50 Classical Music Videos to be Released on DVD

Classical music fans will be happy to hear that Image Entertainment has announced the signing of an exclusive license agreement with England's Reiner Moritz Associates (RMA) that will see the company releasing 50 classical-music programs on DVD in the coming year. In addition to the classical performance programming, Image will also release some of RMA's special-interest fare, featuring such luminaries as Marilyn Horne, Maria Callas, David Hockney, Jackson Pollock, and Margot Fonteyn.

Among the RMA works that Image plans to release on DVD are a production of Richard Wagner's Lohengrin starring Plácido Domingo with the Vienna State Opera; Bizet's Carmen from London's Covent Garden; Dame Joan Sutherland starring in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor; Baz Luhrman's highly acclaimed Australian production of Puccini's La Bohème; and various other productions featuring the talents of Claudio Abbado, King's College Cambridge Choir, Dawn Upshaw, Thomas Allen, Cheryl Studer, Jennifer Larmore, Waltraud Meier, June Anderson, Samuel Ramey, and many others.

According to Image, the opera material to be released on DVD will take full advantage of DVD's technological abilities: viewers will have the option to select subtitles to aid in viewing, or elect to watch the selection in its original language with no onscreen text.

Image's president and CEO, Martin W. Greenwald, stated that "we are honored to have been chosen to bring this prestigious line of programming to DVD. This agreement continues to emphasize Image's commitment to DVD, and to our aggressive and expanding stance on music licensing. Image has, to date, released nearly 50 music DVDs, with a dozen more slated for release in March alone."