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

          
   
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  1. #781
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    Listening to several things today - the Karajan La Boheme with Freni and Pavarotti. I recall when i listened to this for the first time i did not like how fast it seemed compared to others - i am thinking of the Bjorling/de Los Angeles or the Tebaldi/Bergonzi recordings. Now i absolutely love this version. Pavarotti sings a dream Rodolfo. I have as usual been comparing the scene in Act 1 just before Che Gelida Manina when Rodolfo and Mimi just meet. There is no comparison with any tenor i have heard. They all just bluster through it (maybe Alagna gets close). You can hear the palpitation almost in Pavarotti's voice. Sheer beauty!

    I am also dipping in and out of an a cd i never really bother with until now -Meyerbeer's Roberto le Diable. Since it has just had an airing at Covent Garden. The recording i have is the one on the Dynamic label with Patrizia Ciofi and Warren Mok. There has been criticism on other pages about Warren Mok's French pronunciation and whilst i am not fluent-it does seem muddy at best. Not sure what happened to this Hong Kong tenor after a brief time in the spotlight ( i recall he sung Calaf too). Ciofi does a very good job. The sound is pretty poor for a modern live performance but it does get better as the opera progresses. There is a lot of chorus involvement and that means marching feet/bumping and banging...not what you want to listen to on your commute to work!

    Would love to see a DVD of this opera as i haven't much of a clue about it!

  2. #782
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashin View Post
    I am also dipping in and out of an a cd i never really bother with until now -Meyerbeer's Roberto le Diable. Since it has just had an airing at Covent Garden. The recording i have is the one on the Dynamic label with Patrizia Ciofi and Warren Mok. There has been criticism on other pages about Warren Mok's French pronunciation and whilst i am not fluent-it does seem muddy at best. Not sure what happened to this Hong Kong tenor after a brief time in the spotlight ( i recall he sung Calaf too). Ciofi does a very good job. The sound is pretty poor for a modern live performance but it does get better as the opera progresses. There is a lot of chorus involvement and that means marching feet/bumping and banging...not what you want to listen to on your commute to work!
    That's the main reason I couldn't do much homework before I went.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yashin View Post
    Would love to see a DVD of this opera as i haven't much of a clue about it!
    Well they filmed it so there should be a DVD eventually.

    "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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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    A very odd story but wonderful music. Good production too.



    These are both fun and well-sung. If anything can make a case for Un Giorno di Regno it is this cast.




    Why is this opera not in the standard repertoire? I wish I'd seen it at Bard this year. It's wonderful! (Might be a bit biased because the CD features Barbara Hendricks on her best form).

    Natalie

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    A very decent production that I have not re-listened to for a little while. Manon has Massenet's light weight touch on the score, away from the decadent life of Manon Lescaut depending on how you look at it (I must say I do not like the plot though). Renee Fleming and Marcelo Alvarez did very well together. Semi-minimal traditional looking sets.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I really like this production of Idomeneo. John Mark Ainsley is perfect in the title role, sings like a angel and deeply moving in his despair at the consequences of the vow he has made, and most of the cast is of a high standard (Juliane Banse, Pavol Breslik, and Annette Dasch who seems to have an affinity for unhinged roles). This is the first time I've really believed in the story.

    Natalie

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I really like this production of Idomeneo. John Mark Ainsley is perfect in the title role, sings like a angel and deeply moving in his despair at the consequences of the vow he has made, and most of the cast is of a high standard (Juliane Banse, Pavol Breslik, and Annette Dasch who seems to have an affinity for unhinged roles). This is the first time I've really believed in the story.
    That good? I just watched some clips here and there on youtube to sample. The singing and orchestra sounded good. Not sure about the staging. When I first saw that cover with a giant horse head, I thought R-e-g-i-e ...

    Presto has it on sale at the moment (Blu-ray and DVD). You might tempt me well enough with this one.


  10. #788
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    That good? I just watched some clips here and there on youtube to sample. The singing and orchestra sounded good. Not sure about the staging. When I first saw that cover with a giant horse head, I thought R-e-g-i-e ...

    Presto has it on sale at the moment (Blu-ray and DVD). You might tempt me well enough with this one.

    Minor Regie in that there are moments of updating, but absolutely nothing that interferes with the thrust of the story, to the contrary in fact. I was a bit put off by the cover, but I got it anyway because I've never had a dud from Ainsley, the man is a wonder, had me in tears at his despair. I'm SO glad I did, and that Presto had it on their sale as I've been waiting for ages for it to be affordable.

    But don't forget, HC, that I reckon I have a much higher threshold than you for updating.
    Natalie

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    All Jacobs Mozart operas are great, but this one stands out among them. Apart from usual exciting Jacobs sound, you get singers that can compete with classics. To me every popular Nozze recording seem boring when compared to this, it's not my favourite opera of Mozart and I often yawned listening to it, even when singers I loved were richly in store. No such thing happens with this one, superb listening all along.

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  13. #790
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne of Green Gables View Post


    All Jacobs Mozart operas are great, but this one stands out among them. Apart from usual exciting Jacobs sound, you get singers that can compete with classics. To me every popular Nozze recording seem boring when compared to this, it's not my favourite opera of Mozart and I often yawned listening to it, even when singers I loved were richly in store. No such thing happens with this one, superb listening all along.
    Wow! That's quite a rave. I don't recall being so swept away by the Jacobs Figaro, but it has been years since I heard it, and I cannot recall any details, which means I must not have been listening carefully. I will certainly go back and hear this one again.

  14. #791
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Minor Regie in that there are moments of updating, but absolutely nothing that interferes with the thrust of the story, to the contrary in fact. I was a bit put off by the cover, but I got it anyway because I've never had a dud from Ainsley, the man is a wonder, had me in tears at his despair. I'm SO glad I did, and that Presto had it on their sale as I've been waiting for ages for it to be affordable.

    But don't forget, HC, that I reckon I have a much higher threshold than you for updating.
    To tell you the truth, I am not against Regie or very modern productions per se. Whatever the production and staging is like, it needs to make some sense without excessive symbolism leaving listeners bewildered or that it is just plain silly. The Mozart M22 Die Entführung aus dem Serail if you recall, was just plain silly and ridiculous - lead singers dressed up in tuxedo dancing and singing with clothes irons as microphones etc. But I did not mind the M22 Idomeneo with its pure white minimalism staging - lots of symbolism going on probably but at least it did not look outrageous, and one could have pretended it was a concert version of Idomeneo.

    The production you are discussing about looked alright from the clips. John Mark Ainsley is a superb tenor, I have many of his recordings mostly on CDs singing a lot of Handel. And the conducting sounded very good from the clips. So, why not? Staging didn't look outrageous either.

  15. #792
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    To tell you the truth, I am not against Regie or very modern productions per se. Whatever the production and staging is like, it needs to make some sense without excessive symbolism leaving listeners bewildered or that it is just plain silly. The Mozart M22 Die Entführung aus dem Serail if you recall, was just plain silly and ridiculous - lead singers dressed up in tuxedo dancing and singing with clothes irons as microphones etc. But I did not mind the M22 Idomeneo with its pure white minimalism staging - lots of symbolism going on probably but at least it did not look outrageous, and one could have pretended it was a concert version of Idomeneo.

    The production you are discussing about looked alright from the clips. John Mark Ainsley is a superb tenor, I have many of his recordings mostly on CDs singing a lot of Handel. And the conducting sounded very good from the clips. So, why not? Staging didn't look outrageous either.
    I think you should like this then. Any "extra" touches serve the story - eg Arbace preparing to sacrifice himself, Elettra dragged to Hades by some rather chilling Furies after her last aria. At no point was I wondering"what is going on".
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 5th, 2013 at 03:52 AM.
    Natalie

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  17. #793
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I really like this production of Idomeneo. John Mark Ainsley is perfect in the title role, sings like a angel and deeply moving in his despair at the consequences of the vow he has made, and most of the cast is of a high standard (Juliane Banse, Pavol Breslik, and Annette Dasch who seems to have an affinity for unhinged roles). This is the first time I've really believed in the story.

    Pavol Breslik is great. Can't wait to hear more from him. Have you seen the Lucrezia Borgia DVD on the same label? It has a stunning Edita Gruberova in the title. The sets are minimal but totally wonderful. I really loved it. I have one or two recordings with Gruberova but generally passed her over-not sure why, maybe i prefer a different type of voice -more meaty! Pavol Breslik was also a revelation. He was very seductive in this.

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    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I think should like this then. Any "extra" touches serve the story - eg Arbace preparing At n to sacrifice himself, elettra dragged to Hades by some rather chilling Furies after her last act. At no point was I wonering"what is going on".
    Sounds great! And those touches aren't really Regie, though they arent't mentioned in the stage directions of the libretto. Elettra's final aria is addressed to the Furies(her accompanied recit expresses the desire to join her brother in Hell), and Arbace in his final scene begs to be allowed to substitute himself for Idamante. I'd like to see this.

  19. #795
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashin View Post
    Pavol Breslik is great. Can't wait to hear more from him. Have you seen the Lucrezia Borgia DVD on the same label? It has a stunning Edita Gruberova in the title. The sets are minimal but totally wonderful. I really loved it. I have one or two recordings with Gruberova but generally passed her over-not sure why, maybe i prefer a different type of voice -more meaty! Pavol Breslik was also a revelation. He was very seductive in this.
    Yes he was the second factor that encouraged me to shell out for this. He was great in that Lucrezia Borgia. I wish I'd seen the "Brokeback Mountain" Onegin with him and Keenlyside!
    Natalie

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