Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #2296
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    That looks interesting! Not heard of it before.
    "This opera was the first of Donizetti's excursions into the Tudor period of English history," before the famous Three Queens operas. Really a treat to watch Jessica Pratt, but all the characters were quite good and, while the set was minimal, it worked well. Tragic opera but happy ending (for most involved).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_castello_di_Kenilworth
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Before I'd heard of Donizetti's opera, I'd read the novel by Sir Walter Scott on which it's based. The plot deals with Amy Robsart, the first wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. She died of a broken neck after falling down a stairway, and there's been speculation that she was a victim of foul play. I assume she also dies in the opera.

  4. #2298
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Before I'd heard of Donizetti's opera, I'd read the novel by Sir Walter Scott on which it's based. The plot deals with Amy Robsart, the first wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. She died of a broken neck after falling down a stairway, and there's been speculation that she was a victim of foul play. I assume she also dies in the opera.
    Nope. Dudley's first and only wife in the opera is Amelia. She is almost done away with by poison from Warney after she refuses his advances, but is saved being warned by her servant Fanny. She ends up having Dudley back as the queen spares both of them in the end. But the queen has Warney arrested.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Given the way most opera librettists of the time played fast and loose with historic facts, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Given the way most opera librettists of the time played fast and loose with historic facts, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
    Why let the facts get in the way of a good opera story?!

    Dudley wanted to marry Queen Elizabeth I and you're right, there were rumours he helped his wife down the stairs.
    "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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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Excellent cast. Ends like La Traviata. Fortunately, seeing the curtain calls mitigates the horrible ending.

    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    This is very good. Loving Thedossiou. She makes quite the vicious and nasty queen.

    Watch her throw the chair just after 1:05 (sorry for the poor sound)


    Better sound with Roberto and Sara:


    There are English subtitles in the DVD:
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  14. #2303
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    This is very good. Loving Thedossiou. She makes quite the vicious and nasty queen.

    Watch her throw the chair just after 1:05 (sorry for the poor sound)


    Better sound with Roberto and Sara:


    There are English subtitles in the DVD:
    I am still hoping for the Sondra Radvanovsky performance from the MET on DVD

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    I am still hoping for the Sondra Radvanovsky performance from the MET on DVD
    There are not lot of Devereaux DVDs to choose from, so I would be very happy to get Sondra also. I have her in Trovatore on DVD.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    What I’ve been watching in March, ranked. I had no idea at the start of this month that this would include my last two live operas for at least the next 6 months

    #1 – Blitzstein – Regina – Live at the University of North Texas, Denton
    I was really impressed with this student production. My first trip there; I now think this is the top opera school in Texas. The black-box theatre where they perform seats fewer than 300, but was almost sold out, and the pre-concert talk by director Jonathan Eaton was an insightful glimpse into an opera director’s process. To Eaton, Regina is an almost-masterpiece, a milestone (he calls it and Porgy & Bess the first truly American operas) flawed only by its composer’s inexperience. It was his Opus 3. There are scenes where it is hard to hear important dialogue over loud orchestral textures. But the opera is full of ambition, a Kurt Weill-influenced blend of opera and popular music. The pop music is actually used to great effect for character insight. In Act 3, the character of Ben twice breaks out into happy-go-lucky jazz song, and I realized it represented the character’s “mask” – his disguise to hide deeper feelings.

    #2 – Handel – Rinaldo – Live at American Baroque Opera Co. (Dallas area)
    This is only the 3rd season of this company, but they're terrific. Doing really vital work on a small scale – usually 2 or 3 full-length productions, plus shorter works performed in unconventional spaces, like breweries. This production with projected backdrops was simple but effective. The director is a baroque opera movement coach, so the singers conveyed a lot of story with the simple fundamentals of body language. Rinaldo was performed by a remarkable countertenor – Nicholas Garza – who is on the company's board. The music director leads from the cello, an orchestra of a mere dozen. But the oboists doubled on recorders, and – judging by the sounds emanating from the pit – I believe the bassoonist played the virtuosic piccolo cadenza during the bird-call aria "Augelletti che cantate".

    #3 – Sciarrino – Luci mie traditrici – Montepulciano (2010), Streaming on Youtube
    I listen to a lot of contemporary classical music, and... wow, I still wasn’t prepared for this. The vocal lines are very unusual and highly ornamented, I suspect based on Renaissance techniques (the story was inspired by Carlo Gesualdo). Totally alien-sounding, after 10-15 minutes I was recalibrated to a new highly expressive melodramatic technique. Kind of like kabuki theatre in its exaggerated physical and vocal vocabulary. A totally unique vision of what opera can be, and I’ll be revisiting it.

    #4 – Weinberger – Spring Storms – Komische Oper Berlin, Streaming on OperaVision
    Billed as the last operetta of Weimar Germany, this was a nice light entertainment to ease my social distancing woes. From 1933, it could easily have been music from a Hollywood musical of the same year, because Hollywood’s composers were mostly European refugees. A lot of the songs are simple, carefree bonbons, although there is a dramatic love duet in Act 2 worthy of a “serious” opera. The Komische's productions are always good, but I would have liked the dance numbers to have contributed something more than just diversion – some scene-setting or character work.

    #5 – Bjarnason – Brothers – Icelandic Opera, Streaming on OperaVision
    Based on an award-winning film, this is a tightly constructed opera on heavy subject matter: the trauma of soldiers and their families. PTSD, of course, but also the trauma of prolonged separation and reintegration. Kasper Holten creates an effective minimalist production, and the music is very effective – often dissonant, but occasionally beautifully elegiac. I’ve never seen the original Danish film, but I had the same problem with this that I do with the Hollywood remake – I don’t relate to the characters. They’re generic and uninteresting.

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  20. #2306
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    I am not a big Scotto fan, ( sharpish voice) however very enjoyably.

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Conductor/orchestra: Zdenek Košler, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    Prague Philharmonic Chorus
    Cast: Gabriela Benacková, Peter Dvorský, Richard Novák, Miroslav Kopp, Marie Veselá, Jindrich Jindrák, Marie Mrázová, Jaroslav Horá?ek, Jana Jonášová, Alfréd Hampl

    Needed something cheerful, and this did nicely. Some would find it outdated -- it was made in 1981, and appears to have been designed for television -- but the cast is wonderful, especially Gabriela Benacková and Peter Dvorský in the leads.

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    THis one was on the Stingray /Brava channel a few days back.
    Very good, the Butterfly is a great actor and well sung.

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  26. #2309
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Singing and acting very good, but the staging is very strange. Not one I recommend to a first time, or even second time, viewer of Roberto Devereaux. I enjoyed it anyway, but probably will not watch it again.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

  27. #2310
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post


    Conductor/orchestra: Zdenek Košler, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    Prague Philharmonic Chorus
    Cast: Gabriela Benacková, Peter Dvorský, Richard Novák, Miroslav Kopp, Marie Veselá, Jindrich Jindrák, Marie Mrázová, Jaroslav Horá?ek, Jana Jonášová, Alfréd Hampl

    Needed something cheerful, and this did nicely. Some would find it outdated -- it was made in 1981, and appears to have been designed for television -- but the cast is wonderful, especially Gabriela Benacková and Peter Dvorský in the leads.
    I've got that! Love it.
    "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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