Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #2101
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    I think I want a little more than that from a production.

    Though your review does have me interested. I haven't seen and JK and AH production yet.
    Ha, yeah that sounds like a backhanded comment against the Lohengrin production - when I meant it as such against the Werther which had nothing going on - but my meaning was, even when there's nothing going on of *major* import, there's still something going on and it doesn't become park-and-bark.

    Also, apologies everyone for the gigantic images in that post! I posted from my phone, which was not the best.

  2. #2102
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Merry Christmas, everyone!

    For my Christmas mini-festival this year, I wound up with a folk opera theme. It was somewhat dictated by a couple of rarities on OperaVision which I was curious about, but didn’t fit into my regular schedule (which is driven by goals for a well-rounded opera education). But it was a fitting choice, I just bought my first house this year, this was my first “Christmas in Kaiserheim” (a play on my last name and German heritage). [My first opera in the new house was a consecratory “Parisfal” ]

    Smetana – Libuše

    Like Parsifal, an opera for special occasion, more ritual than drama, all Czech history/mythology/national pride. It’s actually weakest in Act 2 when it tries to tack on an opera-esque romantic melodrama. The best part to me was the epilogue of Act 3 where Libuše sees a vision of her nation’s future; it’s very stirring, even if you’re not Czech!

    18:30 – Hints of the famous “Moldau” music, which Smetana wrote a few years later
    49:00 – Finale of Act 1 has a bit that sounds like Lohengrin. Smetana was a big Wagner fan
    1:53:00 – Variant of a rustic dance from the overture to his earlier opera The Bartered Bride
    3:10:00 The aforementioned vision sequence.

    Not a great opera dramatically, but I enjoyed hanging out with the lovely music of Smetana. This was a nice appetizer for the Bayerische Staatsoper’s upcoming livestream of The Bartered Bride.

    Gotovac – Ero the Joker

    How often does one get a chance to see Croatian opera? Well, this ostensibly comic tale of a rich guy pretending to be a messenger from the afterlife in order to trick poor villagers out of their money and run off with a gullible maiden, was... old-fashioned. Cringe-worthy attitudes about women; like, bad enough to make Wagner look like a feminist. And not even slightly funny; maybe in the old days it was enlivened with broad slapstick, but this cast can’t be bothered with anything remotely physical. They are fine singers focused on getting the singing right, and that’s about it. The highlight again was the folk dancing, mostly in Act 3. The dances and costumes are very similar to Greek in style.

    Weber – Euryanthe

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    Atrocious picture quality on this early 2000s TV broadcast, but sound is okay. The story is about knights and chivalry and fidelity, and is similar to Lohengrin in structure. (Alternative theme to this mini-festival is “Not Wagner” #NotMyWagner) Not as memorable in melodies as Der Freischütz, my only other Weber, but with the right production it could be fun. I definitely believe if we can manage the revival that Italian bel canto has had, it should be possible to revive a few of the German and French operas from the same period. If we have to trim them down a little bit at first to fit modern attention spans, it would be worth it if it revived interest in the full works over time.

  3. #2103
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    Purcell: The Fairy Queen, Z629
    The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    William Christie (conductor) & Jonathan Kent (stage director)
    Lucy Crowe (Juno/Mystery), Claire Debono (Spring/First Fairy), Anna Devin (Second Fairy), Helen-Jane Howells (Eve), Carolyn Sampson (Night), Robert Burt (Mopsa), Sean Clayton (Summer), Ed Lyon (Secrecy/Adam), Adrian Ward (Autumn), Lukas Kargl (Phœbus), Desmond Barrit (Drunken Poet), Andrew Foster-Williams (Winter/Sleep/Coridon/Hymen) Actors: Sally Dexter (Titania), Joseph Millson (Oberon), Desmond Barrit (Bottom), Susannah Wise (Hermia), Oliver Le Suer (Demetrius), Oliver Kieran Jones (Lysander), Jotham Annan (Puck)
    Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, East Sussex, on 17th & 19th July 2009.

    Attachment 11847

    It is referred to as a semi-opera but here (Glyndebourne's interpretation) the spoken parts are about eighty minutes of two hundred and thirty so a "two-thirds" opera might be better. Further, as the music is so outstanding let's just call it an opera.
    I'll struggle to pick out the strongest parts of this production; almost every aspect is between very good and brilliant and there are no weak links. It is funny, beautiful, exciting, enchanting and every minute has my attention.
    Perhaps a special mention is needed for Christie's working of the score and Sampson for her performance of "The plaint" (and other parts).
    This is a dvd that sits in my top list, ranked amongst the favourites.
    Yes, 100% agree, one if my top recordings. The singing is wonderful and the staging entrancing - and sometimes laugh-out-loud.
    Natalie

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  5. #2104
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    I think I want a little more than that from a production.

    Though your review does have me interested. I haven't seen a JK and AH production yet.
    I didn't mind the minimalism of the Paris Werther production as the singing and acting kept me entranced (in between swearing at the video director)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    Handel: Saul
    The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    Ivor Bolton (conductor) & Barrie Kosky (director)
    Christopher Purves (Saul), Iestyn Davies (David), Lucy Crowe (Merab), Sophie Bevan (Michal), Paul Appleby (Jonathan), Benjamin Hulett (High Priest) & John Graham-Hall (Witch of Endor)
    3 good reasons to watch: 1. It's Handel's Saul 2. It's Christopher Purves 3. It's Handel's Saul.
    Act 3 scenes 2 and 3 are a bit nuts but Purves could balance a whole jar of KP (other nuts are available) on his head and still be powerful.
    Well of course it's Barrie Kosky and he does nuts like no one else.
    Natalie

  6. #2105
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I didn't mind the minimalism of the Paris Werther production as the singing and acting kept me entranced (in between swearing at the video director)
    Yeah, what was up with that. The shots of the singers out-of-charater before they walk on stage really took me out of the story. That may have contributed to my not getting into this as much as I thought I would.

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    I haven't watched this for a couple of years and I'd forgotten how much I like this version.

    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

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  10. #2107
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    A Strauss opera for New Year's Eve. It just seemed like the operatic equivalent to champagne. Cheers to a wonderful New Year to you all!

  11. #2108
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Concert performance of Die Fledermaus from Dresden on 29 December with JK as Eisenstein. The operetta is performed without dialogue and with a few cuts. In place of the dialogue, the German actor Sky Du Mont provides a plot synopsis prior to the beginning of each act.


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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Nikolaus Harnoncourt; Zürich Opera House Orchestra and Chorus
    Camilla Nylund, Jonas Kaufmann, Alfred Muff, Laszlo Polgar, Elizabeth Magnussen, Christoph Strehl. Günther Groissböck
    Production by Jürgen Flimm

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  14. #2110
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    To celebrate the première of Tosca (14 January 1900 at Roma Teatro Costanzi) this:

    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

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  16. #2111
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Nabucco with Sherrill Milnes (title role), Grace Bumbry (Abigaille), Ruggero Raimondi (Zaccaria), Carlo Cossuta (Ismaele), and Viorica Cortez (Fenena). The film quality isn't the greatest, and the 1979 production is very much in the old stand-and-deliver style, with much of the acting consisting of outstretched arms or pacing about. The translations are in Spanish, so I've just made do with a copy of the plot synopsis to follow along. But what a cast!

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  18. #2112
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post


    Nabucco with Sherrill Milnes (title role), Grace Bumbry (Abigaille), Ruggero Raimondi (Zaccaria), Carlo Cossuta (Ismaele), and Viorica Cortez (Fenena). The film quality isn't the greatest, and the 1979 production is very much in the old stand-and-deliver style, with much of the acting consisting of outstretched arms or pacing about. The translations are in Spanish, so I've just made do with a copy of the plot synopsis to follow along. But what a cast!
    What a cast indeed! Thank you, I've bookmarked that to watch later.
    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

  19. #2113
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Conductor/orchestra: Ryan Brown, Orchestra and Chorus of Opera Lafayette
    Director: Oriol Tomas
    Cast: Kimy McLaren (Léonore), Jean-Michel Richer (Florestan), Tomislav Lavoie (Roc), Dominique Côté (Pizare), Pascale Beaudin (Marceline), Keven Geddes (Jacquino), Alexandre Sylvestre (Don Fernand)

    Comments are posted in the reviews section.

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  21. #2114
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Verdi: I Due Foscari
    Placido Domingo, Francesco Meli, Anna Pirozzi & Chiara Isotton
    Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Michele Mariotti
    February 2016

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    This is a powerful and exciting performance. The costumes are beautiful and probably consumed more of the stage budget than the set but both were probably drowned (or assassinated) by the singing and the performances of the principles. If this is PlaDo; then don't stop and keep it coming! He has that power and the performance is wonderfully poetic right through to the end.
    I'm left pleasantly surprised, satisfied and a little bit exhausted. I think I'm going to spend sometime with Verdi now.

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Christian Thielemann; Staatskapelle Dresden and Saxon State Opera Chorus
    Jonas Kaufmann, Liudmyla Monastyrska, Ambrogio Maestri, Stefania Toczyska, Annalisa Stroppa; Maria Agresta, Dimitri Platanias, Tansel Akseybek, Alessio Arduini
    Production by Philipp Stölzl

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