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

          
   
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  1. #5941
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post

    One would think opera has enough murder and dramatic death scenes to attract the hardiest of video-gamers.
    It really depends on the video-games one plays to find ample time for both hobbies. Opera is great if you are playing games that don't require a major focus on sound or story as it provides great backing music (how I ended up listening to Schicchi so much as well as getting better acquainted with other operas from re-listen) More monotonous gaming tasks or slower paced game like the Civilization series (recommended for any member who have time to kill as it's games of strategy that is very entertaining in tandem with opera listening) go very well with Opera therefore. Other video games offer less opportunity for listening to opera due to the reliance on sound to alert of enemies or engaging in story-lines (Several games are quite cinematic with strong story-lines as an example even for non serious gamers the Bio-shock series of games can be a rewarding experience) . I suppose it's an unusual two hobbies to both be heavily involved with (I enjoy both a lot especially if I can combine them) but it is incredibly rewarding to enjoy both if you have the time. If I had to choose to never video-game again or never to listen to Opera though Opera would win out easily. I can't go a day without listening of humming at least one aria or melody.
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

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  3. #5942
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    No spoken dialog, and starts with Leonore #2:
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  4. #5943
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Natalie

  5. #5944
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Was planning on watching another new opera today but thought better of it and decided to save it for tomorrow and went for a quick walk to get a book instead. The walk may not have been too quick though because I managed to get through half of this first

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    I would say my first impression were correct on Macbeth. It had stuck in my head so much I had to re-listen to at least some of it rather than my original plan for listening to a Trittico opera. I would probably rank Macbeth as above Boccanegra and possibly Carlos for me maybe not quite reaching La Traviata yet (my opinion may change in time poor Trav has really taken a bettering in my personal rankings and I am not wholly sure why though it might be because of a dearth of good Bass music which is a shame as Verdi writes so well for that voice) so Macbeth has probably become my 5th favourite Verdi.

    As it has been another four or five months it was time for me to see if I could shine a light on why I don't like Aida that much again. I found this recording on YouTube and the names and conductor were encouraging.

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    I like it a bit better this time maybe...ish. Act one and two are mostly fine and they have some very nice moments act four had a few bits that I really quite like as well. The music for the rest of it however just doesn't grip me at all. Out of the Verdi works I have seen so far it probably rests somewhere similar with how I place Manon Lescaut for Puccini. Good opera and probably will get a recording of it when I'm a bit bored but not one I am going to rush to buy straight away. This is in stark comparison to how it went with Macbeth and Un Ballo In Maschera which were both watched for the first time and had recordings purchased within 24 hours (Che faceste? Dite su! and the Si colmi il calice have both been playing in my head constantly since the first watch) I would have also gotten recordings of Don Carlo and Boccanegra quicker if I hadn't been patient enough to wait for Christmas when I got I tune's cards.

    I think tomorrow I will attempt to watch one of the following: Ernani, La Forza Del Destino or Falstaff as I seem to have caught the opera watching bug again (I seem to work in cycles of gathering new operas over several months then several months of consolidating my love of ones I have seen through repeat listening. I have no idea why...). As I did when devouring Puccini I am going to save one of the greatest works till last (Othello in this case as it seems to be very well regarded. If it's as good as Don Carlo, or even somehow better, it will be well worth the wait). Hence it will be a while till I get round to it as I would need to wait till Christmas for most of the early ones (as well as poor I vespri siciliani which seem to be the most neglected of the middle to late period being the only one without a video available on the site) that aren't available on the Met On Demand in some form. Nabucco has been put down as a listen at some point soon as I haven't given it a second chance yet.
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

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  7. #5945
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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  8. #5946
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Attractive music but too many females for my taste.

    Natalie

  9. #5947
    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
    Attractive music but too many females for my taste.
    Hm... and why should that be a problem???
    Sure, I do think that too many males in Billy Budd is a problem.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  11. #5948
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  12. #5949
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Conductor: Pinchas Steinberg
    Soloists: Eva Marton (Wally), Francisco Araiza (Hagenbach), Alan Titus (Gellner), Julie Kaufmann (Walter), Francesco Ellero d'Artegna (Stromminger), Birgit Calm (Afra), Michele Pertusi (Old Soldier),
    Munich Radio Orchestra; Bavarian Radio Chorus

    Back in the 1980s, the German label Eurodisc released some fine recordings (among them being Janowski’s first Ring cycle), and in recent years, a number of them have been reissued by Sony. This is one of them. The cast is first-rate, from the three principals to the smaller roles. Though Eva Marton included Turandot and Brünnhilde in her repertoire (I heard her as the latter with the Chicago Lyric Opera), her voice doesn’t sound like that of a Hochdramatische to me, but rather like a healthy spinto with plenty of carrying power and strong high notes. Francisco Araiza established an international reputation by singing Mozart and bel canto roles, but gradually moved into heavier territory, including verismo and German jugendlich dramatische parts. Hagenbach seems to suit him. Alan Titus is an impressive Gellner; Julie Kaufmann sings the breeches role of Walter with an attractive light lyric soprano; and Francesco Ellero d’Artegna has the right sort of rich, dark bass for Papa Stromminger. There’s also the bonus of Michele Pertusi early in his career as the Old Soldier. Pinchas Steinberg leads a dynamic performance with his forces from Munich.
    The thin booklet accompanying the two CDs has only track listings and a plot synopsis -- no libretto. But what am I expecting when I only pay seven bucks for a new recording?

  13. #5950
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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  15. #5951
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    OMG I DON"T HAVE THIS GOING RIGHT NOW TO PRESTO!
    Natalie

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  17. #5952
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    OMG I DON"T HAVE THIS GOING RIGHT NOW TO PRESTO!
    This is contagious. I am checking it out. Probably will grab a copy.

    EDIT: Found a copy for $9.17 used with free shipping, so it is on its way to my mailbox.
    Last edited by Florestan; August 10th, 2016 at 02:28 AM. Reason: To tell the rest of the story.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  18. #5953
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Very happy with both of these:



    Natalie

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  20. #5954
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Yesterday, in the car all day driving back from a cousin's wedding in Detroit, Metropolitan Opera Radio (Sirius/XM):

    1. L'Italiana in Algeri (w/Olga Borodina, JDF, Feruccio Furlanetto, et al.) Borodina was much better than expected, but struggled with executing clean high notes. Love, love, JDF singing Rossini!

    2. Moses und Aron (w/John Tomlinson, et al.) I listened all the way through - what else is there to do on the Ohio Turnpike? Concluded this is an opera that has to be seen to be understood. Music didn't stand up very well on its own.

    3. I Vespri Siciliani (Montserrat Caballe, Nicolai Gedda, Sherrill Milnes, 1974) I don't know this Verdi opera at all, seems rather spotty in musical interest, but got better as it went along. Montsy and co. terrific!

    I had about 40 minutes to enjoy Siciliani while at a dead stop at the notorious Breezewood interchange (small commercial area linking I-76 and I-70 in Pennsylvania). Once exiting the toll plaza, one drives into the commercial area with stop light. Not recommended on a Sunday afternoon in the summer when people are heading home from vacation. Although I know the way back to DC from Breezewood, I had Apple Maps on to help navigate around Pittsburgh. That nice Apple Maps Lady saved the day by telling me there was an unexpected backup (Duh!) and recommended an alternate route. I was skeptical, but could see down the hill that it likely would take 20 - 30 minutes to get thru the traffic light, so went with her suggestion. The short, very rural side roads, took me to precisely the other side of said traffic light!
    Thank you, Apple Maps Lady!

  21. #5955
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Yesterday, in the car all day driving back from a cousin's wedding in Detroit, Metropolitan Opera Radio (Sirius/XM):

    3. I Vespri Siciliani (Montserrat Caballe, Nicolai Gedda, Sherrill Milnes, 1974) I don't know this Verdi opera at all, seems rather spotty in musical interest, but got better as it went along. Montsy and co. terrific!
    I have always been intrigued by I Vespri Sicciliani given that it seems to be very underplayed given its time in Verdi's carer. It places slap bang in the middle between the massively successful La Traviata and the not as successful but still often played Simon Boccanegra. All the other post Rigoletto operas are among the 100 most played in the world (though it must be stated the popular Boccanegra version is the substantially revised one). Only I Vespri Siciliani is the odd one out. I shall look forward to Christmas to find out why.

    Anyway a long journey to the Edinburgh Fringe meant that opera was called for on the journey. Firstly i did the whole recording of this justice once again

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    While I love them separately when played in order listening with only short breaks in between as Puccini intended brings out the contrasts between all of them. Hvaing thought on Il Trittico for a while its clear to me that even if Puccini didn't intend it (I feel unlikely given the mans obsession with his liberettos but who knows) there are major links between all 3 works. Firstly the works seem to focus a on the death of Love, the absence of love and the triumph of love. Girogetta and Michele's love is dying in Il Tabarro Angelica is treated with nothing but disdain from her aunt as well as her inability to express the love she held for her son showing the effects of loves absence. Finally the love between Lauretta and Rinnucio is shown to be growing and to succeed showing a love living and flowering. I have thought on Il Trittico as an exploration on love for quite some time. However it was while musing on Verdi's inescapable prevalence of parent and child relationships in his operas (after watching Stiffelio I realized that this relationship appears to some extent in every Verdi Opera I have seen so far and is always significant in some way) I thought for a moment whether this was just a particularly Verdian obsession so my thoughts turned to the Composer who I know best and at first glance while the relationship is prevalent in many operas it is also absent from nearly the same number. What struck me however is that with the exception of Butterfly the most prevalent use of the relationship was in fact Il Trittico! In each opera a parent child relationship is a major catalyst the death of their Child is the major factor in the failing of the Tabarro relationship the forced separation and being told of the death of her child (if it actually happened I have another theory on the regard the Princess when it comes to that) is the major catalyst for the end of Suor Angelica and finally the parent child relationship is the major turning point in Gianni Schicchi. I am shocked that The Opera(s) I consider my favourite can still give me new lenses to view them through but it adds a whole new depth to my experience.

    After listening to Il Trittico I did not have the time for a full version of any other opera so listened to act 1 of this. Name:  81qJnSru9lL._SL1417_.jpg
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    Always fun to listen to and then I returned back to this again

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    I remember first seeing Il Trovatore and loving it on the Met On Demand however more than any other opera it has been the one to grow on me with repeated listenings. There is a particular magic and balance to it that I really love. It has cemented it place as one of my very favourite Verdi's along with Rigoletto and Un Ballo In Maschera. Also been diving in and out of this for a while to double check that I wasn't blinded by performances that were excellent on the Met onDemand and that the Opera is as good as I think it is.

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    I really love Macbeth a lot.

    On a side-note the Fringe is a lot of fun but there seems to be very limited opera up here around the time I am staying which is worse luck!
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

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