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Verdi: The Shakespeare Operas Blu-ray Set

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Shakespeare provided lifelong inspiration for the towering operatic genius that was Giuseppe Verdi, but just three of the Bard’s plays ever emerged fully-fledged from the composer’s pen. This trio of landmark productions, featuring a veritable constellation of singers, conductors and directors, are united here under the banner of Verdi’s Shakepeare Operas: Macbeth, which lifted the young composer out of his hard-working ‘galley years’, propelling him to international fame and universal acclaim, and Otello and Falstaff, his final two crowning operatic achievements. Simon Keenlyside and Liudmyla Monastyrska are imposing as the Thane and his Lady in Phyllida Lloyd’s sumptuous production of the Scottish Play for The Royal Opera, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, while José Cura interprets the Moor in a profound, intense staging by Willy Decker at Barcelona’s Liceu. By the end of his dramatic opera career, Verdi claimed he had ‘earned at last the right to laugh a little’, and Richard Jones’s Glyndebourne Festival production of Falstaff radiates humour tinged with bitterness and wisdom, and brought to life by an international ensemble cast with Christopher Purves in the title role under the inspiring baton of Vladimir Jurowski.

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MACBETH (Royal Opera House)
Macbeth: Simon Keenlyside
Lady Macbeth: Liudmyla Monastyrska
Banquo: Raymond Aceto
Duncan: Ian Lindsay
Malcolm: Steven Ebel
Macduff: Dimitri Pittas
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Royal Opera Chorus
Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Director: Phyllida Lloyd

OTELLO (Liceu)
Otello: José Cura
Desdemona: Krassimira Stoyanova
Iago: Lado Ataneli
Emilia: Ketevan Kemoklidze
Cassio: Vittorio Grigolo
Roderigo: Vincenç Esteve
Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Grand Teatre del Liceu
Conductor: Antoni Ros-Marbà
Director: Willy Decker

FALSTAFF (Glyndebourne)
Christopher Purves
Ford: Tassis Christoyannis
Fenton: Bülent Bezdüz
Doctor Caius: Peter Hoare
Bardoph: Alasdair Elliott
Pistol: Paolo Battaglia
Alice Ford: Dina Kuznetsova
Nannetta: Adriana Kučerová
Glyndebourne Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski
Director: Richard Jones

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS
Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES/ IT (all titles), CATALA (Otello), JAPANESE (Macbeth)
Running time: 170 mins (Macbeth, 23 mins (Bonus); 151 mins (Otello); 136 mins (Falstaff)