Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #2371
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Regret no subtitles, but is sung in English. Excellent production!
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  3. #2372
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    What I’ve been watching in July, ranked. It was unintentional that 4 of the operas were in English; driven by streaming expiration dates:

    #1 - Britten – The Turn of the Screw – Opera North, Streaming on Operavision
    Masterfully eerie production of Britten’s haunting masterwork. The camerawork doesn’t quite convey the way the apparitions must have suddenly appeared to those who got to see this live, but the performances still shine. ****1/2

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    #2 - Meyerbeer – Robert le diable – Royal Opera House, Blu-Ray
    This is my first time watching a Meyerbeer opera; not by choice, but by scarcity. Compared to other dramas of the era, Meyerbeer seems to have a flair for theatricality, and I’m dying to see more. It was well-matched to Laurent Pelly’s production style; hand-drawn backdrops emphasized the story-book quality, without cheapening the story-telling, with the exception of the Act 5 “mouth of hell” which felt a little deficient to the spectacle it should achieve, especially compared to the nifty Inferno of Act 3. Tremendous singing throughout. ****1/2

    #3 - Floyd – Susannah – San Francisco Opera, Streamed on SFO is On
    Classic American opera very near the style of Copland (especially with the Appalachian folk songs). This production is very pretty with gorgeous natural scenes projected as backdrops, although those backdrops are partially hidden by wooden barn walls that purposefully give it a claustrophobic feeling. The audio recording was a bit dry and unflattering to some of the voices (left them as naked as the title character?). But the opera left an impact on me; I still very much recognize this ugly version of America in the small towns I’ve grown up around. ****

    #4 - Tippett – The Ice Break – Birmingham Opera, Streamed on Operavision
    An opera about racial inequality, political unrest and violence; an opera 50 years old that sadly could be set today. Tippett wrote his own libretti and that has often proved a blessing, but here it’s aged unevenly. Most of it is good, but his characterization of Olympion – a famous black athlete – is one-dimensional and cringy. Still, I like this production and its community-involvement approach. This is one of Graham Vick’s stagings where the audience can wander around a space and be a part of the performance. I’d love to experience one live someday. (Sigh.) ***1/2

    #5 - Smyth – The Wreckers – Bard Summerscape, Streamed on ASO Online
    The concept of a community that causes shipwrecks for loot has a lot of promise, but the overly florid libretto made it sound drearily old-fashioned and left me cold. The production is nicely atmospheric to match the vividly stormy orchestral writing, but kind of static after a while; I’d like to see this opera performed again and given a little more oomph. ***

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  5. #2373
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Just finished. Awesome performance. Ausrinė Stundytė is a phenomenal Tosca! A must watch for any Tosca fan. English subtitles too!
    "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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    Hadn't watched this in a while. I could do without the "behind the scenes" shots in the video direction, but the cast is excellent.

  7. #2375
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Don't care for this one:


    This one is pretty good, but a lot of reverb makes it a challenge to listen to:
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

  8. #2376
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I want to like this, and there is a lot to like about it, but the two principal characters ruin it for me. Juan Diego Florez's voice just has a quality that grates my ear on higher notes. A lot of tenors do that. Rolando Villazon does not. As for Cecilia Bartoli, her staccato singing style gets old fast, as does hearing a two-year-old repeating the same syllable over and over just to hear his own voice.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  10. #2377
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    This one is pretty good:


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

  11. #2378
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post

    ...This one is awesome!
    Anna Moffo, Anna Moffo, Anna Moffo...

    I am a two year old (+ alpha)...

    I'm interested; what is the sound like?

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  13. #2379
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Hi, Clayton,

    It's good to hear from you again. I hope all is well with you and you're finding some time to enjoy your opera recordings.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    Anna Moffo, Anna Moffo, Anna Moffo...

    I am a two year old (+ alpha)...

    I'm interested; what is the sound like?
    Well the sound is dated, but not bad. Best way to see is check it out here in the sound clips:
    https://www.allmusic.com/album/belli...a-mw0001390988

    But to really fall in love with the Moffo Sonnambula you should watch it. This is the same production as the CD set and is available on DVD with subtitles. This very youthful Moffo, perhaps even in her late teens or early 20s, is IMO the very best Amina for how I picture Amina, a delicate, naïve, and wholesome young lady.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  17. #2381
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Finally got around to watching this. Very nice production. I am not that excited about this opera though.
    "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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    This video from the Salzburg Festival of the 1912 Urfassung of Ariadne auf Naxos is another one I hadn't watched in some time. Truth be told, I bought it for JK's Bacchus, and he doesn't disappoint. The original version of “Grossmächtige Prinzessin” must be one of the most difficult arias in the entire coloratura soprano repertoire, and Elena Moşuc tosses it off as though there were nothing to it. Emily Magee is a fine Ariadne, though I do prefer Susan B. Anthony in the video of the revised 1916 (standard) version of this opera. The characters of the Composer, Music Master, and Dancing Master are all spoken roles here, and the nouveau-riche home owner, referred to but never seen in the standard version, is present in the Bourgeois Gentilhomme segment that replaces the Prologue in the original.

  20. #2383
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Another video I hadn't watched in a while. Dietrich Henschel is one of my favorite baritones, and the young JK appears here in the minor role of Telemaco.

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  22. #2384
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post

    Another video I hadn't watched in a while. Dietrich Henschel is one of my favorite baritones, and the young JK appears here in the minor role of Telemaco.
    I have it and watched it a few years ago, but don't recall the presence of JK, so will have to take another look. You JK also appears in Nina DVD, which is conveniently available on You Tube. Here he is (click).
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  24. #2385
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I have the DVD of Nina -- another one I haven't watched in some time. Guess I'll have a look at it next.

    It's interesting to note that JK gets listed on the DVD cover of Il Ritorno d'Ulisse ahead of Rudolf Schasching, even though the latter sings the much larger (no pun intended) role of Iro. It seems recording labels will always prominently feature the name of a star singer in lists of cast members or soloists, even if that star only sings a couple of lines. JK has more than a couple of lines here, but he spends more time standing around than singing.
    Last edited by MAuer; August 25th, 2020 at 11:35 AM.

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