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HOME ENTERTAINMENT : 'Three Tenors,' the Video, Coming Soon


Is Tenormania over?

No way.

Tenors Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo crooning arias and pop tunes at Dodger Stadium last Saturday night was breathlessly billed as the concert of the century. The most heavily hyped concert of the century was more like it. Anyway, it's about to become one of the most heavily hyped music videos of the century.

The tape of the concert is coming out Aug. 30 on A*Vision Entertainment, at $30. Hands down, it'll be the music video of the year. The video is part of a multimedia blitz that's being launched that day, including the release of the CD ($20) and the laser disc ($40). There will also be a collector's package--not yet priced--featuring an audiotape, a video tape and a program.

The TV broadcast of the concert merely whetted appetites for the home video. Even those who taped it might want to buy the video, which offers first-rate sound--crucial to the appreciation of such a concert.

The promotional campaign, explained A*Vision's president Stuart Hersch, will include TV ads, billboards and posters. Consumers will also be able to order the recordings by phone from TV ads, the usual marketing strategy when targeting an audience that's somewhat older and doesn't frequent the typical music video outlets.

"We expect it to sell in the hundreds of thousands," Hersch said. Usually, if a classical music tape sells 20,000 copies, video companies are satisfied.

At $30, it's a bit expensive for a music video, which rarely cost more than $20. Defending the price, Hersch said: "The usual hourlong music video is $19.98. This tape is much longer (two to two and a half hours), so it should cost more."

To make the tape even more attractive, there's an extra. "It will include one song that was not on the TV show," Hersch said. "We wanted to save something for the video that was exclusive."

This is the second tape of a performance by the three singers. The first, "Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti: The Three Tenors in Concert," came out in 1990, and has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide--the biggest-selling classical music video ever. The first was released by PolyGram, which lost out to A*Vision for the rights to release this one.

But this is just Phase 1 of Tenormania. Phase 2 is scheduled for next year when, Hersch said, A*Vision will release a making-of tape, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and, possibly, leftovers from the upcoming video.


Paramount's "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult," a comedy featuring O. J. Simpson, is due out Sept. 21. It sounds likes Paramount is trying to have it on the market in time to take advantage of the media furor over Simpson's trial, which may be scheduled this fall. But a Paramount spokeswoman said the movie, which debuted in theaters in March, was always slated to come out then--the usual six months after theatrical release.

In the sales market, one of the fall's biggest titles will be FoxVideo's "Sleepless in Seattle," starring Tom Hanks--who's red-hot after winning an Oscar and starring in the huge hit "Forrest Gump." "Sleepless" is due out Sept. 6, repriced to $20. FoxVideo is also offering the 1957 movie "An Affair to Remember" at a new price, $10. Featured in "Sleepless," "Affair," starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, was a hit all over again.

Special Interest

If you're considering a home theater and don't know where to start, there are many helpful hints--both on what to buy and how to assemble it--on "Consumer Guide to Home Theater." Put out by Dolby Laboratories, (800) 241-4115, it's somewhat of an ad for the company. Still, this 48-minute video ($20) is an outstanding guide. . . . One of the more informative videos on the market, particularly for those over 40, is "How to Stay Healthy, Live Longer and Cut Your Medical Costs." This 90-minute video is full of useful financial and medical advice. For $30 from In the Black Video, (212) 864-0318.

What's New On Video

"On Deadly Ground" (Warner). Steven Seagal directed and stars in this eco-thriller, about the hero's efforts to foil an oil tycoon (Michael Caine) building a refinery in Alaska that would pollute the environment. Admirable message, but the movie is preachy and amateurishly directed. Vastly inferior to his last movie, the exciting "Under Siege," but OK entertainment for hard-core Seagal fans.

"Searching for Bobby Fischer" (Paramount). The trials of a 7-year-old chess prodigy, played by Max Pomeranc. His parents (Joe Mantegna and Joan Allen) have differing views about how he should use his skill and his tutors (Ben Kingsley and Laurence Fishburne) school him in vastly different approaches. Though you'll spot elements of the "Karate Kid" series and a bit of "Rocky" too, it's basically a well-made, absorbing family drama. Writer-director Steve Zaillian also wrote the script for "Schindler's List."

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