Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #331
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    The original was Mose in Egitto, an opera seria composed for Naples during Lent, when the Church proscribed "theatre" unless there was some religious theme. Mose in Egitto had that, but it also had the love interest, with a stunning, extended duet for soprano and tenor. In his Paris years, Rossini enlarged Mose, adding music, including the required ballet (the music of which is lovely) and more choral music. Critics tend to favor the original, but being an "equal opportunity" kind of guy, I go either way (musically, that is!).
    My take on this:

    Unlike other remakes/translations, Moïse et Pharaon qualifies as a different opera, given that Rossini's alterations affected every aspect of the work, from adding an act and a ballet, to changing the vocal writing. While in Naples he favored coloratura, in Paris he reduced the vocal ornamentation to clear melodic lines and greatly enhanced the role of the chorus, which gives the work a much more oratorio-like feel (Rossini did intend this work to be an oratorio). The libretto was also brand new in original French and not a direct translation of the previous Italian work, and some character names were changed. Also, Moïse et Pharaon unlike its predecessor is all Rossini, while the Italian work had parts by Carafa and another unnamed composer. Rossini for the Paris version got rid of all musical material that wasn't by him, and rewrote entirely the recitatives. The plot was also changed, with the plague of darkness covering Egypt no longer being at the opera's opening, but being instead moved to the second act. Various other elements were changed, including to accommodate the new ballet, which takes the form of ceremonial Egyptian dances before the temple of Isis.

    Even though some critics praise this work as musically better than its predecessor, I thoroughly disagree, and find Mosè in Egitto with its coloratura, shorter running time, and less ponderous approach, a more enjoyable opera. But if you are into oratorios, then you'll like this a lot, and yes, there are gorgeous numbers.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #332
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    Last night it was that exquisite Romeo et Juilette with Machaidze and Villazon. Talk about passion!! And passionate singing!!!
    That is a gorgeous production and cast, isn't it?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #333
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    I need to clear my mind of that Wagnerian heavyweight over-orchestrated stuff that is so lacking in delicacy and melody.

    (To self: watch for the torches; angry villagers are on the horizon ...
    Those of us who lead heavyweight over-orchestrated lives lacking in delicacy and melody need something to listen to too, you know.

  4. #334
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    AHA!! Distant torches.

  5. #335
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    Last night we watched that scintillatingly funny L'Italiana in Algerie, from the ROF. While I tend to prefer traditional staging, this one is so funny that I suspect Rossini, a total man of the theatre, would have loved it. Being a "ladies' man", he would have also enjoyed Anna Goryachova, who was ... attractively (if skimpily) costumed through much of the second half. I, myself, pay little attention to all that "cough cough" stuff ....

    Alex Esposito as Mustafa and Yijie Shi as Lindoro were also first rate. As was the Blu ray pic and sound, which enabled a detailed orchestral sound.

  6. #336
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    The postman still hasn't knocked, so to get my Meistersinger fix I went to Medici

    Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
    Recorded live at Bayreuth Festspiele 2008
    Franz Hawlata (Hans Sachs), Jack Nicholson (Sixtus Beckmesser), Michaela Kaune (Eva), Klaus Florian Vogt (Walther Von Stolzing), Norbert Ernst (David), Carola Guber (Magdalene), Artur Korn (Veit Pogner), Markus Eiche (Fritz Kothner), Friedemann Röhlig (Ein Nachtwächter), Charles Reid (Kunz Vogelgesang), Rainer Zaun (Konrad Nachtigall), Edward Randall (Balthasar Zorn), Hans-Jürgen Lazar (Ulrich Eisslinger), Stefan Heibach (Augustin Moser), Martin Snell (Hermann Ortel), Andreas Macco (Hans Schwarz), Iógenes Randes (Hans Foltzd)
    Bayreuther Festspiele Chorus & Bayreuther Festspiele Orchestra, Sebastian Weigle (conductor) & Katharina Wagner (stage director)

    Name:  Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Bayreuth 2008.jpg
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    I really enjoyed this

    well the singing bit.

    I did not understand the staging at all. It started a little bit odd then proceeded to dip in and out of shades of surreal and occasionally touching on deranged. Why would Sachs get a lap dance from a topless girl wearing a doll's head and a green tutu? Too difficult for me.

    However, the singing completely made up for it, a beautiful KFV (he is a master), Michal Volle a brilliant Beckmesser and Hawlata close to my favourite Sachs. Actually, I would recommend this recording, even if you decide to turn the video off.

  7. #337
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    The postman still hasn't knocked, so to get my Meistersinger fix I went to Medici

    Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
    Recorded live at Bayreuth Festspiele 2008
    Franz Hawlata (Hans Sachs), Jack Nicholson (Sixtus Beckmesser), Michaela Kaune (Eva), Klaus Florian Vogt (Walther Von Stolzing), Norbert Ernst (David), Carola Guber (Magdalene), Artur Korn (Veit Pogner), Markus Eiche (Fritz Kothner), Friedemann Röhlig (Ein Nachtwächter), Charles Reid (Kunz Vogelgesang), Rainer Zaun (Konrad Nachtigall), Edward Randall (Balthasar Zorn), Hans-Jürgen Lazar (Ulrich Eisslinger), Stefan Heibach (Augustin Moser), Martin Snell (Hermann Ortel), Andreas Macco (Hans Schwarz), Iógenes Randes (Hans Foltzd)
    Bayreuther Festspiele Chorus & Bayreuther Festspiele Orchestra, Sebastian Weigle (conductor) & Katharina Wagner (stage director)

    Name:  Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Bayreuth 2008.jpg
Views: 102
Size:  29.2 KB

    I really enjoyed this

    well the singing bit.

    I did not understand the staging at all. It started a little bit odd then proceeded to dip in and out of shades of surreal and occasionally touching on deranged. Why would Sachs get a lap dance from a topless girl wearing a doll's head and a green tutu? Too difficult for me.

    However, the singing completely made up for it, a beautiful KFV (he is a master), Michal Volle a brilliant Beckmesser and Hawlata close to my favourite Sachs. Actually, I would recommend this recording, even if you decide to turn the video off.
    Um, maybe it went a bit off the rails when you thought you were seeing Jack Nicholson as Beckmesser? He's a great actor, but I'm not so sure about his singing...

  8. #338
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    Last night, we went to the ROH (digitally) and enjoyed the 2009 La Boheme with Hilba Gerzmava (Mimi), Teodor Ilincai (Rodolfo), Gabriele Viviani (Marcello) and Inna Dukach ( Musetta). The staging by John Copley was traditional, the sets were lovely and the singing was superb. These younger singers bring a bit more credibility to their roles, by virtue of being under 40, but having heard superb Bohemes by singers over 40, its more of the visual than the audible.

    The quality of the Opus Arte Blu ray was also excellent.

  9. #339
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Um, maybe it went a bit off the rails when you thought you were seeing Jack Nicholson as Beckmesser? He's a great actor, but I'm not so sure about his singing...
    Heeeeeeeere's . . . Sixtus!

  10. #340
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    He does portray the character a bit more like that in this production; rather than a stuffy guardian of the old order with rightful heir, more of a... well, err... yes. Exactly that.

  11. #341
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    Still stunning after all those years .

  12. #342
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    The Met's Butterfly DVD will arrive today, according to Amazon's tracking. We plan on watching it tonight while the State of the Union speech is airing.

  13. #343
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    The Met's Butterfly DVD will arrive today, according to Amazon's tracking. We plan on watching it tonight while the State of the Union speech is airing.


    I like your priorities!
    "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

  14. #344
    Senior Member Involved Member Floria's Avatar
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    This past weekend by husband and I watched Das Rheingold, the Met's Robert LePage production.
    Bryn Terfel, Richard Croft, Eric Owens, Stephanie Blythe

    Name:  das rh.jpg
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  15. #345
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floria View Post
    This past weekend by husband and I watched Das Rheingold, the Met's Robert LePage production.
    Bryn Terfel, Richard Croft, Eric Owens, Stephanie Blythe

    Name:  das rh.jpg
Views: 82
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    Aah, yes, Bryn channelling his inner Veronica Lake:

    Natalie

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