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

          
   
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  1. #6061
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  2. #6062
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Saint-Saëns: Henry VIII
    Sherrill Milnes (Henry VIII), Cristina Deutekom (Katharine of Aragon), Brenda Boozer (Anne Boleyn), Jacques Trussel (Don Gomez de Feria), Kevin Langan (Duke of Norfolk), Robert Schmorr (Earl of Surrey), Kenneth Cox (Cardinal Campeggio), Enrique Baquerizo (Archbishop Cranmer), Neil Wilson-Nease (Garter King of Arms), Nancy Carol Moore (Lady Clarence), et. al.
    Conductor: Antonio Tauriello
    San Diego Opera, 1983 – Sung in English translation

    Yes, this is posted in the correct thread, despite the source being a YouTube “video.” In reality, there is nothing to watch except a photo of the conductor. After listening to the San Diego Opera’s performance, I share the opinion of OL members who consider this work underappreciated. The music is wonderful and there is plenty of drama – even if, as in the case of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, certain plot elements are not historically accurate. In this instance, the librettist has invented a love affair between Anne and the Spanish envoy, Don Gomez de Feria, complete with an incriminating letter from the lady that comes into the possession of Queen Katharine. I’m usually not fond of operas sung in translation, but with Sherrill Milnes in the title role, I wouldn’t care if this had been sung in Martian. Were a commercial recording available, I’d grab it – though one hopes the sound quality would be better than what was obviously an informal taping at the opera house. (The video of the performance in the original French, clips of which are also on YouTube, is on the to-be-purchased list.) There are also powerful portrayals of Katharine and Anne by soprano Cristina Deutekom and mezzo Brenda Boozer, while tenor Jacques Trussel generally acquits himself honorably as Don Gomez – his high notes are on target, but occasionally, there’s a bit of strain perceptible. The role of Katharine is full of gripping scenes with wonderful music and would be a real plum for a top-notch lirico-spinto soprano, which again makes me wonder why this opera isn’t more popular.

  3. #6063
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    I know you've all been on pins and needles, but fear not. Your long wait is over: my verdict is in.





    I'm still getting to know this opera, but already, in comparing the two versions on my shelf, I can announce a clear winner. The more recent recording, besides having better sound, strikes me as much more lively and engaging, led by Plasson's evocative conducting and Dessay's nuanced, sensitive portrayal of the young heroine.

    So all of you agonizing over which Lakmé to buy can finally set your minds at ease.

  4. #6064
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    I'm still getting to know this opera, but already, in comparing the two versions on my shelf, I can announce a clear winner. The more recent recording, besides having better sound, strikes me as much more lively and engaging, led by Plasson's evocative conducting and Dessay's nuanced, sensitive portrayal of the young heroine.

    So all of you agonizing over which Lakmé to buy can finally set your minds at ease.
    Absolutely agree 100%

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post

    Saint-Saëns: Henry VIII
    (The video of the performance in the original French, clips of which are also on YouTube, is on the to-be-purchased list.)
    Good. It's excellent.
    Natalie

  5. #6065
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    I know you've all been on pins and needles, but fear not. Your long wait is over: my verdict is in.





    I'm still getting to know this opera, but already, in comparing the two versions on my shelf, I can announce a clear winner. The more recent recording, besides having better sound, strikes me as much more lively and engaging, led by Plasson's evocative conducting and Dessay's nuanced, sensitive portrayal of the young heroine.

    So all of you agonizing over which Lakmé to buy can finally set your minds at ease.

    Welllll. You didn't include this one - my favorite (I also own but don't really like the Sutherland all that much):

    Name:  LakmeMesple.jpg
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  6. #6066
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Welllll. You didn't include this one - my favorite (I also own but don't really like the Sutherland all that much):

    Name:  LakmeMesple.jpg
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    Sorry, my bad. At least we agree about the Sutherland.

  7. #6067
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Me not big Sutherland fan either.

    Meahwhile, very excited. This just arrived in today's mail. Haven't listened to Callas in a long time and this is one of my favorite operas.



    Also just arrived:
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  8. #6068
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  9. #6069
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Meahwhile, very excited. This just arrived in today's mail. Haven't listened to Callas in a long time and this is one of my favorite operas.

    Yes! That's my go-to Barber of Seville! Once I heard that recording, I decided there's no reason to own another. Callas is Rosina.

  10. #6070
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Yes! That's my go-to Barber of Seville! Once I heard that recording, I decided there's no reason to own another. Callas is Rosina.
    She is wonderful in coloratura as are Peters and Gruberova, but I am more focused into the mezzo-sopranos and find Larmore and perhaps Bartoli (my set has not arrived so can't quite judge it) more to my liking. Really want an contralto but best I can get is an Ewa Podles aria CD with Una voce poco fa. For sopranos I think I favor Gruberova on the coloratura. And Sills is also a wonderful set. Well, I like them all really. Have 11 sets.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  11. #6071
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Natalie

  12. #6072
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    ^^^ Enjoying it? I'm thinking I may have to order this one.

  13. #6073
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    ^^^ Enjoying it? I'm thinking I may have to order this one.
    Quite, but Scotto less than charming when you can't see her acting to compensate for the rather acidulous tone of her voice. The boys both very fine (Gérard is actually the hero, isn't he, in that he is the more interesting character).
    Natalie

  14. #6074
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Quite, but Scotto less than charming when you can't see her acting to compensate for the rather acidulous tone of her voice. The boys both very fine (Gérard is actually the hero, isn't he, in that he is the more interesting character).
    Yes, her vocal quality, particularly in the upper notes, has always been criticized. On the other hand, I admire her purely vocal acting as Desdemona in the Otello recording--also with Levine, Domingo, and Milnes--from a year after the Andrea Chenier. So I look forward to checking out this one as well.

  15. #6075
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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