Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    My first encounter with Il trittico; got to check out a blu-ray from the public library. I intentionally left it alone for my first couple years of opera viewing, so that hopefully I would appreciate Puccini even more and it would be a bit like a special dessert.

    Surprisingly, it was the popular Schicchi that made the least impression on me. I don't think it was as funny as it could have been. But it could be that I was just a little tired. Suor Angelica was beautiful. I'll need a few follow-up listens, but it might be one of my favorite Puccini operas.

    As for connection between the 3 works, I've always read the plots to them and thought there was no connection. And all of the variations of what people say the common thread is, have always sounded dumb. I think the only common thread is that they all feel somewhat quintessentially Italian. Not a portrait of Italy, but a reflection of common stories of Italian literature/theatre. Has anybody ever tried to link Il trittico with the Italian flag in any way?

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    Suor Angelica was beautiful. I'll need a few follow-up listens, but it might be one of my favorite Puccini operas.
    Your first impression was correct.

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    I'm happy to hear from other Suor Angelica fans!!!

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    Not my favorite "Avant de quitter" but otherwise a great cast. Rene Pape is amazing as Mephisto (and also pretty good at sleight of hand?), if he's still this good at the role, I'm going to have to make a trip and see him sometime.

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    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
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    My first encounter with Il trittico; got to check out a blu-ray from the public library. I intentionally left it alone for my first couple years of opera viewing, so that hopefully I would appreciate Puccini even more and it would be a bit like a special dessert.

    Surprisingly, it was the popular Schicchi that made the least impression on me. I don't think it was as funny as it could have been. But it could be that I was just a little tired. Suor Angelica was beautiful. I'll need a few follow-up listens, but it might be one of my favorite Puccini operas.

    As for connection between the 3 works, I've always read the plots to them and thought there was no connection. And all of the variations of what people say the common thread is, have always sounded dumb. I think the only common thread is that they all feel somewhat quintessentially Italian. Not a portrait of Italy, but a reflection of common stories of Italian literature/theatre. Has anybody ever tried to link Il trittico with the Italian flag in any way?
    The connections between Il Trittico are difficult to interpret but I would argue some are there. My favourite one if that the connection is that of Love and death. Il Tabarro is the demise of a love caused by a death (the breaking apart of Giorgetta and Micheles marriage by the death of their son). Suor Angelica is that of a love that cannot be separated by death (Suor angelica and her child) while Gianni Schicchi is a love triumphant because of a death (Lauretta and rinuccios marriage granted because of the death of Buoso). Themes of greed are also common throughout all 3 operas the need for Luigi to have all of giorgetta or nothing the Principessa to have full control of the estate of Angelica's mother with and even over Angelica herself and for Gianni Schicchi the greed of every member of the Donati clan for material wealth. Ideas of control also run through each opera with characters attempting to exert control over the lives of others Luigi and Michele with Giorgetta the Principessa over Suor Angelica and Zita over Rinuccio. In each opera some of the most memorable moments are of exerting of control The Principessa shattering Angelica's dreams with her knowledge of the death of Angelica's son the final scene of Il Tabarro with Michele reasserting his control after feeling he has lost it for most of the opera and in Gianni Schicchi the usurping of the control the Donati family thought they had by Gianni Schicchi. Il trittico can be enjoyed separately but I will always argue that there are common themes and threads that link all three if one looks hard enough and that these are quite significant.

    In my own Opera watching news i have watched two more Verdis!!!
    The first was Ernani from the met in 1983

    I greatly enjoyed Ernani with lots of heavier voice action and a lot of romping cabalettas, arias and choruses . I found it much more enjoyable than Nabucco which preceded it by just 2 years or so. A very enjoyable opera with good singers all around. My only point of contention was that I found the idea of choosing Pavarotti's Ernani over Sherril Milnes Carlos of Raimondi's Silva as stretching believability even for opera! Choosing between death or an honourable life may have stretch my believability as well if it was was not for the next opera i watched. However singing was good and acting was also well done so very good marks a 9/10 for sure

    The second opera I watched was La Forza Del Destino. I am not a stranger to dramatic coincidences in opera most have one or two but the number in Forza beggars belief but then that is the power of fate!!! Forza should be noted though for having one of the more intelligent characters in opera I have encountered Don Carlo (not the one from Ernani or the one from Don Carlo!). A character who is intelligent enough to think another opera character might be in disguise is practically unheard of!!! Music wise another great opera from Verdi's early late period singing was great all around (Leontyne Price a couple of years before she quit the operatic stage in a role I can see from this performance she was very good at Levine Met 1982). I do have one small bug bear though in no other Verdi Opera I've seen has there been a scene as pointless as the cavorting and stuff in act three before/after the showdown. In an opera by Verdi where pace was going really swimmingly this scene although with great music seemed more than a little superfluous though had some good tunes also a 9/10

    Two great new operas and both worth a watch though that may be difficult with Ernani because sadly it appears to be very rarely performed (as with Luisa Miller why )!!!! Finding a recording that wasn't expensive on Itunes proved to be a challenge! I certainly hope that any of the other rare Verdi's I have yet to try wont have too much of the same problem
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  9. #1611
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    The connections between Il Trittico are difficult to interpret but I would argue some are there. My favourite one if that the connection is that of Love and death. Il Tabarro is the demise of a love caused by a death (the breaking apart of Giorgetta and Micheles marriage by the death of their son). Suor Angelica is that of a love that cannot be separated by death (Suor angelica and her child) while Gianni Schicchi is a love triumphant because of a death (Lauretta and rinuccios marriage granted because of the death of Buoso). Themes of greed are also common throughout all 3 operas the need for Luigi to have all of giorgetta or nothing the Principessa to have full control of the estate of Angelica's mother with and even over Angelica herself and for Gianni Schicchi the greed of every member of the Donati clan for material wealth. Ideas of control also run through each opera with characters attempting to exert control over the lives of others Luigi and Michele with Giorgetta the Principessa over Suor Angelica and Zita over Rinuccio. In each opera some of the most memorable moments are of exerting of control The Principessa shattering Angelica's dreams with her knowledge of the death of Angelica's son the final scene of Il Tabarro with Michele reasserting his control after feeling he has lost it for most of the opera and in Gianni Schicchi the usurping of the control the Donati family thought they had by Gianni Schicchi. Il trittico can be enjoyed separately but I will always argue that there are common themes and threads that link all three if one looks hard enough and that these are quite significant.
    Interesting. You may want to read one of our interviews with Jill Gardner when she details where she sees the connections:

    http://operalively.com/forums/conten...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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  11. #1612
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    The connections between Il Trittico are difficult to interpret but I would argue some are there. My favourite one if that the connection is that of Love and death. Il Tabarro is the demise of a love caused by a death (the breaking apart of Giorgetta and Micheles marriage by the death of their son). Suor Angelica is that of a love that cannot be separated by death (Suor angelica and her child) while Gianni Schicchi is a love triumphant because of a death (Lauretta and rinuccios marriage granted because of the death of Buoso). Themes of greed are also common throughout all 3 operas the need for Luigi to have all of giorgetta or nothing the Principessa to have full control of the estate of Angelica's mother with and even over Angelica herself and for Gianni Schicchi the greed of every member of the Donati clan for material wealth. Ideas of control also run through each opera with characters attempting to exert control over the lives of others Luigi and Michele with Giorgetta the Principessa over Suor Angelica and Zita over Rinuccio. In each opera some of the most memorable moments are of exerting of control The Principessa shattering Angelica's dreams with her knowledge of the death of Angelica's son the final scene of Il Tabarro with Michele reasserting his control after feeling he has lost it for most of the opera and in Gianni Schicchi the usurping of the control the Donati family thought they had by Gianni Schicchi. Il trittico can be enjoyed separately but I will always argue that there are common themes and threads that link all three if one looks hard enough and that these are quite significant.

    In my own Opera watching news i have watched two more Verdis!!!
    The first was Ernani from the met in 1983

    I greatly enjoyed Ernani with lots of heavier voice action and a lot of romping cabalettas, arias and choruses . I found it much more enjoyable than Nabucco which preceded it by just 2 years or so. A very enjoyable opera with good singers all around. My only point of contention was that I found the idea of choosing Pavarotti's Ernani over Sherril Milnes Carlos of Raimondi's Silva as stretching believability even for opera! Choosing between death or an honourable life may have stretch my believability as well if it was was not for the next opera i watched. However singing was good and acting was also well done so very good marks a 9/10 for sure

    The second opera I watched was La Forza Del Destino. I am not a stranger to dramatic coincidences in opera most have one or two but the number in Forza beggars belief but then that is the power of fate!!! Forza should be noted though for having one of the more intelligent characters in opera I have encountered Don Carlo (not the one from Ernani or the one from Don Carlo!). A character who is intelligent enough to think another opera character might be in disguise is practically unheard of!!! Music wise another great opera from Verdi's early late period singing was great all around (Leontyne Price a couple of years before she quit the operatic stage in a role I can see from this performance she was very good at Levine Met 1982). I do have one small bug bear though in no other Verdi Opera I've seen has there been a scene as pointless as the cavorting and stuff in act three before/after the showdown. In an opera by Verdi where pace was going really swimmingly this scene although with great music seemed more than a little superfluous though had some good tunes also a 9/10

    Two great new operas and both worth a watch though that may be difficult with Ernani because sadly it appears to be very rarely performed (as with Luisa Miller why )!!!! Finding a recording that wasn't expensive on Itunes proved to be a challenge! I certainly hope that any of the other rare Verdi's I have yet to try wont have too much of the same problem
    Make sure to add Macbeth to your queue!

    But then, I also really like Nabucco and Ernani not so much, so...

  12. #1613
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Make sure to add Macbeth to your queue!

    But then, I also really like Nabucco and Ernani not so much, so...
    Seen Macbeth for me it is likely my fifth favourite (behin Don Carlos which is a strong fourth La Traviata which is third and Un Ballo in Maschera + Il Trovatore who are tied second and Rigoletto which is first) Great opera and much better for me than some of the big hitters like Aida and Nabucco (sorry Hoffmann!) Macbeth has some of Verdis most romping melodies so definitley a worthy favourite for anyone even if its not the very tippity top for me!
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Thank goodness that's over! I never want to see Tannhäuser in the Paris version again.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Was it really that bad? I was strongly considering it...

    Edit: Nevermind, I just read José Cura sings Tannhäuser.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    Was it really that bad? I was strongly considering it...

    Edit: Nevermind, I just read José Cura sings Tannhäuser.
    If you think he was bad listen to the Venus. A real teethgritter.
    Natalie

  19. #1617
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Monteverdi's Orfeo from Caen, still available on Medici. Lovely stuff.

    Natalie

  20. #1618
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    An occasional visitor to this thread up to now, I might be around here a bit more but more on that in another thread.

    ........................

    Name:  Dardanus - Raphaël Pichon opera de Bordeaux 2015.jpg
Views: 46
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    Rameau: Dardanus
    Version 1739
    Reinoud Van Mechelen (Dardanus), Gaëlle Arquez (Iphise), Karina Gauvin (Venus), Florian Sempey (Anténor), Nahuel Di Pierro (Teucer, Isménor), Katherine Watson (Un Songe, Amour), Etienne Bazola (Berger), Virgile Ancely (Un Songe) & Guillaume Gutiérrez (Un Songe)
    Ensemble Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon
    Opera de Bordeaux 2015

    Technically, not a great dvd production as the sound and picture quality is good to okay and in these times where the median is such an excellent standard, it's below that.

    That, though is small change because everything else about this is very good to excellent. The important singing, orchestra, acting (yes we have that stuff in opera now) are all superb. I can't point out an outstanding performance as I think pretty much most parts are presented very well. Though I think Nahuel Di Pierro's Isménor is powerful and awesome and Gaëlle Arquez's arias almost bring tears to my eyes.
    The staging, lighting, costumes and make up are all magical with real emotional content as well as beautiful, striking and intelligent. Even the ballet had me on the edge of my seat and I can honestly say my heart was racing throughout. Exhausting stuff.
    This is just the sort of production I want to go and see next time I'm at the opera. I love it.
    Breaks the 9.3 mark and who knows, with slightly better sound or picture could have approached the 9.4 mark...

  21. #1619
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Thank goodness that's over! I never want to see Tannhäuser in the Paris version again.
    Judging by the extended overture, I think this is a conflation of the Dresden and Paris versions--essentially giving us both.

    If it delays Cura singing, though, I'm all for it.

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  23. #1620
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    An occasional visitor to this thread up to now, I might be around here a bit more but more on that in another thread.

    ........................

    Name:  Dardanus - Raphaël Pichon opera de Bordeaux 2015.jpg
Views: 46
Size:  66.6 KB
    Rameau: Dardanus
    Version 1739
    Reinoud Van Mechelen (Dardanus), Gaëlle Arquez (Iphise), Karina Gauvin (Venus), Florian Sempey (Anténor), Nahuel Di Pierro (Teucer, Isménor), Katherine Watson (Un Songe, Amour), Etienne Bazola (Berger), Virgile Ancely (Un Songe) & Guillaume Gutiérrez (Un Songe)
    Ensemble Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon
    Opera de Bordeaux 2015

    Technically, not a great dvd production as the sound and picture quality is good to okay and in these times where the median is such an excellent standard, it's below that.

    That, though is small change because everything else about this is very good to excellent. The important singing, orchestra, acting (yes we have that stuff in opera now) are all superb. I can't point out an outstanding performance as I think pretty much most parts are presented very well. Though I think Nahuel Di Pierro's Isménor is powerful and awesome and Gaëlle Arquez's arias almost bring tears to my eyes.
    The staging, lighting, costumes and make up are all magical with real emotional content as well as beautiful, striking and intelligent. Even the ballet had me on the edge of my seat and I can honestly say my heart was racing throughout. Exhausting stuff.
    This is just the sort of production I want to go and see next time I'm at the opera. I love it.
    Breaks the 9.3 mark and who knows, with slightly better sound or picture could have approached the 9.4 mark...
    Thanks, Clayton, for your write-up. It certainly raises my curiosity to see a well-produced Baroque opera which will never see the light of day in this town - even might make me sit still long enough to watch it in video!

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