Thread: What opera have you purchased recently?

          
   
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  1. #2596
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  2. #2597
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Well that is a great relief. Is this the one you refer to as the Munich production?:
    That is the Munich production but I don't think you would like it much! It's a bit Regie (Elsa in overalls building a house at the beginning, Lohengrin bringing in a cradle and then setting fire to it in Act 3).
    Natalie

  3. #2598
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    I haven't seen Ekaterina Siurina in a long time. Where is she?

    Edit: Checked her schedule. She's singing Violetta in Toronto right now.

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  5. #2599
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    That is the Munich production but I don't think you would like it much! It's a bit Regie (Elsa in overalls building a house at the beginning, Lohengrin bringing in a cradle and then setting fire to it in Act 3).
    I have viewed a fair amount of this one on You Tube and it may be worth it for Kaufmann alone. But burning the cradle is rather weird.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  6. #2600
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    ... burning the cradle is rather weird.
    In this production it is clear that Lohengrin, when he meets Elsa, is hoping for a normal family life, presumably contrasting with the all male religious life of Monsalvat. Burning the cradle symbolises the end of his dreams.

    I have viewed a fair amount of this one on You Tube and it may be worth it for Kaufmann alone.
    Harteros is also excellent.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    I haven't seen Ekaterina Siurina in a long time. Where is she?

    Edit: Checked her schedule. She's singing Violetta in Toronto right now.
    She is such a cutie.
    Natalie

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  8. #2601
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    In this production it is clear that Lohengrin, when he meets Elsa, is hoping for a normal family life, presumably contrasting with the all male religious life of Monsalvat. Burning the cradle symbolises the end of his dreams.

    Harteros is also excellent.
    Well, while we were discussing it I had made an offer on Ebay which was accepted and so I have acquired a used copy at $15.50 shipped. It should be good and maybe add variety to my otherwise more traditional collection of Lohengrins.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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  10. #2602
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I have to admit that when it comes to Lohengrin, I think I prefer traditional productions. I say that despite the fact that I liked most of the so-called "Rat" Lohengrin, but really hated the ending where Lohengrin tosses around pieces of Gottfried's placenta. Really.

    In the Deutsche Oper's production I saw a year ago (which was superbly sung), the director chose to conclude by bringing out poor Gottfried's bloody dead body and laying it on a bier. Also, in a "what were they thinking" thing, Ortrud and Elsa didn't die - they just stood there. Geez.

    For a point of reference, the second opera I saw live in 1975 was the Berlin Opera's Lohengrin (I assume the company was the Deutsche Oper, since the Staatsoper was an East Berlin company, so less likely to tour in the U.S.) with Rene Kollo at the Kennedy Center. The production used some minimalist and modern stagecraft (holographic swans) but was otherwise entirely traditional. The ending featured the alive and well young Gottfried (in golden armor) entering down a long flight of steps - center stage - to assume his rightful position as the Duke of Brabant. This was Wagner's intent and is dramatically and emotionally satisfying. It was one of only two performances of anything I ever saw where the entire audience was on their feet applauding wildly at the conclusion.

    Oh, the other performance? The orchestrated Pictures at an Exhibition with the Paris National Orchestra under Jean Martinon (1971)!

  11. #2603
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I have to admit that when it comes to Lohengrin, I think I prefer traditional productions. I say that despite the fact that I liked most of the so-called "Rat" Lohengrin, but really hated the ending where Lohengrin tosses around pieces of Gottfried's placenta. Really.

    In the Deutsche Oper's production I saw a year ago (which was superbly sung), the director chose to conclude by bringing out poor Gottfried's bloody dead body and laying it on a bier. Also, in a "what were they thinking" thing, Ortrud and Elsa didn't die - they just stood there. Geez.

    For a point of reference, the second opera I saw live in 1975 was the Berlin Opera's Lohengrin (I assume the company was the Deutsche Oper, since the Staatsoper was an East Berlin company, so less likely to tour in the U.S.) with Rene Kollo at the Kennedy Center. The production used some minimalist and modern stagecraft (holographic swans) but was otherwise entirely traditional. The ending featured the alive and well young Gottfried (in golden armor) entering down a long flight of steps - center stage - to assume his rightful position as the Duke of Brabant. This was Wagner's intent and is dramatically and emotionally satisfying. It was one of only two performances of anything I ever saw where the entire audience was on their feet applauding wildly at the conclusion.

    Oh, the other performance? The orchestrated Pictures at an Exhibition with the Paris National Orchestra under Jean Martinon (1971)!
    Advocates of extreme regie moan about and make fun of the people who prefer their operas to be staged as the composer intended.

    Well I want to see what the composer intended!
    "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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  13. #2604
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    With the Richard Jones staging (Munich), I've focused on the cast members (especially Kaufmann and Harteros) and pretty much ignored the production. But at least Jones doesn't go in for any of the kooky endings that Hoffmann described and doesn't fundamentally alter the characters in some manner.

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  15. #2605
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Advocates of extreme regie moan about and make fun of the people who prefer their operas to be staged as the composer intended.

    Well I want to see what the composer intended!

    This poses an interesting question. I am not at all opposed to Regie, as the results frequently are interesting and satisfying. At the same time, I am also interested in seeing what the composer intended.

    Please forgive me as I am about to wander out on to a rather extended limb here. These are some thoughts that I confess aren't particularly well thought out, but represent some sense of why I respond better to some operas and productions more than others.

    Some operas, in my view, beg for Regie treatment: e.g., Carmen, La Gioconda, La Traviata, etc. Wagner, though, presents an interesting conundrum: he excelled, in my opinion, above all other composers in his ability as a dramatist, which is seen in his reaching his stated goal of creating Gesamtkunstwerke - total works of art. On the other hand, his operas still lend themselves successfully to Regie productions.

    Wagner, Strauss, and to a lesser extent, Verdi, excelled in their ability to reconcile the various dramatic and musical threads of their various operas into emotionally satisfying conclusions. As we know, when perceptive Regie productions succeed in maintaining the dramatic and linked musical arcs composers intended, the results can be amazing. Unfortunately, many directors aren't nearly as gifted as they like to think - resulting in muddled and dramatically weak operas. Francesca Zambello's Ring has both: it features a breathtaking Die Walküre, but her attempt at drawing a Ring theme of environmentalism is a real stretch (her Götterdämmerung concludes with the chorus dragging black trash bags across the stage and dumping them into an apparently smoldering heap just out of view - the opera is just barely rescued at the very last second by a young girl walking barefoot back across the stage with a green plant) I don't even remember what happened to Brunnhilde.

    With Wagner, this is particularly frustrating since much of the power of his operas lies in his strong conclusions. His heroines don't die from murder (well, except for Siegfried, but that was necessary to make his point), disease or jealous rages; they die from deep conviction and broken hearts (Isolde, Senta/Dutchman, Elsa/Lohengrin, Elisabeth/Tannhäuser or from singular acts of heroism - Brunnhilde), but they are not depressing. At the same time, there also always seems to be present a sense of justice and/or some kind of lingering sense of hope.

    When middling directors fiddle with Wagner's dramatic strengths, they truly risk rupturing that which has created such deep ranks of (us) Wagner devotees.

    Or something like that...

  16. #2606
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    From my favorite local store:



    I cut my teeth on Cooke's introduction decades ago, when I was first getting to know the Ring. Nice to finally add it to my collection.

  17. #2607
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    From my favorite local store:



    I cut my teeth on Cooke's introduction decades ago, when I was first getting to know the Ring. Nice to finally add it to my collection.
    I must relisten now too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So glad this is on CD now



    Natalie

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  19. #2608
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  20. #2609
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  21. #2610
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    On order from Amazon:


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