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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Der Jonas with a couple of other guests at the Vienna Opera Ball.

  2. #1877
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    An online acquaintance of mine is in Monaco seeing Tannhäuser and he has posted a photo. I didn't know there was a French version.

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  4. #1878
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    An online acquaintance of mine is in Monaco seeing Tannhäuser and he has posted a photo. I didn't know there was a French version.

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    Streaming soon on Culturebox: clicky
    Natalie

  5. #1879
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Streaming soon on Culturebox: clicky
    Interesting. Thank you.

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    An online acquaintance of mine is in Monaco seeing Tannhäuser and he has posted a photo. I didn't know there was a French version.

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    Well, don't forget, there are two versions of Tannhäuser: the Dresden version and the Paris version. I believe that Wagner was obsessed with succeeding in Paris (hence, his early attentiveness to Meyerbeer) and he either wrote Tannhäuser for Paris (it's longer as it includes the obligatory ballet music), and it didn't do well at the box office or, he wrote for Dresden and then adapted that version with the added ballet music.

    That said, I guess I doubt that he would have written it in French - or allowed a French translation. That sounds just too un-Wagnerlike.

    I always could look everything up to be sure, of course, but that's just too easy.

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  8. #1881
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Well, don't forget, there are two versions of Tannhäuser: the Dresden version and the Paris version. I believe that Wagner was obsessed with succeeding in Paris (hence, his early attentiveness to Meyerbeer) and he either wrote Tannhäuser for Paris (it's longer as it includes the obligatory ballet music), and it didn't do well at the box office or, he wrote for Dresden and then adapted that version with the added ballet music.

    That said, I guess I doubt that he would have written it in French - or allowed a French translation. That sounds just too un-Wagnerlike.

    I always could look everything up to be sure, of course, but that's just too easy.
    His review:

    "As a Pèlerin visiting the opera houses, large and small, it has been an ambition since seeing Pressburger and Powell's film The Red Shoes as a child to attend a performance at the fabled Monte Carlo Opéra. When a production of Tannhäuser in its 1861 Paris version en français was announced this was unmissable.

    The film, whose ballet sequences with Moira Shearer and Massine are staged in the Salle Garnier, tells the story of a dancer who abandons love in her obsessive dedication to her art. Obsession and the duality of sacred and profane are central to Tannhäuser and entering this opulent opera house where the foyer leads you through one door to the Casino and through another to auditorium certainly emphasises the struggle between the worldly and spiritual.

    Tannhäuser, sung by José Cura, barefoot in the loose fitting linen and a flowing shirt of a 19C poète maudit would probably not have gained entrance due to the strict dress code, tenue correcte exigée.

    The opulent Garnier theatre with its Bel Epoque decor felt like a character in the narrative, and when Elisabeth addressed the 'Cher Édifice' of the Hall of Song at the start of Act 2 the lights were raised in the auditorium.

    Reverting to the original Paris meant of course that it was sung in French as were all operas at the then Imperial Opera, and this of course placed the work firmly in the tradition of Grand Opéra. The potent mix of sex and sanctity that runs through so many works from Robert Le Diable, through Faust to Thais is central to the plot, and in translation the polarities of La Reine d'Amour and Le Rédempteur had the whiff of incense and excess.

    The Mis en Scène by Jean-Louis Grinda did not allow for grand scenic effect on the fairly small stage but imaginatively used projections and video on a front scrim and all enveloping cyclorama, reflected on a raked semi secular acting area. Most effective was the opening Bacchanale staged as an opium fuelled trip with Tannhäuser lolling on a pile of cushions amidst psychedelic video in eye dazzling acid colours.

    Disappointingly there was little in the way of ballet, which would surely have outraged the Jokey Club, just four Venus clones in slit skirts striking attitudes. The transformation to the Thuringian landscape was well handled by a switch to a verdant Maytime woodland. Again in Act 2 projections made the stage appear to be a Neuschwanstein interior. Costumes were 19 C and there was an impressive array of millinery for the noble ladies. The last Act took place a winter snow scene. The narrative was clearly delineated in a classic manner though with some insights. Wolfram gave Elisabeth his hunting knife to slit her wrists.Rather than being appalled by Tannhäuser 's desire to return to the Venusberg he sees what he has been missing and he is quite happy to be led away by Venus. The Papal staff is borne in by the pilgrims, but Tannhäuser is facing the Minnesingers with their hunting guns as the opera ends.

    Conducted by a noted singer Nathalie Stutzman great care was given to diction, and the forward placing of the voices and crisp enunciation were a long way from guttural German barking. Exemplary was Jean-François Lapointe as Wolfram delivering a rapt 'Douce étoile, feu du soir'. Aude Extrémo as opulent glamorous Venus makes one want to hear her as Dalila or Eboli though she needs to take not to push her voice and lose pitch. Annemarie Kramer was a keen voiced Elisabeth easily riding the great Act 2 finale. In the title part José Cura maintained resilient voice throughout despite the vocal demands rising to the Rome Narration, without any of the musical distortions of which he can be guilty.

    The opera was cast in depth, with full orchestra and chorus of 55 in a 550 seat house the great ensembles made an overwhelming effect, well paced and balanced under Stutzman's baton.

    Given the French Wagner tradition, one thinks of Thill and Germaine Lubin, and now that Alagna is planning Lohengrin I hope there will be more opportunities to hear more performances in French. For now much praise to Monte Carlo for presenting so cogently this original Paris version."

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  10. #1882
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    His review:

    "As a Pèlerin visiting the opera houses, large and small, it has been an ambition since seeing Pressburger and Powell's film The Red Shoes as a child to attend a performance at the fabled Monte Carlo Opéra. When a production of Tannhäuser in its 1861 Paris version en français was announced this was unmissable.

    The film, whose ballet sequences with Moira Shearer and Massine are staged in the Salle Garnier, tells the story of a dancer who abandons love in her obsessive dedication to her art. Obsession and the duality of sacred and profane are central to Tannhäuser and entering this opulent opera house where the foyer leads you through one door to the Casino and through another to auditorium certainly emphasises the struggle between the worldly and spiritual.

    Tannhäuser, sung by José Cura, barefoot in the loose fitting linen and a flowing shirt of a 19C poète maudit would probably not have gained entrance due to the strict dress code, tenue correcte exigée.

    The opulent Garnier theatre with its Bel Epoque decor felt like a character in the narrative, and when Elisabeth addressed the 'Cher Édifice' of the Hall of Song at the start of Act 2 the lights were raised in the auditorium.

    Reverting to the original Paris meant of course that it was sung in French as were all operas at the then Imperial Opera, and this of course placed the work firmly in the tradition of Grand Opéra. The potent mix of sex and sanctity that runs through so many works from Robert Le Diable, through Faust to Thais is central to the plot, and in translation the polarities of La Reine d'Amour and Le Rédempteur had the whiff of incense and excess.

    The Mis en Scène by Jean-Louis Grinda did not allow for grand scenic effect on the fairly small stage but imaginatively used projections and video on a front scrim and all enveloping cyclorama, reflected on a raked semi secular acting area. Most effective was the opening Bacchanale staged as an opium fuelled trip with Tannhäuser lolling on a pile of cushions amidst psychedelic video in eye dazzling acid colours.

    Disappointingly there was little in the way of ballet, which would surely have outraged the Jokey Club, just four Venus clones in slit skirts striking attitudes. The transformation to the Thuringian landscape was well handled by a switch to a verdant Maytime woodland. Again in Act 2 projections made the stage appear to be a Neuschwanstein interior. Costumes were 19 C and there was an impressive array of millinery for the noble ladies. The last Act took place a winter snow scene. The narrative was clearly delineated in a classic manner though with some insights. Wolfram gave Elisabeth his hunting knife to slit her wrists.Rather than being appalled by Tannhäuser 's desire to return to the Venusberg he sees what he has been missing and he is quite happy to be led away by Venus. The Papal staff is borne in by the pilgrims, but Tannhäuser is facing the Minnesingers with their hunting guns as the opera ends.

    Conducted by a noted singer Nathalie Stutzman great care was given to diction, and the forward placing of the voices and crisp enunciation were a long way from guttural German barking. Exemplary was Jean-François Lapointe as Wolfram delivering a rapt 'Douce étoile, feu du soir'. Aude Extrémo as opulent glamorous Venus makes one want to hear her as Dalila or Eboli though she needs to take not to push her voice and lose pitch. Annemarie Kramer was a keen voiced Elisabeth easily riding the great Act 2 finale. In the title part José Cura maintained resilient voice throughout despite the vocal demands rising to the Rome Narration, without any of the musical distortions of which he can be guilty.

    The opera was cast in depth, with full orchestra and chorus of 55 in a 550 seat house the great ensembles made an overwhelming effect, well paced and balanced under Stutzman's baton.

    Given the French Wagner tradition, one thinks of Thill and Germaine Lubin, and now that Alagna is planning Lohengrin I hope there will be more opportunities to hear more performances in French. For now much praise to Monte Carlo for presenting so cogently this original Paris version."

    guttural German barking?

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  12. #1883
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    I went and saw I Puritani twice: 02/14 (I bought myself a last minute ticket to see Pretty Yende cover for Damrau) and 02/28.

    Elvira: Pretty Yende, Diana Damrau
    Arturo: Javier Camarena
    Riccardo: Alexey Markov
    Giorgio: Luca Pisaroni
    Conductor: Maurizio Benini

    • In the first performance, I thought Markov was lovely of tone but boring of coloratura; in the second, I found him not particularly lovely of tone but not particularly boring of coloratura either. Who is the real Alexey Markov? Some youtubing required.
    • Suoni la tromba sounded like it was a struggle, both times. I like Pisaroni, but I'm a bit dubious about his singing this role in this house. In the first performance, Markov had what sounded like a ton of stuff in his throat and Pisaroni basically sang it alone. I don't think I would have minded if he had just stopped singing and coughed into a kleenex for a bit before continuing, I don't know?
    • Camarena was in better voice for the second performance and sang a lot more of the higher-than-C notes. Arturo really suits him in a way that Lindoro doesn't, it was fabulous! I'd be really excited for him to sing something from this for the Anniversary Gala!
    • Yende's only sung Elvira once before this, in Zurich, and I was curious how audible she was going to be. Very audible (though she did come down to the front of the stage for the mad scene), lovely of tone, she was great! She did a high F-something at the end of Act 1, and the people behind me just completely lost their minds.
    • Unlike people of taste and discernment, I don't like Diana Damrau much. Occasionally, she did some really lovely mezza voce, but in general, there was a little too much verismo-style yelping and gasping, for this rep, for my taste.
    • The lady sitting next to me was so excited about tracking down a copy of the Simon Rattle-Peter Sellars St Matthew Passion that now I want to buy it too. Unfortunately, it's $40

  13. #1884
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    Saw the Willy Decker red dress Traviata revival twice: February 24th with friends who had not previously been to the opera, and March 1

    Conductor: Nicola Luisiotti
    Violetta: Sonya Yoncheva
    Alfredo: Michael Fabiano
    Papa Germont: Thomas Hampson, Nelson Martinez
    Dr Grenvil: James Courtney
    Flora: Rebecca Jo Loeb
    Annina: Jane Bunnell


    * I thought Yoncheva was fantastic, except with some bits of coloratura. In this role, the best part of her voice isn’t the high notes, it’s that lovely tone of the middle. I’m trying to hustle some new-to-opera friends back so they can see her Violetto, it was so good. Though! In the two sets of increasingly-higher bits of coloratura at the end of Sempre Libera, the conductor slowed down appreciably, but in both of my performances, Yoncheva consistently came in late. There was also some tempo strangeness in Parigi, o cara. Luisiotti was quite fast for Alfredo’s parts, slowed down considerably for Violetta, sped up for Alfredo, slowed down, etc. At the very end when both are singing, Fabiano followed the conductor, Yoncheva sang at “her” tempo, and everything went a bit sideways for a moment.

    * I hadn’t seen Michael Fabiano live before this, and it was an nice sound - kind of dark, but still with quite a lot of squillo. His Italian sounds very good, better than hers, though it sounds like he pushes not only when necessary to hit the high notes, but also during lower-lying moments of dramatic tension. Had some trouble with an A or two during the second performance, but overall, he was very good, I liked him. Dramatically, Fabiano makes a convincingly creepy Alfredo. To be fair, the production does have Alfredo off standing awkwardly by himself in the corner quite a lot, but he was quite frenzied In the second act, when throwing money up her dress and shoving it in her mouth. That bit goes so far beyond a tentative “Do you mind if I touch you here?” you could ask of a stranger during rehearsals.

    * Thomas Hampson was dramatically convincing, especially after hitting Alfredo, but sang Di Provenza quite quickly (and not as well as in the 2005 Salzburg DVD), and didn’t really manage Papa Germont’s legato when meeting Violetta. He did do a great “Piangi, piangi, o misera” and sounded really excellent for maybe 40 seconds in the last act.

    * Nelson Martinez was a last minute cover for Hampson for the second performance. He’s got the traditional Verdi baritone sound, is clearly audible from my cheap seats in the back, and had really great breath control. He did a good Di Provenza, and all in all, sounds like the real deal. Hampson’s Papa Germont was better acted.

    * Did not realize until getting home after the second performance that Dwayne Croft was the Baron haha. I guess he doesn’t have much to do other than to point dramatically at Alfredo in the first act and gamble threateningly in the second?

    * I was crossing 65th on my way to the Met for the first performance, when I locked eyes with someone coming the other way, it was Edward Gardner.

    * Friends I went with loved it, and I’m going to try and get them to Don Giovanni next month, Idomeneo seemed like it would be a bridge too far.

  14. #1885
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dichteurehalle View Post
    Saw the Willy Decker red dress Traviata revival twice
    I'm loving your reports! I was already looking forward to listening to the radio broadcast Saturday for Yoncheva & Fabiano, and now I have some things to listen out for. I'm still learning what to listen for in singing performances, so this has been invaluable.

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  16. #1886
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    I very much agree about Fabiano, I quite like him despite his shortcomings. When you get tickets to see him you're not paying for the voice, you're paying for THE MADNESS.

  17. #1887
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    I'm loving your reports! I was already looking forward to listening to the radio broadcast Saturday for Yoncheva & Fabiano, and now I have some things to listen out for. I'm still learning what to listen for in singing performances, so this has been invaluable.
    That's very kind, thank you! I was supposed to be seeing Romeo et Juliette with Stephen Costello and Pretty Yende tonight but I (prize idiot that I am) accidentally double-booked and am at Carnegie right now, about to watch what can only be described as Balkan carnival music? (Goran Bregovic?) Hahahaha

    Gave the R+J ticket to a coworker (who has previously only seen the English language holiday Fledermaus), and I'm a bit nervous about what he'll think.

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  19. #1888
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    I very much agree about Fabiano, I quite like him despite his shortcomings. When you get tickets to see him you're not paying for the voice, you're paying for THE MADNESS.
    His performance as Lensky in the Onegin i saw at the ROH was an immensely memorable thing from a near perfect performance musically of the opera (though hampered by a laughable staging). His acting and singing can be superb in the right role and he is definitely making a good name for himself at this point!
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  20. #1889
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dichteurehalle View Post

    * I thought Yoncheva was fantastic...
    She is also wonderful in this:
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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  22. #1890
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    She is also wonderful in this:
    And in this:

    Natalie

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