Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #916
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    OK, let's do it. What city will we pick? Is there an opera company in Cape Cod? That might work.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    Cape Cod Opera Co.! Why didn't I think of that?

    Does one really have to start with Hansel und Gretel, though?

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    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
    Cape Cod Opera Co.! Why didn't I think of that?

    Does one really have to start with Hansel und Gretel, though?
    Well, the ideal one to open the season is Moby Dick. We'll get our pal Jay Hunter Morris to sing Ahab.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Cape Cod Opera Co.! Why didn't I think of that?

    Does one really have to start with Hansel und Gretel, though?
    Well, there is always Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen

    I know what you mean though. When I said though that Hänsel und Gretel was overplayed at the "other place", I practically got my head bitten off by people who I suppose could see it a few hundred more times
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Guys, you are not getting this. There is whale fishing in Cape Cod.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  10. #921
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Guys, you are not getting this. There is whale fishing in Cape Cod.
    um...haha
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Guys, you are not getting this. There is whale fishing in Cape Cod.
    I got it!

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    The question is, whether or not it is artistically legitimate to re-score or re-orchestrate the music of an opera and attach on the original composer/creator and original title, whether that be a classical opera, jazz opera, or rock opera... or not? Personally, I say not.
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    The question is, whether or not it is artistically legitimate to re-score or re-orchestrate the music of an opera and attach on the original composer/creator and original title, whether that be a classical opera, jazz opera, or rock opera... or not? Personally, I say not.
    I agree. I consider such actions unethical, or at the very least a misrepresentation.

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    The question is, whether or not it is artistically legitimate to re-score or re-orchestrate the music of an opera and attach on the original composer/creator and original title, whether that be a classical opera, jazz opera, or rock opera... or not? Personally, I say not.
    Well, now, I believe Rimsky-Korsakov re-orchestrated Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov because of perceived 'weaknesses' in the score. Although Mussorgsky's original orchestration now is appreciated, the re-orchestrated version was that most frequently performed. No one saw anything wrong with that other than wondering what happened to - what was wrong with - Mussorgsky's original orchestration.

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Well, now, I believe Rimsky-Korsakov re-orchestrated Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov because of perceived 'weaknesses' in the score. Although Mussorgsky's original orchestration now is appreciated, the re-orchestrated version was that most frequently performed. No one saw anything wrong with that other than wondering what happened to - what was wrong with - Mussorgsky's original orchestration.
    Rimsky-Korsakov was a professor of harmony at the conservatory and an expert in orchestration. I think he might have found defects in any work not his own, especially of such a composer as Mussorgsky who was not formally trained in music but tutored in it by other practitioners.
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
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    Member Recent member deNoget's Avatar
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    Reorchestrating is done more often than one might think. From what I understand, Schumann symphonies are regularly performed with the orchestration thinned out, and no one ever mentions it. If you have read Gossett's book on Italian opera, famous operas by Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti have thickened orchestrations (not to mention key changes, aria swapouts, and unstylistic cuts) done during the end of the 19th century. All of these changings are a part of all the Golden age recordings of these operas. Current editorial practice is trying to get back to original scores and orchestrations, but opera companies are not inclined to pay for new scores and parts. More crazy is the practice is the addition of ridiculous aria-ending high notes that have nothing to with Rossini etc. And when listening to recordings, these high notes are an integral part of why people enjoy them.

  19. #928
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deNoget View Post
    Reorchestrating is done more often than one might think. From what I understand, Schumann symphonies are regularly performed with the orchestration thinned out, and no one ever mentions it. If you have read Gossett's book on Italian opera, famous operas by Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti have thickened orchestrations (not to mention key changes, aria swapouts, and unstylistic cuts) done during the end of the 19th century. All of these changings are a part of all the Golden age recordings of these operas. Current editorial practice is trying to get back to original scores and orchestrations, but opera companies are not inclined to pay for new scores and parts. More crazy is the practice is the addition of ridiculous aria-ending high notes that have nothing to with Rossini etc. And when listening to recordings, these high notes are an integral part of why people enjoy them.
    Yes, Gossett's book is very good. It really explains the ideas behind constructing these critical editions of Italian operas.

    But where does re-orchestration stop and wholesale changes and the creation of a new work begin? In the opera which the article is about, the (jazz) opera is re-orchestrated by 22-23 people so that it incorporates all manner of "modern" sounds/instruments. At some point, that you've used the same/similar score ceases to keep a work fundamentally the same.
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

  20. #929
    Member Recent member deNoget's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree that they have changed a lot of things about Four Saints in Three Acts to make a completely different work than the Virgil Thomson opera. But I notice the article makes no mention of Thomson at all. Do they use any of his music, or is it just the libretto? They only speak of Gertrude Stein and they change the work's name to "Gertrude Stein SAINTS!" I think of this more like composers in the 18th century using the same librettos by Metastasio over and over again to make different operas. Is this collaboratively composed piece an opera? I don't really know, but her words are not in the public domain, so they had to get permission to use her words.

    I find this less problematic than the changes to Porgy and Bess done on Broadway recently, where they changed the story and many other things, but still called it "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess." This was not being truthful about the nature of what they where performing.

    This all brings up a related topic. In the theater world (including musical theater), to make large changes to plays when they are performed: cuts, reorderings, rewritings. They even do this to Shakespeare. Although opera companies sometimes make similar changes, mostly with staging, they are more interested in sticking with the creator's original documents (intent?). This SAINTS! is made by a college drama department, not the music department.

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  22. #930
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deNoget View Post
    This all brings up a related topic. In the theater world (including musical theater), to make large changes to plays when they are performed: cuts, reorderings, rewritings. They even do this to Shakespeare. Although opera companies sometimes make similar changes, mostly with staging, they are more interested in sticking with the creator's original documents (intent?). This SAINTS! is made by a college drama department, not the music department.
    Yes, Amfortas mentioned this topic in the news thread in response to Castorf's comment about being stopped by the director from changing any part of the score. As some others have mentioned, I'd perfectly be ok, and might even attend and see such works, if they would just call it Castorf's Ring Cycle based after Wagner, or some such. (Well, I'd probably see it anyways )

    BTW, on the topic of Gossett, I don't know if you noticed, but OL has an exclusive interview with Gossett: [clicky]
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

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