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

          
   
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  1. #4216
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Do you mean this kind of thing (which is anything BUT artificial)



    or just DVDs of stage shows, which are definitely second best to live shows but better than nothing IMO.
    If it's a movie I don't like it.
    I want a filmed live event.
    Like the Met does or Glynbourne

  2. #4217
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Do you mean this kind of thing (which is anything BUT artificial)



    or just DVDs of stage shows, which are definitely second best to live shows but better than nothing IMO.
    This movie of an opera (I have it with a slightly different cover) is the most realistic thing I've ever seen. This is how the Carmen story would have looked like, if it were a true story.

    Two other very good opera movies are the Cenerentola I've just recommended with von Stade and Abbado, and the Salome with Stratas conducted by Böhm.

    But then, of course, there are others that aren't as successful.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #4218
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    If it's a movie I don't like it.
    I want a filmed live event.
    Like the Met does or Glynbourne
    Really, you must see this. It's really unbelievably good. It's probably one of the top 10 opera DVDs of all time.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  5. #4219
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Really, you must see this. It's really unbelievably good. It's probably one of the top 10 opera DVDs of all time.
    Just don't like movies of operas. Even the Cenerentola or Rosenkavalier or Lucia or Mozart or whatever.
    Just hate them.
    Gotta be live.
    Like that Met Fanciulla with Domingo and Milnes.
    Now that's an opera video.

  6. #4220
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Just don't like movies of operas... Just hate them...
    So you won't be watching this one then

    Name:  Orfeo ed Euridice - Ondrej Havelka film.jpg
Views: 47
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    A (reform/ post) baroque opera film with countertenor

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  8. #4221
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Not quite finished with Wagner here

    Wagner: Lohengrin
    Jess Thomas (Lohengrin), Elisabeth Grümmer (Elsa), Christa Ludwig (Ortrud), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Telramund), Gottlob Frick (Heinrich), Otto Wiener (Herald)
    Wiener Philharmoniker, Rudolf Kempe 1963

    Name:  Lohengrin - Rudolf Kempe 1963.jpg
Views: 45
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    ...it was every rioter for himself and no blending. Each sang his indictive turn, accompanied by the whole orchestra of sixty instruments, and when this had continued for some time, a great chorus composed entirely of maniacs would suddenly break forth...

    ...heaven and heaven's sweet ecstasy and peace... while a gorgeous procession of people marched around and around and sang the wedding chorus... to my untutored ear that was music, almost divine music...

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  10. #4222
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    So you won't be watching this one then

    Name:  Orfeo ed Euridice - Ondrej Havelka film.jpg
Views: 47
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    A (reform/ post) baroque opera film with countertenor

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  12. #4223
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    I don't doubt it. It's just that it is harder to enjoy a comedy as much by just listening to it, since acting, body language, comedic timing, chemistry between leads, and all, are so important in comedy. A scene can be very funny when seen, and "meh" when just heard (even though we can still admire the quality of the voices). Given that Hoffmann is a CD kind of guy who only recently started directing some of his attention to opera on DVD (and when he travels to see opera live he tends to privilege the heavy stuff such as Wagner), I was just wondering if he's seen La Cenerentola live or on DVD, and if he hasn't, maybe it can explain why he feels at a loss regarding this opera.

    I saw a production in Munich in 2012 - it was squeezed into the schedule in an otherwise off night between the Ring operas. The production featured Joyce DiDonato and Lawrence Brownlee. Doesn't get much better than that.

    This was a month or so after I retired, and I still was at the point where I thought German opera ruled. I was in Munich for the Ring, but decided that as long as the opportunity was being offered by the tour I was on, I would take advantage of it (even at an extra $300 for the ticket!). I enjoyed it and recall that Joyce DiDonato was excellent, but that Lawrence Brownlee seemed to need until the second act to really warm up; the production was quite good.

    That said, the opera itself didn't much register with me. Neither does Il Turco in Italia (even with Callas). The DVD with Frederica von Stade, though, is mighty tempting.

    I've seen both Isabel Leonard and Tara Erraught and think they are terrific. We should be in good hands on Wednesday night either way.

    I forgot. The reason, I think, that I'm not crazy about Cenerentola is that Rossini seemed to be having an off day on his melodies. Where Il Barbiere and Italiana in Algeri (especially with Marilyn Horne) really sparkle, I find myself listening without satisfaction for one of those fabulous melodies to hit in Cenerentola and, well, they just don't.
    Last edited by Hoffmann; May 10th, 2015 at 03:26 PM.

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  14. #4224
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Regarding my favoring heavier operas when I travel, that's a true statement. There are several reasons for that beyond personal preference.

    In no particular order, one reason is that good productions that are really well cast are easier to find in Europe. Yes, there are good productions in New York, and Chicago. I thought about traveling to San Francisco a year or so ago for their Lohengrin , but it was just too expensive.

    Next, I meet a friend whom I met while on the Ring tour in Munich, who owns a flat in Berlin. She refers to Rossini as 'frivolous', and loves Wagner, so I am very careful to try and assemble a set of heavier, non-frivolous operas for us to attend.

    Last year, I included La Gioconda at the Deutsche Oper and the day before, she decided she didn't want to go. I had to stand out front and hawk her ticket (which ended very happily as the the couple who bought and shared the ticket ended up to be very charming company). Also last year, I went on to Munich by myself and saw Il Turco in Italia, Les Contes d'Hoffmann and La Clemenza di Tito which, with the possible exception of Tito, aren't heavy.

    Last, the Berlin and, this year, Hamburg opera houses seem to cluster their heavier stuff in the winter and spring months when I tend to travel.

    I'm already looking to put together next year's schedule, and am having trouble finding interesting fare. Because we will be seeing the Washington National Opera's Ring in May, we won't be meeting in the earlier part of the spring as usual. So far, it looks like the Munich Die Meistersinger (with JK as Walther and Wolfgang Koch/Hans Sachs) in June (tail end of the season), but the only other production being staged during those couple of days is a Les Indes Galantes, and I'm not sure how that will fly with my companion. After that, there's a Tristan und Isolde in Berlin (w/Nina Stemme and Stephen Gould), but not much else of any interest in Berlin, which is hard to believe. Vienna is a possibility with a Don Carlo and Simon Boccanegra, but Vienna is very pricey and good tickets can be hard to come by. A number of opera houses haven't yet announced their upcoming seasons, like Dresden and La Scala (which is always late), so need to wait and see what else comes up.

  15. #4225
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    She refers to Rossini as 'frivolous'
    As you know, there is nothing frivolous about Rossini's serious operas, so you should show one of them to her at some point.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  17. #4226
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    As you know, there is nothing frivolous about Rossini's serious operas, so you should show one of them to her at some point.
    That may not help.

    When Beethoven congratulated Rossini on The Barber of Seville, he proclaimed, "It will be played as long as Italian opera exists." But he went on to advise, "Never try to write anything else but opera buffa; any other style would do violence to your nature."

    When Rossini pointed out he had already sent Beethoven several well-received serious operas, the older man replied, "Yes, I looked at them. Opera seria is ill suited to the Italians. You don’t know how to deal with drama."

  18. #4227
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    That may not help.

    When Beethoven congratulated Rossini on The Barber of Seville, he proclaimed, "It will be played as long as Italian opera exists." But he went on to advise, "Never try to write anything else but opera buffa; any other style would do violence to your nature."

    When Rossini pointed out he had already sent Beethoven several well-received serious operas, the older man replied, "Yes, I looked at them. Opera seria is ill suited to the Italians. You don’t know how to deal with drama."
    Well, Verdi, Puccini, and filmmakers like Vittorio de Sica took care of proving Beethoven wrong. Besides, it looks like, according to our friend and OL member, Rossini scholar Philip Gossett, Beethoven hadn't even seen the true Barber, but rather a spurious version with music that was not Rossini's.

    For centuries, including into modern times musicology, the Germans and German Opera-loving folks wouldn't take the Italians seriously, out of prejudice more than out of true musical considerations. They forgot that opera was created and started *in Italy* as a very serious business. L'Orfeo is far from a comedy.

    This, not to forget that Beethoven shouldn't be passing a lot of judgment regarding opera. While Fidelio is a good one, it took him enormous trouble to fine-tune it and he was so traumatized from the experience that he abandoned the operatic medium all together. Rossini was far superior to Beethoven in the matter of operatic composition, so as far as opera is concerned, he should be the one giving lessons to Beethoven; not the other way around.

    This is my Italian pride talking, but actually it is true.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); May 11th, 2015 at 12:56 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  20. #4228
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    This, not to forget that Beethoven shouldn't be passing a lot of judgment regarding opera. While Fidelio is a good one, it took him enormous trouble to fine-tune it and he was so traumatized from the experience that he abandoned the operatic medium all together. Rossini was far superior to Beethoven in the matter of operatic composition, so as far as opera is concerned, he should be the one giving lessons to Beethoven; not the other way around.
    Yes, but he wouldn't be Ludwig von Beethoven if he didn't freely speak his mind whether qualified or not.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    I don't doubt it. It's just that it is harder to enjoy a comedy as much by just listening to it, since acting, body language, comedic timing, chemistry between leads, and all, are so important in comedy. A scene can be very funny when seen, and "meh" when just heard (even though we can still admire the quality of the voices). Given that Hoffmann is a CD kind of guy who only recently started directing some of his attention to opera on DVD (and when he travels to see opera live he tends to privilege the heavy stuff such as Wagner), I was just wondering if he's seen La Cenerentola live or on DVD, and if he hasn't, maybe it can explain why he feels at a loss regarding this opera.
    Absolutely. I watch the Abbado DVD and then the images are in my head to some degree when I listen to the CD. There are many great and hilarious moments in the DVD. I love the one where Chlorinda and Tisbe hiss at each other. Or where Dandini keeps pulling the chair out from under Don Magnifico. Many others too numerous to list.

  21. #4229
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    ...For centuries, including into modern times musicology, the Germans and German Opera-loving folks wouldn't take the Italians seriously...[/SIZE]
    except for the late seventeenth early eighteenth century when the operas composed and performed in Germany were mainly Italianate

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  23. #4230
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Wagner: Lohengrin
    Klaus Florian Vogt (Lohengrin), Annette Dasch (Elsa), Susanne Resmark (Ortrud), Gerd Grochowski (Friedrich von Telramund), Markus Brück (Der Heerrufer des Königs), Günther Groissböck (Heinrich der Vogler)
    Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin & Rundfunkchor Berlin, Marek Janowski
    Live recording 12 November 2011 concert performance Berlin Philharmonie

    Name:  Lohengrin - Marek Janowski 2011, Klaus Florian Vogt, Annette Dasch, Günther Goissböck, Gerd Groc.jpg
Views: 54
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    Still my preferred Lohengrin

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