Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #1771
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    More luck on youtube finding a small backwater channel with a concert performance of Alzira with subtitles (surprised to find this one rather than a more popular early work like La battaglia di Legnano or I masnadieri). Nevertheless I was pleasently surprised to find I enjoyed this opera more than I though I would. Although the singing was variable (most were good though the baritone made amusing faces and the soprano might have occasionally been a bit off) I managed to get a good impression of what Alzira was like and it was not half bad. It is certainly a fair bit weaker than Attila which I saw the other day but is nowhere near as bad as one would think for Verdi's apparent "worst work".

    7.5 out of 10.
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  2. #1772
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    I really have been going on a new Opera binge recently and so far have had a really great time exploring some new works. I have now broken my Verdi streak (the past 3 operas I have seen new have all been Verdi ones!). I remember seeing a post in the film section from earlier this year about a show called the expanse in which a character says they saw one of their favourite operas "The Rise and Fall of the city of Mahagonny". After scrolling through the met on demand I decided to give it a go. I now understand why it was one the characters favourite operas. Though it was in English translation this did not detract from the opera as much as it has on other occasions I have seen or heard translated works. The impeccable cast of the 1979 Met Version certainly helped. This was a great opera for me as both a fan of opera and a politics student being the most interesting opera I have seen from a political point of view since Don Carlos. An excellent opera that was incredibly memorable and worked better than I thought it might in translation certainly a must see if you have Met on Demand or are thinking about the free trial (along with the netrebko macbeth the 07 onegin and the florez Il Barbiere)

    9.5/10
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  3. #1773
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    I remember seeing a post in the film section from earlier this year about a show called the expanse in which a character says they saw one of their favourite operas "The Rise and Fall of the city of Mahagonny". After scrolling through the met on demand I decided to give it a go.
    You're welcome! Hahaha. I haven't actually even seen that one, but I enjoy Kurt Weill. In the past, I didn't like opera, but tried to force myself to watch operas of my favorite composers, to disappointing results. Now that I love opera and am taking in the breadth of the genre - building a solid foundation - I'm letting some of my favorite composers come to me only "when it's time", and nearly every one is an ecstatic experience.

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    Like the opera I just watched, which I got at a used bookstore for $8. My first Wozzeck; surely I will see many more productions/interpretations of this (Kentridge at the Met in a few years!). But this one is great. I think Calixto Bieito departs dangerously from librettos' stage directions sometimes, but here his one main konzept works really well with the text. That is: moving the story from a military context, to one of industrial exploitation. A dystopian setting like the Undercity in Fritz Lang's Metropolis. It helps the horror of this story to hit closer to home (as someone who never considered military service, and was never in danger of being forced into it). I really love this production, and the musicianship is top notch, too.

  4. #1774
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    You're welcome! Hahaha. I haven't actually even seen that one, but I enjoy Kurt Weill. In the past, I didn't like opera, but tried to force myself to watch operas of my favorite composers, to disappointing results. Now that I love opera and am taking in the breadth of the genre - building a solid foundation - I'm letting some of my favorite composers come to me only "when it's time", and nearly every one is an ecstatic experience.

    Name:  71UyPzsieXL._SY445_.jpg
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    Like the opera I just watched, which I got at a used bookstore for $8. My first Wozzeck; surely I will see many more productions/interpretations of this (Kentridge at the Met in a few years!). But this one is great. I think Calixto Bieito departs dangerously from librettos' stage directions sometimes, but here his one main konzept works really well with the text. That is: moving the story from a military context, to one of industrial exploitation. A dystopian setting like the Undercity in Fritz Lang's Metropolis. It helps the horror of this story to hit closer to home (as someone who never considered military service, and was never in danger of being forced into it). I really love this production, and the musicianship is top notch, too.
    This sounds very intriguing, and quite plausible.
    Natalie

  5. #1775
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Sadko from Opera Vlanderen. It was on Opera Platform.

    Natalie

  6. #1776
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Wagner: Parsifal
    Jonas Kaufmann (Parsifal), Katarina Dalayman (Kundry), Peter Mattei (Amfortas), René Pape (Gurnemanz), Evgeny Nikitin (Klingsor), Rúni Brattaberg (Titurel), Maria Zifchak (Stimme)
    Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet of the Metropolitan Opera, Daniele Gatti, Francois Girard (dir.)

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    I have a preference for Knappertsbusch so at first the Gatti interpretation seems achingly slow but this soon transforms to a deliberate tempi and overall is stunning. It's been a while since I last watched this and I had forgot how awesome it is. Thank you for the film "Jonas Kaufmann, a tenor for the age" which while this production is not mentioned there, made me want to revisit. Slight issue with a wonky mic on the right side of the stage...

  7. #1777
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Handel: Theodora, HWV 68
    Frode Olsen (Valens), David Daniels (Didymus), Richard Croft (Septimius), Dawn Upshaw (Theodora), Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Irene), Michael Hart-Davis (Messenger)
    Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & The Glyndebourne Chorus, William Christie (conductor) & Peter Sellars (director)
    Glyndebourne June 1996

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    How strange... (costumes, choreography, camerawork, cans of coke) and yet how glorious... (Upshaw and Lieberson)
    Streams of pleasure ever flowing... (beautiful music from start to finish)

  8. #1778
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Had insomnia so got up very early and caught the live stream of Le Nozze from Bayerische Staatsoper; Christian Gerhaher and Alex Exposito were the drawcards for me; but I ended up being very taken with the Countess Federica Lombardi (so was the ecstatic audience after second big aria). Keep a listen out for her, guys!
    Natalie

  9. #1779
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Natalie

  10. #1780
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Norma from Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège.

    http://iopera.es/norma-de-bellini-en-lieja/

    Direction musicale: Massimo ZANETTI
    Mise en scène: Davide GARATTINI RAIMONDI
    Chorégraphie et assistanat à la mise en scène : Barbara PALUMBO
    Décors et Lumières: Paolo VITALE
    Costumes: Giada MASI
    Chef des Choeurs: Pierre IODICE

    Norma: Patrizia CIOFI
    Pollione: Gregory KUNDE
    Adalgisa: Josè Maria LO MONACO
    Oroveso: Andrea CONCETTI
    Flavio: Zeno POPESCU
    Clotilde: Réjane SOLDANO

  11. #1781
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Watched this last night and happy memories of seeing this cast six years ago. There was such a high demand for tickets, ROH booking site crashed and I remember chatting to people who were queuing all night on the pavement for Day Tickets and 'returns'. I asked one man if he often queued all night and he said it was 33 years since he'd done it before. After the performance I waited until 01:30H for autographs and photos and made friends with some lovely fans who I'm still in touch with and who waited with me. Angela Gheorghiu was gracious as always and nothing was too much trouble for her and Bryn Terfel couldn't believe we had waited so long. Jonas Kaufmann tried to dodge our little group by running off and ducking between two parked cars. I can sympathise though with his wanting to avoid getting viruses from over enthusiastic fans. One German lady was so excited she was nearly run over crossing the road when she tried to catch him. He stopped to see if she was OK and I caught up with him. I stood well back though as I thanked him for his wonderful performance and got my autograph. Good times.

  12. #1782
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    An amazing and astonishing Clemenza di Tito directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Teodor Currentzis, with some of the most committed performing by cast and chorus I have ever encountered. Still available for a couple of days on Medici. If you can't catch it all, at least watch Marianne Crebassa duet it out with the basset horn on stage. If you are still breathing at the end I salute you.

    Natalie

  13. #1783
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Consider me initiated into the Don Carlo/Don Carlos Version Frustration Club. Would it have killed anybody to sit through about 10 more minutes to get the opening crowd scene? Or is there no Italian version of that scene? It felt very "Let's pick it up from bar 120" to me. Other than that, I really liked the production and the performance.

    Okay, here's my sacrilegious idea to "improve" Don Carlo in performance. It looks like everybody does 2 intermissions around the truncated Act 3. There's nothing I hate more than having to take a 2nd intermission after a short act. I would take the 1st intermission after Act 2, Scene 1. Have the audience leave on the rousing high of the Oath Duet, and bring them back in with the Veil Song. Also: then it would feel like some time has passed before Rodrigo starts to betray Carlo. Anyway...... It's a great opera with a lot of great characters, but you already knew that.

  14. #1784
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    Okay, here's my sacrilegious idea to "improve" Don Carlo in performance. It looks like everybody does 2 intermissions around the truncated Act 3. There's nothing I hate more than having to take a 2nd intermission after a short act. I would take the 1st intermission after Act 2, Scene 1. Have the audience leave on the rousing high of the Oath Duet, and bring them back in with the Veil Song. Also: then it would feel like some time has passed before Rodrigo starts to betray Carlo. A
    Great idea. It would work much better!

    Also, what is Rodrigo up to? Does he think he will get further with his Flanders obsession if he gets the king on his side? Has he realised that Carlo(s) is a lost cause in the "strong political leader" stakes?
    Natalie

  15. #1785
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    Name:  Don Carlo.jpg
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    Consider me initiated into the Don Carlo/Don Carlos Version Frustration Club. Would it have killed anybody to sit through about 10 more minutes to get the opening crowd scene? Or is there no Italian version of that scene? It felt very "Let's pick it up from bar 120" to me. Other than that, I really liked the production and the performance.

    Okay, here's my sacrilegious idea to "improve" Don Carlo in performance. It looks like everybody does 2 intermissions around the truncated Act 3. There's nothing I hate more than having to take a 2nd intermission after a short act. I would take the 1st intermission after Act 2, Scene 1. Have the audience leave on the rousing high of the Oath Duet, and bring them back in with the Veil Song. Also: then it would feel like some time has passed before Rodrigo starts to betray Carlo. Anyway...... It's a great opera with a lot of great characters, but you already knew that.
    I think the performance from the Salzburg Festival with Harteros, Kaufmann, and Hampson in the leads does have the complete crowd scene at the beginning of the Fontainebleau act. We see the wretched, starving people shivering in the cold winter forest before Elisabeth arrives and tries to comfort them. It certainly explains why she later gives in to their pleas and agrees to marry Philip, though she and Carlo have fallen in love.

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