Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #2026
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    Screening of Metropolitan Opera's Turandot, Horsham, England 12th August

    I'm sure many of you are familiar with this 30 year old Zefferelli production, it is sumptuously staged and a real treat if you like your opera to be lavish and full on!! I must admit, my companion and I just wallowed in this. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon and this was like gorging on the biggest ice cream sundae ever!! And no guilty feelings after!!

    I've seen Marco Berti's Calaf in Verona (he seems to do it everywhere!!) and he was on good form again. I love Nina Stemme in the title role-great voice and regal and vulnerable. Lovely Liu from Anita Hartig and a very moving Timur from Alexander Tsymbalyuk,
    Not surprisingly this was reminiscent of Zefferelli's Verona production and while I love the darkness and choreography of Serban's ROH production, this just carried me away!!!

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  3. #2027
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Conductor/orchestra: Sir Colin Davis, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli
    Cast: Susan Anthony (Prima Donna/Ariadne), Jon Villars (Tenor/Bacchus), Íride Martínez (Zerbinetta), Sophie Koch (Composer), Friedrich-Wilhelm Junge (Major-Domo), Urban Malmberg (Harlequin), Gerald Hupach (Scaramuccio), Scott Wilde (Trufaldino), Carsten Süss (Brighella), Theo Adam (Music Master), Werner Güra (Dance Master), Christiane Hossfeld (Naiad), Angela Liebold (Dryad), Birgit Fandrey (Echo), Klaus Florian Vogt (Officer), Jürgen Hartfiel (Wig Maker), Jürgen Commichau (Footman)

    This 2000 performance from the Dresden State Opera captures a bit of the generational transition occurring among singers in the German Romantic repertoire almost 20 years ago, with the veteran Theo Adam portraying the Music Master and Klaus Florian Vogt, at the beginning of his career, making a brief appearance in the Prologue as an officer. Until now, I was only familiar with the original version of Ariadne auf Naxos, which doesn’t include the Prologue (but the video of which, from the 2012 Salzburg Festival, does include Jonas Kaufmann’s Bacchus). The cast from Dresden is excellent, beginning with Susan Anthony and Jon Villars in the leads. Both of them have very attractive lyric-dramatic voices, and around the turn of this past century, were singing at most of the major international houses. Regrettably, neither appears to be active now. (The reason for his absence is mentioned in a post to the Miscellaneous YouTube videos thread.) Sophie Koch is a fabulous composer, and Íride Martínez is an absolutely stellar Zerbinetta, delivering her vocal acrobatics and stratospheric high notes with complete ease, and displaying a real flair for comedy. The smaller roles are all well cast, and the actor Friedrich-Wilhelm Junge is an appropriately supercilious Major-Domo.
    Marco Arturo Marelli’s staging updates events from the late 17th century to the end of the 20th, but it still works. The various individuals Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal satirize are still recognizable types today: the super-sensitive artist as represented by the Composer, the egotistical opera stars, the Nouveau-riche with more money than taste, and snooty functionaries like the Major-Domo. Even opera itself is gently parodied with Ariadne’s exaggerated languishing on her desert island. Marelli adds to this with the supernumeraries who portray guests attending the soirée at the home of the “richest man in Vienna.” Again, these are all recognizable “fashionable” types whom one might encounter at any “art” event, from museum exhibitions to theater/opera/ballet performances to charitable galas, all posturing and preening while paparazzi shoot photos.

  4. #2028
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    Manon Lescaut Met 1980Name:  71DWW6Q6MCL.jpg
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    A very well-regarded production, beautifully sung with great visuals. I'm sure many of you have seen this. Domingo and Scotto doing their only year of Manon at the Met.

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  6. #2029
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    On the subject of Manon Lescaut, has anyone seen the Netrebko/Villazon version??? What did you think of it?

  7. #2030
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da55id View Post
    On the subject of Manon Lescaut, has anyone seen the Netrebko/Villazon version??? What did you think of it?
    Is there a Netrebko/Villazón version of Manon Lescaut? I think not. What exists is their version of Massenet's Manon. I like it very much. Rolando looks quite ridiculous with his little mustache but La Bellissima looks, well, bellissima. And they both sing well.

    Now, Netrebko doing Manon Lescaut does exist on YouTube, but not with Villazon, but rather, with her husband (I don't think he is very good):

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

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  9. #2031
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    Screening of 2015 production of Il Trovatore at the MET, Horsham, England 19th August

    Firstly this was not the production that I expected. It was more recent than the Pavarotti/Milnes/Zajick production of the 80s. This was the David McVicar production and what a cast!! It was Anna Netrebko's first Leonora at the Met and, while she is rather more matronly in build than hitherto, she was in great voice and has real star quality. Dolora Zajic has been singing Azucena for ever it seems and she gives real substance to the role. Dmitri Hvorovsky was already afflicted by the brain tumour that sadly killed him recently and got very moving ovations, especially on his first entrance and at the curtain call. He was magnificent as di Luna, What a loss!! Yonghoon Lee was Manrico and got the intensity and energy of youth. Another terrific performance!

    Now then, my dvd is the ROH version with Cura, Naef, Hvorotsky, Several quite portentous reviews on Amazon confuse this with the Met production!!!! But opinions please on the best dvd available.....................................

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  11. #2032
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da55id View Post
    Screening of 2015 production of Il Trovatore at the MET, Horsham, England 19th August

    Firstly this was not the production that I expected. It was more recent than the Pavarotti/Milnes/Zajick production of the 80s. This was the David McVicar production and what a cast!! It was Anna Netrebko's first Leonora at the Met and, while she is rather more matronly in build than hitherto, she was in great voice and has real star quality. Dolora Zajic has been singing Azucena for ever it seems and she gives real substance to the role. Dmitri Hvorovsky was already afflicted by the brain tumour that sadly killed him recently and got very moving ovations, especially on his first entrance and at the curtain call. He was magnificent as di Luna, What a loss!! Yonghoon Lee was Manrico and got the intensity and energy of youth. Another terrific performance!
    Pleased that you enjoyed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Da55id View Post
    Now then, my dvd is the ROH version with Cura, Naef, Hvorotsky, Several quite portentous reviews on Amazon confuse this with the Met production!!!! But opinions please on the best dvd available.....................................
    Well my favourite is the Cura/Hvorostovsky but I know of one person who hated it so much he actually binned it! Don't have another DVD but if you're looking for our opinions, you should check out our own reviews on here: https://operalively.com/forums/showt...review-threads
    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

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  13. #2033
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    Pleased that you enjoyed it.



    Well my favourite is the Cura/Hvorostovsky but I know of one person who hated it so much he actually binned it! Don't have another DVD but if you're looking for our opinions, you should check out our own reviews on here: https://operalively.com/forums/showt...review-threads
    Well I didn't know the review thread existed!!! I think both Met versions are very good. The 80s version had 4 big voices but I think the McVicar production is very well-staged and demands more acting from the leads. By the way, is there an 'extreme reactions' thread? It's fun to hear what opera fans do when a production/recording disappoints!!!!

  14. #2034
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da55id View Post
    By the way, is there an 'extreme reactions' thread? It's fun to hear what opera fans do when a production/recording disappoints!!!!
    I don't think so and this is the nearest https://operalively.com/forums/showt...rs-I-Don-t-Get (coincidentally in the very first post, the OP didn't get Il trovatore!!!)

    There's nothing to stop you starting an 'extreme reaction' thread though.
    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

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  16. #2035
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    I don't think so and this is the nearest https://operalively.com/forums/showt...rs-I-Don-t-Get (coincidentally in the very first post, the OP didn't get Il trovatore!!!)

    There's nothing to stop you starting an 'extreme reaction' thread though.
    Only my complete technical incompetence!!!!

  17. #2036
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    Well my favourite is the Cura/Hvorostovsky but I know of one person who hated it so much he actually binned it!
    Who might that person be?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  18. #2037
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    ...Well my favourite is the Cura/Hvorostovsky but I know of one person who hated it so much he actually binned it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Who might that person be?
    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

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  20. #2038
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Who might that person be?
    Surely it can't be you, Luiz??

  21. #2039
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da55id View Post
    Surely it can't be you, Luiz??
    Guilty as charged.
    "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. #2040
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Guilty as charged.

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