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  1. #1336
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Excellent news

    Not so excellent news
    Oh wow, Italian opera companies are in trouble!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #1337
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    One of the news briefs in the September-October issue of Opernwelt alluded to the problem at the Opéra di Roma -- or Opéra di Roma Capitale as it's now known as the result of some legislative finagling that placed it in a different category that entitled it to a larger public subsidy. The maneuvering avoided bankruptcy, but the future for the company isn't exactly rosy. Or for any of Italy's other houses, whose receipt of public funding is apparently tied to steep cuts elsewhere in the houses' budgets.

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  4. #1338
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  6. #1339
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Jonas Kaufmann has canceled his concert tour to Japan after having also canceled appearances in Budapest, Barcelona, and Lucerne due to illness.
    http://www.jonaskaufmann.com/en/5/schedule.html
    Of course, I hope he feels better soon, but in view of his schedule in the last few months, it's not too surprising that his body finally just gave out on him. Back in summer, he traveled from Spain to Australia, and was no sooner back in Europe from his sojourn in the southern hemisphere than he was headed across the Atlantic again for a concert appearance in Boston. And it wouldn't have been long after his return from the States that he was supposed to travel to Japan. All of that globetrotting has to be very taxing, including the repeated shifts between time zones. I'm glad to see he's devoting at least a month in his schedule next year for a concert tour with his new operetta program, and will at least restrict his travels to Europe for a time. It's great that he tries to give his fans in other parts of the world an opportunity to hear him -- but not if it comes at the cost of his health. Perhaps if he'd schedule fewer appearances, he wouldn't become ill as often and wouldn't need to cancel.

  7. #1340
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Jonas Kaufmann has canceled his concert tour to Japan after having also canceled appearances in Budapest, Barcelona, and Lucerne due to illness.
    http://www.jonaskaufmann.com/en/5/schedule.html
    Of course, I hope he feels better soon, but in view of his schedule in the last few months, it's not too surprising that his body finally just gave out on him. Back in summer, he traveled from Spain to Australia, and was no sooner back in Europe from his sojourn in the southern hemisphere than he was headed across the Atlantic again for a concert appearance in Boston. And it wouldn't have been long after his return from the States that he was supposed to travel to Japan. All of that globetrotting has to be very taxing, including the repeated shifts between time zones. I'm glad to see he's devoting at least a month in his schedule next year for a concert tour with his new operetta program, and will at least restrict his travels to Europe for a time. It's great that he tries to give his fans in other parts of the world an opportunity to hear him -- but not if it comes at the cost of his health. Perhaps if he'd schedule fewer appearances, he wouldn't become ill as often and wouldn't need to cancel.
    Yes flying to Australia from Europe, and then back again, is a killer. I'd know.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Yes flying to Australia from Europe, and then back again, is a killer. I'd know.
    I think he probably would have been okay if he'd stayed in Europe after his return. But throwing in that quick trip to Boston (a favor to Andris Nelsons?) on top of it just seems to have been too much.

  10. #1342
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    I think he probably would have been okay if he'd stayed in Europe after his return. But throwing in that quick trip to Boston (a favor to Andris Nelsons?) on top of it just seems to have been too much.
    Actually I must say that he sounded and looked full of beans in Sydney. It must have been the further travels, as you say, that did it.
    Natalie

  11. #1343
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    For those who wish to make their own minds up, courtesy of La Cieca

    The Death of Klinghoffer stream


    The Death of Klinghoffer libretto
    "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. #1344
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    There was a "to-do" in NYC today shown on the TV news about this opera. Apparently a lot of demonstrators were protesting it as "pro-terrorist".

    These things always remind me of the "angry villagers scenes" in the old black and white horror films. Without the torches.

    Also, the "newsies" fulminating about the story showed a deplorable lack of knowledge of opera in general, or Klinghoffer in particular.

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  15. #1345
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    Yikes a controversial opera with stirring censorship but also pouring salt in the wound of the surviving family members. It's like asking a Jewish American Policeman to protect American Nazi's and Terrorists while they hand out leaflets at the trade Center. Big difference
    In Nabucco where Italians under domination of Austrians cried VERDI for Victor Emmanuele King of Italy where they identified with the Babylonians where here Politics is used to discuss both sides of an issue but at the expense of the survivors of that poor defenseless man. If sincere at doing good why doesnt the Met donate the proceeds of the broadcast 50-50 to Jewish and Palestine organization that promote peace.? I wouldn't want to be the person to ever censor anyone but if I were the protesters I would not protest but have a concert in honor of the surviving family at the exact same time with the best opera singers I could find and challange the Met to blacklist anyone who sang there. You can be knowledgeable about opera but if a day doesn't go by without sorrow at the unnecessary loss of your loved one, the opera is so far down on your list and only turns into a nightmare pouring salt on your sorrowful wound.

  16. #1346
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    First, a reminder: Opera Lively's Terms of Service ban politics and religion as topics to be discussed here. This does not mean that we are apolitical in our personal lives; it just means that there are other venues in the Internet that exist for this purpose - many of them - and we are not one of them. Given that politics and religion discussions can get quite passionate and divisive, and given that we value the civil and friendly environment we have here, we've decided that here we discuss opera, not politics or religion.

    This said, this is an occasion when we can't separate opera and politics, or the politics of opera. It's not a gratuitous debate of some unrelated political topic, but rather, one triggered by an opera, and by a decision by an opera company to present this opera to the public. Therefore it's been debated among the moderators that this is a legitimate discussion to have on Opera Lively.

    Still, we don't want to go down the road of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a topic that is notorious for generating just the kind of passion that can ruin friendships. So, we invite our dear members to exercise some self-restraint and self-moderation so to speak, while debating this opera, and the Met's decision to present it. It is legitimate, though, to debate whether or not the protesters are saying accurate things about the opera, and whether or not it is in good taste to show it while there are still family members of the real life person who inspired the opera who are alive and suffer when the subject is brought back.

    I understand that many protesters including mayor Giuliani were upset with the fact that the opera allegedly is inaccurate in its depiction of the events.

    To this, I'd say that a piece of art doesn't necessarily have the mission of accurately depicting real life. We know that operas such as Maria Stuarda inaccurately depict historical events, and others such as Nabucco inaccurately depict biblical stories. This is similar to what happens in other art forms: the paintings of Salvador Dali have no obligation to accurately depict nature and reality. Operas are more interested in human tragedy, emotions, feelings, and the rendering of these human elements through music and theatrical arts. The Death of Klinghoffer is an opera, not a documentary.

    I believe that The Death of Klinghoffer is a towering achievement, in terms of musical and theatrical merits. I believe it is not anti-Semitic but rather neutral, in the fact that it is interested in the human drama that happens for all parts involved. Specifically about the real life person Mr. Klinghoffer, it is rather sympathetic to him. Even the main objectors - the organization that put pressure on the Met to cancel the HD broadcast - put out a statement saying that the opera is not anti-Semitic - I agree, and apparently so does this great Jewish woman, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States, who was present at the Met for the opening night, and applauded enthusiastically.

    It also bothers me that in talk shows, people who have never been to an opera house and have never seen an opera, and barely know what an opera is, and specifically haven't seen the show, are passing judgment.

    Even worse, people are sending emails containing threats to the singer who portrays Klinghoffer, calling him a Fascist for merely having accepted to sing the role. This is *clearly* misguided and excessive.

    This said, I do empathize with the family. One thing must be said, though. In our country, the Met clearly has the 1st amendment right to present the opera. On the other hand, protesters also do have the 1st amendment right to display their displeasure. Now, sending threats to the artists is illegal, and the people who are passing judgment should at least take care of seeing the opera before they speak about it; this is the minimum I'd expect.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); October 22nd, 2014 at 03:29 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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  18. #1347
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    Very logical words. I am not surprised that Ginsberg was there as I agree that censorship is contrary to a free Democracy. It is so sad
    that the Family has to bring their sad memory to a heightened state of suffering but soldiers have died for freedom in this country
    so it truly is tough to balance. Maybe a humble prayer vigil for the Family would be a good balance. After reading Luis's comments
    I feel it was wrong of me to rush to judgment about the opera without seeing it. I wrong judged the composer as trying to exploit the tragedy but it sounds like he was trying to give his artistic interpretation of the opera. My father was involved in the Ed Gein famous case that Alfred Hitchcock made the movie Psycho from and when A&E offered to pay good money for the defene file my father declined for sensitivity to the Farm People and let the drama stay buried but everyone has a different way to handle tragedy. So sorry
    everyone for commenting on that subject as Luis is so on the money religion and politics are soon controversial. It is just great that
    Luis and all you regulars are so tolerant of each other and bring such wisdom to the opera discussions and even these not so opera ones.

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  20. #1348
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    Censorship of opera has been with us in one form or another since the beginning of the art form; it existed as a part of the politics of whatever time in which a composer/librettist worked.

    One reason that I hang out here is the exact attitudes expressed by Gigli13. On other sites, the aggravation(s) can be so exasperating so as to make participation not worth the effort. Most, if not all here want to indulge their affinity for opera, rather than indulge in politics, saints be praised!

    I'd rather focus on Anna N's splendid tonsils than on contemporary drama(s).

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  22. #1349
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigli13 View Post
    Very logical words. I am not surprised that Ginsberg was there as I agree that censorship is contrary to a free Democracy. It is so sad
    that the Family has to bring their sad memory to a heightened state of suffering but soldiers have died for freedom in this country
    so it truly is tough to balance. Maybe a humble prayer vigil for the Family would be a good balance. After reading Luis's comments
    I feel it was wrong of me to rush to judgment about the opera without seeing it. I wrong judged the composer as trying to exploit the tragedy but it sounds like he was trying to give his artistic interpretation of the opera. My father was involved in the Ed Gein famous case that Alfred Hitchcock made the movie Psycho from and when A&E offered to pay good money for the defene file my father declined for sensitivity to the Farm People and let the drama stay buried but everyone has a different way to handle tragedy. So sorry
    everyone for commenting on that subject as Luis is so on the money religion and politics are soon controversial. It is just great that
    Luis and all you regulars are so tolerant of each other and bring such wisdom to the opera discussions and even these not so opera ones.
    It's OK, Gigli13, I think you meant well, and like I said, moderators have deemed this topic to be legitimate for discussion (provided that we exercise some restraint like I mentioned).
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  23. #1350
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigli13 View Post
    Very logical words. I am not surprised that Ginsberg was there as I agree that censorship is contrary to a free Democracy. It is so sad
    that the Family has to bring their sad memory to a heightened state of suffering but soldiers have died for freedom in this country
    so it truly is tough to balance. Maybe a humble prayer vigil for the Family would be a good balance. After reading Luis's comments
    I feel it was wrong of me to rush to judgment about the opera without seeing it. I wrong judged the composer as trying to exploit the tragedy but it sounds like he was trying to give his artistic interpretation of the opera. My father was involved in the Ed Gein famous case that Alfred Hitchcock made the movie Psycho from and when A&E offered to pay good money for the defene file my father declined for sensitivity to the Farm People and let the drama stay buried but everyone has a different way to handle tragedy. So sorry
    everyone for commenting on that subject as Luis is so on the money religion and politics are soon controversial. It is just great that
    Luis and all you regulars are so tolerant of each other and bring such wisdom to the opera discussions and even these not so opera ones.
    In terms of the Met's sensitivity to the family, we have to remember that this opera has been around for 20 years, has been performed in many other places, and exists as a harrowing and realistic film in DVD form. I would argue that the protests and uninformed public reaction, with its screams about "terrorist murder", would be more upsetting to the family than the opera itself.

    Now to the opera itself. First, whether an opera is composed or not will not take away from the events, which were of course reported in the press at the time (did anyone care about the family's feelings then?). Secondly, the two most sympathetic characters in the opera are Leon and Madeleine Klinghoffer. The opera highlights his integrity and bravery, the way he stood up to his tormentors, his love and care for his wife, and gives him a beautiful post-mortem aria. The opera ends showing her terrible grief and loss. Two ordinary people get caught up in violent events and their lives are destroyed because they are the "wrong" religion, political party, ethnicity etc in the eyes of those perpetuating the violence, like so many ordinary families around the world right now. That, to me, is the crux of the work.
    Natalie

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