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    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    Favorite Opera Conductors

    Hi,

    I was just wondering if anyone had opera conductors that they particularly liked or admired?
    Thanks.

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Saw Dan Ettinger & Sir John Eliot Gardiner conduct the same production of Rigoletto & I loved them both. Daniele Gatti conducted Falstaff without score & he was brilliant.

    Saw Daniele Rustioni conduct concert performance of Il viaggio a Reims & he was so enthusiastic I thought he'd bounce off his podium, fabulous.
    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

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    Lamberto Gardelli:



    A geezer with mission. He did the whole cycle of less popular Verdi operas and got some really great singers for these projects. And there are more important recording than that, one of best Medeas, next to Callas studio, is his recording with Jones and Prevedi AND THERE'S THAT GUILLAUME TELL, what would you do... if not... Gardelli... and he can get really hair rising effects, the overture to Nabucco and instrumental coda of Medea's last scene sound just impetuous on his recordings. Glory to this geezer.

    There's also Jacobs with his priceless Mozart cycle. A major contribution to opera discography as a whole.

    I also admire Stanislas Lefort for his personal vision of Berlioz's work:


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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne of Green Gables View Post
    Lamberto Gardelli:
    A geezer with mission. He did the whole cycle of less popular Verdi operas and got some really great singers for these projects. And there are more important recording than that, one of best Medeas, next to Callas studio, is his recording with Jones and Prevedi AND THERE'S THAT GUILLAUME TELL, what would you do... if not... Gardelli... and he can get really hair rising effects, the overture to Nabucco and instrumental coda of Medea's last scene sound just impetuous on his recordings. Glory to this geezer.
    Oh definitely! I have all his Verdi & they are just gorgeous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne of Green Gables View Post
    There's also Jacobs with his priceless Mozart cycle. A major contribution to opera discography as a whole.
    Just discovering these & been very impressed with what I've heard so far.
    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Gardelli for early Verdi.......recently purchased these and they are much better than I had expected, great discovery fully agree with AOGG mention




    Rene Jacobs......not only great Mozart opera performances on HM label series, but the music research by Jacobs produces big benefits as in new La Finta Giardiniera




    Solti.......Wagner giant, great catalog of Verdi and R Strauss opera as well





    Tullio Serafin......for being a guiding force/mentor for my beloved Maria Callas career




    Antonio Pappano.......a great conductor for ROH in these modern times, versitile and dynamic love his style, praise the opera gods ROH has him, future looks very bright


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    Schigolch
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    The conductors I have most admired and in active during my lifetime are Muti, Abbado and Zedda.

    I think Dimitri Mitropoulos did many great things, and in quite different repertories, during his career.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Carlos Kleiber, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano, John Eliot Gardiner, William Christie, and the under-rated Jimmy Levine.

    In a different scale (that of a regional opera company) I admire James Meena from Opera Carolina.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    and the under-rated Jimmy Levine
    Yes, never got to work with the best singers or perform in theatre with big name... but the few recordings (like two... three?) he has done for obscure, amateur recording labels show that he had serious potential. Poor underrated man.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Carlos Kleiber, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano, John Eliot Gardiner, William Christie, and the under-rated Jimmy Levine.
    I note the "Jimmy" name which to me means early career of Levine from 1970s to mid 1980s, he was indeed a dynamic exciting young opera conductor, after this period "James" Levine becomes more conventional and less dramatic for me, bit too polished and safe although still good work.

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    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    I really don't have much experience on this topic at all but right now, I really like Marco Armiliato. I thought his conducting of the Met's 2009 La Rondine was really something. Fabio Luisi, at least in all the operas I have gone to, has been outstanding. He conducts Verdi very well.
    I haven't had the chance to hear Maestro Levine conduct, because of his recent health issues. He's beloved in NY.

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Among currently active conductors, I love Sir Tony Pappano, Claudio Abbado, and Daniel Barenboim. I really enjoyed Franz Welser-Möst's performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Cleveland Orchestra, but I'm not sure how I feel about him as an opera conductor.

    Among conductors from earlier decades, my favorites are Karl Böhm, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Sir Georg Solti.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Oh yes, I forgot to mention Georg Solti, one of my favorites as well.

    About Levine - not only he has merit in conducting, but certainly also in shaping up the Met Orchestra to become one of the best opera orchestras in the planet, if not the best one. So, his detractors need to take this into consideration. I think his contribution to opera is underestimated - and when one looks at his commemorative boxset with so many beautifully conducted performances recorded on DVD, one needs to give him his own. There are not too many conductors out there with this kind of discography, these days. James Levine is an operatic force of the 20th century, no doubt in my mind. And like Tardis said, his status of being beloved by his public is there for a reason.

    I'm having some difficulty warming up to Fabio Luisi, probably because I miss Levine and wish he'll recover his health sufficiently to conduct the Met Orchestra again. While Luisi is an elegant and precise conductor, I often feel that his performances are underwhelming as compared to the more emotionally intense Levine.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Hi all!
    I have a number of composers I like, depending on what composer I'm listening to.

    If it's Wagner, I like Solti, Karajan, Kubelik (a sleeper; very underrated, but you should check out his studio Meistersinger (among the very best), and Parsifal (gives Knappertsbusch a run for his money with the same opera)), Silvio Varviso (yep, of Italian opera fame; does wonders with his Bayreuth recordings; really knew how to support singers and was excellent with Wagner's scores), Carlos Kleiber (his studio Tristan is an orchestral marvel), and Knappertsbusch's Parsifal ('62 with Thomas and '64 with Vickers).

    If it's Mozart, I like C. Davis, Solti, Haitink, and Klemperer for his Don Giovanni (I probably wouldn't care for his slow tempos if I heard it after hearing others, but his was my first Don G recording, and I came to appreciate his unrushed, albeit very dramatic approach (and I suspect, so did his marvelous singers!)

    If it's Puccini, I go for Karajan (love that studio Turandot!), Zubin Metha (really got the drive right with La Fanciulla), and L. Maazel.

    For Rossini, I'll take C. Abbado, Varviso, De Fabritiis and when I want a heavy handed '50s rendition of the Barber, A. Galliera.

    I, too, like Gardelli as well, for Verdi

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Good to see you back, Sacramento Johnson. You've been a bit absent, I missed you.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacramento Johnson View Post
    If it's Wagner, I like Solti, Karajan, Kubelik (a sleeper; very underrated, but you should check out his studio Meistersinger (among the very best), and Parsifal (gives Knappertsbusch a run for his money with the same opera)), Silvio Varviso (yep, of Italian opera fame; does wonders with his Bayreuth recordings; really knew how to support singers and was excellent with Wagner's scores), Carlos Kleiber (his studio Tristan is an orchestral marvel), and Knappertsbusch's Parsifal ('62 with Thomas and '64 with Vickers).
    I must second SJ's enthusiasm for Kubelik. That Meistersinger is second only to the Kempe set with Elisabeth Grummer, IMO: warmly lyrical and full of humanity and humor. Kubelik also left us a very fine Lohengrin on Deutsche Grammophon, with James King, Thomas Stewart, Gundula Janowitz and Gwyneth Jones. Once again, the only serious competition is the Kempe set with E. Grummer, Jess Thomas, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Christa Ludwig. In many ways, Kempe was similar to Kubelik: both artists seemed to have an innate ability to bring out the lyricism and pastoral qualities in any score they performed. To my ear, Kempe had the slight edge in that he was able to keep the large paragraphs in Wagner under control and in perspective, whereas Kubelik sometimes lost sight of the big picture, rather like coming to the end of a sentence and forgetting what you had started out to say! Kempe's 1960 Bayreuth Ring is glorious. I also like the C. Kleiber Tristan, and will forever regret that he never recorded Elektra under studio conditions. His live performance from the late 1960's with Ingrid Steger is the only version I know of that follows Strauss' injunction to play the score like Mendelssohn, and the results are a revelation: light, quicksilver, and full of chiaroscuro. No other Elektra I know of is as well-played orchestrally as this one.

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