Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #2161
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    I'm trying to rein in my spending at the moment so I'm not buying much, just listening/watching on YT. This is an old recording and I love what AgapÚ te MusikŤ does. It must take him ages to add double subtitles.

    "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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  3. #2162
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Emily Magee, JK, and Thomas Hampson give such convincing portrayals that I completely focus on the drama and forget about Robert Carsen's odd staging concept.

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  5. #2163
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Russian Easter Festival 2: Tcherniakov Nights

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    I have some time in April which I set aside to watch whatever I want, and I decided to do an all-Russian week again this year - since I don't get to see very many live or even streaming. I noticed a large number of productions on my wishlist were directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov, so I decided to make that a further theme for the week.

    These were all fairly traditional interpretations as far as Tcherniakov goes; the wildest one being his somewhat-abstract story for The Nutcracker. Iolanta was a rewatch for me, and it occurs to me that bite-sized, first-rate Tchaikovsky is the kind of thing that smaller opera companies should be putting on all the time, instead of trying to do Aida-on-a-budget and not pulling it off. (But Russian diction training for the chorus might be prohibitive.)

    The Gamblerís story was confusing to me Ė not the opera or the staging, I think I just donít *get* Dostoevsky. Itís been a problem for me in film adaptations as well; Iíve never read any Russian literature. But Prokofiev is a favorite of mine and the orchestra sounded great here under Barenboim.

    The highlight of the week was Kitezh Ė beautiful opera! I thought Act 3 was reminding me of Parsifal Ė thereís even a cadence that reminds me of the Dresden Amen Ė and it turns out the librettist was really pressuring Rimsky-K to be Wagnerian. I love the result.

    It was a big splurge for me to buy these three blu-rays, but ultimately worth it to improve my quota of Russian opera. Only two Russian operas left on my schedule for the rest of the year ☹ : Khovanshchina is currently on OperaVision, and Iím thinking about a trip to The Met in December for The Queen of Spades (with Akhnaten).

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  7. #2164
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    That is an absolute corker (TLOTICOKATMF) and Svetlana Ignatovich is fantastic. Tcherniakov takes it a bit X rated in some parts and some interpretations I am not so keen on but the performance of Ignatovich just makes this a superb production.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I want that Iolanta set! Got it in my shopping cart but need to find a better price, maybe will get better prices after it is out for a year or so.

    Tell us how it is. ALso, is it the complete Iolanta, not a shortened performance to fit Nutcracker?
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  10. #2166
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    It's a complete Iolanta, and really well done, but they take an intermission about an hour into it. Then they play the rest of Iolanta without a break with Act I of Nutcracker. I don't mind the structure of it, but the problem is that the audience is confused about when to clap which is a pretty bad sign. And only because he has a weird idea that Iolanta is a play that the guests at a party in Nutcracker are watching.

    He had that backwards - The Nutcracker should have been put on as a play for the newly-sighted Iolanta. OBVIOUSLY...

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  12. #2167
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    That is an absolute corker (TLOTICOKATMF) and Svetlana Ignatovich is fantastic. Tcherniakov takes it a bit X rated in some parts and some interpretations I am not so keen on but the performance of Ignatovich just makes this a superb production.
    Yes! Love her. Since it's hard to find biographical info on Russian singers in English sometimes, I should mention that she sings under the name Svetlana Aksenova now (I would hazard a guess that maybe she married the tenor in this production whose name is Aksenov?... but I don't know for sure). I feel privileged to have seen her US debut at the Dallas Opera (as Tatiana) where she was just as good as she is here.

    The Act I set design is magical. And the last moments of the production are so touching. It reminds me of Tcherniakov's Prince Igor where he convinces you that the opera has always been about PTSD. Here he says the opera is about how "life feels more vivid when you know you're going to die", and on paper I don't think anyone else would have come up with that, but it really makes sense of all the storylines.

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Before I went to see The Gambler live in Amsterdam, I got that DVD for homework and absolutely loved it.

    [Dutch National Opera sometimes produce interesting merchandise to tie in with their operas. For The Gambler they produced a Poker set. As you can see - as yet unused!]

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    "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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  15. #2169
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Whilst clearing out the attic the other day, I found a fridge magnet bought at the gift shop with the image they used for "Only the Sound remains"; a little less imaginative but I still bought it.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Just finished this one. The singing is great, the staging and costumes are strange. On balance this is a weird production, but was worth it for Ana Durlovsky, which is why I bought it. Seems like every DVD Ana Durlovsky is in is weird.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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  19. #2171
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Just finished this one. Excellent performance!
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Just finished Act 1 last night. So far I don't like this one as much as Gheorghiu, Fleming, and Moffo, but Stefania Bonfadelli sure fits the part, looking sickly from the beginning (this would also be the case with Natalie Dessay ).
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    ^ Forget what I said before. This is the best Traviata I have seen. Act 3 was amazing. Stefania Bonfadelli acting the part of the dying Violetta was superb!
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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  25. #2174
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    This week, I had the pleasure of watching TWO (count 'em, TWO) versions of Verdi's Attila.

    The first was La Scala's season opener with Abdrazakov. When I saw it (twice!) I thought it the best I had seen. I believe that the press agreed.

    The second was the new Blu ray release with D'Arcangelo, which I watched for the first time last night. It is superb! The star of the show was Maestro Mariotti, who received "thunderous applause". I was impressed by soprano Maria Jose Siri!

    As I recall, certain of the resident ladies have a penchant for basses. While I do not, wallowing in two first rate performances of Attila was a near decadent experience, one which might be emulated for fans of the bass voice.

    When Amazon.com had discussion groups, I got into a debate on whether Abdrazakov or D'Arcangelo was the better Enrico in Anna Bolena (I favored the latter for dramatic reasons). I cannot pick one over the other as Attila; both are superb.

  26. #2175
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Just finished this. It is one of the the best I have watched so far (both Fleming, both Gheorghiu, Moffo, and Bonfadelli). It may be that, because this one does not have English subtitles, I paid more attention to the production. Regardless, it is an awesome production and, in my opinion, the orchestra played magnificently and the two leads (Marina Rebeka as Violetta and Francesco Demuro as Alfredo) both have wonderful voices. The staging (semi-staged) was nicely done and the venue, a huge outdoor canopy, were quite nice too. Check it out for yourself on You Tube.

    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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