Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #166
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Oh wow, the existing version is already very good and I thought of it as hard to beat; how do you compare the two?

    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #167
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    I'm trying to get informed about this new version, Nat, and found this disappointing bit:

    "This new video is the two-act revision, not the original three-acts conceived by Gershwin and Heyward. I have seen this video, and it is disappointing; so much is missing that is crucial to character development. With these cuts the opera comes across as less masterly, and its dramatic force is diminished. Unfortunately, this seems to be the way Porgy is being performed these days (I understand that the score approved for publication by the Gershwin family is this very revision, which is in process of being finalized by Wayne Shirley). Thank God we have three performances of the complete version on CD (Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, and Houston Opera). (We still need a complete DVD, though, since Rattle's video cut Buzzard Song, the opera's turning point and one of Gershwin's most poignant utterances.)"
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #168
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Can't imagine this wondrous opera could be done any better. Top singing and impassioned acting from every member of the cast and chorus, great production. It's a buy buy buy, people.
    Yep. And I seem to remember some astute, quick-witted, roguishly handsome person telling *you* to buy it!

  4. #169
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    I'm trying to get informed about this new version, Nat, and found this disappointing bit:

    "This new video is the two-act revision, not the original three-acts conceived by Gershwin and Heyward. I have seen this video, and it is disappointing; so much is missing that is crucial to character development. With these cuts the opera comes across as less masterly, and its dramatic force is diminished. Unfortunately, this seems to be the way Porgy is being performed these days (I understand that the score approved for publication by the Gershwin family is this very revision, which is in process of being finalized by Wayne Shirley). Thank God we have three performances of the complete version on CD (Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, and Houston Opera). (We still need a complete DVD, though, since Rattle's video cut Buzzard Song, the opera's turning point and one of Gershwin's most poignant utterances.)"
    It's still a strong production, and captures the energy of a live performance (unlike the Trevor Nunn/Simon Rattle DVD which is a lip-synched studio recreation).

  5. #170
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    It's still a strong production, and captures the energy of a live performance (unlike the Trevor Nunn/Simon Rattle DVD which is a lip-synched studio recreation).
    Yes, but it is a very successful one, dramatically speaking, even though the technical aspects at the time weren't what they are today, and therefore the lip-synch wasn't great, but I still think it's one of the best opera movies out there, and it did a lot of justice to this spectacular work. But yes, I'm very tempted to buy the new version, including because I'm very fond of SFO; they usually do well; I consider them to be the second best opera company in America. It's out of stock on Amazon. It does exist from marketplace vendors. My latest experience with marketplace vendors turned me off a bit. I ordered a DVD supposedly "brand new, factory sealed" and paid the resulting price but when the DVD arrived, it clearly wasn't brand new and even had a large greasy fingerprint on it. There were cheaper "used like new" options and I felt cheated on. I complained to Amazon; they were kind enough to refund me the difference between the prices of the brand new product and the "used like new" one. Still, maybe I'll wait until it's back in stock on Amazon.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); October 25th, 2014 at 02:04 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  6. #171
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    I use Amazon marketplace sellers almost exclusively for books and music, mainly to save a few bucks. While I have had a few (very few) disappointments, Amazon or the seller has been very quick to remedy the situation. But that's me.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    To be honest I like the short version as much as the full one. It has tremendous pace and the actors are so fantastic - the chorus, for instance gives the impression of a real "village" of individuals rather than a chorus, and the principals are perfect! The singing is top notch and sometimes sent shivers down my spine, or brought me to tears. I REALLY recommend it, just like that handsome devil four posts up does.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, I'm glad to have the Nunn/Rattle version as well. But the SFO nicely complements it, so I definitely second Nat's recommendation.

  9. #174
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    To be honest I like the short version as much as the full one. It has tremendous pace and the actors are so fantastic - the chorus, for instance gives the impression of a real "village" of individuals rather than a chorus, and the principals are perfect! The singing is top notch and sometimes sent shivers down my spine, or brought me to tears. I REALLY recommend it, just like that handsome devil four posts up does.
    OK, OK, I guess you guys have convinced me. I've ordered 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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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    OK, OK, I guess you guys have convinced me. I've ordered it.
    There is one aspect of this that you will very much appreciate. You'll know when you see them.
    Natalie

  11. #176
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    There is one aspect of this that you will very much appreciate. You'll know when you see them.
    Them? As in, one on each side? [Alma, hopeful]
    "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 Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Them? As in, one on each side? [Alma, hopeful]
    yup
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    This is another performance where I just enjoy the fabulous singing of Messieurs Kaufmann, Pape, and Braun (and Mme. Poplavskaya), and pretty much ignore the staging. I realized again how silly the "pregnant" Marguerite looks -- as though she has a beach ball or a pumpkin stuffed beneath her blouse. The scene in the "church" isn't especially frightening, and the Walpurgis Night scene has nothing particularly magical about it. But there's the singing, and the wonderful Met orchestra led by Maestro Nézet-Séguin.

  14. #179
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post


    This is another performance where I just enjoy the fabulous singing of Messieurs Kaufmann, Pape, and Braun (and Mme. Poplavskaya), and pretty much ignore the staging. I realized again how silly the "pregnant" Marguerite looks -- as though she has a beach ball or a pumpkin stuffed beneath her blouse. The scene in the "church" isn't especially frightening, and the Walpurgis Night scene has nothing particularly magical about it. But there's the singing, and the wonderful Met orchestra led by Maestro Nézet-Séguin.
    I love Pape "conducting" the dancers in le Veau d'or here, though! He's got a couple of nifty dance moves.
    Natalie

  15. #180
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    Last night we enjoyed Jessica Pratt et. al. in La Sonnambula. It's a silly plot but it's meltingly lovely music.

    PS. Faust is a favorite of Many years here. We saw the HD simulcast of the one with Kaufmann and did not enjoy the production. We also found Kaufmann too baritonal for the role. The version with Alagna, Gheorghiu and Terfel is the one we tend to on DVD.
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 4th, 2018 at 08:58 PM.

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