Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #1246
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    For anyone not on the Rhinegold Publishing mailing list

    Early Music Today is available digitally free on a promotional offer (they ask to let friends know)

    http://www.rhinegold.co.uk/emtdigital/default.asp#tabs

    access code

    EMTCM14

    This month issue has an interview with William Christie and an obituary to Christopher Hogwood
    Thanks
    "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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  3. #1247
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Two very different reviews of a new production of Un ballo in maschera. You wouldn't think these two reviewers had seen the same opera and on the same night.

    Review 1

    Review 2
    "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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  5. #1248
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    D'yeknow I think Rupert Christiansen urgently needs to get a new job. His default is "dislike/whinge". I'm not even sure if he even likes the opera genre. These days I never take any notice of what he has to say, 'cause my default is more of a cheery Claytonesque "praise/love", and I don't want him to spoil my happy mood.
    Natalie

  6. #1249
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    D'yeknow I think Rupert Christiansen urgently needs to get a new job. His default is "dislike/whinge". I'm not even sure if he even likes the opera genre. These days I never take any notice of what he has to say, 'cause my default is more of a cheery Claytonesque "praise/love", and I don't want him to spoil my happy mood.
    I wonder if critics are scared of appearing unsophisticated if they write a positive review.

    Love your cheery Claytonesque "praise/love" default! Mine also.
    "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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  8. #1250
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Two very different reviews of a new production of Un ballo in maschera. You wouldn't think these two reviewers had seen the same opera and on the same night.

    Review 1

    Review 2
    Interesting that Christiansen focused on what he didn't like. He couldn't really come up with much in the way of criticizing the singing, and was reduced to hating the acting. Well. If every opera and singer were to be graded only on their acting, it would be a sorry world. I think that George Bernard Shaw is a tough act to follow in the world of music criticism, but critics everywhere never give up trying. Mr. Christiansen's "stench of mediocrity" stab seems more than a little over the top.

    I love live performance, but would be the first to admit that most performances don't typically hit that level of the ethereal that is the ideal of live performance (whatever genre it might be) all that frequently. Perfection, as they say, doesn't exist.

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Interesting and very well-done article by Anne Midgette in the "The Washington Post", who talked with Meryl Streep about how she handled her singing role in the movie version of Sondheim's Into the Woods.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...y.html?hpid=z1

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  12. #1252
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Not me. I think I am the only woman on the planet who doesn't appreciate JK's "cough cough" talents.

    Now this guy on the other hand ... Who is this woman? Why isn't she me?

    *fans self*


    I recently had a dream that Kaufmann, Del Monaco & Alagna were chasing me around the opera house which was highly unusual...then I realized it was because Corelli, Bjorling & Calleja had the night off.......

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  14. #1253
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenchi67622 View Post
    I recently had a dream that Kaufmann, Del Monaco & Alagna were chasing me around the opera house which was highly unusual...then I realized it was because Corelli, Bjorling & Calleja had the night off.......
    Your dreams sound a lot more interesting than mine. Mine usually involve the IRS chasing me around.

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  16. #1254
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Your dreams sound a lot more interesting than mine. Mine usually involve the IRS chasing me around.
    Me too. But at least in mine, they're singing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenchi67622 View Post
    I recently had a dream that Kaufmann, Del Monaco & Alagna were chasing me around the opera house which was highly unusual...then I realized it was because Corelli, Bjorling & Calleja had the night off.......
    I suspect that Alma's dreams of pursuit are a bit different; I know mine are ...

  18. #1256
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    If I had such a dream, I suspect I'd be chasing Kaufmann around the opera house . . .

  19. #1257
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    Someone over on an Amazon opera related thread posted a link to an interview with Joyce DiDonato. So in a moment of idleness, I went to You Tube and searched "Joyce DiDonato Interviews". There are many, but one raised an interesting point that might warrant some thought. She was interviewing teen agers at the Lyric, asking them why they attended opera.

    One said that it fed her soul. Another felt that it cleansed the soul. Others agreed.

    Not meaning to start a discussion on metaphysical stuff, but the reactions of these and several other young people were interesting. They were passionate in their reaction(s) to opera.

    My own experiences suggest that folks who don't like opera, in the main, have little or no experienced with a well performed productions. Those who enjoy opera seem to like it a lot.

    And then there are the addicts ...

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  21. #1258
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    Someone over on an Amazon opera related thread posted a link to an interview with Joyce DiDonato. So in a moment of idleness, I went to You Tube and searched "Joyce DiDonato Interviews". There are many, but one raised an interesting point that might warrant some thought. She was interviewing teen agers at the Lyric, asking them why they attended opera.

    One said that it fed her soul. Another felt that it cleansed the soul. Others agreed.

    Not meaning to start a discussion on metaphysical stuff, but the reactions of these and several other young people were interesting. They were passionate in their reaction(s) to opera.

    My own experiences suggest that folks who don't like opera, in the main, have little or no experienced with a well performed productions. Those who enjoy opera seem to like it a lot.

    And then there are the addicts ...
    My experience with this: I teach students at Duke University (and visiting students from Drexel University). I expose 100% of them to Opera, in the idle moments in-between the medical instruction. 90% of them get really impressed. It does touch the vast majority of them. Well, only a fraction become opera lovers right then and there. I had estimated it at 6%. I think now that it is a bit more than that, like 10 to 15%, since I've had many students who bought tickets and attended opera, bought DVDs, etc. I'm sure the other 75% (to complete the 90%; a good 10% really don't get touched by it) at least get a favorable view of it and drop the prejudices (they won't be thinking anymore that opera is a "stuffy art form for the old with large ladies with horns singing weird high notes and breaking glasses; no interest for my generation"). Sure, there is the aspect that they want to please the faculty, but after 36 years dealing professionally with human beings, I can tell. I can separate the ones who are genuinely interested from the ones who want to please me.

    So, I think that exposed to good opera, 10 to 15% of young adults become opera lovers, 75 to 80% at least acquire respect for the art form (and maybe a percentage of them will become opera lovers later in life) and only 10% are completely indifferent to it.

    So, these numbers look encouraging. However the problem is that the *vast majority* of young adults are NOT exposed to opera. Among my students, it's really a tiny minority that arrive already with some knowledge of the art form. Maybe 1 or 2% at best.

    Almost all students don't have a clue. I start by asking them - have you heard of the art form opera? Practically 100% have. But then I ask, "what are your impressions of it?" Then, 98 to 99% say "no interest; stuff for fat ladies and old people." I ask them, "do you know any opera?" Almost all of them either say no, or quote "The Phantom of the Opera."

    I then need to explain that "The Phantom of the Opera" is not an opera.

    Next, I show to them the Brindisi from La Traviata, performed by Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. Jaws drop. The male students can't believe that opera singers are that pretty and sexy. Female students are not crazy about Villazón but then I show them Jonas Kaufmann singing "E lucevan le stelle."

    Boom. Both genders are hooked.

    I expose them to more clips, tell them about the art form, etc., etc., and like I said, a good 10 to 15% start consuming opera, while the others at least acquire new respect for it.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  23. #1259
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    "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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  25. #1260
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    does your face hurt?

    so funny

    10 minutes later and I'm still laughing

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