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Thread: So new, I don't even know the endings

          
   
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  1. #1
    Junior Member Recent member Superfly's Avatar
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    So new, I don't even know the endings

    Hiya folks

    An avid music lover here dipping his toe into the world of opera.

    So, a bit about me. For the last 3 years I've been with a London based musical theatre company and in 2011 I saw my first opera with them (Elixir of Love at the ENO). I enjoyed it very much - but I would have to admit that it didn't totally hook me. Last month however, I sang in the chorus with another company that put on an annual community opera (Verdi's Macbeth with Quentin Hayes, Miriam Murphy, Matthew Rose and Charne Rochford as the leads). Aside from it being a huge privilege to be performing with such talent, it has also most definitely lit the opera fuse inside me.

    The 'dipping his toe' part is a bit misleading. Being an all or nothing kinda fella, I intend to spend every spare penny I have on opera DVD's!!!

    I was wondering if anybody here might like to offer me any purchasing advice? I realise that everything depends on preference but I'm wary of buying a sub standard version and being put off an opera because of it. I've listed below the ones I have bought (all in the past week! And loved them all) and the ones, limiting myself to 5 a month, likely to be in Septembers batch. If you think I should be looking for a particular version, or if you think my list is missing an absolute classic, then I would very much appreciate your advice.

    Re the title - I'm such a noob that I didn't even know how Traviata or Butterfly ends although, when Violetta coughs about 5 mins in, I had a pretty good idea!

    Thanks

    Already got
    Der Zauberflote (2003 Diana Damrau, Simon Keenlyside)
    La Traviata (2011 Renee Fleming, Joseph Calleja)
    Madame Butterfly (1974 film, Mirella Freni, Placido Domingo)
    Don Giovanni (1978 film, Ruggero Raimondi, Kiri Te Kanawa)
    La Boheme (2008 Zeffirelli, Angela Gheorghiu, Ramon Vargas)

    Likely next batch
    Tosca
    Rigoletto
    Carmen
    Tristan and Isolde
    The Marriage of Figaro

  2. #2
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Hello superfly and a warm welcome. There is nothing I like better than dragging others to opera DVD overload + financial ruin, so here goes!

    Great all round production, fantastic singers.



    You seem happy with films and this is a wonderful one:


    First Tristan I ever saw and it's never been bettered in my eyes/ears:



    Rigoletto is problematic. I'm not sure I can recommend anything whole-heartedly.

    This is a cute Nozze. There are others that are good too. Just DON"T BUY THE M22 ONE FROM SALZBURG!

    Natalie

  3. #3
    Junior Member Recent member Superfly's Avatar
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    That's perfect - many thanks Soave I'll dive headfirst into your recommendations - I'll let ya know how I get on

    I'm eyeing up this Rigolotto (I'm winging it with the image posting - if it doesn't work, it's the Metropolitan one directed by Michael Mayer) Mainly because I was blown away by Diana Damrau. If there's a better one then please shout

    Thank you again
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rigoletto.jpg  

  4. #4
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, Superfly (and what a great soundtrack album!)

    I second Natalie on her Tosca and Figaro selections.

    My recommended Carmen:



    My preferred Tristan:



    The Rigoletto you've purchased has its merits, though if only because of the extreme liberties with the "translation," I wouldn't make it my only version.

  5. #5
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Welcome to Opera Lively Superfly. I'm going to make a recommendation to any new person who obviously teetering on the brink of a full-blown addiction (writing in a forum obviously surrounded by fellow addicts ). Try a 1-month subscription to the Met's Opera on Demand. [clicky] While you can find many opera performances on Youtube, only some are in HD and therefore suitable for watching on a large-screen television. The Met has many HD performances now available on Opera on Demand, and I've figured out how to watch this on a television (had to connect the TV to my computer) and this works great.

    I mention this because for less than the cost per month of an opera DVD, you can experience before you buy, many performances, including the particular Rigoletto you mentioned above.
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

  6. #6
    Junior Member Recent member Superfly's Avatar
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    Amfortas - I'm Superfly on a few various forums. My love for opera is new and exciting but me & Curtis go waaaaaaay back

    I've not purchased that Rigoletto yet, I was only toying with it as I saw Miss Damrau's involvement. But I didn't realise it was an adaption - I think for my first viewing I should go the traditional route. I'll look for another on that I think.

    Thanks for the great link tyroneslothrop I'll deffo be checking that out. I am a bit of a collector so I'll probably end up buying any I like but that will help narrow down the search.

    That's two Carmens & two Tristans to pick. I have a friend that was a professional opera singer in Australia - I'll ask her to choose for me! I was very tempted with the Ring Cycle - but she's advised me to work up to that one

    Many thanks again all - much appreciated

  7. #7
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Yay! A fellow Brit has joined! We're rather thin on the ground so Superfly you are very welcome!! That would have been the Blackheath Halls Macbeth? I didn't see it but by all accounts it was brilliant. Have had the privilege of seeing both Matthew Rose and Charne Rochford live so it was bound to be good.

    Not on your list but I have form for occasionally mentioning my favourite opera & I wouldn't want to disappoint my friends on here. I refer of the course to Verdi's masterpiece Simon Boccanegra

    And I can recommend this one



    And while you're in the mood for Verdi, this Macbeth is the best. And I know because I saw it, more than once, and got a smidgen obsessed with it



    Happy watching!
    "You may do it extempore,
    for it is nothing but roaring."

    Peter Quince

  8. #8
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Amfortas - I'm Superfly on a few various forums. My love for opera is new and exciting but me & Curtis go waaaaaaay back

    I've not purchased that Rigoletto yet, I was only toying with it as I saw Miss Damrau's involvement. But I didn't realise it was an adaption - I think for my first viewing I should go the traditional route. I'll look for another on that I think.
    This is my pick for a traditional Rigoletto. Domingo and Cotrubas are two of my favourite singers, and it's a straightforward production. I'm pretty sure it's on Met Player and it's certainly complete on YouTube.



    Thanks for the great link tyroneslothrop I'll deffo be checking that out. I am a bit of a collector so I'll probably end up buying any I like but that will help narrow down the search.
    Yes it's a very good site and a great suggestion. There are two complete Rings on this site so you could start there. I'd suggest starting with the older Levine production there which is very naturalistic, and move on after that. Don't forget there are also hundreds of complete operas on YouTube, and you can also see operas on medici TV and Arte live web.

    That's two Carmens & two Tristans to pick. I have a friend that was a professional opera singer in Australia - I'll ask her to choose for me!
    From a singing point of view the Meier/Jerusalem Tristan wins as Jerusalem is a better singer than Gambill, and a wonderful voice. I just think the production is a bit meh, funny costumes and very stylised directing. Meier and Stemme are both outstanding Isoldes. Really you need both. Best to check out excerpts on YT and make up your mind from that!

    For the Carmen you are choosing between a very evocative film which would work as a film in its own right, with a wonderful earthy Carmen, a great voice as Don Jose, the best Escamillo ever in Ruggero Raimondi; and a good stage production with two excellent leads; but a darker take on the plot (which is pretty dark already). Again I couldn't live without both, but it was this Francesco Rosi film of Carmen that led me to take my first steps back into opera after a 15 year hiatus after I moved from London to NZ. I tracked it down on Amazon and paid a fortune for it, and the rest is penurious history.
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; August 15th, 2013 at 01:27 AM.
    Natalie

  9. #9
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Welcome to Opera Lively, Superfly. I see that our friends have made some excellent suggestions already.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  10. #10
    Junior Member Recent member Superfly's Avatar
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    Morning all

    Hi sospiro / Ann. Yes, it was the Blackheath Halls Macbeth It was fantastic! A real honor to be performing with such talent. (On a good day) I'm a mediocre bass singer so I consider myself very fortunate. I was even blown away with the singing from the rest of the chorus - I'll be doing next years without a doubt. Matthew Rose has taken a teaching job at Trinity so we're hoping he may become a SE London opera fixture. He's a really really nice bloke - and he can sing a bit

    Having been mostly consigned to the dressing room, I've still not seen Macbeth! And your suggestion looks a winner from the cover alone so I think I'll likely break my DVD limit next month. Our version was in English too so it'll be great to hear it in Italian. I may have to put Simon Boccanegra on my October list - I don't want to run out of Verdi's too soon!

    Thank you again soave. Amazon have let me down on a region 2 for your suggested Rigoletto but I'll try the calling the opera house later. And I think I will go for the Carmen film. To start with

    Thanks once more to everyone for all their comments, suggestions and welcomes. What a lovely forum

    Superfly / Nick

  11. #11
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    tyroneslothrop's advice to subscribe to Met Player is sound. Another way to 'try before you buy' is YouTube. We have a dedicated thread for complete operas on YouTube.
    "You may do it extempore,
    for it is nothing but roaring."

    Peter Quince

  12. #12
    Junior Member Recent member Superfly's Avatar
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    37 pages of complete operas!

    Oh, well - who needs to sleep anyway


    Thanks sospiro. I'm slowly working my way through the other threads - there's lots of little gems

  13. #13
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Hi sospiro / Ann. Yes, it was the Blackheath Halls Macbeth It was fantastic! A real honor to be performing with such talent. (On a good day) I'm a mediocre bass singer so I consider myself very fortunate. I was even blown away with the singing from the rest of the chorus - I'll be doing next years without a doubt. Matthew Rose has taken a teaching job at Trinity so we're hoping he may become a SE London opera fixture. He's a really really nice bloke - and he can sing a bit
    Superfly / Nick
    Bragging (sorry)



    Die Zauberflöte curtain call. Sophie Bevan (Pamina), Simon Keenlyside (Papageno) and the superb Matthew Rose (Sarastro)
    "You may do it extempore,
    for it is nothing but roaring."

    Peter Quince

  14. #14
    Junior Member Recent member Superfly's Avatar
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    Wow! Thank you for posting that Ann What a great pic! I never realised he'd worked with Simon Keenlyside. I love to try and see him (and the other leads) in any future shows. I'll keep my eyes peeled but if you hear anything then I'd really appreciate a nod. I'm going to try* and join the Blackheath chorus for a couple of concerts that are coming up. I'm really hoping Matthew will be involved - he really has a tremendous voice. And I have a soft spot for talented Bass/Bass baritones

    Excellent - thanks again

    *I say 'try' - I'm in a musical theatre show (Honk!) in October which is draining my spare time

  15. #15
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    Wow! Thank you for posting that Ann What a great pic! I never realised he'd worked with Simon Keenlyside. I love to try and see him (and the other leads) in any future shows. I'll keep my eyes peeled but if you hear anything then I'd really appreciate a nod. I'm going to try* and join the Blackheath chorus for a couple of concerts that are coming up. I'm really hoping Matthew will be involved - he really has a tremendous voice.
    I think it's great that you're involved with both MT & opera, the two aren't mutually exclusive and I hope you're able to join the Blackheath chorus again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    And I have a soft spot for talented Bass/Bass baritones
    There are plenty of members on here who have similar soft spots so you're not alone
    "You may do it extempore,
    for it is nothing but roaring."

    Peter Quince

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