Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #1636
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    I referred to the Emma Matthews version, which, being of much more recent vintage, has very much superior picture and sound. While I am a long time fan of Dame Joan, having stood to see her Lucia in the 1960s, her Lakme was done in the 70s and some reviewers have remarked on the quality of the VHS tape to DVD quality. I noted while posting this that Amazon's current price for the Blu ray is (GASP!!!) $129. Amazon UK shows a price of (GAG!!) over 160 pounds!! That literally boggles my mind!!

    The regular DVD on Amazon is a more reasonable $30.

    My Blu ray cost me $23, inclusive of S&H when I bought it in Nov 2015!
    Amazon's pricing is a major reason why most of my purchases now are made with Presto Classical. Even figuring in foreign transaction fee and trans-Atlantic shipping, their costs are far more reasonable. Presto's packaging is also much sturdier.

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  3. #1637
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Amazon's pricing is a major reason why most of my purchases now are made with Presto Classical. Even figuring in foreign transaction fee and trans-Atlantic shipping, their costs are far more reasonable. Presto's packaging is also much sturdier.
    Foreign transaction fee: get Capital One. No foreign transaction fee. What's in your wallet? LOL
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  5. #1638
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I am about 40 minutes in and loving it (except for the weird noises). Rocco has a fantastic voice!
    " When I look back across my entire life, I find no event to place beside this in the impression it produced on me." — Wagner on seeing a performance of Fidelio

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    Senior Member Involved Member
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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Sorochintsy Fair by Mussorgsky on Opera Platform. Some amazing choruses, good production, Night on a Bald Mountain... a little heavy on the comic mezzo and buffo bass front though.

    Natalie

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  11. #1641
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Worth catching on Medici:

    Rodelinda with Lucy Crowe and Bejun Mehta in a good clear production by Claus Guth:



    Il Ritorno D'Ulisse in Patria, Magdalena Kožená brilliant, would have been better if Kresimir Spicer (Eumee) had sung the title role instead of Villazón, although the latter did give a committed performance.

    Natalie

  12. #1642
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Rodelinda with Lucy Crowe and Bejun Mehta in a good clear production by Claus Guth
    Bejun's wig though

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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
    Bejun's wig though
    It's a humdinger. Must've found it in a dress-up box.
    Natalie

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  16. #1644
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Love this Robert Carsen

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post


    Love this Robert Carsen
    It's great!
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    La troupe d'Orphée based around M-A Charpentier's La descente d’Orphée aux enfers - was on Opera Platform but not for long, unfortunately, as it was quite brilliant, so moving at the end!

    Natalie

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  23. #1648
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Conductor: Paolo Carigniani
    Director: Robert Carsen
    Cast: Emily Magee, Jonas Kaufmann, Thomas Hampson, Valeriy Murga, Giuseppe Scorsin, Peter Straka, Morgan Moody, Daniel Golossov, Claudia Auf der Maur

    The DVD of this Zürich Opera production was the first recording to feature Jonas Kaufmann’s Cavaradossi. When I decided to watch it again, I didn’t realize the stage director was Robert Carsen, the subject of some recent comments in the “Opera Small Talk” thread (http://operalively.com/forums/showth...l-Talk/page131). He has updated events to what appears to be the mid-20th century or slightly later, with Emily Magee’s title heroine looking like a Hollywood diva from the 1950s when she makes her first appearance. The action is supposed to take place in a theater, with Thomas Hampson’s Scarpia evidently the house’s Intendant and Kaufmann’s Cavaradossi a scenery painter. While the soloists appear in reasonably modern dress, Scarpia’s attendants and the firing squad members wear Napoleonic-era garb. I’m not sure that Carsen’s concept works all that well, and yet this is an incredibly powerful performance, especially from the second act onward. That’s due in large measure to the vocal and theatrical talents of the three principals (and it also becomes easier at this point to simply view the characters in the roles that the librettist intended). Hampson’s Scarpia is handsome, debonair, elegant, and absolutely chilling – especially when he grins at Tosca with that seemingly pleasant but deeply sadistic smile while he’s forcing her to submit to his will. And when he isn’t smiling, he’s staring at her (during “Vissi d’arte,” for example) with an expression that’s equal parts lust and malice. Magee is equally impressive in using both facial expressions and body language to convey the horror and utter revulsion Tosca feels toward him. Kaufmann has a little less to do in the way of characterization during the first two acts; his Cavaradossi is appropriately romantic and heroic. But in Act III, his looks and demeanor subtly suggest that Cavaradossi doesn’t really believe in Scarpia’s apparent act of clemency. He knows those bullets won’t be blanks, but can’t bring himself to shatter Tosca’s joy by sharing his doubts with her. If at least some portions of these very realistic, compelling characterizations are the results of Carsen’s Personenführung, then hats off to him. That’s what really makes this performance so memorable, and not some rather dubious concept. And, of course, the three stars sing magnificently, Magee and Kaufmann especially. The Zürich Opera orchestra and chorus are capably led by Paolo Carigniani.

  24. #1649
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    Well, last night I broke the bel canto habit and watched the Met's Turandot for the first time (although I have heard recordings of it over the years). I found the cast to be first rate, but was totally gobsmacked by the Zeferrelli sets. In Blu ray, the picture and sound were amazing. To make matters worse, I finally broke down and bought the Met's recent Otello and Les Pecheurs de Perles. The pricing by an Amazon seller were quite nice, so the treasurer here will not be upset (at least not too much). I am not yet a big fan of Verdi's last two operas, and am similarly not a big fan of Placido Domingo, so a well reviewed Otello with a different tenor at a very good price was a temptation to which I gave in (To be honest, giving in to temptations has made life more interesting over the years).

    I wonder if all this represents a personality disorder?

    On another note, the Tosca referenced above is dandy!

  25. #1650
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post


    Conductor: Paolo Carigniani
    Director: Robert Carsen
    Cast: Emily Magee, Jonas Kaufmann, Thomas Hampson, Valeriy Murga, Giuseppe Scorsin, Peter Straka, Morgan Moody, Daniel Golossov, Claudia Auf der Maur

    The DVD of this Zürich Opera production was the first recording to feature Jonas Kaufmann’s Cavaradossi. When I decided to watch it again, I didn’t realize the stage director was Robert Carsen, the subject of some recent comments in the “Opera Small Talk” thread (http://operalively.com/forums/showth...l-Talk/page131). He has updated events to what appears to be the mid-20th century or slightly later, with Emily Magee’s title heroine looking like a Hollywood diva from the 1950s when she makes her first appearance. The action is supposed to take place in a theater, with Thomas Hampson’s Scarpia evidently the house’s Intendant and Kaufmann’s Cavaradossi a scenery painter. While the soloists appear in reasonably modern dress, Scarpia’s attendants and the firing squad members wear Napoleonic-era garb. I’m not sure that Carsen’s concept works all that well, and yet this is an incredibly powerful performance, especially from the second act onward. That’s due in large measure to the vocal and theatrical talents of the three principals (and it also becomes easier at this point to simply view the characters in the roles that the librettist intended). Hampson’s Scarpia is handsome, debonair, elegant, and absolutely chilling – especially when he grins at Tosca with that seemingly pleasant but deeply sadistic smile while he’s forcing her to submit to his will. And when he isn’t smiling, he’s staring at her (during “Vissi d’arte,” for example) with an expression that’s equal parts lust and malice. Magee is equally impressive in using both facial expressions and body language to convey the horror and utter revulsion Tosca feels toward him. Kaufmann has a little less to do in the way of characterization during the first two acts; his Cavaradossi is appropriately romantic and heroic. But in Act III, his looks and demeanor subtly suggest that Cavaradossi doesn’t really believe in Scarpia’s apparent act of clemency. He knows those bullets won’t be blanks, but can’t bring himself to shatter Tosca’s joy by sharing his doubts with her. If at least some portions of these very realistic, compelling characterizations are the results of Carsen’s Personenführung, then hats off to him. That’s what really makes this performance so memorable, and not some rather dubious concept. And, of course, the three stars sing magnificently, Magee and Kaufmann especially. The Zürich Opera orchestra and chorus are capably led by Paolo Carigniani.
    Absolutely spot on, Mary, I agree that the concept is daft but the acting and singing excellent; and Hampson's Scarpia is the most nuanced I've ever seen.
    Natalie

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