Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #2056
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dichteurehalle View Post
    * At her Act 1 entrance, Radvanovsky sounded like she had a cold, and Casta Diva was quite rough, with significant timing issues (unclear how to apportion the credit for that between diva and conductor) and some strange volume effects (moving instantly between loud and soft in one note). Act 1 Scene 2 was lots better, and Act 2 was better still. Several times there were brief imperfections (like bubbles popping) in the voice when singing pianissimo high notes, I don't remember having previously heard similar things. Quite happy with everything after Casta Diva.
    Pacing and tempo seem to be an issue anywhere Radvanovsky sings Norma. I've read similar observations from other performances and the Liceu DVD drags painfully at times, although I guess Palumbo's conducting and weird rubato has a lot to do with it in that case too.

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  3. #2057
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I saw Sandra Radvanovsky sing Norma at the Met in what I guess was the old production 3 or 4 years ago. She is not one of my favorites at the Met - I think I would prefer to see her sing Verdi - and the best I can say is that her big voice has NO difficulty reaching the far corners of the opera house. Not exactly the beautiful singing promised by bel canto...

    I believe her Adalgisa was Dolores Zajic and, generally, they did a pretty good job. No sublety to speak of, but pretty good. Pollione was sung by Aleksandrs Antonenko - of whom I retain zero memory - and James Morris sang Oroveso, which I recall being shocked that Morris' voice had eroded to such an extent.

    My seat mate for the evening was our old (and disappeared) friend tyroneslothrop, who thought I was being unduly harsh.

    All that said, I am a huge fan of Joyce DiDonato - her Ariodante at the Kennedy Center last spring was awesome, as was her L'mort de Cleopatre - Berlioz - (3rd Act, I believe) with the Berlin Philharmonic this summer. A national treasure.

  4. #2058
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I saw Sandra Radvanovsky sing Norma at the Met in what I guess was the old production 3 or 4 years ago. She is not one of my favorites at the Met - I think I would prefer to see her sing Verdi - and the best I can say is that her big voice has NO difficulty reaching the far corners of the opera house. Not exactly the beautiful singing promised by bel canto...

    I believe her Adalgisa was Dolores Zajic and, generally, they did a pretty good job. No sublety to speak of, but pretty good. Pollione was sung by Aleksandrs Antonenko - of whom I retain zero memory - and James Morris sang Oroveso, which I recall being shocked that Morris' voice had eroded to such an extent.

    My seat mate for the evening was our old (and disappeared) friend tyroneslothrop, who thought I was being unduly harsh.

    All that said, I am a huge fan of Joyce DiDonato - her Ariodante at the Kennedy Center last spring was awesome, as was her L'mort de Cleopatre - Berlioz - (3rd Act, I believe) with the Berlin Philharmonic this summer. A national treasure.
    I heard from a reputable opera person (who is actually a member of the Met's Board) that the alternative cast with Angela Meade as Norma is better.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  6. #2059
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    I heard from a reputable opera person (who is actually a member of the Met's Board) that the alternative cast with Angela Meade as Norma is better.
    Never fear, I've got separate tickets for all 3 configurations of female leads (Marina Rebeka/DiDonato) in my usual Family Circle, rather than deep under the orchestra overhang. I've read a number of reviews, and nobody seemed to really agree on which singers/which arias were the highlights of the performance, so it'll be interesting to see the Radvanovsky/DiDonato cast again.

    Just got home from the Carreras (final world tour) concert at Carnegie. The lobby was a bit of a crush on the way in, and I had expected the applause for Carreras' initial entrance to be effusive, but the crowd didn't get really warmed up until the end of the first half. Carreras sang all art songs, accompanied by Lorenzo Bavaj on the piano, along with a couple duets with mezzo Margarita Gritskova, who sang some art songs as well as the Cenerentola "Non piu mesta" and the Tancredi "di tanti palpiti." She's got a really lovely dark color to the voice, with quite a lot of ping, but also a lot of tremolo; not effortless above the staff and biffed some of the high coloratura in the "Non piu mesta," though other things were quite nice. As for Carreras, I've realized that outside of whatever Three Tenors concerts I may have happened to watch as a child, I've not heard his work, keep managing to choose records other than the one he's on. The voice was worn (as expected, though my friend made the mistake of preparing for this concert by revisiting all of Carreras' greatest records from the 70s and 80s), but what wonderful lines he took. A couple times, he did manage some big sounds/solid high notes and certain exciting moments, I could see how he used to be thrilling. Carreras did 8 or 9 encores, I stopped counting, and the uberfans were losing their minds. A number of people waved at him continuously from the balcony, and a large group of women sitting together in the first row tossed bouquets on the stage.

  7. #2060
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    A brief history of opera etiquette. Well worth a read.

    I especially like "... Don’t run to the box across the auditorium and challenge someone to a duel mid-aria."

    My pet peeves are people talking over the overture - the overture is part of the performance!! people who sing/hum along - I've come to hear Verdi/Mozart etc not you!! and people who don't switch off their phones - the auditorium is usually dark and the glow from your screen is a distraction!!

    Sorry, rant over!

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  9. #2061
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Well, I think air conducting should be accepted practice!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  11. #2062
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Well, I think air conducting should be accepted practice!
    Never!! But if you must I'll forgive you as long as you don't lift your hands above waist height and use only your fingers.

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  13. #2063
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Well, I think air conducting should be accepted practice!
    So long as it is not the guy next to me nearly poking out my eye with his pen (wand) as he wildly gesticulates in false pride of his air conductmanship.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Before performances here, the Opera's artistic director comes onstage to welcome the audience . . . and to remind folks to turn off their cell phones or switch them to vibrate. And no texting during performances, precisely because of the illuminated screen.

  16. #2065
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Before performances here, the Opera's artistic director comes onstage to welcome the audience . . . and to remind folks to turn off their cell phones or switch them to vibrate. And no texting during performances, precisely because of the illuminated screen.
    ROH make a similar announcement over the PA and many people just ignore the bit about phones. Maybe if someone came onstage and made the announcement, it would have more effect.

  17. #2066
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    Never!! But if you must I'll forgive you as long as you don't lift your hands above waist height and use only your fingers.
    That's an interesting conducting technique. It reminds me of Valery Gergiev who conducts with his hands and a toothpick. But darn, he does lift his hands above his waist. How can I conduct if the orchestra can't see my hands? Because, you know, I just air conduct in operas to be helpful...
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); October 4th, 2017 at 12:36 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  19. #2067
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    So long as it is not the guy next to me nearly poking out my eye with his pen (wand) as he wildly gesticulates in false pride of his air conductmanship.
    Well, that's what I do so we can't go to the opera together...
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  20. #2068
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Ad copy for the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Rigoletto opening this week:

    A jester's curse.
    A father's vengeance.
    A daughter's sacrifice.

    What's wrong with this picture?

  21. #2069
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    Ad copy for the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Rigoletto opening this week:

    A jester's curse.
    A father's vengeance.
    A daughter's sacrifice.

    What's wrong with this picture?
    The curse belongs to the Jester as in it is his curse?
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

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  23. #2070
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    That's an interesting conducting technique. It reminds me of Valery Gergiev who conducts with his hands and a toothpick. But darn, he does lift his hands above his waist. How can I conduct if the orchestra can't see my hands? Because, you know, I just air conduct in operas to be helpful...
    Just for the record, Luiz' air conducting is very discreet. Well, excepting maybe the cabalettas...

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