Other Sellers on Amazon
Death in Venice: The Opera By Benjamin Britten (DVD) [NTSC] [Region 0]
Get £1 Off Amazon Video*
|Price:||£11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a service Amazon offers sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's warehouses, and Amazon directly does the picking, packing, shipping and customer service on these items. Something Amazon hopes you'll especially enjoy: FBA items are eligible for and for Amazon Prime just as if they were Amazon items.
If you're a seller, you can increase your sales significantly by using Fulfilment by Amazon. We invite you to learn more about this programme .
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Tony Palmer's film of Benjamin Britten's opera Death in Venice, shot on location, is released on DVD for the first time on the director's own label. Based on Thomas Mann's masterly novella - also the source for Visconti's famous movie - it follows the last days of a writer, disillusioned, in despair and nearing death, in disease-ridden Venice. The cast includes Robert Gard as Gustav von Aschenbach, John Shirley-Quirk as The Traveller, James Bowman as The Voice of Apollo, Vincent Redman as Tadzio, the object of Aschenbach's infatuation, and Deanne Bergsma as Tadzio's Mother. Steuart Bedford conducts the English Chamber Orchestra, and Peter Pears makes a special appearance. Death in Venice was to be Britten's last full-length opera, first performed at Snape Concert Hall on 16 June, 1973. The composer was already ill with heart problems, and completing the work at all had clearly been a struggle. But he was determined to write an opera and a leading part specifically for his long-time lover and inspiration, Peter Pears. And it was Pears who gave the triumphant American première in October the following year at his own debut in the Metropolitan Opera House, New York. It was soon after Britten had died, in December 1976, that Pears first asked Tony Palmer to film the entire opera with all the original cast, if possible on location in Venice. After all, apart from Suffolk, Venice was the place which meant most to Britten. Despite a miniscule budget (less than £100,000), Palmer eventually managed to fulfil Pears' ambition in 1980 - but without the tenor himself as Aschenbach. By then, a couple of strokes had effectively ended his singing career, but the Australian tenor Robert Gard frequently looks (and sounds) almost more like Pears than Pears himself.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
There is an appearance by Pears (1:58:35 to 2:02:35) singing (and acting) the beautiful Phaedrus aria from scene 16 act II when he replaces Robert Gard - I gave the 3rd star for these 4 minutes.
There are no subtitles (even not in English).
I must say that I prefer to listen to the CD with the original cast, Pears included (and it does make a difference) and without cuts.
Buy the original recording from the 1970s with full orchestra and no pictures and let your imagination do the rest.
For me this captured the essence and atmosphere of the opera. In different circumstances I might well be equally scathing about cuts and the not highest quality sound BUT right now I find it magical. What a great opera this is! How brilliant was Britten!
I understand the caveats of the other reviewers. By all means listen to the original recording and let 'imagination be your guide'. I found the piano sound on this especially 'odd'. I liked the merging of location and studio and thought that it was very skilfully and purposefully executed.
But Britten's music and the sight of the beach and the waves...that is something else.
Has this done a disservice to Britten's opera ? Certainly not.
If need more than the music from a CD and you need a DVD of an opera house production, this is not for you.
If you know the opera (well) and accept this for what it is - a film on location and in the studio - 'marvels will unfold'
'Death In Venice' is one of my favourite operas so coming across this film seemed like a real find. However, upon watching it I find it severely lacking, mainly in terms of the cuts. Surely if you're going to make a full-length film of an opera you would keep all the music in. Some very important observations of Aschenbach's are cut, for example his opinion of and what he says about the Elderly Fop during the boat scene. Considering Aschenbach eventually emulates the Elderly Fop, albeit inadvertently, it seems ridiculous to cut it. This cut is just one of many both of Aschenbach's part and those of other characters, that are equally important but have been sadly left out. Britten's music is there for a reason and perfect as it is so to cut even one bar seems almost an outrage.
John Shirley-Quirk as the various baritone roles is marvellous but his talent seems wasted in this film. Robert Gard's performance as Aschenbach is a bit lacklustre and the general sound quality of the film is rather poor too.
There's some footage of Pears as Aschenbach in the 'Phaedrus' scene (including a couple of photos of Britten) which, though well-performed, seems pointless. Was Robert Gard unable to sing that section for some reason? One can only assume that Pears had retired by the time this film was made (1981), otherwise he would probably have reprised the entire role.
Also, this is not a filmed live performance. All the singing is dubbed on to miming, which is difficult to get used to. Aschenbach alternates between singing and thinking, which doesn't always work and makes the film seem disjointed. Some of the imagery, for example that used in the scene with the Traveller, seems incongruous.Read more ›