Here's news about high-definition video recordings of opera, ballet, classical music, plays, fine-art documentaries, and paintings. I call these recordings "HDVDs." In the journal below are independent (and hard-to-find critical) reports on hundreds of HDVDs. Pick the best titles for your excelsisphere.

October 15. We are getting again into symphony titles and the existential issue of DVDitis. I just posted a story on a Mahler 2 recording at the Gewandhaus that might be considered DOA from the dread plague.

I recently put up a story about the 3rd version (!) of the same Giselle production published by Opus Arte. I recently posted a story about the Ekman Midsummer Night's Dream ballet (which has nothing to do with Shakespeare). I also just posted two stories about Shakespeare's The Tempest. The first is a definitive stage play version by the RSC. The second is an updated review of The Tempest movie staring Helen Mirren as Prospera (the female version of Prospero). The movie is streamlined - try it first. Then move on to the RSC "real deal", which is probably the best The Tempest ever made for home viewing.

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Entries in Entertainment One (1)

Thursday
Dec062012

Agrippina 

Handel Agrippina opera to a libretto by Vincenzo Grimani. Directed 2008 by Peter Lund at the Saarbrücken State Theatre. Stars Susanne Geb (Agrippina), Hiroshi Matsui (Claudio), Elizabeth Wiles (Poppea), Judith Braun (Nerone), David Cordier (Ottone), Steve Wächter (Narciso), and Guido Baehr (Lesbo). Konrad Junghänel conducts the Saarländisches Staatsorchester and the Cantus Cölln vocal ensemble.  Released 2013, disc has surround sound. Grade: Help!

This is an obscure opera performed at a small opera house, the recording of which is now being offered by an even more obscure publisher called at different places Entertainment One, or Intergroove Media, or Intergroove Classics.

Intergroove seems to play an important role in what I think is called the "torture porn" segment of the video entertainment market. They have one of the worst websites I've seen. They have not furnished the vendors with pictures of the back side of the Blu-ray keepcase. I haven't been able, despite diligence, to get all the usual information about the disc. Several vendors say it is restricted to Region A; but I doubt that, because many vendors in Region B are offering this. There is no good information about the sound---I suspect Dolby Digital. I can't find credits for sets, costumes, lighting, TV direction and the like.

I would not expect too much from this title. On the other hand, small German opera houses can produce jewel-quality performances. There is a video clip provided by the vendors which suggests that the performance might not be too bad. Amazon customer reviews suggest this is probably an OK buy if you really want an Agrippina.

I doubt I will ever get around to buying and reviewing this. If you have seen this, please help us by writing a comment or a mini-review.