Read here about opera on DVD. I'm all for this trend. DVD's are often cheaper than CD's, and they are much cheaper than actual tickets to the opera.
I thought the Salzburg La Traviata made quite a few points. I had heard the CD, or at least excerpts from it, but it completely failed to prepare me for my emotional reaction to the DVD. The complete performance overwhelmed me as few things ever have. For one thing, it completely brought the music alive for me.
We get to see how different houses and companies conceive opera. In Paris the productions always seem to have sexual interpretations: nude men in Alcina, a bed in every scene of Rusalka.
Zurich seems to be a leader in the filming of opera. Meanwhile, in the USA we are filming very little. Even my neighborhood library has opera on DVD.