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

          
   
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  1. #6481
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    While pondering today's walk, I'm listening to this lovely recording that I haven't listened to in a couple of years:


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    I have that recording of Mariella Devia in I Puritani, but only have listened to it once since I keep gravitating to the Sutherland/Ghiaurov/Cappuccilli/Pavarotti set, which is spectacular. The critical thing with Puritani, for me, are the bass/baritone roles, for which I Puritani is a real showcase. The soprano role, while important, I don't think is what makes or breaks Puritani. However, maybe I'll cue up the Devia for today's walk!


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  2. #6482
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    A totally new opera for me but need to learn it before I see it at The Barbican - assuming I can get tickets.

    Found this on YouTube, is it a good version?


    Cool - King Arthur has the cold song!



    I don't have the Christie version but I did enjoy the Pinnock version (Gerald Finley)
    Natalie

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  4. #6483
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I had a delightful walk today, listening to the Mariella Devia I Puritani. Lovely singing throughout, with Devia in excellent voice, maybe even out-singing Sutherland. The low voices also are excellent - not in the same league as Ghiaurov, but expressive and thoroughly satisfying.

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    There's an interesting aspect of I Puritani I'm not sure I've recognized before. I was thinking about MAuer's comment that it is her favorite Bellini opera, with one great tune after another. In fact, it seems the opera is mostly great tunes and very little recitative (which might have been necessary because of its kind of lame libretto, but I digress). The opera bangs along its merry way, keeping one on edge, because you know which tune is coming up next. I especially love the duet "Suoni la tromba..", which seems to reach its natural conclusion with the gentlemen hesitating for a couple of beats - and then pick up and repeat the theme for a final go. I Puritani is one of a kind.

  5. #6484
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    I've always been a bit unfair to Puritani for the enraging libretto. I don't listen to it nearly as much as I should, I guess. It did provide me with a kind of unforgettable moment: I was giving a ride to a (perfectly educated, attending a prestigious art school) friend and once I got the car running the music I was listening earlier that day resumed playing. It was Anna Moffo singing Son vergin vezzosa. My friend was shocked. Absolutely gobsmacked. She looked at me with an expression that to this day I can't tell if was of terror or bewilderment and said OMG WHAT IS THIS!!!!! And the more Anna Moffo sang, the more disturbed she seemed. That day I really learned how absolutely alien the operatic voice can be to people, and that it has absolutely nothing to to with how "cultured" one is — she looked like she was having a close encounter of the third kind.


    Annie, the Christie King Arthur is fine, it's a good choice! If you get tickets please report back, especially on Reginald Mobley!


    My first encounter with the Cold Song was on Ariane Mnouchkine's brilliant movie about Molière. I always wondered why an Englishman on such a French film, but the result sure is poignant. The desperation of getting the dying Molière through never-ending stairs gives me the creeps.

    Last edited by Festat; January 20th, 2017 at 05:51 AM.

  6. #6485
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    I've always been a bit unfair to Puritani for the enraging libretto.
    The one that drives me crazy is La Sonnambula. I wish Amina would tell that jerk Elvino to go fly a kite (or something of that sort).

  7. #6486
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    Annie, the Christie King Arthur is fine, it's a good choice! If you get tickets please report back, especially on Reginald Mobley!


    Thanks Festat. Will definitely do a review if I can get tickets. I'm away from my PC on booking day and never do very well booking tickets on my phone. Maybe it's a good thing though as the demand for JK/DD recital tickets will be immense and I bet the site crashes. By the time I get home and log on, hopefully the site will have recovered from the onslaught!
    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); January 19th, 2017 at 03:10 PM. Reason: typo

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  9. #6487
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I've always been a bit unfair to Puritani for the enraging libretto. I don't listen to it nearly as much as I should, I guess. It did provide me with a kind of unforgettable moment: I was giving a ride to a (perfectly educated, attending a prestigious art school) friend and once I got the car running the music started I was listening earlier that day resumed playing. It was Anna Moffo singing Son vergin vezzosa. My friend was shocked. Absolutely gobsmacked. She looked at me with an expression that to this day I can't tell if was of terror or bewilderment and said OMG WHAT IS THIS!!!!! And the more Anna Moffo sang, the more disturbed she seemed. That day I really learned how absolutely alien the operatic voice can be to people, and that it has absolutely nothing to to with how "cultured" one is — she looked like she was having a close encounter of the third kind.

    Yes, I know this all too well. Friends here typically are game to try opera - once. They then proceed to revel forever after about how awful and painful it all is and accuse me of enjoying opera only because it's classy and, therefore, pretentious. I kind of changed that perception some after retiring and friends saw the level of traveling I do, mostly to see opera.

    I don't think one can underestimate just how foreign the operatic voice is to the average ear. It's an everlasting mystery to me that opera ever even 'clicked' with me. Back when I worked for the National Endowment for the Arts, they once did a poll that looked at the level of interest for the different art forms. Opera was at the bottom (or close to it) with 4% of the population. That was over 30 years ago, so I don't recall any of the specifics about the poll.

  10. #6488
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Renee Fleming visited our small island to promote an album made in collaboration with a popular music artist recently. I can't remember the details but seeing her on various picture box shows did make me want to listen to some of her recordings, so

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    Dvorak: Rusalka, Op. 114
    Renée Fleming (Rusalka), Ben Heppner (Prince), Dolora Zajick (Jezibaba), Eva Urbanová (Foreign Princess), Franz Hawalta (Water Goblin)
    Kühn Mixed Choir, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackerras
    Recorded Prague 1998

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    Massenet: Thaïs
    Renée Fleming (Thaïs), Thomas Hampson (Athanael), Giuseppe Sabbatini (Nicias), Estefano Palatchi (Palemon)
    Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Yves Abel
    Recorded Salle Franklin, Bordeaux 1997/98

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  12. #6489
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    ^^^^

    Two of her best roles IMO
    Natalie

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  14. #6490
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Natalie

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  16. #6491
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    ^^^^

    Two of her best roles IMO

    And the Marschallin, of course!

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  18. #6492
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Kind of a rainy depressing day here today, so didn't manage to get out and walk, but had a nice nap instead.

    During yesterday's walk, however, I listened to this:


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    I had only listened to this once, right after I first bought it - and it didn't impress me very much. So, I wasn't very enthusiastic when deciding to make it my choice for the day. Imagine how surprised I was to discover a very nice opera with lots of great music and singing. There are a couple of moments that seem really derivative of Der Freischütz - but, I would say, in a good way. If you don't know this opera, it's worth a bit of your time.

  19. #6493
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    now this opera really brings out the multiple personality in me but since Mary's post the other day it's been in my to listen to pile...

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    daft story... no tragic story...

    hate the music... no love the music...


    it's a marmite opera

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  21. #6494
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Yesterday's walk - I was inspired by watching the Roberta Peters Youtube clip, so despite not owning the Die Zäuberflöte recording featuring Peters as Queen of the Nigt, listened to the recording I do have (I have the recording with Peters on vinyl but no longer have the means to listen to it).


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  23. #6495
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 22nd, 2017 at 06:52 PM.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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