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Thread: Favourite Russian opera?

          
   
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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Favourite Russian opera?

    What are your favourite Russian operas?

    I'm probably looking at romantic period but for the purpose of this thread, let's say any Russian opera.
    I recently listened to two for the first time, (very closely followed by the second and third time).
    Tschaikowsky: Eugene Onegin
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
    Both of these were almost incredibly exciting, enough for me to plan a Russian expedition. So I thought I might glimpse at some travel guides/old holiday snaps before and ask.
    What are your favourites?

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    I like above all Kovanchina.
    I listened it at la Scala conducted by Gergiev and find it fantastic, more melodic than Boris and more dramatic than Oneghin, two others russian operas that i love, but i prefer Kovanchina (but directed by Gergiev, i listened it even in DVD directed by Abbado, but Abbado was less interesting)

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    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    I don't care for Russian opera much at all.
    If I am going to listen to one,
    it's Boris.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    There are many that are very good, beyond the usual suspects Eugene Onegin, Pique Dame, and Boris Godunov. Certainly these three deserve the fame and the fact that they are the most consistently staged outside of Russia. But do also consider these:

    Khovanshchina (I agree that this one is even better than Boris), Cherevichki, Sadko, The Golden Cockerel (one of my favorites), Prince Igor, Oresteia, Ruslan and Lyudmila, A Life for the Tsar, Aleko, Le Rossignol, Oedipus Rex, The Rake's Progress (if you consider it Russian opera - this one I'd rather consider American), The Gambler, The Love for Three Oranges (great), The Fiery Angel (impressive!), Betrothal in a Monastery, War and Peace (sublime), Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (another one of my favorites), The Nose...

    It's hard for me to tell which one is my very favorite. It varies. Certainly Eugene Onegin is hard to beat, but at times something like Khovanshchina or War and Peace or The Fiery Angel, I like even more.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Love me some War and Peace.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    My favourites in order of preference:

    Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
    Pique Dame (Tchaikovsky)
    War and Peace (Prokofiev)
    Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Shostakovich)
    The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
    Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky)
    The Love for Three Oranges (Prokofiev)
    The Tsar's Bride (Rimsky-Korsakov)
    Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky)
    The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia (Rimsky-Korsakov)
    Khovanshchina (Mussorgsky)
    Iolanta (Tchaikovsky)
    Ruslan and Lyudmila (Glinka)
    Prince Igor (Borodin)
    The Fiery Angel (Prokofiev)
    The Nightingale (Stravinsky)


    There are more but that's enough to be getting on with.

    BTW there is certainly a good argument for The rake's Progress to be considered American, but because the subject matter, Hogarth's series of satirical paintings, is so rooted in 18th century England, it FEELS more English to me:

    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    BTW there is certainly a good argument for The rake's Progress to be considered American, but because the subject matter, Hogarth's series of satirical paintings, is so rooted in 18th century England, it FEELS more English to me:
    As a subject matter, sure, but some musicologists say that the musical language is American. The opera was written by a composer who had been living in the United States for 12 years, and had legally naturalized himself American six years prior to writing it. He wanted to embrace the new culture - thus, an American opera (of which we're quite proud, this side of the pond, hehehe - I would even say that it is the best American opera, tied with Porgy and Bess for the title).

    PS - Oh, and he saw Hogarth's paintings in Chicago, on the occasion of a traveling exhibition.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 30th, 2013 at 07:58 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    My favourites in order of preference:

    Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
    Pique Dame (Tchaikovsky)
    War and Peace (Prokofiev)
    Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Shostakovich)
    The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
    Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky)
    The Love for Three Oranges (Prokofiev)
    The Tsar's Bride (Rimsky-Korsakov)
    Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky)
    The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia (Rimsky-Korsakov)
    Khovanshchina (Mussorgsky)
    Iolanta (Tchaikovsky)
    Ruslan and Lyudmila (Glinka)
    Prince Igor (Borodin)
    The Fiery Angel (Prokofiev)
    The Nightingale (Stravinsky)


    There are more but that's enough to be getting on with.
    Ooh! Good Post!

    ...



    'ere...

    'ang on...



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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Um, I attended a performance of War and Peace at the Kennedy Center several years ago, conducted by Gergiev and, while I enjoyed the performance, thought the opera rather overblown. One lovely aria in the first act (if I remember correctly) and a couple of stirring choruses. Other than that, meh.

    I tend to be somewhat stingy with my use of the term "sublime"...

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    My favourites in order of preference:

    Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
    Pique Dame (Tchaikovsky)
    War and Peace (Prokofiev)
    Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Shostakovich)
    The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
    Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky)
    The Love for Three Oranges (Prokofiev)
    The Tsar's Bride (Rimsky-Korsakov)
    Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky)
    The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia (Rimsky-Korsakov)
    Khovanshchina (Mussorgsky)
    Iolanta (Tchaikovsky)
    Ruslan and Lyudmila (Glinka)
    Prince Igor (Borodin)
    The Fiery Angel (Prokofiev)
    The Nightingale (Stravinsky)
    Great list. I've got most of these & haven't even listened to some of them. Going to set myself a target to listen to more Russian.

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    Senior Member Involved Member Bardamu's Avatar
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    Aside from the two cited in the OP, I like Rimsky-Korsakov's The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia.
    It's a bit too long (and repetitive in parts) for its good but I like it.

    Oh and I prefer Rimsky-Korsakov Boris Godunov to the original.

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  21. #12
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    My next two Russian operas...

    Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina
    Bulat Minjelkiev (Ivan Khovansky), Vladimir Galusin (Andrey Khovansky), Alexei Steblianko (Vasily Golitsyn), Nikolai Ohotnikov (Dosifey), Olga Borodina (Marfa), Valery Alexeev (Shaklovity), Yelena Prokina (Emma), Evgenia Tselovalnik (Susanna), Konstantin Pluzhnikov (Scribe), Nikolai Gassiev (Kuzka), Vassily Gerelo (Streshniev)
    Kirov and Orchestra St. Petersburg,
    Valery Gergiev

    Name:  Khovanshchina.jpg
Views: 75
Size:  51.5 KB

    Rimsky Korsakov: The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia
    Vladimir Galusin (Grishka Kutyer'ma), Galina Gorchakova (Fevroniya), Nikolai Putilin (Fyodor Poyarok), Nikolai Ohotnikov (Yury Vsevolodovich), Yevgeny Boitsov (Merchant I), Evgeny Fedorov (Merchant II), Nikolai Gassiev (Bear Trainer), Olga Korzhenskaya (Youth), Larissa Diadkova (Alkonost)
    Kirov Opera & Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre,
    Valery Gergiev

    Name:  Rimsky-Korsakov The legend of the invisible city of Kitezh.jpg
Views: 75
Size:  39.6 KB

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post

    Rimsky Korsakov: The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia
    Vladimir Galusin (Grishka Kutyer'ma), Galina Gorchakova (Fevroniya), Nikolai Putilin (Fyodor Poyarok), Nikolai Ohotnikov (Yury Vsevolodovich), Yevgeny Boitsov (Merchant I), Evgeny Fedorov (Merchant II), Nikolai Gassiev (Bear Trainer), Olga Korzhenskaya (Youth), Larissa Diadkova (Alkonost)
    Kirov Opera & Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre,
    Valery Gergiev

    Name:  Rimsky-Korsakov The legend of the invisible city of Kitezh.jpg
Views: 75
Size:  39.6 KB
    Oh goodness this is so lovely, I particularly adore the battle interlude - you can actually hear the Tatars on their horses coming to get you. The beginning with Fevronia in the forest is also very haunting.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    This morning’s opera is inspired by the opening ceremony of the winter Olympics!

    Mikhail Glinka – “the father of Russian classical music and an important influence on the Mighty Five” (-Anna Yurdina, Russia Today)
    Ruslan and Lyudmila

    Mikhail Kit (Svetozar)
    Anna Netrebko (Lyudmila)
    Vladimir Ognovenko (Ruslan)
    Larissa Diadkova (Ratmir)
    Gennady Bezzubenkov (Farlaf)
    Galina Gorchakova (Gorislava)
    Konstantin Pluzhnikov (Finn)
    Irena Bogachova (Naina)
    Yuri Marusin (Bayan)
    Chorus and Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre
    Valery Gergiev
    Recorded live at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, February 1995 (which I suppose would make Anna 23 years old)

    Name:  Glinka Ruslan and Lyudmila.jpg
Views: 104
Size:  47.0 KB

    The story takes place in Kiev, which I think is closer to Sochi than Moscow…

  26. #15
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    I am listening for the first time to a favourite amongst other forum members...

    Sergei Prokoviev, War and Peace
    Libretto by Mira Mendelson
    Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy

    Yury Masurok (Prince Andrei Bolkonsky)
    Galina Kalinina (Natasha Rostova)
    Arthur Eizen (Count Iliya Andreyevich Rostov)
    Evgeni Raikov (Pierre Bezukhov)
    Tamara Siniavskaya (Ellen Besukhova)
    Evgeni Shapin (Anatol' Kuragin)
    Alexander Vedernikov (Mikhail Illariomovich Kutuzov, Field Marshall)
    Alexander Voroshilo (Napoleon Bonaparte)
    Soloists, Choir and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre
    Mark Ermler
    Recorded 1982

    Name:  Prokoviev War and Peace Mark Ermler Bolshoi Theatre.jpg
Views: 61
Size:  38.5 KB


    - - - Updated - - -

    wow!

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