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  1. #1
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Opera Small Talk

    This thread is for whatever little snippet people want to discuss; curious facts, pet peeves, little rants, funny events, humor, etc.

    I've heard a couple of times that our site is too high brow and intimidating. It shouldn't be so. For one thing, we *never* belittle any member for the occasional less informed opinion (oh well, I should rather say *almost never* but if it ever happens - since people here, like everywhere else in life, are fallible human beings who are entitled to having bad days and being snappy from time to time - our moderation team is ready to redirect things to more positive behavior).

    In addition to this, our expert members are more than happy to provide gentle guidance to beginners - we're friendly folks here. Better proof, out of our almost 5,000 posts, our moderation team had to intervene so far, I don't know, some 3 times! That's less than 1 harsher post in 1,000!!! This is proof of our members' high standards of behavior, which is not what we see in many other Internet venues. I think our moderation team in all my decades of Internet activities is probably the one I've seen with the least to do... since it is so rare to run into bad behavior here at Opera Lively!

    Even the members with the most expertise were beginners at some point in time, and there is no shame in it, much the opposite. While we do have some members who are opera scholars and musicians, most of us are just regular opera lovers, and there is plenty of storage space in our server so that the high brow and the lighter content can perfectly co-exist.

    So, you have some chit-chat about opera that you'd want to share, but you weren't doing it because you thought Opera Lively was too serious?

    Nope. We want to be... lively. So bring it on! I'll start. True story, I swear.

    ---------

    I was in a party yesterday. Some people I was meeting for the first time asked me what I do for a living. I replied with a description of my "day job" but added - you know, I have a sort of second career although it's not for profit; I've been getting into opera journalism.

    People then were curious to know more and I told them about Opera Lively and some of the journalistic content we've been publishing. They asked if we had interviewed any famous people.

    I said, "as a matter of fact, yes, our various staff members have had access to some rather big names in opera and we've published interviews with them; some short, some long."

    Who? - they asked.

    I said - Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Florez, Anna Netrebko, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Sir Thomas Allen, Iain Paterson...

    Blank looks. Short silence. A guy says - oh, these I don't know. You haven't interviewed the most famous one of them all.

    Me - And that would be?

    Guy - Andrea Bocelli.

    Me, shocked (I should have seen it coming - but since this was a gathering of rather educated professionals, I was hoping for something like Renee Fleming or Placido Domingo or at least Pavarotti if the guy didn't know that he's dead) - Erm... that one isn't an opera singer. He sings opera arias on microphone, and not very well.

    Guy - Get out of here! He's the best!!!

    Me - Why so?

    Guy - Because I paid 400 bucks to see one of his shows. He's gotta be the best if he can command this kind of ticket price.

    Me - You know, the best seats at the Metropolitan Opera House to see some of the people I've named cost $1,000 and up...

    Guy - Really? What a rip-off! Why would someone pay $1,000 to see some unknown person if they can pay $400 to see the best one, Bocelli?

    Me - Erm... because the ones I mentioned are better singers, and the real thing, able to sing a 3-hour opera on stage without amplification?

    More blank looks. I realize that I am on the edge of being considered a weirdo and a snob. So I add:

    OK, whatever, people like what they like, that's fine. By the way, who do you all think will win the Super Bowl, the Giants or the Patriots?

    The group relaxes, and jumps happily on predictions that Tom Brady will lose to Eli Manning again, or else the Pats will succeed and have their revenge with this rematch after the upset a few years back...

    Meanwhile, I think to myself - "I just hope they won't get Mr. Bocelli to sing the Star Spangled Banner before the big game..."
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); January 25th, 2012 at 06:31 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #2
    Banned Top Contributor Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I was in a party yesterday. Some people I was meeting for the first time asked me what I do for a living. I replied with a description of my "day job" but added - you know, I have a sort of second career although it's not for profit; I've been getting into opera journalism.

    People then were curious to know more and I told them about Opera Lively and some of the journalistic content we've been publishing. They asked if we had interviewed any famous people.

    I said, "as a matter of fact, yes, our various staff members have had access to some rather big names in opera and we've published interviews with them; some short, some long."

    Who? - they asked.

    I said - Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Florez, Anna Netrebko, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Sir Thomas Allen, Iain Paterson...

    Blank looks. Short silence. A guy says - oh, these I don't know. You haven't interviewed the most famous one of them all.

    Me - And that would be?

    Guy - Andrea Bocelli.

    Me, shocked (I should have seen it coming - but since this was a gathering of rather educated professionals, I was hoping for something like Renee Fleming or Placido Domingo or at least Pavarotti if the guy didn't know that he's dead) - Erm... that one isn't an opera singer. He sings opera arias on microphone, and not very well.

    Guy - Get out of here! He's the best!!!

    Me - Why so?

    Guy - Because I paid 400 bucks to see one of his shows. He's gotta be the best if he can command this kind of ticket price.

    Me - You know, the best seats at the Metropolitan Opera House to see some of the people I've named cost $1,000 and up...

    Guy - Really? What a rip-off! Why would someone pay $1,000 to see some unknown person if they can pay $400 to see the best one, Bocelli?

    Me - Erm... because the ones I mentioned are better singers, and the real thing, able to sing a 3-hour opera on stage without amplification?

    More blank looks. I realize that I am on the edge of being considered a weirdo and a snob. So I add:

    OK, whatever, people like what they like, that's fine. By the way, who do you all think will win the Super Bowl, the Giants or the Patriots?

  3. #3
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Bocelli sings flat.

    aaaargggghhhhhhhhh. Quite so. Bocelli sings like a labrador.

    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); July 21st, 2012 at 04:13 PM.
    Natalie

  4. #4
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    My little story is this:

    Last year when I was coming out of the theatre after Le Nozze di Figaro, I overheard an old lady sounding very puzzled: "Well, that was odd. They never sang that "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro" bit".
    Natalie

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    My little story is this:

    When I was at the performance of La Traviata in Bayreuth Festival in 1984 someone came to my lodge without invitation and said to me HEY, I'VE HEARD THAT YOU'RE SECOND GREATEST PIANIST ON THE WORLD... and I replied I'VE HEARD THE SAME ABOUT YOU... just when the performance was about to end with Enrico Caruso singing "Una voce poco fa".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    My little story is this:

    When I was at the performance of La Traviata in Bayreuth Festival in 1984 someone came to my lodge without invitation and said to me HEY, I'VE HEARD THAT YOU'RE SECOND GREATEST PIANIST ON THE WORLD... and I replied I'VE HEARD THE SAME ABOUT YOU... just when the performance was about to end with Enrico Caruso singing "Una voce poco fa".
    Please don't tell me that Caruso sang in drag.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Involved Member AnaMendoza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    My little story is this:

    Last year when I was coming out of the theatre after Le Nozze di Figaro, I overheard an old lady sounding very puzzled: "Well, that was odd. They never sang that "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro" bit".
    Oh, that's so funny! Now I know my sister isn't unique! I'd posted a couple of days ago in another thread that she told me she'd seen one opera, 'Figaro', and didn't like it--it was silly. And as I , slightly boggled by that reaction, tried to suggest tactfully that Mozart's opera isn't considered totally silly--could she have seen a bad production of it?-- she clarified everything by saying: "You know: 'Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro."

    (And I love the Barber of Seville, by the way, but it is a little easier to understand why someone would think it was silly)

  8. #8
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    Watch from 5:32

  9. #9
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    aaaargggghhhhhhhhh. Quite so. Bocelli sings like a labrador.

    You do realize, of course, that the local PETA chapter will be coming after you for insulting labradors!

  10. #10
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    The real relation between Stalin and Shostakovich. I loved this book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-S...akovich+stalin

    Have you read it? Things were much more complex than we could imagine in Dmitri's life. And he was kind of lucky comparing to the other composers neglected by tis dictator. This book is going deeper in this relationship. I strongly recommend it. I also read two perspectives of Mozart's life, his wife and his sister. Of course I also read many books about other composers I like, like R-K, Tchaikovsky, etc


    Martin

  11. #11
    Senior Member Involved Member brianwalker's Avatar
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    From the depth of opera google group message boards...


    "Why do I continually frustrate myself, then, by listening and relistening
    and attending and re-attending these works until I am downright suffocated
    and exasperated by the "darkling" ways of everything (or almost everything)
    I experience? Don't these elements rarely cohere perfectly? Don't they
    cohere *only* when I crack open any one of these scores for myself to the
    point where I can practically transport myself to the Bayreuth Festspielhaus
    and hear and see Frida Leider in the 20s and 30s (whom I'm far too young
    ever to have seen in person) performing opposite Jon Vickers from the 70s in
    the Wieland Wagner mise en scene (the Boulez video of Tristan from the 60s)
    conducted by the Karajan of 1952 in Act I and the Furtwaengler of 1947 in
    Acts II and III -- with a healthy dose of Rooy's imaginary Kurvenal from the
    1890s and 1900s, Ludwig's Brangaene and Robeson's imaginary Marke (N.B.: a
    noted Shak[e]spearean actor of the 1940s as well as a distinguished bass)
    thrown in?"

    I think this paragraph is a perfect condensation of the extreme record collector sentiment, of which I partake a(n) (in)healthy amount.

    Sometimes I wish I could just smell the roses of today and find perfection in the imperfect, but then I remember that it was the demanding, pessimistic. there-must-be-something-better attitude which lead me to opera in the first place, and the persistence of that spirit that led me to my greatest "finds," as it were.

  12. #12
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianwalker View Post
    From the depth of opera google group message boards...


    "Why do I continually frustrate myself, then, by listening and relistening
    and attending and re-attending these works until I am downright suffocated
    and exasperated by the "darkling" ways of everything (or almost everything)
    I experience? Don't these elements rarely cohere perfectly? Don't they
    cohere *only* when I crack open any one of these scores for myself to the
    point where I can practically transport myself to the Bayreuth Festspielhaus
    and hear and see Frida Leider in the 20s and 30s (whom I'm far too young
    ever to have seen in person) performing opposite Jon Vickers from the 70s in
    the Wieland Wagner mise en scene (the Boulez video of Tristan from the 60s)
    conducted by the Karajan of 1952 in Act I and the Furtwaengler of 1947 in
    Acts II and III -- with a healthy dose of Rooy's imaginary Kurvenal from the
    1890s and 1900s, Ludwig's Brangaene and Robeson's imaginary Marke (N.B.: a
    noted Shak[e]spearean actor of the 1940s as well as a distinguished bass)
    thrown in?"

    I think this paragraph is a perfect condensation of the extreme record collector sentiment, of which I partake a(n) (in)healthy amount.

    Sometimes I wish I could just smell the roses of today and find perfection in the imperfect, but then I remember that it was the demanding, pessimistic. there-must-be-something-better attitude which lead me to opera in the first place, and the persistence of that spirit that led me to my greatest "finds," as it were.
    There never will be a perfect recording/performance but most artists strive for perfection so we have to be grateful for that.
    "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

  13. #13
    Senior Member Involved Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Hi Guys, Its been a while.

    I am literally just about to buy tickets to the ROH Tosca for myself and 3 others who have never been to an opera. Recommended?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    I am literally just about to buy tickets to the ROH Tosca for myself and 3 others who have never been to an opera. Recommended?
    No, if you buy the tickets for those three it won't change anything, they won't do anything to save you when you're in trouble, they just say HEY EMIEL NICE TIME I LIKED WHEN SHE SCREAMED AND HE DIED COOL SHOW SEE YOU but when your carriage will be ambushed by forest knaves they won't come to your aid or even care, they may even not be present at your funeral, what reason do you have to buy them exprensive ROH tickets, by all means GO ALONE IT'S EASY TO IGNORE THE TRUTH AND GO IN COMPANY BUT YOU SHOULD BE HONEST TO YOURSELF, THROW AWAY THE MASKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Involved Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Well I mean im not paying for everyone...

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