Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #811
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Jesus, I *must* find some time to watch it. I took a full week off... had some real vacations... and today I restarted working on Opera Lively, but I'm still not fewer than SIX interviews behind... and there are other demands on me from the local scene (the public library wants me to deliver two lectures on opera, the psychiatry residency training program at Duke wants the same, and I need to continue the coverage for our new partners Greensboro Opera).

    Not to forget that I fear Monday morning when I go back to the hospital and most likely there will be a tone of accumulated things to do.
    That's a bit sad, spending so much time on opera-related stuff you run out of time for listening or watching.
    Natalie

  2. #812
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    That's a bit sad, spending so much time on opera-related stuff you run out of time for listening or watching.
    Exactly. Which is why I've been bitching and complaining for a while now. Burned out. The NY vacation - this time with no interviews - did help, though. I feel less burned out and willing to work on things, again. On the other hand, it introduced a painful contrast. Everybody noticed that I was more relaxed, including the staff at the hotel (we always stay at the same place and they all know us). My wife was delighted that instead of doing 4-5 interviews, having to prepare for them, attend them, go meet artists late at night backstage, be back at the hotel and work on reviews until late... I was actually enjoying her company, going places with her, walking around aimlessly, going to restaurants... Not having any interviews made me feel like I was rediscovering New York City... and having a great time.

    So now it's a problem. What do I do, next trip?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #813
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Exactly. Which is why I've been bitching and complaining for a while now. Burned out. The NY vacation - this time with no interviews - did help, though. I feel less burned out and willing to work on things, again. On the other hand, it introduced a painful contrast. Everybody noticed that I was more relaxed, including the staff at the hotel (we always stay at the same place and they all know us). My wife was delighted that instead of doing 4-5 interviews, having to prepare for them, attend them, go meet artists late at night backstage, be back at the hotel and work on reviews until late... I was actually enjoying her company, going places with her, walking around aimlessly, going to restaurants... Not having any interviews made me feel like I was rediscovering New York City... and having a great time.

    So now it's a problem. What do I do, next trip?
    You started this up for your enjoyment. You have a day job. Why not now just do interviews with people you really really want to meet, and "postpone" the others? If it's become that much of a chore it's not worth it. I mean you're in this because you love opera, and if you are not having time to enjoy the art-form it's just ridiculous...
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Fidelio from Salzburg with Jonas Kaufmann and Adrianne Pieczonka, conducted with tremendous verve by Franz Welser-Mst and directed by Claus Guth. No dialogue, this is replaced by industrial noises and breathing which I thought was going to be irritating but actually created an aptly oppressive atmosphere. Fidelio was shadowed by anactress who seemed to be using Sign Language - expressing all the things that Leonore wanted to say but had to keep hidden? I think it worked really well and concentrated us on the drama of Leonore and Florestan. I liked the set with its opposition of light and dark.

    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 4th, 2018 at 10:12 PM.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I'm still not certain about Guth's staging, especially since he has Florestan drop dead at the end - this is surely not the message Beethoven meant to convey. Still, I hope this is released on DVD because I really want to hear der Jonas (again!) and Adrianne Pieczonka's Leonore.

  6. #816
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    Last night watching this stunning Salzburg recording from Verdi's Don Carlo.
    Karajan pulled all the stops out, the only thing bothering me is Izzo d'Amico , if that had been Freni



  7. #817
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    Last night watching this stunning Salzburg recording from Verdi's Don Carlo.
    Karajan pulled all the stops out, the only thing bothering me is Izzo d'Amico , if that had been Freni


    I've got that one and I really like it. I wish it had been the 5 Act but the presence of Carreras, Cappuccilli and Furlanetto makes up for 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

  8. #818
    Senior Member Involved Member Nekrotzar's Avatar
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    I just watched this.....perhaps I have been a bit unfair towards La Traviata in the past based on one mediocre performance. I'm glad I've watched this as it reaffirms my opinion.



    I loved the staging, but that was the only thing of this that I loved.
    If you would seek salvation, remember this:
    a life in Hell can still aspire to BLISS.

  9. #819
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    I've got that one and I really like it. I wish it had been the 5 Act but the presence of Carreras, Cappuccilli and Furlanetto makes up for it.

    Don't forget Baltsa

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Nekrotzar View Post
    I just watched this.....perhaps I have been a bit unfair towards La Traviata in the past based on one mediocre performance. I'm glad I've watched this as it reaffirms my opinion.


    I loved the staging, but that was the only thing of this that I loved.
    Seen it once , never again.
    A travesty to the composer .

  10. #820
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    There are two superb Traviatas on Blu ray: the first, on Opus Arte, features Renee Fleming and Joseph Calleja; the second, on a fabulously low priced issue from Art Haus features Angela Gheorghiu and Ramon Vargas. Both are traditionally staged and well conducted, with Antonio Pappano from the ROH in the former disc, and Loren Maazel from La Scala in the latter. Fleming's discussion of the difficulties of performing Violetta is a worthwhile extra feature on Opus Arte.

  11. #821
    Senior Member Involved Member Nekrotzar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    Seen it once , never again.
    A travesty to the composer .
    I did find the singing and the interpretation of the score to be rather mediocre (apart from Netrebko) but I wouldn't call it a travesty.... the distant music I found particularly effective actually.
    If you would seek salvation, remember this:
    a life in Hell can still aspire to BLISS.

  12. #822
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nekrotzar View Post
    I did find the singing and the interpretation of the score to be rather mediocre (apart from Netrebko) but I wouldn't call it a travesty.... the distant music I found particularly effective actually.
    I think Adrian means the production, it being so abstract. It's clear from reading the comments on this forum that the opera world falls into those attracted by "traditional" literal interpretations of a work, and those who want more directorial input and less literalism. I personally like a literal production for my first viewing of an opera, but after that I welcome a bit of Regie.
    Natalie

  13. #823
    Senior Member Involved Member Nekrotzar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I think Adrian means the production, it being so abstract. It's clear from reading the comments on this forum that the opera world falls into those attracted by "traditional" literal interpretations of a work, and those who want more directorial input and less literalism. I personally like a literal production for my first viewing of an opera, but after that I welcome a bit of Regie.
    Ohhhh I see. Well I thought the staging was the best part of the whole performance. It draws attention to the singers mainly and the actual movement on stage is interesting in itself. The inclusion of visual metaphors also gets the audience thinking rather than just sitting there absorbing the story passively. I don't find the actual music composed by Verdi to be particularly interesting at all; I find his music to sound rather robotic and somewhat devoid of emotion. This production enhances the emotion by bringing out the characters and the actions on stage and even the visual metaphors further. This is very subjective and I'd have to compare it with a [good] traditional production because the one I've seen prior to this was pretty devoid of emotion, making me prefer this.

    For me, I like both regie and traditional as long as they are done well. That La Traviata I watched was a production which I think was done very well.
    If you would seek salvation, remember this:
    a life in Hell can still aspire to BLISS.

  14. #824
    Senior Member Involved Member Nekrotzar's Avatar
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    Oh, and about the word 'abstract' to describe that production....

    I didn't think it was abstract in any sense apart from the fact that it wasn't in its original setting. It's an opera about characters primarily. All the story revolves around character relationships. The acting is all there and there was nothing unusual or abstract about it. The scenery enhanced themes in the libretto, which is what I'd say is a 'normal' thing to do rather than an 'abstraction.'
    If you would seek salvation, remember this:
    a life in Hell can still aspire to BLISS.

  15. #825
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    My main problem with that Traviata — with Willy Decker in general, actually — is that he seems to ignore the meaning of "enough". You like icons, we get it. We like them too, but honestly... When the Clock of Doom™ appears for the first time it's fine, we're like OH THE CLOCK IS TICKING FOR POOR VIOLETTA HEHE YEAH WILLY NICE ONE CONGRATS, then it appears covered in freaking floral print (!) until she removes it during Dite alla giovine and I'm thinking HMMM THIS BRIEF FERIOD OF HAPPINESS IS OVER FOR POOR VIOLETTA INDEED THE PRINT HAD A BLACK BACKGROUND HMMM WILLY OK... during the party scene it becomes the center of the stage and she gets to sing Addio del passato laying ON the Clock of Doom™!

    Why would you insist so much on a relation that is so easy to establish? Why reinforce the obvious? The Clock of Doom™ is not insight, it is not even new. Yes, it can be nice and I don't dislike the production as a whole, but why such a heavy hand, Willy?!

    And he does the same with the cross in his Otello.

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