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

          
   
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  1. #1291
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Angel View Post
    I am scratching my head at that Don G production, looks like many scences taking place in front of a fake stage curtain? Am I missing something
    It's the old theatre within a theatre conceit. In the opening scene when the real curtain goes up, you get DG looking at the audience which is reflected in a great wobbly mirror. The catalogue scene has a series of notches on the back of one of the movable scenes. In act 2, when DG has sung his "Deh vieni" which results in Elvira's camariera rushing onto stage and giving him a big kiss (I can relate to that, I'd do the same if Mattei sang to me like that), the two of them then settle down to watch the proceedings on a stage on the stage. And so on.
    Natalie

  2. #1292
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    It was cool and rainy here today, so this afternoon I opted for mystical introspection over rational enlightenment...

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    This evening, during dinner and after, I went with an old favorite:

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  4. #1293
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    This evening, during dinner and after, I went with an old favorite:

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    O goodness- that takes me back. I used to have this on tape! Such fun!
    Natalie

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  6. #1294
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I'm so glad I doubled up and bought this "Britten conducts Britten" box. The Billy Budd was especially revelatory - the scene where Billy is musing over his impending death was almost unbearably moving, in a way that has never affected me so much before.

    Listening to a Midsummer Night's Dream made me realise how much familiarity with the idiom can help with appreciating music. The first time I encountered this I was very new to Britten and was rather indifferent to this opera. But this time, after a lot of other Britten listening, I loved it. What a great idea to to use a counter-tenor for Oberon, and the harp and celeste accompaniment renders the atmosphere truly magical; and then there is the great contrast with the rough and ready "mechanicals". There's a DVD coming from the library soon - can't wait.



    A double dose of unlikely drama, great tunes and Siberian Hunky hotness.

    Listening preferences are funny. When I listen rationally, I can hear that Marcello Alvarez is a better singer than José Cura, but when I follow my heart I'd rather listen to Cura. And I love Sondra Radvanovsky in the Leonora role. She is such a generous performer.
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; July 1st, 2013 at 08:10 AM.
    Natalie

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  8. #1295
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Well, that was a surprise. I had never realised what a good opera I Due Foscari was, beautifully showcased in this very good Tutto Verdi offering. Nucci really rocks as the old Foscari; Tatiana Serjan sounds AND looks lovely as Lucrezia and I've discovered a lovely new tenor in the shape of Roberto di Biaso. Recommended.



    I've been having a little baroque encouragement with the cooking:

    Natalie

  9. #1296
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Don Giovanni from la Scala 2011, in a production by Robert Carsen, with a rather kind and gentle Don Giovanni (Mattei) and the idea that Anna is a willing participant and only changes her mind when she sees what a roué the Don is. Bryn Terfel a very good and funny Leporello, Frittoli committed but I'm not keen on her voice, Trebs as Donna Anna a little murky on the note attacks, but very pretty, and Filianoti sounded strained, so a mixed bag, but Mattei makes up for any deficiencies. He knows this role so well, that I like the recit almost as much as the arias. I could listen to him forever.

    [/IMG]
    I saw this just after it turned up on youtube. Being a fan of La Bellissima and Don Giovanni it was a must see for me. I also had mixed feelings about this production. First, Mattei and Terfel are superb. Trebs is a wonderfull Donna Anna, although somehow she seemed held back in this performance. Don Ottavio was simply terrible, I read somewhere he did much better on the second night. The duets with Trebs almost kill him. Masetto and Zerlina are not very special. If you check the tube for Anna Prohaska you will find out she can sing. In the Don Giovanni she looks and acts the part well, but her singing is not that good.

    The production was interesting, I like that mirror, that must be awesome if you are in the audience. I like it when singers appear in the auditorium, always a funny moment. But a lot of scenes are just too bare, and the final scenes are the worst. And the nude lady, other than that she looks fine, what's the point.

    Barenboim is not my favourite Mozart conductor. Sometimes it's just plain boring.

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  11. #1297
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I've just finished watching La Traviata with Ileana Cotrubas, Placidone and Cornell McNeill from the Met, 1981, on YouTube here. My, oh my, what an overwhelming emotional experience, even in fuzzy definition. I always thought Cotrubas was the most convincing Violetta on CD, and it turns out she is on video too, she can act as well as sing gorgeously, except it looks more like being than acting.. You just feel every emotion that Violetta is experiencing. Add to that Placidone at his most drop dead gorgeous and you've got a winner. And guess what, it's not on DVD. Whyyyyy?
    Funny enough this is a broadcast, on TV in... The Netherlands ! That commentator is totally superfluous unless you want to fall asleep. But after such a exciting performance that would be impossible. Agreed, also as an actress Cotrubas is superb as Violetta, or IS Violetta, like you say.

    The sound and image quality is terrible though, yes this should have been released no DVD. But the equipment back then for TV broadcast was very low defenition. Nowadays this is much easier.

    Check out also on YT the documentary about the singers and Levine, with some behind the scenes footage of Domingo (and his wife), Cotrubas (and her husband) and Levine, singing the vocal part while rehearsing the orchestra part. Rolling from his chair from laughter while the orchestra plays the death scene !

  12. #1298
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    How far that little candle throws his beams!
    So shines a good deed in a naughty world.


    The Merchant of Venice, V, i.

  13. #1299
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    I Don Ottavio was simply terrible, I read somewhere he did much better on the second night. The duets with Trebs almost kill him.
    I was quite surprised at this because Filianoti did a good job in the Met's la Clemenza di Tito, so he CAN sing Mozart. Maybe he was just having an off night. I was worried the audience was going to boo him, but then as it was the first night at la scala there'd be more dignitaries and fewer real fans.

    Barenboim is not my favourite Mozart conductor. Sometimes it's just plain boring
    Did you hear the guy who said "troppo lento" - quite persistently - I think when Barenboim was getting ready to start Act 2?
    Natalie

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  15. #1300
    Senior Member Involved Member Nervous Gentleman's Avatar
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  16. #1301
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Svetla Vassileva x 2
    Two big winners in the Tutto Verdi series, Svetla also great in Joan of Arc from this series

  17. #1302
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Angel View Post


    Svetla Vassileva x 2
    Two big winners in the Tutto Verdi series, Svetla also great in Joan of Arc from this series
    Yes, I like her. I'd love to have these DVDs. But I've not been buying DVDs, lately. I've been spending a lot with opera in other ways; basically, traveling to see live opera (I wish I lived again in a metropolitan area with enough local opera so I wouldn't need to travel as much). My DVD purchases have suffered.

    I was just arguing with my wife again, ten minutes ago, trying to convince her that we should go to the Bard SummerScape for Oresteia. I also tried to get her to agree with The Flying Dutchman at Glimmerglass, with our dear Jay Hunter Morris.

    While I usually prevail (the last opera trip to Wolf Trap Opera, she capitulated in five minutes), she's resisting more, this time.

    She has accepted the trip to Santa Fe to see five live operas, one per night in five consecutive nights (July 30th through August 3rd). She says that this is quite enough for this summer.

    These trips are budget busters. CD, DVD, and blu-ray purchases have suffered.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  18. #1303
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Yes, I like her. I'd love to have these DVDs. But I've not been buying DVDs, lately. I've been spending a lot with opera in other ways; basically, traveling to see live opera (I wish I lived again in a metropolitan area with enough local opera so I wouldn't need to travel as much). My DVD purchases have suffered.

    I was just arguing with my wife again, ten minutes ago, trying to convince her that we should go to the Bard SummerScape for Oresteia. I also tried to get her to agree with The Flying Dutchman at Glimmerglass, with our dear Jay Hunter Morris.

    While I usually prevail (the last opera trip to Wolf Trap Opera, she capitulated in five minutes), she's resisting more, this time.

    She has accepted the trip to Santa Fe to see five live operas, one per night in five consecutive nights (July 30th through August 3rd). She says that this is quite enough for this summer.

    These trips are budget busters. CD, DVD, and blu-ray purchases have suffered.
    I think we have a solution here:

    Natalie

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  20. #1304
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Sorry, I must be dumb tonight. I'm not sure if I follow.
    Alma... den.
    I know it's a wine maker. Not particularly good.
    What do you mean?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  21. #1305
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Sorry, I must be dumb tonight. I'm not sure if I follow.
    Alma... den.
    I know it's a wine maker. Not particularly good.
    What do you mean?
    Ha, I didn't even notice the name, hilarious.

    I just mean buy cheap plonk instead of $50 a pop bottle of wine and spend the difference on DVDs.
    Natalie

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