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

          
   
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  1. #4051
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    Douglas Moore:

    The Ballad of Baby Doe




    The Ballad of Baby Doe is an opera by the American composer Douglas Moore that uses an English-language libretto by John Latouche. It is Moore's most famous opera and one of the few American operas to be in the standard repertory. Especially famous are the title heroine's five arias: "Letter Aria," "Willow Song," "I Knew it Was Wrong", "Gold is a Fine Thing", and "Always Through the Changing." Horace Tabor's "Warm as the Autumn Light" is also frequently heard. Distinguished sopranos who have portrayed Baby Doe include Beverly Sills (Moore's favorite interpreter of the role), Karan Armstrong, Faith Esham, and Elizabeth Futral.
    Act I

    Scene 1
    The story begins by commenting on the riches of the Matchless Mine and on how Horace Tabor owns the whole town of Leadville, Colorado. Horace sings "It's a Bang Up Job" to the townspeople, praising his new opera house and sharing his disenchantment with his wife Augusta. During intermission at a performance at the opera house, Augusta chides Horace for not acting in accordance to his station in life. Horace pleads with her not to insult the common people, equating the prostitutes' and bar girls' work to the work her committee did in helping build the opera house. Near the end of intermission, a woman arrives, introduces herself to Horace and asks if he could direct her to her hotel. He obliges her, and returns to the opera with Augusta.
    Scene 2
    Augusta retires for the evening, while Horace steps outside to smoke a cigar. He overhears two women speaking about the woman and learns that her name is Baby Doe, and that she has a husband in Central City. Horace hears Baby singing "The Willow Song" and applauds her—much to her surprise since she did not know he was listening. He sings "Warm as the Autumn Light" to her. Augusta's comments from upstairs stop the scene.
    Scene 3
    Several months later, Augusta goes through Horace's study and finds gloves and a love letter. She thinks they are for her until she finally realizes that they are for Baby Doe. The rumors have been true. Horace comes in, they fight and Horace says he never meant to hurt her.
    Scene 4
    Baby Doe, at the hotel, realizes she must end her relationship with Horace and tells the hotel workers to find out when the next train leaves for Denver. The hotel workers go to find Horace so he can head her off. She sings of her love for Horace in a letter to her mother (the "Letter Aria"). Augusta comes in and tells Baby to leave. She agrees, but pleads that she and Horace have done nothing they should be ashamed of ("I Knew It Was Wrong"). When Augusta leaves, Baby decides against leaving at the same time Horace comes in. They sing of their love.
    Scene 5
    A year later, Tabor has left Augusta and is living with Baby Doe. Her friends inform Augusta, now living in Denver, that Horace plans to divorce her. She swears to ruin him.
    Scene 6
    Horace and Baby Doe's wedding party in Washington DC. Baby's mother praises the couple's riches, but the society wives deride Baby Doe, but when the couple comes in they are well received. The debate turns to the silver standard and Baby Doe sings "Gold is a Fine Thing". Horace then presents Baby with Queen Isabella's diamond necklace. Baby Doe's mother tells the Roman Catholic priest about Baby and Horace's divorces—which he didn't know of. Scandal rocks the party, but is stopped when President of the United States Chester Arthur comes in and toasts the couple.
    Act II

    Act II chronicles the disintegration of Baby and Horace's riches. Augusta warns of the gold standard, but Horace doesn't listen. Horace politically backs William Jennings Bryan for president. When Bryan loses, Horace is abandoned by his party.
    In the final scenes, Horace asks to see the opera house he built so long ago, though he no longer owns it. On the stage, he hallucinates and sees people from his past. Augusta both taunts and pleads with him. He is told that his one daughter will decry the name Tabor and that his other will become a prostitute. Distraught, he collapses. Baby Doe enters. After he is convinced that she is not a hallucination, he tells her nothing will come between them and begs her to remember him. He dies in her arms. In the last scene that takes place 30 years later, at the Matchless Mine, she finishes the opera with "Always Through the Changing."



    I love this recording, the notes in the synopsis are so pleasant to read .
    Sills didn't want to do audition so she refused at first.
    She taught she was to tall for the role.
    At last she did and Moor said: You are Baby Doe.

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  3. #4052
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Attachment 7145

    I hadn't listened to this in a while, and it is quite wonderful throughout. I had forgotten that JDF doesn't make his appearance for quite a while, and the bass/baritone and male voices do a nice job of carrying the first 30 or so minutes on their own.
    Suddenly I'm very interested!!
    "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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  5. #4053
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    (though of course we all know my plans are always for one reason or another poo-pooed the next day...)
    So the plans did get flushed away in the gutter with all the other...

    Did I ever mention I did work as a planner? I will be the first to say I was pretty awful at my job...

    thank god he retired early they say... thank god he retired early they say... thank god he retired early they say... thank god he retired early


    Bellini: Beatrice di Tenda
    Edita Gruberova (Beatrice), Vesselina Kasarova (Agnese), Igor Morosow (Filippo Maria Visconti), Don Bernardini (Orombello), Branko Robinšak (Anichino), Daniel Sumegi (Rizzardo)
    Wiener Jeunesse-Chor, Orf-Symphonieorchester
    Pinchas Steinberg
    Live recording 30 January/1 February 1992, Wiener Konzerthaus

    Name:  Beatrice di Tenda - Pinchas Steinberg 1992, Edita Gruberova, Vasselina Kasarova, Igor Morosow, D.jpg
Views: 76
Size:  69.7 KB

    This is my favourite interpretation, over La Stupenda and Aliberti but not just because of Edita (childish tee hee hee, chortle chortle) but all round...

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  7. #4054
    Member Member Albert7's Avatar
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    On TinyChat tonight spy featured this for us:


  8. #4055
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Handel: Lotario, HWV 26
    Sara Mingardo (Lotario), Simone Kermes (Adelaide), Steve Davislim (Berengario), Hilary Summers (Idelberto), Sonia Prina (Matilda), Vito Priante (Clodomiro)
    Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis
    Recorded June 2004, Chiesa dell'Annunziata, Ravello, Salerno

    Name:  Lotario - Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco 2004, Sara Mingardo, Simone Kermes, Sonia Prina, Hil.jpg
Views: 74
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  10. #4056
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Name:  LaVeritainCimento.jpg
Views: 87
Size:  15.5 KB

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  12. #4057
    Member Member Albert7's Avatar
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    On TinyChat tonight, trazom features this:


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  14. #4058
    Senior Member Involved Member Floria's Avatar
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    Giordano: Fedora

    Antonietta Stella, Aldo Bottion, Giulio Fioravanti, Giuliana Tavolaccini, Paolo Mazzotta, Giovanni Amodeo,Alfredo Colella

    This is an mp3 from utube. My version has been cleaned up and sounds much better.


  15. #4059
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Name:  LaVeritainCimento.jpg
Views: 87
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    Yes I opened my account this morning with this, with this post and Albert7 also making a post of a recording with Anthony Rolfe Johnson, I took it as a sign from the opera Gods.

    It's an opera with beautiful melodies and arias and a superb cast. It's one of my favourite Vivaldi operas.

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  17. #4060
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    This one is also very good. Again beautifully performed by a very good cast and directed (and musically given some first aid) by Alessandro De Marchi. The plot is no more whackier than other Vivaldi or others of that period but for those who normally break out the coloured crayons to try and figure out the plot (=Clayton) no need, there is a diagram in this booklet! (Why just this one I wonder?)

    Vivaldi: Orlando finto pazzo, RV727
    Antonio Abete, Gemma Bertagnolli, Marina Comparato, Sonia Prina, Martin Oro, Marianna Pizzolato
    Coro del Teatro Regio di Torino, Academia Montis Regalis, Alessandro de Marchi
    Recorded December 2003, Istituto di Musica Antica Academia Montis Regalis, Mondovi, Italy

    Name:  Orlando finto pazzo - Alessandro De Marchi 2003, Antonio Abete, Gemma Bertagnolli, Marina Compar.jpg
Views: 93
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  19. #4061
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I neglected to report yesterday's listening, where I decided I needed a change of route and scenery, and totally miscalculated the distance of the new route. It worked out ok, however, as the longer route provided enough time to listen to this - door to door:


    Name:  tristan.jpg
Views: 65
Size:  71.5 KB


    Then, today, coming to my senses (after yesterday's 10.6 miles), I had just enough time to listen to this, much shorter - and much punchier - classic:


    Name:  IPuritaniCallasRemastered.jpg
Views: 80
Size:  28.5 KB

    This is a wonderful recording, as it provides Callas with plenty of opportunity to showcase the role of Elvira, and demonstrate how well written the role is. I do still favor the classic Sutherland/Pavarotti/Ghiaurov/Cappuccilli recording, but that's because the guys are so good.


    Name:  ipuritaniSutherland.jpg
Views: 64
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  21. #4062
    Senior Member Involved Member Floria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I neglected to report yesterday's listening, where I decided I needed a change of route and scenery, and totally miscalculated the distance of the new route. It worked out ok, however, as the longer route provided enough time to listen to this - door to door:



    Then, today, coming to my senses (after yesterday's 10.6 miles), I had just enough time to listen to this, much shorter - and much punchier - classic:


    Name:  IPuritaniCallasRemastered.jpg
Views: 80
Size:  28.5 KB

    This is a wonderful recording, as it provides Callas with plenty of opportunity to showcase the role of Elvira, and demonstrate how well written the role is. I do still favor the classic Sutherland/Pavarotti/Ghiaurov/Cappuccilli recording, but that's because the guys are so good.
    I love the Callas version.

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  23. #4063
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    I love the Callas version too. I also love the Bonynge.

    More impressed though, I am by Hoffmann's walks. 10.6 miles! Then what 6.5?

    My exercise regime is shameful.

  24. #4064
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Rameau: Zoroastre
    Mark Padmore (Zoroastre), Gaelle Mechaly (Amelite), Matthieu Lecroart (Zopire, La Vengeance), Eric Martin Bonnet (Oromases, Ariman), Nathan Berg (Abramane), Anna-Maria Panzarella (Erinice), Francois Bazola (Narbanor) & Stephanie Revidat (Cephie)
    Les Arts Florissants, William Christie
    Recorded 28 August-10 September 2001, Théâtre de Poissy, France

    Name:  Zoroastre - William Christie 2001, Les Arts Florissants, Mark Padmore, Nathan Berg, Gaëlle Mécha.jpg
Views: 82
Size:  65.8 KB

    I prefer this cast to the Rousset DVD. That is except Erinice, in which case I don't mind either.

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  26. #4065
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    More impressed though, I am by Hoffmann's walks. 10.6 miles! Then what 6.5?
    Likewise! I walk regularly but I definitely couldn't do 10 miles in one go!
    "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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