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Thread: What opera have you been listening to, lately?

          
   
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  1. #1621
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post


    Great recording. One of Solti's best.
    I haven't heard this one, though I have both the Kempe and Sawallisch recordings with Jess Thomas. Domingo's Wagner, however, is really impressive, so I may need to add this version of one of my favorite Wagner operas!

  2. #1622
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I haven't heard this one, though I have both the Kempe and Sawallisch recordings with Jess Thomas. Domingo's Wagner, however, is really impressive, so I may need to add this version of one of my favorite Wagner operas!
    You need to get this.
    Domingo is really great in this. Other worldly. And Solti gets this opera.
    A little more spacious then Kempe. Its up there with Kempe which I have also.
    A favorite opera of mine as well.

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  4. #1623
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I've listened to the other Mozart operas any number of times over the past couple of months, but completely looked past The Magic Flute for one reason or another. Lucia Popp is amazing - it's like discovering the opera all over again!

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    Now I think I may need to add the Böhm recording with Fritz Wunderlich ...

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  6. #1624
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I've listened to the other Mozart operas any number of times over the past couple of months, but completely looked past The Magic Flute for one reason or another. Lucia Popp is amazing - it's like discovering the opera all over again!

    Now I think I may need to add the Böhm recording with Fritz Wunderlich ...
    If you do, I'm certain you won't regret it. I have five recordings of this opera, and the Böhm is my favorite of the group.

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  8. #1625
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    If you do, I'm certain you won't regret it. I have five recordings of this opera, and the Böhm is my favorite of the group.
    My favorites too. Klemp without dialog which i enjoy.

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  10. #1626
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Rheingold today.

  11. #1627
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I just saw Mariusz Kwiecien as Onegin this past weekend in Eugene Onegin at the Met in New York. I had heard his name, but didn't know his work. Very impressed.
    I saw this at the cinema last night. Kwiecień was good, but Netrebko was utterly fantastic. I've never cried in the letter scene before, but I did this time. And the bonus of a great Filippyevna in Larissa Diadkova.

    And then this:



    Lots of slightly distracting fondling, two rather wobbly sopranos (voice not assets), and a wonderful ending where the Don is dragged to hell by writhing tormented naked damned souls.
    Natalie

  12. #1628
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    I was thinking about Suliotis' Anna and Callas' Norma, got confused and ended up listening to something different.

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    (Closet purchase).
    I am soooo fickle. Edita ('s Anna) was the love of my life, then Dark_Angel introduced me to Elena and Maria, now there's also Leyla on the way. Edita is moving further and further towards the back of the tea cabinet...

  13. #1629
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post


    Rheingold today.
    Beautiful box design. Really beautiful. I just noticed this post but I am going back to the banks of the Rhine tomorrow.

    Inspired by Itullian

  14. #1630
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    I was thinking about Suliotis' Anna and Callas' Norma, got confused and ended up listening to something different.

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    (Closet purchase).
    I am soooo fickle. Edita ('s Anna) was the love of my life, then Dark_Angel introduced me to Elena and Maria, now there's also Leyla on the way. Edita is moving further and further towards the back of the tea cabinet...
    No, no! Say it's not so! Don't give up on Edita Gruberova just yet, in her prime, she could not be beat. While her singing Lucrezia Borgia at age 66 does make me wonder, I heard her sing the stratospheric role of Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) in 1979 (when she was 33) that resulted in a 15 minute foot-stomping ovation. Btw, I still remember that she was very sweet when I asked for her autograph!

  15. #1631
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    No, no! Say it's not so! Don't give up on Edita Gruberova just yet, in her prime, she could not be beat. While her singing Lucrezia Borgia at age 66 does make me wonder, I heard her sing the stratospheric role of Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) in 1979 (when she was 33) that resulted in a 15 minute foot-stomping ovation. Btw, I still remember that she was very sweet when I asked for her autograph!
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrghh! Jealous! Do you still have that autograph?

    It's not so. I still love her!

    And her 66yr old Lucrezia.

    AND where has Nightingale Classics gone? The website has been in a state of "updating" for months.

  16. #1632
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    You must be kidding!

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    I can't read the autograph at the bottom of the page, so I can't say who in the cast it belongs to.

    Incidentally, I was a super in 3 of the productions Vienna brought to the Kennedy Center (also in Fidelio and Marriage of Figaro). I think I peaked too soon!

    I've retired from the stage...

    Edit: I don't know how to post these pages in larger format so you can read them!

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  18. #1633
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    ...I heard her sing the stratospheric role of Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) in 1979 (when she was 33) that resulted in a 15 minute foot-stomping ovation.
    Please tell me more...

    Btw, I still remember that she was very sweet when I asked for her autograph!
    Please tell me more...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    ...Incidentally, I was a super in 3 of the productions Vienna brought to the Kennedy Center (also in Fidelio and Marriage of Figaro)...
    Please tell me more...

    Edit: I don't know how to post these pages in larger format so you can read them!
    Please bribe your nephew with a treat at that ham and sherry bar (kill 2 birds with..) to show you how.

  19. #1634
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Incidentally, I was a super in 3 of the productions Vienna brought to the Kennedy Center (also in Fidelio and Marriage of Figaro). I think I peaked too soon!
    I remember the radio broadcasts of those performances, with Janowitz as the Contessa d'Almaviva and Popp as Susanna. I think the Staatsoper also brought their production of Ariadne auf Naxos to Washington, with Janowitz in the title role.

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  21. #1635
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Here's the story:

    I was unemployed beginning in late summer 1979, and was driving home one afternoon from somewhere when the announcement came over the radio that the visiting Vienna State Opera was holding a try-out/audition for supers. I made a U-turn and drove madly to the Kennedy Center, where I was just in time to be selected out of a cattle call of some 200 guys as one of about 20 supers for Vienna's two weeks of opera in Washington, DC.

    MAuer is exactly right, Vienna brought their productions of Ariadne auf Naxos (Karl Böhm w/Janowitz - Ariadne; Gruberova - Zerbinetta; Agnes Baltsa - Composer; Hopferwieser - Bacchus+), Marriage of Figaro (Karl Böhm w/Hans Helm - Count; Gundula Janowitz - Countess; Walter Berry - Figaro; Lucia Popp - Susanna; Trudeliese Schmidt - Cherubino+), Fidelio (Leonard Bernstein w/Theo Adam - Pizarro; Jess Thomas - Florestan; Gwyneth Jones - Leonore; Lucia Popp - Marzelline+), and (a gorgeous Wiener Werkstätte style) Salome (Zubin Mehta w/Leonie Rysanek - Salome; Theo Adam - Jochanaan+). I was a super in the first three, but not Salome (the Viennese, though, were very sweet in explaining to me why they could not include me in Salome as well: I was 5'11" and 135 lbs and just way too thin/scrawny to be credible as a Roman soldier with no shirt/armor making a theatrical entrance to crush Salome).

    Anyway, regarding Ariadne auf Naxos: The supers were only used in the Prologue as household servants to light candles in preparation for the evening's festivities. Since we were only in the Proglogue, this allowed the two or three of us interested in the rest of the opera to change out of our costumes and race upstairs to standing room to watch the opera. When Edita Gruberova sang Zerbinetta, the audience went wild. The first evening was so powerful that, if I recall correctly, Gruberova sang an encore. It's too long ago for me to recall whether that happened more than once. She was so amazing that I ran upstairs and watched the 2nd Act/Opera each night. The audience went nuts each performance - not only was Gruberova great, she sang the notoriously difficult Zerbinetta effortlessly - like she might have tossed it off every night for laughs. Hers was probably the single most amazing performance I've ever seen. The production was beautiful and, even if Mr. Hopferwieser wasn't an ideal Bacchus ( I couldn't really tell the difference in those days, I thought he was fine), he was still better than I've seen since.

    Bottom line, I was able to ask Edita Gruberova for her autograph privately backstage and not in the autograph gauntlet where the greater audience awaited principals as they exited the Kennedy Center after their performances. She was very nice, very gracious.

    I have to admit that I was just way too intimidated to ask Lucia Popp for her autograph. I had her recording of the Queen of the Night and thought she walked on water. I couldn't do it. Not asking Ms. Popp for her autograph was my one regret from that fabulous experience where I had the time of my life. Those weeks were the silver lining in being unemployed, because rehearsals went every day for a week or two before opening night and, had I been working, there was no way I could have gotten that much time off. 10 or 15 years later, Lucia Popp was in Washington doing publicity on a new album, including signing autographs. Quite shamelessly, because I did not buy the cd (whatever was I thinking??), I got in line with my Vienna program and explained to her that I had been too nervous to ask for her autograph, which made her laugh and shake her head. She was delighted that I thought enough to come back and ask.

    Let's see, what else? Rehearsing Fidelio and observing the discussion between Gwyneth Jones and Leonard Bernstein ("Lenny, No!") fascinated me. They argued back and forth for a couple of days and Gwyneth Jones would only sing "Abscheulicher" in half voice in rehearsal (her voice was none too steady, even that long ago). Fidelio opened Vienna's stay in DC - opening night, following the performance, after I had changed out of my costume, I was waiting at the elevator to leave, when (then) U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy (Yikes!) walked up, also to wait for the elevator. I asked whether he had enjoyed the performance and he replied that, yes, he had, but... when Pizarro made his entrance, one of the 4 soldiers following in back of him was out of step. That super, naturally, was me. I then had, and still have, zero sense of timing and no ability to dance. The Vienna people had noticed the problem, and had we worked on it, but no one could ever figure out the problem. Ultimately, they decided that it was too remote of a situation for anyone to notice - except for the Senator, I guess. I don't recall what I said to Sen. McCarthy, but probably um-hummed.

    I asked the Vienna staff toward the end of their stay how they made their decisions when selecting the crew of supers. They told me that their sole criterion was looking for guys who would fit the costumes - which, of course, explains that Salome thing. So much for my dashing persona and otherwise obvious acting skills.

    I had a package of photos taken during those weeks and, in the course of several moves over the years, I sadly lost the entire package. The experience remains one of my fondest memories.

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