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  1. #511
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    The inaugural International Opera Awards took place last night in London. Jonas Kaufmann came away with two gongs & has been dubbed an honorary Londoner.
    And Written on Skin came away with best World Premiere. Richly deserved. Now can we have a DVD? Pretty please?
    Natalie

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  3. #512
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    And Written on Skin came away with best World Premiere. Richly deserved. Now can we have a DVD? Pretty please?
    I don't think it's far away. The CD recording has already come out.

  4. #513
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    Sigh. All that time and energy devoted to being *against* something.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    Suspension of disbelief is a key component of opera. Fact is you're not going to get sopranos straight out of conservatory (shouldn't get, at least) singing big roles like Tatyana, Butterfly or (God forbid) Salome. And I think I'd be seriously weirded out if someone actually made a 40 (for example) year old soprano look like a 13 year old girl.
    Opera fans sometimes forget just how much suspension of disbelief they accept. Recently I showed my mother, not an operaphile, the DVD of the Royal Opera House Tosca. She couldn't get past Angela Gheorghiu being too old for the role--even though Tosca is probably not a teenager and the attractive Gheorghiu is not exactly ancient. What can seem relatively believable casting to opera lovers can still strike outsiders as unacceptable.

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  8. #515
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    Opera fans sometimes forget just how much suspension of disbelief they accept. Recently I showed my mother, not an operaphile, the DVD of the Royal Opera House Tosca. She couldn't get past Angela Gheorghiu being too old for the role--even though Tosca is probably not a teenager and the attractive Gheorghiu is not exactly ancient. What can seem relatively believable casting to opera lovers can still strike outsiders as unacceptable.
    Sometimes even opera lovers can tire of the suspension of disbelief. When I was in high school, I discovered that the mother of one of my chums had been a regular attendee at the Bayreuth Festival in her youth. I asked her about it and she said she had not been to an opera in several years. When I asked why, she admitted that she could no longer get round the visual block of seeing Tristan and Isolde or Siegfried and Brünnhilde portrayed by morbidly obese singers. Myself, if they have the vocal goods to get through those roles, I don't care what they look like, really.
    How far that little candle throws his beams!
    So shines a good deed in a naughty world.


    The Merchant of Venice, V, i.

  9. #516
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    ...seeing Tristan and Isolde or Siegfried and Brünnhilde portrayed by morbidly obese singers...
    It is commonly felt that La Divina sang better at 200 lbs than it was when she was 120 lbs.

  10. #517
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    ... Myself, if they have the vocal goods to get through those roles, I don't care what they look like, really.
    I saw a production where one of the singers is so overweight he struggles to even walk. And it was embarrassing. He has a fabulous voice but his size was distracting.
    "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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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Nice, Nina Stemme, one of my favorites, won as well... and my beloved Metropolitan Opera Orchestra! And conductor Pappano is fitting as well, he does do a lot for opera.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  12. #519
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    OH my, it seems like Piotr Beczala has been on the hot seat lately regarding his views on stage directors...
    This explains why suddenly his interview with Opera Lively jumped up to be our most read to date.
    This blog has a heated debate, for and against him, and I'm glad that Opera Lively is a lot more civil place!

    http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddi...work-with.html
    "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 Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    I saw a production where one of the singers is so overweight he struggles to even walk. And it was embarrassing. He has a fabulous voice but his size was distracting.
    Johan Botha is one who has been struggling with his weight for a while. Incredible voice but now I think his weight issues have gotten in the way of his operatic performances as it affects his breathing which definitely has an impact on his singing (although I recall a number of years ago, he famously said something to the effect that Wagner tenors should be a bit fat). His health problems also caused him to miss a number of performances of the Met's Otello. I can't help but think that if he could get his weight under control, it would have a big positive impact on his life and career. That said, I have no problems suspending my disbelief in exchange for incredible singing. I actually like how Botha played/sang Othello, although I know a lot of the critics didn't.

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  15. #521
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    It is commonly felt that La Divina sang better at 200 lbs than it was when she was 120 lbs.
    I think it depends on exactly what one means by 'better'. Certainly her vocal emission was steadier and less mercurial when she was heavier, but to my ear there was also a degree of anonymity, almost a generic quality to some of her work. I hesitate to say that her later vocal problems made her singing more interesting, but there is an element of that, at least for me. But heavy or svelte, she is always worth hearing.
    How far that little candle throws his beams!
    So shines a good deed in a naughty world.


    The Merchant of Venice, V, i.

  16. #522
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    OH my, it seems like Piotr Beczala has been on the hot seat lately regarding his views on stage directors...
    This explains why suddenly his interview with Opera Lively jumped up to be our most read to date.
    This blog has a heated debate, for and against him, and I'm glad that Opera Lively is a lot more civil place!

    http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddi...work-with.html
    Piotr Beczala isn't the only one who won't work with certain directors. Ferruccio Furlanetto says pretty much the same thing in the latest issue of Opera News.

  17. #523
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=tyroneslothrop;27863]Johan Botha is one who has been struggling with his weight for a while. Incredible voice but now I think his weight issues have gotten in the way of his operatic performances as it affects his breathing which definitely has an impact on his singing (although I recall a number of years ago, he famously said something to the effect that Wagner tenors should be a bit fat)./QUOTE]

    Hmmm, wonder where he got that idea. Not from Siegfried Jerusalem, for sure. And neither Kollo nor Hofmann were chubby.

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  19. #524
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Piotr Beczala isn't the only one who won't work with certain directors. Ferruccio Furlanetto says pretty much the same thing in the latest issue of Opera News.
    And Ileana Cotrubas was renowned for her views on this subject. She would work with anyone, but if she and the director could not come to a meeting of the minds, or if she felt he was misrepresenting the work in question, she would walk out. She did this quite often.
    How far that little candle throws his beams!
    So shines a good deed in a naughty world.


    The Merchant of Venice, V, i.

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  21. #525
    Schigolch
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    In the more than 30 years that I have been watching opera, I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few people with this same interest. Quoting Jeptha: ".. Myself, if they have the vocal goods to get through those roles, I don't care what they look like, really", this is by far the more common view among those opera fans I know, and mine personally.

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