Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #2311
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan'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 Some would find it outdated -- it was made in 1981, and appears to have been designed for television -- but the cast is wonderful, especially Gabriela Benacková and Peter Dvorský in the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.
    Thanks for the idea. I just finished a DVD and was wondering what to listen to next. So this will be it but my copy is with Lucia Popp and Siegfried Jerusalem.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Another classic from the past .
    Caballé and Vickers are in top form.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    "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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    The posts with audio recordings of Anna Bolena made me want to watch this again.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I am watching this delightful and excellent production, but the one I am watching has subtitles.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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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


    The posts with audio recordings of Anna Bolena made me want to watch this again.
    A great production. I got that for my homework for when I saw it last year.
    "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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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    The ending of this opera has a reference of sorts to Easter, so I thought it would make for appropriate viewing yesterday. And this production also includes a Cincinnati Opera alumna among the cast members: mezzo Wendy White (Marthe Schwertlein), who was a member of one of the company’s young artist ensembles in 1979 and 1980, then often returned over the next decade to sing leading roles. (Regrettably, JK does not have any associations with the local opera company . . . though one may always hope for a miracle! )

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    This one is so good, well done R.O.H.

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    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Usually in April, I have so many live operas to go to, I can watch multiple operas a week without my roommates noticing much. In this quarantine year, they’re just gonna have to deal with it! I went all out for Easter Weekend catching up on all the Eastern European operas streaming right now:

    Dvorak – Rusalka – Streaming on Operavision from Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

    I was skeptical of this production, which features an abstract, rotating backdrop of slats of wood arranged into undulating wave-like patterns. But somehow, with various lighting effects, aesthetically, it works. It works better than the productions which try to recreate a forest or lake bottom on stage (and always fail to be convincing). Also, this production features dancers which “double” the singers, and I thought for sure that they would be either distracting or fail to add anything worthwhile. But the movements here were tasteful and insightful, and it felt like they successfully took some of the pressure away from the singers to have to do a lot of physical acting during critical moments. It was a simple but effective Rusalka – a terrific opera – beautifully sung, and the orchestra sounded incredible.

    Zajc – Nikola Šubić Zrinjski – Streaming on Operavision from Croatian National Theatre

    Premiered in 1876, this nationalistic opera is probably one of the first in Croatian. It tells the story of a revered war hero, who led his troops to certain death taking enough enemy casualties with them to turn the tide of an invasion. More historically accurate than I expected, but not very dramatic, and mere patriotism does not travel well so this will never be an important opera outside Croatia. I regret to say, it is not very interesting musically, either. Zajc studied opera in Italy, and most of this sounds like generic/second-rate early Verdi. Occasionally Arthur Sullivan-esque. A couple of memorable choruses close Act 1 & 3. The performers and production make the most of it, with nicely-detailed costumes.

    Kalniņš – I Played, I Danced – Streaming on Operavision from Latvian National Opera

    On the other hand, we have this 1977 Latvian opera which updates the myth of Orpheus with Latvian twists, and it is wonderful. Lovely Latvian folk tunes dominate Act I, and when our hero – Tots the kokle player – travels to the underworld, it turns into a Tim Burton-esque rock opera. Imants Kalniņš has a background in both classical composition and rock, and harmonically this is very conservative and populist for 1977, but not at the expense of very interesting, eclectic orchestral writing. This opera is exciting and entertaining and has tunes that are now stuck in my head, and I think it’s worthy of entering the international repertoire. This production is also very striking and rich. A must-see.

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    For those who prefer traditional productions, this one from the Met is excellent, with three totally credible singers in the leading roles. The three are also Cincinnati Opera alums. Like Kathleen Battle, Barbara Daniels is another graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and like Wendy White, started out as a member of one of the CO’s young artist ensembles and later returned to sing many leading roles with the company.

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  22. #2322
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    Another traditional production, whats not to like.

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    Fascinating singing, not so keen on the stage, oh well keeps one busy.

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  26. #2324
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Just finished this last night. It is awesome! I highly recommend watching it. Think is only up through mid May (per comments below video). They really should put this out on DVD. A shame there are so few DVD productions of this opera.

    EDIT: Found a review of this performance.

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

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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


    And this production also includes a Cincinnati Opera alumna among the cast members: mezzo Wendy White (Marthe Schwertlein), who was a member of one of the company’s young artist ensembles in 1979 and 1980, then often returned over the next decade to sing leading roles.
    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post


    The three are also Cincinnati Opera alums. Like Kathleen Battle, Barbara Daniels is another graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and like Wendy White, started out as a member of one of the CO’s young artist ensembles and later returned to sing many leading roles with the company.
    There must be something in the water in Cincinnati! Seriously though, how wonderful that all these have gone on to sing leading roles.
    "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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