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Source: (consider it) Thread: Opera Pedants Thread
georgiaboy
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At the risk of being totally predictable, the following:

Favorite Opera: 'Der Rosenkavalier'

Favorite Chorus: 'Va pensiero' (Nabucco)

Favorite Aria: can't possibly choose, too many favs

Close second for fav opera is 'Don Carlos' IF SUNG IN ORIGINAL FRENCH VERSION -- the later ones are just mush!

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You can't retire from a calling.

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Stercus Tauri
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It's a long list. A durable favourite is The Mikado, heard many times by many companies, but never as memorable as an amateur performance that included my junior school music teacher as Nanki Poo. I can still hear him and every note that was played. It was heavenly. The absolute favourite Gilbert and Sullivan is probably Princess Ida, partly because of the kinship I feel for King Gama, and because I think it has some of the best music Sullivan wrote. The Marriage of Figaro is high on the list along with all Mozart opera, but imprinted on the memory for ever, and I hope it will be the last to go, is from Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, Le Roi de Béotie - The King of the Boeotians - as sung by Alan Crofoot at Sadlers Wells in the 60s. Hearing him sing was a magical experience.

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

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cattyish

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I started singing with Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society a few years ago. It's got me into opera whereas my usual music has been rock and pop. I loved the first opera I did as a chorus alto. It was Donizetti's L'Elisir D'Amore sung in English with our doctor Dulcamara dressed as Elvis.

Since then we've done a Gilbert and Sullivan: Patience which I'd never heard of before. Also we've done a concert performance of Dido and Aeneas. I'd love to sing Dido, but Haddo employ professionals for the lead roles so I wouldn't get to sing her part there.

At the moment we're rehearsing for La Boheme. It's only 2 and a half weeks until the first performance so things are hotting up. I'm singing soprano (bits of first, bits of second) and will have quite a short time on stage as most of it is lead singers with the chorus just popping up in Act 2 and then again in Act 3 briefly. Our good tunes as a chorus are fairly brief.

I think my favourite opera to have seen live was Handel's Rodelinda. The duet between Rodelinda and Bertarido is my favourite bit.

My favourite performance so far was singing "I Know That my Redeemer Liveth." from Handel's Messiah in church for Easter last year.

Cattyish, getting the hang of this opera stuff.

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
I find Wagner sounds good but doesn't work on stage, it's too static. I've always thought Wagner was ahead of his time and his operas should be done as animations. The End of the World and the Bottom of the Rhine would work so much better on film than on stage, and the Valkyries could really ride through the clouds.

Part of the problem is getting singers to sing and act at the same time. It's particularly acute with tenors, many of whom seem unable to walk and chew gum at the same time. But things are improving, and at least directors are now sufficiently assertive that they can prevent a soprano standing up to take a bow after she's just died on stage. (Yes, I have heard of that happening! - allegedly before Maria Callas' influence brought some acting ability to the opera stage.) I was surprised and delighted to see, in the recent Met production of Parsifal, that the director had even coaxed the chorus into acting. Most of them, anyway.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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Barnabas Aus
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As a chorister in secondary school, I participated in concert presentations from the operas and cantatas of Vaughan Williams and Britten, and have enjoyed them ever since. VW's Sir John in Love is a countrified romp, but I still smile at memories of a rollicking performance given by the Sydney University music faculty over 40 years ago.

At the same time, Solti's recording of the Ring came on the market, and having read the reviews, I was determined to buy it. Only one store in our city would allow a high-school student to lay-by the boxed set and pay it off in $10 installments over the next 3 months. I still have the LP set, and my wife gave me for my birthday last year the complete boxed CD set. I particularly like Hotter's performance of Wotan's Farewell.

I was lucky enough to see Nilsson perform in the opening week of the Sydney Opera House in 1973, and treasure the memory. I wish I had been around when Flagstad was in her prime. This Wagnerian heritage has its local links as well, since one of the singing teachers in our country community was trained by the great Florence Austral after she had retired from the stage.

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Sir Kevin
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quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
I find Wagner sounds good but doesn't work on stage, it's too static. I've always thought Wagner was ahead of his time and his operas should be done as animations...

(The operas) would work so much better on film than on stage, and the Valkyries could really ride through the clouds.


Or along the road!

Were I to be an art director on a film with an unlimited budget, all of the Valkyries would take a high performance driving course. They would then drive Audi R12s with their tops down on the Autobahn with fascia-mounted cameras showing their faces and the road ahead. Microphones would be mounted in-car to hear their voices and on the side of the road to hear the cars!

Light-years better than just sliding down a hill on stage!

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If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Writing is currently my hobby, not yet my profession.

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Stercus Tauri
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And of course, we must have Carmen: https://www.youtube.com/embed/96I_UrTOZF0

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

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venbede
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas Aus:
the operas and cantatas of Vaughan Williams and Britten, and have enjoyed them ever since. VW's Sir John in Love is a countrified romp,

The English National Opera here in London did Sir John in Love a few years back (which I saw) and subsequently Riders to the Sea and Pilgrim's Progress (which I didn't and as PP ended with the pilgrim going to the electric chair I'm quite glad I didn't.)

I love RVW's operas - if only someone would do Hugh the Drover.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Sir Kevin:
quote:
Originally posted by Chamois:
I find Wagner sounds good but doesn't work on stage, it's too static. I've always thought Wagner was ahead of his time and his operas should be done as animations...

(The operas) would work so much better on film than on stage, and the Valkyries could really ride through the clouds.


Or along the road!

Were I to be an art director on a film with an unlimited budget, all of the Valkyries would take a high performance driving course. They would then drive Audi R12s with their tops down on the Autobahn with fascia-mounted cameras showing their faces and the road ahead. Microphones would be mounted in-car to hear their voices and on the side of the road to hear the cars!

Light-years better than just sliding down a hill on stage!

I'd like to see this staging.
[Big Grin]

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

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Palimpsest
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Many years ago I was helping to set up a large auditorium movie sound system to test in a showing of 2001 among other things.

At one point the film was showing the famous planets going into conjunction with the Sun that is normally accompanied by Strauss' Also Sprach Zaruthusa. Due to the sound test, what actually played was Ride of the Valkeryies as the planets rolled into place. It fit so perfectly it felt like I was watching an alternate version of the movie.

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Brother Worm
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I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Rossini yet. Is he too corny and unsophisticated to be anyone's favourite nowadays? Or do people just associate him with the Lone Ranger galloping across the dusty prairie to the strains of William Tell?! Personally I'm very partial to Rossini, especially 'Cinderella'.

My favourite opera composers are Donizetti and Bellini, with Verdi not far behind. Opera such as 'I Puritani' and 'Roberto Devereux' move me deeply. I marvel how mere humans could have created such transcendence.

I think Monteverdi's 'Coronation of Poppea' and 'L'Orfeo' are exquisitely beautiful, and Purcell's 'Dido & Aeneas' and 'The Tempest' are hauntingly sad. I find Rameau's opera music very appealing due to its electric energy but I can't listen to a full length work in one go because it is too mentally exhausting!

My favourite Mozart opera is 'Il Seraglio' and always enjoy the famous low bass note sung by Osmin near the end. Wagner leaves me cold, and Puccini doesn't do much for me either, but I find the whole of Mascagni's 'Cavalleria Rusticana' (and not just the famous excerpt) captivatingly passionate. I recently listened to Saint-Saëns' 'Samson & Delilah' for the first time and was smitten by it!

An obscure opera I like very much is 'The Barber of Baghdad' by Peter Cornelius. It resonates with me for some unknown reason despite being very unlike the other opera music I like. Does anyone share my penchant for it? Has anyone even heard of it, or of him?

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Brother Worm:
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Rossini yet. Is he too corny and unsophisticated to be anyone's favourite nowadays? Or do people just associate him with the Lone Ranger galloping across the dusty prairie to the strains of William Tell?!


I'm sorry, but that does rather date you!!

quote:
My favourite Mozart opera is 'Il Seraglio' and always enjoy the famous low bass note sung by Osmin near the end.
I agree. I've seen it twice: a direly dull performance at Salzburg c.1969, and a delightful production in Budapest about 10 years ago. My son, by the way, cannot sing in tune but used to love trying to be Osmin when in the bath!
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andras
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Looking at the list so far, I note that no-one has mentioned poor old Meyerbeer, who was certainly the biggest name in Grande Opera (not the same thing as Grand Opera at all!) in the first half of the 19th Century. Gorgeous music, and everything ends with the scenery collapsing around the singers, rather like it does at the end of the Ring Cycle. But he's so far out of fashion now that even recordings are hard to come by; Wagner, wretched ingrate, never forgave Meyerbeer for all his kindness during his Paris exile. Come back, Giacomo, some of us love you!

Personal absolute favourite, though? Hard to choose, but probably Fledermaus, with Cavalleria Rusticana a very close second. The Easter Hymn absolutely transfixed the teenaged me, and still sends shivers down my spine today.

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God's on holiday.
(Why borrow a cat?)
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Baptist Trainfan
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Talking of unfashionable, my wife and I have a penchant for Hungarian/Viennese operettas, especially works like the "Gipsy Princess" and "Countess Maritza" by Emmerich Kalman. Does anyone share our enthusiasm?

P.S. This production came to Sadler's Wells but, like holiday wine, it didn't travel well!

[ 07. April 2014, 10:41: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Gee D
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We saw Countess Maritza about 30 years ago here, and maybe a half dozen years before that saw Gypsy Princess. I would not be bothered if I did not see another production of either.

Cav and Pag are in one way potboilers, but each tells basic human themes of love and betrayal, and tells them very well.

[ 07. April 2014, 11:53: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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I've only seen "Cav" (twinned with "Gianni Schicchi" when I was living in Lisbon many years ago. It could have been a very weird performance as the chorus were in dispute with the management and wanted to go on strike; in the end they didn't but handed out leaflets about their grievance to every member of the audience.

Not surprisingly their singing was a bit lacklustre! The lead mezzo-soprano was the great Fiorenza Cossotto although she was perhaps a little past her prime.

[ 07. April 2014, 14:09: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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ken
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Never seen Cav live, but I had a video of the 1982 Zeffirelli film. Placidia Domingo and Elena Orlova. Wonderful. Shot on location, with real acting!


The music is great. I love it.

Film is back-to-back with Pag of course, but by comparison its not worth watching. Plot, music, all inferior. Don't like it at all. A few good bits.

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Ken

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venbede
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I think Rossini is wonderful. But there's no one work that is the real goods. (Listening to Tasncredi years ago, I had the sudden apercu that it's not colourless Donizetti, as I'd imagined, but Handel or Idomeneo with balls.

If I had to choose one Rossini opera which wasn't Il barbiere di Siviglia, it would probably be La gazza ladra. But Covent Garden is doing William Tell so I'm lookng forward to that.

Meybeer. Hum. I saw Robert le Diable at Covent Garden in December 2012. It's pretty crummy, to be honest.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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georgiaboy
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Agreeing with both the above:

Cossotto was one of the great Santuzzas; and the film was a knock-out, heightened by its on-location filming and authentic-looking cast. And I simply adored the procession!

Also re: Rossini. 'William Tell' is far too rarely done, perhaps because of the extreme difficulty of some of the roles, but it's great!

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Graham J
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Figaro - yes, yes, yes.
But Ingmar Bergman's Magic Flute comes close.
And Rosenkavalier.
Meistersingers changed my mind about Wagner (for the better)but not all performances would do that.

Arias...
Pur ti miro from Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea (I think.)
This is my favourite version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YJIJlGkUJw&feature=player_detailpage

...or possibly

Va tacito e nascosto from Handels Julius Caesar (I'm a horn player)
Regards,
G

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GJ

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ken
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I do like the whole verismo idea, even if no-one can ever agree which operas are in fact verismo. Apart from Cav. Its truly democratic and egalitarian art, using the same kinds of music and staging to highlight the lives of ordinary people as previous generations of opera had used for kings and dukes and ancient demigods.

So, yes, Cav is a story that could have been a potboiler cowboy movie. And Boheme could easily be a subplot in a TV soap. (Probably has been). But they get the same glorious treatment as William Tell, or Charles V, or Siegfried. (OK, not quite as glorious as Siegfried.)

I suppose I have a wide working definition of verismo. Definitely includes Carmen. And if we are allowed French, maybe the last (latest) great verismo opera is Les Parapluies de Cherbourg?

[Biased]

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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busyknitter
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Never seen Cav live, but I had a video of the 1982 Zeffirelli film. Placidia Domingo and Elena Orlova. Wonderful. Shot on location, with real acting!


The music is great. I love it.


Saw Cav about twenty years ago on the island of Corfu (which incidentally seems to be singing crazy - walk down any street in Corfu Town on a weekday evening and you are likely to hear a choir rehearsing).

It was great, but we weren't familiar with the story and had lots of fun trying to piece together what was going on from the on stage action and the Italian libretto, handily translated into Greek [Roll Eyes]

Mr BK "So is she pregnant"
Me "Think so"
Mr BK "Who's the father then?"
Me "Him or him? They seem to have fallen out."

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Talking of unfashionable, my wife and I have a penchant for Hungarian/Viennese operettas, especially works like the "Gipsy Princess" and "Countess Maritza" by Emmerich Kalman. Does anyone share our enthusiasm?


I will admit to loving the most famous of them all, The Merry Widow. No plot to speak of and only two well-known tunes (but they are crackers - the waltz and the Viljalied) and one big production number (Chez Maxim) but its all good fun. Even if it was supposedly Hitler's favourite show.

But that gets us back to the Austro-Hungarian thread elsewhere on this Ship. They were constructing the myth of jolly Middle Europe where women were women and men wore shiny uniforms and everything happened in hunting lodges or inns to the sound of gypsy fiddlers... even while down the road and round the corner they were building the artillery to bomb Belgrade.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Baptist Trainfan
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That's true ... although we have to remember that (a) these operettas were designed as escapist entertainment and (b) most countries create similar myths e.g. "Merrie England".

I think a diet of mad up solely of angst-ridden reality such as "Billy Budd or "Wozzeck" (great operas both) would be hard to bear. (I remember seeing Geraint Evans as the latter, a most uncharacteristic role which he carried off superbly).

Has anyone mentioned "Rosenkavalier" (which I've never seen live) with its bittersweet threnody of a passing age? I think that its final duet (or is it a trio?) is one of the most sublime pieces of music ever written, alongside the trio "Soave sil il vento" from "Cosi fan tutte".

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Baptist Trainfan
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P.S. Thinking of Bel Canto: I love "L'Elisir de Amore" by Donizetti; saw "The Thieving Magpie" years ago and was bored out of my mind; also saw "Maria Stuarda" with its stunning confrontation between Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots, which never happened in reality!
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sonata3
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
That's true ... although we have to remember that (a) these operettas were designed as escapist entertainment and (b) most countries create similar myths e.g. "Merrie England".

I think a diet of mad up solely of angst-ridden reality such as "Billy Budd or "Wozzeck" (great operas both) would be hard to bear. (I remember seeing Geraint Evans as the latter, a most uncharacteristic role which he carried off superbly).

Has anyone mentioned "Rosenkavalier" (which I've never seen live) with its bittersweet threnody of a passing age? I think that its final duet (or is it a trio?) is one of the most sublime pieces of music ever written, alongside the trio "Soave sil il vento" from "Cosi fan tutte".

My wife and I never pass on a chance to see Rosenkavalier (the final piece is a trio, and it's about as exquisite as music gets). Our favorite performance was in Munich, at the theater where the opera premiered.

For Britten without the angst - try Albert Herring, a coming-of-age comedy. The use of the "Tristan" chord is hilarious.

We've also enjoyed seeing some new work: Unsuk Chin's "Alice in Wonderland" (with two hip-hop numbers). Last summer, we loved Terence Blanchard's "Champion," about an openly gay boxer whose opponent in a bout died after being knocked out (this opponent had been openly taunting him before the match). Beautiful, lyric score.

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"I prefer neurotic people; I like to hear rumblings beneath the surface." Stephen Sondheim

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Palimpsest
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If we want to include film versions, there's the badly distributed movie "Callas Forever". It postulates a fictional effort at the end of Maria Callas life when her voice is gone to make films using her prior recordings.

The actors are amazing, but the special treat from director Franco Zeffirelli are the scenes shot during the making of an imaginary film of Carmen using her recordings for lipsync. The filmmakers didn't resist the temptation to bring it to life as a real opera. We see a few scenes of what would have been an amazing production of Carmen that never existed.

[ 08. April 2014, 01:47: Message edited by: Palimpsest ]

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basso

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I love the Rosenkavalier trio almost as much as the Meistersinger quintet. Which one I really prefer may depend on which one I've listened to most recently.

BTW, the final words in Rosenkavalier go to Sophie and Octavian. Bit of an anticlimax after the trio, but it's a lovely duet anyway. I once saw a very nice performance on YouTube that drew several questions about whether we'd just watched a lesbian opera.

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Baptist Trainfan
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I think that such a notion can hardly be avoided today; though I have no idea if it was in Strauss's mind when he wrote it.
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Sir Kevin
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I very much enjoy The Metropolitan Opera Channel on satellite radio: the upside is I hear parts of several different operas that I was not familiar with before. That is also the downside: I rarely hear more than one act as my new Ford Focus is strictly used for commuting.

I wish I could transfer the machine to the Vectra estate I use for longer drives, such as when I go surfing or visit relatives up north. I never spend more than an hour in the Ford unless I am early for work and sit in the car, although it shuts down after a bit more than fifteen minutes if the engine is not running!

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If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Writing is currently my hobby, not yet my profession.

Posts: 30517 | From: White Hart Lane | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
bib
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# 13074

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I've always loved Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and can go into raptures over the duet In the Depths of The Temple, particularly when sung by Jusse Bjorling and Robert Merrill (you can find on Youtube).

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

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Brother Worm
Apprentice
# 8680

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I echo your commendation of 'In the Depths of the Temple'. Stirring stuff!

Another one of my favourites is 'The Beggar's Opera' by John Gay for its earthy, raw arrangements of English folk songs.

On the subject of film versions of opera, my first exposure to 'The Mikado' was the 1983 film with William Conrad and Clive Revill. This version of the opera has been justly criticised on many levels but I think Clive Revill's performance as Ko-Ko is second to none. His rendition of 'A Little List' is a classic example of combining clear diction (which is invaluable with Gilbert's lyrics) and scrumptious characterisation. And I don't think I regard this version of The Mikado so highly merely because the first version of a piece of music you hear often becomes the standard against which you compare all others and none of them seem as good merely because they are different.

I think Stafford Dean as Pooh-Bah in this film version is delightful too.

Posts: 48 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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I've never seen "The Beggar's Opera" although I did have to study it at school.

However I have just seen a marvellous modern-day version of Bertolt Brecht's version "The Threepenny Opera", performed by the most amazing mix of able-bodied and disabled actors - absolutely stunning!

P.S. Stafford Dean was a real trouper in everything he did, from Britten to Wagner, although now retired.

[ 10. April 2014, 15:57: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Sir Kevin
Ship's Gaffer
# 3492

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I just heard Pavarotti sing an aria in The Elixir of Love on the way home from the grocery store. I dallied over shutting down the car when I reached the house so I could hear the whole thing.....

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If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Writing is currently my hobby, not yet my profession.

Posts: 30517 | From: White Hart Lane | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
jacobsen

seeker
# 14998

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:

P.S. Stafford Dean was a real trouper in everything he did, from Britten to Wagner, although now retired.

A thousand years ago, when I was a chorister in Cologne Opera, we were performing the Ponell stagings of the Mozart operas. Stafford Dean played Figaro. According to my singing teacher, a friend of his, he was rather taken aback when his Susanna, played by Ileana Cortrubas, instead of doing the usual stage slap, actually slapped his face with the full force of her arm. Being a trouper, however, he carried on. History doesn't record whether he remonstrated with the lady afterwards.

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But God, holding a candle, looks for all who wander, all who search. - Shifra Alon
Beauty fades, dumb is forever-Judge Judy
The man who made time, made plenty.

Posts: 8040 | From: Æbleskiver country | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged
Sir Kevin
Ship's Gaffer
# 3492

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[Killing me]

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If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Writing is currently my hobby, not yet my profession.

Posts: 30517 | From: White Hart Lane | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Adeodatus
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# 4992

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quote:
Originally posted by Brother Worm:
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Rossini yet. Is he too corny and unsophisticated to be anyone's favourite nowadays?

No, he's brilliant! At comedy, anyway. I've seen Barber and Cinderella live, and there were great laughs from the audience. And it wasn't just his librettist, either - the music is funny. And it also doesn't matter that he keeps re-using music, plots and situations - why kill a great formula? I think my favourite Rossini moment is the "I'm so confused it's like my head is on an anvil" finale to Act One of Barber.

But here's a thought - Denis Forman was of the opinion that of the three great Bel Canto composers, Rossini could do comedy but not serious; Bellini could do serious but not comedy; but Donizetti could do both. And from what I've seen (which is no Bellini comedies - did he actually write any?) I'm inclined to agree.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

Posts: 9779 | From: Manchester | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
georgiaboy
Shipmate
# 11294

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quote:
Originally posted by andras:
Looking at the list so far, I note that no-one has mentioned poor old Meyerbeer, who was certainly the biggest name in Grande Opera (not the same thing as Grand Opera at all!) in the first half of the 19th Century. Gorgeous music, and everything ends with the scenery collapsing around the singers,
...

Heard yesterday a broadcast (from La Fenice) of Meyerbeer's 'L'Africaine.' (His last opera) It seemed to have just about everything, and glorious music that went on for 5 acts. (There may have been some cuts; the b-cast ran 2.5 hours with no intermissions.) Would love to see it, but that's not likely.

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You can't retire from a calling.

Posts: 1675 | From: saint meinrad, IN | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
georgiaboy
Shipmate
# 11294

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
I've always loved Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and can go into raptures over the duet In the Depths of The Temple, particularly when sung by Jusse Bjorling and Robert Merrill (you can find on Youtube).

I also love that duet. Roberto Alagna & Bryn Terfel sang it in a Met Opera gala some years ago that was telecast. Simply gorgeous sound, but it looked a little strange. Terfel so much larger than Alagna that he looked as if he could have carried him in his arms.

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You can't retire from a calling.

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cattyish

Wuss in Boots
# 7829

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Now that I'm seeing it staged and I'm more confident with the Italian I'm quite enjoying La Boheme. There's not a huge amount for us chorus members to do but it's fun. I still prefer L'Elisir D'Amore though.

Cattyish, party girl in flapper costume.

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...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posts: 1794 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
venbede
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# 16669

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quote:
Originally posted by cattyish:
I'm quite enjoying La Boheme. I still prefer L'Elisir D'Amore though.

Me too. Actually, L'elisir is quite profound on human interactions and wonderfully tuneful in a very Italian way.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Posts: 3201 | From: An historic market town nestling in the folds of Surrey's rolling North Downs, | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Forthview
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# 12376

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Living in Edinburgh I love Lucia di Lammermoor set just outside of Edinburgh - I once saw a production in Italy where the kilted chorus members had their sporrans over their shoulders like shoulder bags.
Posts: 3444 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
venbede
Shipmate
# 16669

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If the production was in Germany, the sporrans-over-the-shoulder thing would have been a director's ironic post modern thingy.

As it is, I doubt whether there would have been any sporrans worn in the Lammermuir Hills in the reign of William and Mary, when the novel is set.

There were kilts and post modern irony aplenty in last year's La donna del largo at Covent Garden. But it was set in the Highlands.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Posts: 3201 | From: An historic market town nestling in the folds of Surrey's rolling North Downs, | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Brother Worm
Apprentice
# 8680

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
No, he's brilliant! At comedy, anyway. I've seen Barber and Cinderella live, and there were great laughs from the audience. And it wasn't just his librettist, either - the music is funny. And it also doesn't matter that he keeps re-using music, plots and situations - why kill a great formula? I think my favourite Rossini moment is the "I'm so confused it's like my head is on an anvil" finale to Act One of Barber.

I'm glad to find someone who raves about Rossini! I agree his music is fun, as well as the storylines. I'm listening to the Barber now while typing this and I imagine Rossini really enjoyed himself while composing the music, like a small child squealing with pleasure while riding on a fairground merry-go-round, contrary to the popular image of an artist straining and perspiring to express himself.
"I'm so confused it's like my head is on an anvil" has so much momentum that I think Rossini had trouble bringing it to a conclusion - it seems to naturally go on and on with increasing energy and gay* abandon, and far from tiring of it you feel disappointed when the music does finally stop. Another of his pieces that I think is hilarious is "Questo è un nodo avviluppato" from Cinderella.

I think Rossini was a creative genius. I only wish I wasn't so familiar with his opera so that I could enjoy listening to it again for the first time!

*gay (adjective): cheery, gleeful, jaunty

Posts: 48 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sir Kevin
Ship's Gaffer
# 3492

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Welcome to the Ship: I am glad to see you here on my thread and happy to help you as you speed toward Shipmate status. I have several RL friends in the UK that I have met on the Ship!

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If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Writing is currently my hobby, not yet my profession.

Posts: 30517 | From: White Hart Lane | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged



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