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Here's news about high-definition video disc ("HDVD") recordings of opera, ballet, classical music, plays, performance art, and paintings. We've got hard-to-find critical reports on hundreds of HDVDs. Pick the best titles for your excelsisphere.

Mar. 27. We are porting the website from Squarespace5 (best on desktop) to SS7, which looks good on mobile devices and the desktop. On the new homepage, you see 8 large "tiles" with the most recent stories.  These 8 stories are native SS7.  To see earlier stories, go to the Alphalist or Search. Desktop users should find old stories look about the same. If you are using a mobile device, there will be "fit and finish" issues until we get all our stories updated for SS7.

We've recently completed one of our most ambitious reviews:  Einstein on the Beach opera,

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A Tango Evening at the Teatro Colón

A Tango Evening at the Teatro Colón concert. Daniel Barenboim conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and César Salgán leads Quinteto Real at the Teatro Colón, 2016. Features Michael Barenboim on violin and César Salgán on piano.

This title is a celebration of two Argentinian composers, Alberto Ginastera and Horatio Salgán. Features the following works:

  1. Alberto Ginastera Violin Concerto, Op. 30
  2. Alejandro Pugliese (Arr. Horacio Salgán) Recuerdo
  3. Alejandro Scarpino & Juan Caldarella (Arr. Horacio Salgán) Canaro en Paris
  4. Roberto Firpo (Arr. Horacio Salgán) El amanecer
  5. Horatio Salgán A Don Agustín Bardi
  6. Horatio Salgán Aquellos tangos camperos
  7. Horatio Salgán A fuego lento
  8. Mariano Mores & Rodolfo M. Taboada (Arr. José Carli): El Firulete

Released 2018, disc has dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Benvenuto Cellini

Hector Berlioz Benvenuto Cellini opera to a libretto by Léon de Wailly and Henri Auguste Barbier. Directed 2015 by Terry Gilliam. Stars John Osborn (Benvenuto Cellini), Maurizio Muraro (Gicacomo Balducci), Laurent Naouri (Fieramosca), Orlin Anastassov (Le Pape Clément VII), Nicky Spence (Francesco), Scott Conner (Bernardino), André Morsch (Pompeo), Marcel Beekman (Le Cabaretier), Mariangela Sicilia (Teresa), and Michèle Losier (Ascanio). Sir Mark Elder conducts the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chorus of the Dutch National Opera (Chorus Master Ching-Lien Wu). Co-direction and choreography by Leah Hausman; stage designs by Terry Gilliam and Aaron Marsden; costumes by Katrina Lindsay; lighting by Paule Constable; video designs by Finn Ross. Directed for film by François Roussillon.  Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Here is a clip from the Dutch National Opera with director Terry Gilliam:

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Titus motion picture based on the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus. Directed 1999 by Julie Taymor. Stars Anthony Hopkins (Titus Andronicus), Jessica Lange (Tamora), Alan Cumming (Saturninus), Colm Feore (Marcus Andronicus), James Frain (Bassianus), Laura Fraser (Lavinia), Harry Lennix (Aaron), Angus Macfadyen (Lucius), Osheen Jones (young Lucius), Matthew Rhys (Demetrius), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Chiron), Kenny Doughty (Quintus), Colin Wells (Martius), Blake Ritson (Mutius), Raz Degan (Alarbus), and Geraldine McEwan (Nurse). Music by Elliot Goldenthal; cinematography by Luciano Tovoli; film editing by Françoise Bonnot; set decoration by Carlo Gervasi; Costume Design by Milena Canonero. Released 2014, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Titus Andronicus

Shakespeare Titus Andronicus. Directed 2017 by Blanche McIntyre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Stars Stefan Adegbola (Aaron), Joseph Adelakun (Mutius), Kristin Atherton (Nurse), Will Bliss (Clown), David Burnett (Quintus), Paul Dodds (Returning Officer/Goth), Patrick Drury (Marcus Andronicus), Nia Gwynne (Tamora), Sean Hart (Demetrius), Martin Hutson (Saturnius), Amber James (Goth), Tom Lorcan (Martius), Luke MacGregor (Chiron), Tom McCall (Lucius), Hannah Morrish (Lavinia), Anthony Ofoegbu (Emilius), Dharmesh Patel (Bassianus), Jon Tarcy (Alarbus), David Troughton (Titus Andronicus), Marcello Walton (Publius), and Luca Saraceni-Gunner (Young Lucius). Designed by Robert Innes Hopkins; lighting by Malcolm Rippeth; music by Tim Sutton; sound by Emma Laxton; movement by Georgina Lamb; fights by Philip d'Orléans; illusions by Chris Fisher; directed for the screen by Matt Woodward; produced for screen by John Wyver. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Here is the trailer from the RSC:

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1984 ballet. Choreographed and directed 2015 by Johnathan Watkins at the Northern Ballet in Leeds, England. Music by Alex Baranowski.  Stars Tobias Batley (Winston Smith), Martha Leebolt (Julia), Javier Torres (O'Brien), Hironao Takahashi (Mr. Charrington), Giuliano Contadini (Parsons), Kevin Poeung (Ampleforth), Ashley Dixon (Martin), Victoria Sibson (Lead Prole), with other artists from the Nortern Ballet. John Pryce-Jones conducts the Northern Ballet Sinfonia (Leader Geoffrey Allan). Set and costume design by Simon Daw; lighting by Chris Davey; video designs by Andrzej Goulding; dramaturgy by Ruth Little; production management by Steve Wilkins; directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Here is a clip from the Northern Ballet:

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Mosè in Egitto

Rossini Mosè in Egitto opera to a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola. Directed 2017 by Lotte de Beer at the Bregenz Festival. Stars Andrew Foster-Williams (Faraone), Mandy Fredrich (Amaltea), Sunnyboy Dladla (Osiride), Clarissa Costanzo (Elcia), Taylan Reinhard (Mambre), Goran Jurić (Mosè), Matteo Macchioni (Aronne), and Dara Savinova (Amenofi). Enrique Mazzola conducts the Wiener Symphoniker and the Prague Philharmonic Choir (Chorus Master Lukáš Vasilek). Set and costume design by Christof Hetzer; lighting design by Alex Brok; dramaturgy by Peter Te Nuyl and Olaf A. Schmitt; video direction by Felix Breisach. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Il Borgomastro di Saardam

Donizetti Il Borgomastro di Saardam opera to libretto by Domenico Gilardoni. World première video recording directed by Davide Ferrario in 2017 at the Fondazione Donizetti Festival in Bergamo, Italy.  Stars Giorgio Caoduro (The Tsar), Juan Francisco Gatell (Pietro Flimann), Andrea Concetti (Wambett), Irina Dubrovskaya (Marietta), Aya Wakizono (Carlotta), Pietro Di Bianco (Leforte), Pasquale Scircoli (Alì Mahmed), and Alessandro Ravasio (An Officer). Roberto Rizzi Brignoli (with Assistant Conductor Roberto Frattini) conducts the Orchestra Donizetti Opera and the Coro Donizetti Opera (Chorus Master Fabio Tartari). Set designs by Francesca Bocca; costumes by Giada Masi; lighting by Alessandro Andreoli. Video direction by Matteo Ricchetti; sound engineering by Rino Trasi. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Don Giovanni (Alberghini)

Mozart Don Giovanni opera to libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. Directed 2017 by Jiří Nekvasil at the Estates Theatre in Prague. Stars Simone Alberghini (Don Giovanni), Jan Šťáva (Commhendatore), Adrian Sampetrean (Leporello), Irina Lungu (Donna Anna), Katerina Knežíková (Donna Elvira), Julia Novikova (Zerlina), Dmitry Korchak (Don Ottavio), and Jiří Brückler (Masetto). Plácido Domingo conducts the National Theatre Orchestra (Chorus Master Pavel Vaněk). Set designs by Josef Svoboda; costumes by Theodor Pištěk; lighting by Daniel Dvořák; video direction by Brian Large. Produced by Bernhard Fleischer and  Plácido Domingo. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Verdi Otello opera to libretto by Arrigo Boito. Directed 2017 by Keith Warner at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Stars Jonas Kaufmann (Otello), Marco Vratogna (Iago), and Maria Agresta (Desdemona). Sir Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus. Released 2018. Grade: NA

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