD (Virgin) won the baroque category.  For the full list of winners (non-operatic and non-video) CLICK HERE.

The MET Opera Releases A DVD Of 'THE MAGIC FLUTE' 12/18 (Broadway World)

Available for free until Dec. 31st, a complete new performance of Janácek's THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN from the Opéra National de Paris (Bastille).  Click HERE, where you can choose quality and your option of subtitles in French or English.  This video is also being streamed by Medici.TV and France2.

Watch a performance of Offenbach's LA PÉRICHOLE (sung in German) from Dresden for free on your computer.  Click HERE.

October 2008

ECHO Klassik 2008 Award Winners (ECHO Klassik)
Announced in June, the awards were given out this month.  DVD of the year winner: LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (Guth/Harnoncourt - Salzburg/DG), available now on DVD and coming out on Blu-ray in November

Opera and Ballet Movie Theater Shows from Europe (Emerging Pictures)
Click on the link above to see if a theater near you is showing the performances distributed by Emerging Pictures across the United States.  These videos are not broadcast live, so schedules and number of showings differ from venue to venue.

The Met Opera Will Offer Performances on the Web (New York Times)
"In the Metropolitan Opera’s relentless quest to exploit all media, the company next Wednesday will start making many video and audio broadcasts available for Internet streaming on demand."

Big-screen opera (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"From South Philly to opera-deprived Bismarck, N.D., the Metropolitan Opera's high-definition simulcasts have hit a level of popularity that requires planning."  The article also touches on the opera cinecasts from Europe distributed in the United States by Emerging Pictures.

Blu-ray format growing up, with slew of new titles (Austin 360)
"Opera, of all things, is a booming niche (shades of the early days of CD, when classical titles flourished), with Opus Arte releasing a slew of full-length productions ("Il Trovatore," "Die Fledermaus") and other companies such as Harmonia Mundi and Arthaus Musik following suit."

Why the Met won't show Karita Mattila naked in the HD broadcast of 'Salome' (Los Angeles Times)

A daily stage where life travels unflinching on its normal path (Gramophone)
Mike Ashman looks at how the internet is changing opera - and reviews the latest webcasts from Covent Garden and Zurich Opera

Movie theaters bring opera to fans nationwide (CNN)

Watch the complete performance of LA TRAVIATA staged by the Zurich Opera at a train station.  Click HERE.

DON GIOVANNI from the Royal Opera House is now available for free online viewing.  Click HERE.

Showgoers viewing fare on screen, not stage (AP)

September 2008

2008 Gramophone Award Winners Announced
* Best of Category (DVD): Mozart: LE NOZZE DI FIGARO - Erwin Schrott, Miah Persson, Gerald Finlay, Graciela Araya, Ana James, Rinat Shaham; David McVicar; Antonio Pappano, Royal Opera House (Opus Arte)
* Runners-up:
LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT (Virgin Classics); O THOU TRANSCENDENT: The Life of Ralph Vaughan Williams (Tony Palmer Films)

Metropolitan Opera Launches New Subscription Service on October 22 (Broadway World)
"Beginning on October 22, 120 historic audio recordings and 50 full-length opera videos will be available during the first month of the new service, including over a dozen of the company's acclaimed The Met: Live in HD transmissions, known for their extraordinary sound and picture quality.  New content, including HD productions and archival broadcasts, will be added monthly."

Met opera to Offer Web Service (New York Times)

Royal Opera House: Salome DVD Review (Times Online)
Short review of the Opus Arte DVD coming out in October

Don Giovanni, Free on the Web (New York Times)
Free video stream from The Royal Opera House on October 5th

August 2008

Kenneth Branagh's 'Magic Flute' deserves to be seen (Los Angeles Times)
About the 2006 film not yet released in the United States

Prime Britten, Newly Freed From the Vault (New York Times)
About the new Britten/Pears DVDs from Decca

Tickets For New Season of The Met's Live in HD On Sale 8/22 (Broadway World)

Work in Progress: Helping high C's go high-def at Lyric (Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore Opera Company to transmit next season's Met HD simulcasts at the Lyric Opera House

Attuned to the Charming World of Rossini (Washington Post)
Reviews of two 2008 Rossini releases: La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Naxos) and L'Italiana in Algeri (BelAir)

Taking a Dip in The Online Stream (Washington Post)
Article focuses on Medici.tv and the recent live Bayreuth webcast

Netherlands Opera: Doctor Atomic DVD (Times Online)
Review of the upcoming DVD from Opus Arte

July 2008

The following opera videos from Northwestern University are available to watch online (in high or low resolution) or to download for free (in m4v format): Menotti's THE MEDIUM and THE OLD MAID AND THE THIEF, Mozart's COSÌ FAN TUTTE and DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Piccinni's LA BUONA FIGLIUOLA, Smetana's THE BARTERED BRIDE, Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN, Weill's THREEPENNY OPERA.
The 2005-2007 performances were filmed professionally in high definition.  Some are given in the original language, others in English translation.  Some, but not all, feature subtitles in English.  These videos have been available for quite some time but the link is posted here now that they have been migrated to a more stable, reliable server.  If you want to download to keep: m4v is a video format used by iPods and iPhones.  You can watch the downloaded files on your computer if you have iTunes or Quicktime installed.
Access the page with the list of videos by

ROSSINI: The Italian in Algiers (Audiophile Audition)
Review of the new L'Italiana in Algeri DVD on BelAir Classiques

Blu-Ray Arrives! (Universal Music Classical)
Universal announces the launch of the first Decca and Deutsche Grammophon Blu-ray discs

Met Operas On DVD (Gramophone)
Another article about the forthcoming EMI releases

Hanky Panky; Ping, Pang, Pong Fuel Gossipy `Puccini' (Bloomberg)
Review of Tony Palmer's Film about Puccini

St. Alexius Shuns Wife, Devil in Odd Cross-Dressing Tale (Bloomberg)
Review of the new Il Sant'Alessio DVD

Met's high-definition operas headed for DVD (CBC News)
Six DVDs to be released by EMI Classics in September (in Canada)

DVD Reviews: La vedova scaltra (Toronto Star)
Review of the new DVD on Naxos

New Decca DVDs document Benjamin Britten's import (Chicago Tribune)
Review of the new Britten/Pears Decca DVDs

A brave new listening world (TheStar.com)
An article about the new video-streaming Medici.tv website.

An Advocate of Action to Set the Tone of Opera (Washington Post)
Another article about the Walter Felsenstein Edition DVD Box Set.

Bayreuth's Wagner festival will offer opera online (Associated Press)
AP article contains more details.  This will be the first time a Bayreuth performance is filmed with a live audience in the theater.  A DVD release is planned.  Shorter notices about the July 27th live video webcast have also been posted by BBC News and The New York Times.

Watch the complete 27 June 2008 performance of Mozart's ZAIDE from the Aix-en-Provence Festival.  Directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Louis Langrée, the cast features Ekaterina Lekhina (Zaide), Sean Panikkar (Gomatz), Alfred Walker (Allazim), Russell Thomas (Sultan Soliman), and Morris Robinson (Osmin).  Medici.tv is currently offering it for free online viewing.  Click HERE and then click on "See the Concert".  You can watch full-screen.  When you stop moving your cursor the windows covering the image will disappear.  Sung in German with English subtitles.

June 2008

Bayreuth to broadcast "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" video live over the internet (Bayreuth Festival)
Live video stream of Katharina Wagner's production is on July 27th, 2008.  You can watch it live or at a time of your choice until August 2nd.  Cost is 49 Euro.  For details click HERE

Click HERE to watch a performance of "Chinese Heroines - A Trilogy", an opera from China in three parts by Guo Wenjing (music) and Li Liuyi (libretto/direction), performed at the Holland Festival this month.  More details at the site.  Note: This is Chinese opera (in Chinese) and the subtitles are in Dutch.  Click on the British flag on the left for the website text to come up in English.

An Inconvenient Opera: Your Version (New York Times Tierney Lab Blog)
Submit your ideas for the new "An Inconvenient Truth" opera for a chance to win an opera DVD of your choice

'Being there' in opera not always what it's cracked up to be (Contra Costa Times)
Author likes opera best at the movie theater

Soprano Erin Windle stars in Mozart flick (Greenwich Time)
About the Queen of the Night in the film "Magic Flute Diaries", coming out on DVD June 24th

Bravi! Social Security Simplified Through Song (redOrbit)
SecurePath creates a 5-minute video explaining Social Security using music from Carmen and Rigoletto.  To go directly to the video, click HERE

Ponteland girl in promotional DVD (Morpeth Herald)
Nine and ten year-old students get the performance of the opera they created on a promotional DVD for a local charity

May 2008

Die Fledermaus, Blu-ray (Audiophile Audition)
A review of the Glyndebourne production released by Opus Arte

TDK DVD Label passes over to Arthaus Musik (TDK)
To read about Arthaus Musik's acquisition of the TDK catalog, go to the TDK website and click on the "News" tab

Defective DVD Alert (Updated 24 May 2008)
About the recent Ernani DVD release by Decca

Turandot DVD (Film Threat)
About TDK's March release of Vienna's 1983 production

Aria! Action! Making Opera a Director's Art (New York Times)
About the recent "Walter Felsenstein Edition" DVD Box Set

Mozart's Die Zauberflöte Blu-ray Review (Audiophile Audition)
About the first opera on Blu-ray from Opus Arte

Willie Stark opera on DVD (2theadvocate)
About Floyd's opera, released this month from LSU

World takes note of a dazzling voice (The Australian)
About soprano Danielle de Niese

Conductor to skip vampire-themed opera (Chicago Tribune)
Die Fledermaus from Zurich, slated for DVD release

Gory Wonderland: 'Alice' Opera Mixes Blood, Satire (Bloomberg)
About the EuroArts release of Chin's new opera

FREE ONLINE VIDEO ALERT!Watch the complete 2 Feb 2008 concert performance of Wagner's LOHENGRIN from Amsterdam.  It features Klaus Florian Vogt (Lohengrin), Anne Schwanewilms (Elsa), Marianne Cornetti (Ortrud), and Eike Wilm Schulte (Telramund); conducted by Jaap van Zweden.  Click HERE

January 2008

David McVicar's production of Figaro to be released on DVD by Opus Arte in March

Metropolitan Opera Pay-Per-View Opera Postponed

'Cecilia & Bryn at Glyndebourne' Set for HD DVD

Articles of Interest from 2007

Metropolitan Opera and EMI to release five operas on DVD

 Royal Opera Steps Into New Act: DVD Maker