Watch now

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available


Kathleen Ferrier - An Ordinary Diva [Includes Bonus CD] [DVD]

 Exempt   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.

Looking for Bargains?
Check out the DVD & Blu-ray Deals of the Week page to find this week's price-drops. Deals of the Week end on Sunday at 23:59.


Product details

  • Format: CD+DVD, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Oct 2004
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00061S082
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,141 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not So Ordinary A Diva ... 31 July 2004
By A Customer
Originally broadcast on BBC Television late last year, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Ferrier's death, this is a long overdue documentary tribute to one of the most loved British singers of the last century. This was a difficult task, since there is no known archive footage of Ferrier, save for a brief Dutch newsreel of her arriving at Amsterdam airport and some even briefer home movie footage from a New York party. Added to which, there is the difficulty of finding anyone still alive who actually knew her and could speak, therefore, with any real authority. Given these difficulties, the film maker has managed with some flair to produce a film that captures, with affection, the essence of Ferrier whilst going some way to exploring her enduring appeal. What it doesn't do quite as well is communicate that 'Britishness' of Ferrier nor the atmosphere of post war Britain, of which she was so much a product (A Granta article from some time ago by Ian Jack did that brilliantly as did a marvellous 1968 BBC Omnibus documentary on Ferrier). Extracts from that earlier film are featured in 'An Ordinary Diva'. One major criticism - the use of Patricia Routledge as the voice of Ferrier. This was completely the wrong choice - Routledge (although superb in other respects) gave the film the wrong feel, taking us at times into Alan Bennett comedy territory. Still, a lovely film and worth having on DVD.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Ferrier Fans Only 2 Feb 2011
Unfortunately, there is little film material of the greatest contralto of all times. The DVD therefore consists mainly of memories told by old friends and musicians of the past. Nevertheless very interesting and the accompanyijn CD is TOP! Turn up the volume and listen to "What is life"...
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A welcome tribute, but ... 20 Jun 2005
By Allan Life - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
First broadcast by the BBC on the fiftieth anniversary of Ferrier's death, this documentary is a must-see for her admirers. It also serves quite well as an introduction to her unique gifts (a CD is included of her singing) and a personality that was both compelling and elusive. But for those in the middle, who value her best recordings without much knowledge of her biography, the film will prove more tantalizing than satisfactory. The single private film of Ferrier is edited and manipulated past the point of comprehension, and the same goes for the treatment of "Songs my Father Taught Me": a private burlesque of some of her own vocal repertoire that fortunately is available on a CD. The raw film footage in particular should have been presented near the outset of the documentary. More successful is the editing of interviews (most of them archival) with Ferrier's relatives and associates, and there are insightful comments from Dame Janet Baker, Ian Jack, and Christopher Fifield, the editor of Ferrrier's letters and diaries. On the downside: what misplaced desire to keep up appearances inspired the selection of Patricia Routledge to recite the words of Kathleen Ferrier? Ms. Routledge sounds as old as Ferrier would have been had she lived into this century, and she ends up reading from the singer's broadcast tribute to the Edinburgh Festival, in place of Ferrier's own voice in an archival recording!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable material, fills an enormous vacuum in the US. 19 Nov 2008
By Archimedes - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD does contain material available elsewhere to anyone willing to invest the time and the money, but here for the first time is an enormous amount of material, from family, other musicians, critics, and friends of Kathleen Ferrier.

I learned for the first time what a comic she was; there is a film clip of her performing a naughty song at the piano, with all the funny faces she makes as she improvises for a laugh. One learns how anxious John Barbirolli was to try and prevent Kathleen Ferrier from becoming what was called -with obviously derogatory intent- an Oratorio vocalist.

The Ferrier legend continues to live; there is general agreement about her character and her sweet nature, and a picture that already exists of a woman not spoiled by her evident physical beauty is confirmed.

Highly recommended, until something better comes along.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kathleen Ferrier - An Ordinary Diva 28 Mar 2008
By Patricia L. Schwatka - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely phenomenal DVD about Kathleen Ferrier.
I had heard the name before, but I never had any idea everything she had accomplished, and how amazing her voice was !!!
HIGHLY Recommended !!!!
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice tribute 8 Nov 2013
By David Smith - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD is about Kathleen Ferrier but has very little of Kathleen Ferrier herself. Fortunately a CD is included that has a sampling of her work. Clearly Ms Ferrier was a unique talent whose career was cut too short by disease. There does not seem to be very much available of her work on video so that this DVD is mostly of people talking about her with very little performance by her. It is fairly short; 58 minutes according to the jacket. The images are clear and the sound fine. After watching this program one will have a much better idea of Ms Ferrier's professional development and her career, but will have seen little of her actually performing.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How do you know what a person was like? 23 Aug 2011
By Claude Lambert - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We got here a fresh (meaning recent) look on Ferrier, who was a splendid British contralto and a remarkable person. Out of this line of interviews, she comes out a a happy, very funny character who loves life, cigarettes, drinking and most probably sex. The people interviewed give their honest opinion, and I retain that Ferrier was easy to work with, funny, dependable and that she had an even keel. So how come her voice has such tragic accents? Easy, say the people interviewed, she died from cancer early, you sense that tragedy in her voice. I am not so sure this is the only reason.
I do remember a series of interviews much older, probably done over 30 years ago, when Ferrier's sister was still alive. It turns out that her father - a father she adored, was a man difficult to please: nothing she did was perfect enough, whether it was her piano playing or her singing. You do not marry this young if you are in a happy supportive family: Ferrier got married as soon as she could. It was not good for her, though, although her husband was praised for challenging her to sing in a contest, I clearly remember that he also claimed she would never make it. Here came another man who thought she was not good enough. In Ferrier's generation as in mine, you put on a happy face, you did not share what was devastating to you. The day of her last representation,just before she died, she fell and broke her hip. Her sister asked what she could do, Ferrier said: "Call an ambulance." Everybody laughed, they thought it was a joke. It is very telling that Ferrier did not insist.
In other words, I think this video lacks instinct and knowledge of the Victorians inner soul.
It is missing all that made of Ferrier an extroardinary diva, not an ordinary one!
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category