Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #1711
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    10 best sounding concert halls in the world

    Has anyone here been to Vienna’s Musikverein or the Boston Symphony Hall?
    "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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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    10 best sounding concert halls in the world

    Has anyone here been to Vienna’s Musikverein or the Boston Symphony Hall?
    Did they not have Hill Auditorium on their list of concert halls under consideration?
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Composers in conversation, including George Benjamin. An old video and rather long but I found it very interesting.

    "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 Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Considering all the talk about Jonas Kaufmann's series of illnesses and resulting cancellations this year, I was intrigued when I ran across this detailed (but really fascinating) article that discusses the mechanics of singing. The article starts out with talking about the amplified voice - as is common in musicals, but covers all aspects of the routine effects on the vocal cords of various singing styles and even every day speaking. It's a little scary.

    See what you think:

    http://www.vulture.com/2016/10/myste...ing-voice.html

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    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    10 best sounding concert halls in the world

    Has anyone here been to Vienna’s Musikverein or the Boston Symphony Hall?
    It's funny, for as many years I was rabid to see as many symphony concerts as I could, I never once thought about travel like I do now for opera after only one year of rabid opera fandom. I've never seen any of the major orchestras outside of Texas live.

    I have, of course, been to the Dallas Meyerson, but I usually sit close to the orchestra and can't really comment overall on the acoustic. One of my most vivid concert memories is of seeing Thus Spake Zarathustra there from the chorus' balcony. Cheap tickets with an imperfect acoustic, but man! having the pipe organ directly behind you and the timpanist a few yards in front of you is sensory overload! One of the most viscerally thrilling concert experiences I've ever had. : )

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    https://www.qzzr.com/c/quiz/263763/t...est-opera-quiz

    Somehow I don't think I'll do very well ...
    11/15 but lots of guesses, only a few I actually knew for sure.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Considering all the talk about Jonas Kaufmann's series of illnesses and resulting cancellations this year, I was intrigued when I ran across this detailed (but really fascinating) article that discusses the mechanics of singing. The article starts out with talking about the amplified voice - as is common in musicals, but covers all aspects of the routine effects on the vocal cords of various singing styles and even every day speaking. It's a little scary.

    See what you think:

    http://www.vulture.com/2016/10/myste...ing-voice.html
    It's always disappointing when a favorite singer cancels, but this article certainly illustrates what the consequences would be were that individual to go onstage and do additional damage to the vocal cords.

  13. #1718
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Interesting interview with Barrie Kosky ahead of the opening night of Shostakovich’s The Nose (to which I would have gone and more than once, if it had been sung in original language).

    " ... But despite the problems of the German system, there is something uniquely wonderful about being somewhere where opera is regarded as part of the DNA of national identity. Britain doesn’t have that: the roots don’t go deep enough."

    Yep. Just one of the many reasons why I love Germany.
    "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 Festat's Avatar
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    Saw Elektra live tonight. A terrible thunderstorm made me so late I only managed to get in because theater staff know me. Lost my seat, though, and ended up in in the side galleries where I had to lean over to see the whole stage. Fortunately it was Elektra and not Meistersinger so I don't have a stiff neck.

    I walked in right when Chrysothemis started Ich kann nicht sitzen und ins Dunkel starren. I was kinda bummed to have missed Elektra's cries for Agameeeeeeeeeeemnon that always make me shiver, but it was a nice evening, despite everything. Orchestra sounded great and Eduardo Strausser conducting was a pleasant surprise, he is only 31 and this Elektra unexpectedly fell in his hands when Neschling left last month. Singing was good. Catherine Foster's Elektra and Natasha Petrinsky's Klytaemnestra were stand outs. Emily Magee's Chrysothemis was fine but occasionally drowned under the orchestra, but then again I wasn't in a good seat.

    The only let-down for me was the multi-room staging, which seems to be so popular now. A yard and an entrance hall on the top level; a kitchen and a storeroom at the bottom. It looked good but it was not effective. What is the point of having 4 rooms fixed on the stage all the time if you are only going to use one at a time? The director says her inspiration comes from Ingmar Bergman (who, I've said this before, is a very difficult artist to channel) and particularly from his Autumn Sonata, almost like making a tragedy into a kitchen sink drama — which I think could actually be a nice idea. However, while the intimacy didn't show enough to make the opera an anxious domestic nightmare, it was enough to strip it of most of the mad theatricality and creepy rawness that is Elektra. Costumes were very generic and there were two brief projections that made no sense at all.

    There were two very nice moments, though: the reunion of Elektra and Orest was touching, mostly because of Foster's acting and because, you guys know, I'm easy. The highlight was the very ending. After frantically dancing, Elektra heads to the storeroom where she locks herself with Agamemnon's memories. Upstairs, a bathroom emerges from the darkness, where Klytaemnestra and Aegisth lie slaughtered by the tub. Elektra ties a knot around her neck, while Chrysothemis desperately slams the door seeing her sister about to hang herself through the glass. Is there anything left to do now? Elektra jumps from the stool and the lights go out.

    Callas is right again. Make an effort to end well and it all doesn't seem so bad.
    Last edited by Festat; October 21st, 2016 at 09:28 AM.

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Does opera exclude you, or do you exclude opera?

    Interesting article from Michael Volpe, founder and director of Holland Park opera.
    "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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  18. #1721
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Does opera exclude you, or do you exclude opera?

    Interesting article from Michael Volpe, founder and director of Holland Park opera.
    Yes, he's right. Don't tell me it's expensive and elitist when you can get NZ$22 tickets to the opera (Cheapest Selena Gomez tickets for a concert here were over $100).
    Natalie

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  20. #1722
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Went to the Met for the first time last night. Wow! It really was a big leap above everything I've ever seen live before. I'm so reliant on things like "Live in HD" to whet my appetite that I was a little worried. Sometimes shows in Houston or Dallas disappoint because I feel like I'm straining to hear or see what's going on. Not so at the Met. It's not as loud as I'm used to, but everything is crystal clear and balanced. I *get* it now.

    Of course, it helped that it was Jenufa, with Karita Matilla as the Kostelnicka. Amazing performance of both singing and acting. My surtitles didn't work during Act II, and I hadn't read the synopsis beforehand. But I don't feel like I missed much, because her performance pulled me through it.

  21. #1723
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    Went to the Met for the first time last night. Wow! It really was a big leap above everything I've ever seen live before. I'm so reliant on things like "Live in HD" to whet my appetite that I was a little worried. Sometimes shows in Houston or Dallas disappoint because I feel like I'm straining to hear or see what's going on. Not so at the Met. It's not as loud as I'm used to, but everything is crystal clear and balanced. I *get* it now.

    Of course, it helped that it was Jenufa, with Karita Matilla as the Kostelnicka. Amazing performance of both singing and acting. My surtitles didn't work during Act II, and I hadn't read the synopsis beforehand. But I don't feel like I missed much, because her performance pulled me through it.
    The Met can be a little daunting because it is so big - it seats 3,800, if I remember correctly. Everything that happens on stage has to take that into consideration. Take a look at how distorted the sets are sometime - they need to appear correct from every angle, which requires some interesting design techniques. Voices, especially European singers who are accustomed to singing in opera houses 1/2 the size of the Met have to be able to be heard in some pretty distant corners of the vast auditorium.

    I haven't been to Houston, but think the Winspear in Dallas is a pretty nifty opera house. It's beautiful, a good size and has stunning views of downtown Dallas during intermission. I saw a terrific production of Die Tote Stadt and a pretty good one of Il Barbiere di Siviglia there a couple of years ago.

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  23. #1724
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Well.... This happened...

  24. #1725
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    Well.... This happened...
    OH NO THE MINUTE I SAW THIS I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU HOPING IT WASN'T YOUR NIGHT

    The ~unknown substance~ ended up being... ASHES.

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