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4mm White Rice Freshwater Pearl Necklace
4mm White Rice Freshwater Pearl Necklace
Offered by ThePearlSource
Price: £179.00

5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for the two weddings I want to wear them ..., 29 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Arrived very promptly. Pearls are just as described, white and lustrous, perfect for the two weddings I want to wear them to. They came in a very nice presentation box inside a white protective box.


Verdi: La Traviata (Sydney Opera House 2012) (Emma Matthews/ Gianluca Terranova/ Opera Australia Opera and Ballet Orchestra/ Brian Castles-Onion/ Francesca Zambello) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56029DVD) [NTSC] [2009]
Verdi: La Traviata (Sydney Opera House 2012) (Emma Matthews/ Gianluca Terranova/ Opera Australia Opera and Ballet Orchestra/ Brian Castles-Onion/ Francesca Zambello) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56029DVD) [NTSC] [2009]
Dvd ~ Emma Matthews
Price: £24.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Traviata - Brilliant performance and audio, 10 April 2013
Operas should be revitalised by new inspiration to make them relevant to today's new audiences rather than preserved in camphor. Opera Australia's new venture of a once-a-year opera performance on Sydney Harbour is a way of doing this as it challenges even the most basic tenets of putting on an opera. Directed by Francesca Zambello this La Traviata is a triumph of technical ingenuity in every aspect from the floating mirrored stage, to the suspension of the giant chandelier, to the amazing audio.

The stage props are necessarily sparse as there is minimal space for storage and no convenient curtain to effect scene changes behind. Yet, the props used are stunningly oversized and have impact, seamlessly moved into place, or removed, as part of the show. The stage itself conceals the orchestra `pit' below, so that performers and conductor can only see each other via video screens, and it is this, plus the challenges of recording anything out of doors that makes the quality of the audio so astounding. It is perfect in its clarity and lack of background noise. Okay, so the principle singers have to wear more substantial head mics to achieve this, but better this than poor audio - after all opera is primarily about the music! The costumes have been brought forward into the mid-20th century and the stage is vibrant with colour, style and luxury, reflecting the society in which Violetta struggles to survive, as in some way does the glittering backdrop of the cityscape.

Emma Matthews and Gianluca Terranova are brilliant, singing with passion and precision. Margaret Plummer (Flora) and Jonathan Summers (Germont) also deserve high praise for their parts; while John Bolton Wood convincingly hovers as Doctor Grenvil. A great production, well worth watching.


Puccini: La Boheme (Sydney Opera 2011) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56017DVD) (Ji-Min Park/ José Carbó/ David Parkin/ Shane Lowrencev/ Shao-Chia Lü/ Gale Edwards) [2012] [NTSC]
Puccini: La Boheme (Sydney Opera 2011) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56017DVD) (Ji-Min Park/ José Carbó/ David Parkin/ Shane Lowrencev/ Shao-Chia Lü/ Gale Edwards) [2012] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Ji-Min Park
Price: £24.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Berlin and La Bohème, 21 Jan. 2013
This is a beautiful rendition of La Bohème; the singing throughout is superb, as is the acting. The setting has been moved by director Gale Edwards from 1840s Paris to 1930s Berlin to great effect as every element of the libretto still works perfectly within this timeframe.

Ji-Min Park [Rodolfo], José Carbó [Marcello] David Parkin [Colline] and Shane Lowrencev [Schaunard] all work well together as the four friends. Yet it is the believability of the interaction between Ji-Min Park and Takesha Meshé Kizart [Mimì] that caught my attention, for once I found it credible that Rodolfo had fallen instantly in love with a beautiful face and that Mimì also wanted to be loved by Rodolfo. This, for me, is what made this particular version of La Bohème memorable.

Taryn Fiebig's performance as Musetta is also wonderful. When she first appears on stage in Café Momus she is the epitome of a cold-hearted gold digger from the top of her blond waved hair to the polished tips of her high heeled shoes, but as the story progresses Fiebig gradually reveals the uncertain young woman behind this façade, desperate be loved, to love and marry.

Café Momus is a revelation of glitz and decadence, which works well on the small stage of Sydney Opera House. I really liked the nifty scene change from outside to inside the night club. Musetta's costume in this Act is stunning; the chorus and extras' costumes give a tangible sense of a 1930s Berlin nightclub. The little scenes played out in the café do give a real sense of the desperation of this period - to earn any money at all in the depression, and to block out the reality of the militarisation of Germany and any impending war.

My only query about the whole production was the rationale behind Mimì's dress, or state of undress, in Act IV. However, that is a minor point in an otherwise very likeable, well performed production.


RED LAPTOP CASE 17" & 19"   NB19R
RED LAPTOP CASE 17" & 19" NB19R

5.0 out of 5 stars Easily takes 19" laptop, 16 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: RED LAPTOP CASE 17" & 19" NB19R
I needed a case to take my 19" laptop, and in a hurry. I ordered this at 10.35am with express delivery and it was with me by 9.15am the next morning.

The case is a clean pillar box red with smart black trim, carrying handle as well as an adjustable shoulder strap with padded shoulder section.

The internal padded divider has Velcro fastenings so you can move it to any position inside the case to suit your laptop and wires. It easily takes my 19" laptop, wires and mouse. There is room for a folder or two, plus separate additional storage provided inside the top.

On the outside front there is a generous A4plus size padded pocket with Velcro fastening on the flap, and on the rear another A4plus size zipped pocket [not padded]. The sides and edges of the case are reasonable well-padded and the whole thing is quite light, so you are not lugging around extra weight in the case - just the weight of your laptop and files.

Seems like a perfectly good case at a reasonable price to me.


Brave
Brave
Price: £7.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent soundtrack, 7 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Brave (Audio CD)
'Brave' is a magnificent! I was bought this CD as a gift as I enjoy listening to film soundtracks and this was a little different to anything else I had. This score is so evocative that in rather a reverse scenario I want to see the film based on my opinion of the soundtrack, rather than wanting to buy the soundtrack because I liked the film.

I can honestly say there is not a track on this CD that I do not like.


Strauss: Arabella (2012 Vienna State) (Emily Magee/ Genia Kuhmeier/ Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/ Franz Welser-Möst/ Sven-Eric Bechtolf) (Electric Picture: EPC03DVD) [NTSC]
Strauss: Arabella (2012 Vienna State) (Emily Magee/ Genia Kuhmeier/ Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/ Franz Welser-Möst/ Sven-Eric Bechtolf) (Electric Picture: EPC03DVD) [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Emily Magee
Price: £24.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive Arabella, 17 Dec. 2012
Sven-Eric Bechtolf's production of Richard Strauss' Arabella is set in 1930s Vienna rather than the original 1860s. However, the story transfers well to this time period as familial pressure with regards to the duty of a girl to marry well for her family is still very much in place despite the changing views and values of society in general.

The three stage sets - bedroom, ballroom and hotel lobby, are simple and effective - proving that you don't need to have massively complicated or overly expensive sets to produce a good opera. What is of importance is the quality of the performers and in this production, filmed at the Vienna State Opera, all the artists are of the finest quality both in their singing and in their acting abilities. Although I found the singing of the beginning of Act 1 a little stentorian this is perhaps a reflection of the powerful emotions being played out.

Emily Magee (an American soprano) makes a believable Arabella, torn between duty and wanting to marry the `right' man for love. Her vocal performance was solid and skilful. Tomasz Konieczny is also well cast as Mandryka, giving an excellent rendition of a man who has fallen in love, yet who cannot quite trust in Arabella's promise to him. Zoryana Kushpler, Genia Kühmeier, Wolfgang Bankl, Michael Schade and Daniela Fally all give high-quality performances of their characters. Conductor, Franz Welser-Möst, and the Orcherstra of the Vienna State Opera, execute Strauss's music with assurance and great finesse.


Choeurs: Coros/ Corazones (C(H)Oeurs/ Choirs/ Hearts) (Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real/ Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/ Marc Piollet/ Alan Platel) (Teatro Real: TR97013DVD) [NTSC] [2012]
Choeurs: Coros/ Corazones (C(H)Oeurs/ Choirs/ Hearts) (Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real/ Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/ Marc Piollet/ Alan Platel) (Teatro Real: TR97013DVD) [NTSC] [2012]
Dvd ~ Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Alain Platel, 7 Dec. 2012
A typical Alain Platel piece with the dancers of les ballets C de la B and the Chorus of the Teatro Real, Madrid, that is full of symbolism and makes a statement on the way individuals and groups feel silenced and how they find ways to demonstrate with and without words in protest against the things that are happening in their countries today. For example, the throwing of one shoe, or the pinning of a red target to themselves. The accompanying booklet has an excellent article explaining the philosophy behind the piece.


Gilbert/ Sullivan: The Mikado (The Arts Centre) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56014DVD) [2009] [NTSC]
Gilbert/ Sullivan: The Mikado (The Arts Centre) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56014DVD) [2009] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Richard Alexander
Price: £24.98

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant!, 7 Dec. 2012
A total classic, this is Gilbert and Sullivan performed at its very best! Opera Australia has captured the very essence of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera in this version of `The Mikado'. The opera opens at a cracking pace under the baton of conductor Brian Castles-Onion, and the joy and fun of Sullivan's music has you smiling before anyone has so much as set a foot on the stage. Then the entertainment really begins with Gilbert's libretto.

In the best tradition of this opera there are the mandatory contemporary asides and props built-in, including an iPad used by Ko-Ko for his `list' - which contains many very relevant people who `will not be missed!'. The stage sets are beautiful, simple and fanciful, and are used to great effect by the artists on stage; the costumes are gorgeous and again, fun. The cast clearly enjoy performing this opera, and praise must surely go to Orchestra Victoria which does an amazing job performing this fast paced and elaborate score.

Yes, as mentioned in other reviews, initially there are a few problems with the camera work and movement blur but this seems to disappear after the first 10 minutes and after that all seems to be okay. On my TV speakers the stereo audio was perfectly fine, and much better than many other movies I have on DVD.

This, in my opinion, is a rare treat, a hilarious and unstuffy production - which is what Gilbert and Sullivan surely had in mind when they set the opera in Japan and satirised the British institutions of the time. Should my DVD ever stop working I would buy another copy. Immediately!


Iolanta/ Persephone (Ekaterina Scherbachenko/ Alexej Markov/ Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/ Teodor Currentzis/ Peter Sellars) (Teatro Real: TR97011DVD) [NTSC] [2012]
Iolanta/ Persephone (Ekaterina Scherbachenko/ Alexej Markov/ Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/ Teodor Currentzis/ Peter Sellars) (Teatro Real: TR97011DVD) [NTSC] [2012]
Dvd ~ Ekaterina Scherbachenko
Price: £24.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minimalist brilliance ..., 5 Dec. 2012
If you want to see how potent minimalistic staging, costumes and acting can be in opera then Peter Sellars' twin productions of Iolanta and Perséphone, commissioned by Teatro Real's Artistic Director, Gerard Mortier, are the epitome of this style. From the moment the spotlight focuses on Ekaterina Scherbachenko and her attendants, and the first words of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta are sung, this production is captivating. The singing is superb throughout, as it has to be as there is nothing else happening on stage to hide any imperfection behind. Set on an otherwise empty stage the simple 'door' frames, with their improbably balanced obsidian stones, are used to indicate different rooms and structures within the imagined spaces of the story. This works exceptionally well with the lighting effects used giving both depth and definition to the artists movements on stage.

Sellars uses the same set for Stravinsky's Perséphone to great effect with changing backdrops and lighting giving the simple frame structures a completely different feel. Whilst I felt Stravinsky's piece was less compelling musically, it was beautifully performed and had the additional interest of the Cambodian dancers from Amrita Performing Arts who shadowed the story in their unique form of ballet.


Downton Abbey - The Essential Collection
Downton Abbey - The Essential Collection
Price: £7.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Downton Abbey music, 5 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love the TV series and this is a great compilation of the music that appears throughout the shows. I've listened to the CD loads since receiving it and have not tired of it at all as the music is so beautifully played. The few tracks that have singing on make a nice break to all the instrumental tracks.
Only disappointment is aimed at Amazon - I buy nearly all of my CDs from Amazon but quite a few of the CDs arrive with their cases scratched or broken due to poor handling/packaging.


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