Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #1651
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Don't know how we could have forgotten about La Bellissima's debut as Elsa this month in Dresden. So far, I could only find some news reports in German (though one can hear clips from the performance and fragments of her English comments before they're voiced over in German). Looks like it's a basically traditional production. In any case, we can hope that a video recording will be made for commercial release.



    And on the Staatsoper's web site, you can click through a series of photos from the staging:
    https://www.semperoper.de/en/whats-o...6.html#a_23794

    I'll post a link to an English-language review of the Dresden Lohengrin as soon as I can find one. Come to think of it, I didn't see any German-language reviews at this point, either.
    You can listen to an audio stream only on on Parterre Box: http://parterre.com/2016/05/22/schwahnsinn/
    Natalie

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  3. #1652
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    From the Frankfurter Allgemeine:
    http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleto...-14244369.html

    These are probably the key paragraphs:
    “Diese Schicksalsszene, wenn sie, die Traumverlorene, sich verzückt halb hingibt, halb verrückt widerstrebt, um schließlich doch noch ihrem Traumprinzen die verbotene Frage zu stellen, was der wiederum nicht verhindern kann: sie verschlägt uns allen den Atem. Die Intensität und Wahrhaftigkeit, mit der Netrebko und Beczala miteinander ringen und singen, lässt die Luft brennen. Am Ende, als er sie verlässt, liegt sie, zum wiederholten Mal an diesem Abend, in Ohnmacht.
    “Gewiss könnte keine anmutiger in Ohnmacht fallen und verstummen als Netrebko. Noch vieltausendmal schöner aber ist es, wenn sie wieder aufsteht und weitersingt. Sie ist eine Elsa mit allen stilistischen Facetten, halb kleines Mädchen, halb stolze Herrscherin, zweifelnd, träumend. Als der Vorhang fällt, wirft man ihr Blumen zu, große und kleine Sträuße, auch einen Schwan, aus Plüsch. Mit dem winkte sie lachend ins Publikum, wieder und wieder, denn der Applaus endet nie.”

    The reviewer mentions that Christine Mielitz’s production dates to 1983, but it isn’t quite as traditional as first glances would suggest. Among other things, King Heinrich becomes a rather sinister, omnipresent figure; he’s in the bridal chamber (at least initially) and helps Elsa don her nightgown. (Before Alma’s imagination goes into overdrive, there is no suggestion that the lady ever appears en Déshabillé.) In the two excerpted paragraphs, the reviewer describes La Bellissima’s heroine in this “fateful scene” as “one lost in dreams” who “half delightedly surrenders” and “half madly resists” (presumably her longings for Lohengrin) before she finally asks her Dream Prince the forbidden question, which he is unable to prevent. “The intensity and truthfulness with which Netrebko and (Piotr) Beczala struggle and sing with each other makes the air burn.” When he leaves her at the end, she faints – as she does several times over the course of the performance. But after observing that no one faints as charmingly as Netrebko, the reviewer adds that it’s even more beautiful when she stands up again and sings. “She is an Elsa with all stylistic facets, half little girl, half proud ruler, despairing, dreaming.” When the curtain fell, members of the audience tossed her big and little bouquets as well as a plush toy swan, which she used to wave to those assembled again and again as the applause never seemed to end.
    In the opening paragraph, her voice is described as “strong, dark, full, wide-ranging voice of velvet scattered with diamonds” (starken, dunklen, vollen, weit ausgreifenden Stimme aus diamantbesticktem Samt). Elsewhere, the critic has enthusiastic comments for conductor Christian Thielemann, the “charismatic” Georg Zeppenfeld (King Heinrich), Tomasz Konieczny’s unusually light-toned Telramund (though his German pronunciation wasn’t the best), and Evelyn Herlitzius’ “Mephistophelean” Ortrud. Although the intensity of her portrayal doesn’t allow Herlitzius to sing mezzo-piano as effectively, her nocturnal “duel” with Netrebko’s Elsa was a “pure delight” to experience (characterized as La Bellissima’s “white magic” against Herlitzius’ “black magic.” Only the Staatsoper’s Chorus sounded sub-par in their intonation.
    And here’s great news: yesterday evening’s performance was broadcast live and at no cost to the Theater Square fronting the Semper Opera House, which suggests to me there may be a good possibility of an eventual release in DVD/Blu-ray format.

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  5. #1653
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Jonas getting positively operatic about the new girlfriend: clicky

    English version here:
    Munich star tenor Jonas Kaufmann about the feelings for his girlfriend, which hit him "like lightning" .

    He sings a lot and very well, rarely, it is a hymn to his own private luck in love.

    Opera star Jonas Kaufmann (46) is more than a year, a few joint appearances prove that, with the director Christiane Lutz (35) together.

    Read: "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg" with Jonas Kaufmann in the National Theatre

    And deeply in love, as he says now in "Myself": "I can not remember such a love that truly hit like a lightning bolt."

    Quite new sounds from the star tenor. And again, he says that he indeed sings "all these clichés" on the opera stage: "If this actually happens in real life - then you think: So it's all true. Crazy, unbelievable! "

    Kaufmann shares the care of the children with his Ex

    In 2014 Jonas Kaufmann split from his wife, mezzo-soprano Margarete Joswig, with whom he has three children. About his girlfriend Christiane he says now: "I did not think that emotions could be as intense as when I was younger. This has taken me completely off guard and made me downright scared to start with. Because it means having to change my life completely. "

    Kaufmann shares the care of the children with his ex: "What strikes me now is that our children are more relaxed. Obviously they perceived the conflicts that smoldered between us far earlier than me and my wife knew at the time. "
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; June 9th, 2016 at 07:55 PM. Reason: added english version
    Natalie

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  7. #1654
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    20 years of keeping up with celebrities' remarks concerning their love life to the press teaches me "lightning bolt" usually ends up in either:

    1) divorce
    2) police
    3) restraining order

    Jonas is not your average TMZ celeb though, is he? Opera singer gossip, a new niche.

  8. #1655
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Only time will tell, I guess. I wish him well, and I hope that Margarete Joswig also finds a new love -- if that's what she wants.

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  10. #1656
    Senior Member Veteran Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    20 years of keeping up with celebrities' remarks concerning their love life to the press teaches me "lightning bolt" usually ends up in either:

    1) divorce
    2) police
    3) restraining order

    Jonas is not your average TMZ celeb though, is he? Opera singer gossip, a new niche.
    This retired barrister (and cynic) notes: In matters of the heart, "rent - don't buy".

  11. #1657
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I do feel sorry for Frau Joswig, though. She put her career on hold to raise the children that he, most of all, wanted, and now she must try to rebuild it. She's still the kids' primary caregiver, too. It seems to be a sad fact that marriages between opera singers rarely last; the only one I recall that did was the Evelyn Lear-Thomas Stewart marriage.

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  13. #1658
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    I do feel sorry for Frau Joswig, though. She put her career on hold to raise the children that he, most of all, wanted, and now she must try to rebuild it. She's still the kids' primary caregiver, too. It seems to be a sad fact that marriages between opera singers rarely last; the only one I recall that did was the Evelyn Lear-Thomas Stewart marriage.
    Yes, I feel really sorry for her too.
    Natalie

  14. #1659
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    It seems to be a sad fact that marriages between opera singers rarely last; the only one I recall that did was the Evelyn Lear-Thomas Stewart marriage.
    Also Mirella Freni and Nicolai Ghiaurov, for twenty-six years, until his death in 2004 (though still not nearly as long as the fifty-year Lear/Stewart union!)
    Last edited by Amfortas; June 13th, 2016 at 01:47 AM.

  15. #1660
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    It was nice to see an interview with Patty Beggs, the General Director/CEO of the Cincinnati Opera, in Cincinnati Magazine’s July issue. I was rather surprised, however, by the interviewer’s claim that some audience members felt the leads in last year’s production of Il Trovatore “while excellent singers, looked older than their roles.” I must really be getting long in the tooth, because both of them looked fairly young to me.
    Here is Julianna di Giacomo (Leonora):



    and Russell Thomas (Manrico):



    Your thoughts?

  16. #1661
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    This look-the-part thing is getting out of hand. Give them freaking 18-year-old Leonora and Manrico like they want, just for once. They'd probably never go to the opera again.

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  18. #1662
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    It was nice to see an interview with Patty Beggs, the General Director/CEO of the Cincinnati Opera, in Cincinnati Magazine’s July issue. I was rather surprised, however, by the interviewer’s claim that some audience members felt the leads in last year’s production of Il Trovatore “while excellent singers, looked older than their roles.” I must really be getting long in the tooth, because both of them looked fairly young to me.

    Your thoughts?
    They don't look too old to me.

    Tenor and soprano roles are nearly always young people so the opera singer is usually older than his/her character. The bass, baritone and mezzo/contralto roles are usually older people so it isn't an issue.
    "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

  19. #1663
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    ... “while excellent singers, looked older than their roles.” ...

    Your thoughts?
    My thoughts: what an utterly bizarre comment to make. As I can not understand this statement at all, I must have a totally different interpretation of what opera is to this person!

  20. #1664
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    This is the only Luna too old for the role:

    Natalie

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  22. #1665
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    This is the only Luna too old for the role:

    To old for any role if that's who I think it is...
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

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