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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars19
3.2 out of 5 stars
Price:£10.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 19 October 2007
The price is the only good thing about this set. It might appear to be suitable for a newcomer to opera but the absence of sub titles rules this out. The Aida is woeful and, at only 60 minutes, misses more than half of it out. I have never seen the Grand March before performed with scarcely anyone moving. The Carmen is little better and, at 80 minutes, misses only only just over an hour out. No one who has seen Maria Ewing in the role would want to see this. The others are full versions with the Don Giovanni perhaps the best.Although the set is listed as PAL format, one disc is NTSC.
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on 20 August 2011
The five operas on disc are a strange collection, in that Carmen and Aida are shortened versions. Carmen is still not half bad, with good singing, and reasonable sets.
Aida is a bunch of rather poor singers in good sets, this is doubly disappointing. That has got the bad news out of the way.
Tosca has very good costumes and sets, the singers are excellent, and are adept in their acting roles. This is equal to the other two versions that I own, one of which is the Met.
Don Giovanni has an interesting start, outside the opera house, the staging is simple with the prop changes being done subtly as the performance progresses, the chorus/stage hands all clad in period costume. The three ladies in the lead roles are widely varied in tone, and each is well suited th their parts. Don Giovanni is adequate, as is Leporello and Massetto, but Don Ottavio is a delightful light tenor. The performance is lively with an enthusiastic chorus. I enjoyed it better than some of the other 4 versions in my library.
Nabucco is in an open air theatre, besides the set, which I think is very well done, the scope for special effects is well used. With a very large retinue of extras and chorus it is great spectacle.
I have not got round to the singers yet. Fenena is a rich mezzo, Abigail a great soprano, and Ismaele a great tenor, Nabucco is a powerful baritone, and others are quite adequate.
There is no write up other than brief notes on the box cover. If subtitles are essential to you, this is not for you. Accreditations are meagre on some productions, so if you want to know the lighting engineer you will be disappointed. If you want good productions at a price that any one of the last three operas is worth, this is for you. I give this 4 stars because of the value for money.
I have since passed this collection to a friend, having better or at least equal alternatives in my DVD library. I hope to hook aforesaid into the opera world, this is still a good starting point.
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on 7 February 2011
I agree with R Cheeseman's comments. However I greatly enjoyed the performance of Nabucco, one of the five operas. There were deficiences but the singing, the acting, and the open air scenarios were sufficient for me to want to play this several times over. I also greatly enjoyed Tosca, which I had never appreciated before. In particular I enjoyed the realism of the production. Don Giovanni I didn't much like, with its fixed scenery, and Carmen was just rubbish. The DVD is worth buying in view of its low price.
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on 15 November 2011
I thought this price was too good to be true and after putting on the first DVD last night ( Tosca ) and then trying Aida, I found out why. The quality was poor, like an old video that had been copied, and most importantly, there were no subtitles. For someone new to opera and not having seen these productions before, this was crucial. My partner, an avid opera fan, and I were very disappointed and I don't think this set will get played. I have no problem with the seller, just the item itself and will be more wary and selective on any opera DVDs I next purchase.
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on 8 July 2011
I was very disappionted with this product, everyone of the Operas was cut short significantly and not one had subtitles. The menu system is also very basic. The supporting text has to be scrolled and is small so you have to be close to the TV to read, however the sound quality was okay as they were all in Dolby 5.1 except for Aida. If you love opera like me I recommend other products. The supplier was excellent, it was delivered on time i have no grumbles about this just the quality of the product.
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on 6 November 2015
Do not buy this unless you are fluent in French, German and Italian. Despite the usual choice at the beginning for language preference, there are no subtitles available. Do not buy this if you are a dedicated lover of opera. I have watched only three so far and dread to think what the other two are like. Carmen omits the bar scene and the Entry of the Toreadors, both of which are essential to the plot. Aida ignores completely the Celeste Aida aria, the Triumphal Chorus and the March of the Slaves. In effect, this CD is nothing more than abridged highlights, with some of those missing. Don Giovanni beginnings with someone walking through the streets on the way to the theatre and the entry of someone who may be important as she sits in the 'royal box'. I shall not be commenting on the remaining two operas featured in this collection, Tosca and Nabucco. Scanbox Entertainment has not done a very good job on any of these. Having said all of that, the singing and orchestral performances are not all that bad.
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on 7 December 2011
Wonderful collection of operatic music, song and story. Ideal to relax to, very calming, soothing. often very emotional. I like to watch them when I'm alone, or pop in the headphones. Beautiful. Even tho' there is a language barrier, I still enjoy them very much.
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on 14 May 2015
Very disappointed with this DVD. No sub titles so don't know what it is all about and the quality is also very poor. Would not have bought this had I known it was like this, this was for a birthday present so bit upset!
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on 8 April 2013
I was disappointed with some of the quality of the singing. In future I will be more careful in choosing which opera to purchase.. Having said that It was staged very well and the costumes etc. were lovely.
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on 14 March 2014
Not bad but dated performances and there is nothing like the real thing I suppose. Better as a background experience
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