Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
    Bookmark and Share
  1. #826
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    5,879
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    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.
    Well said and I absolutely agree about Decker's monomaniac heavy-handedness.
    Natalie

  2. #827
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,961
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    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.
    ^This of course is true, but I still love that production. Yep, too much symbolism down the viewer's throat, but also, many strong points as well. First of all, this is one of the few productions that actually get Alfredo and Violetta together on stage in some scenes when other stagings have only one of them there. Second, the minimalism of the curved wall is fine. Third, the iconic red dress is wonderful. Fourth, all the other characters wearing black suits was genius. Fifth, the use made of people appearing on top of the wall was pretty interesting. And so on, and so forth.

    It is a very good production, in my opinion. I've seen it three times live at the Met with different casts, a few things got changed every time, and it was all good. And of course I simply love the original one from Salzburg with Anna, immortalized on blu-ray disc - I've watched it multiple times and I've shown it to friends I wanted to introduce to opera, and the reaction has been rather good.

    The *one* downside is the insistence with the clock symbolism, but it's not *one* element of a production that completely invalidates it, in my opinion (I know that this is not what you are saying - we actually seem to be on the same page regarding this issue).

    There are countless other good productions that have some element that is not right. Getting *everything* right is not easy, in live opera. I actually can't think of too many productions to which I didn't have one or two objections (I guess there is nothing wrong with the Glyndebourne Così fan tutte, with Katie Mitchell's Written on Skin, with Claus Guth's Don Giovanni, and some others... but it's not the most common thing).

    And there are also many Traviata productions that are completely bland and uninteresting.

    I still think that Willy Decker's Traviata is one of the best out there.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #828
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,961
    Post Thanks / Like
    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
    Each opera lover has a different taste, and people who are in tune with modern and contemporary music understandably sometimes are not as fond of Romantic scores.

    I do encourage those so inclined, to consider that Verdi's score for La Traviata was very innovative *at the time.* There are several elements in La Traviata that account for a rather interesting construction. It's a precursor to Verismo, and it is very descriptive of the story - for example, using contrapuntal elements for conflicting emotions and differences of point of view and then migrating to unison singing when characters get closer to each other in their feelings; using a revolving, round-like structure when revelers are trying to get Violetta back to the Maelstrom of her demi-mondaine life; making efficient use of off-stage singing; introducing a generational gap with a style that was used a couple of decades before, in the music for Papa Germont; getting the voice-over declamation (when Violetta reads the letter in Teneste la promessa) done *for the first time* (which is *now* considered tacky but at the time was a new idea); and so on and so forth. Also, some of its main arias and ensembles are among the most accomplished ones in the entire history of opera, and are beloved, perennial favorites.

    For me, La Traviata is an *astounding* masterpiece. It is in my opinion Verdi's best opera, and close to perfect in both music and libretto. It is not for nothing that La Traviata made #4 in the Opera Lively Community's list of most recommended operas of all time, below only Die Walküre, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Don Giovanni.

    I mean, #4 among 50,000 operas! Its huge popularity, which survived the test of time, is well deserved.

    As for the music being devoid of emotion, even though I've been over-exposed to this opera like everybody else, and even though I know by heart its music, first to last note, I still cry when I listen to it live. I find it extremely emotionally rich.

    I mean, how can Addio del passato fail to convey emotion?

    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #829
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Detroit MI
    Posts
    3,345
    Post Thanks / Like
    This and I am liking it very much:



    I think Christa Ludwig in this video was Gundula Janowitz' model for when she did the 1978 Bernstein Fidelio. Janowitz' mannerisms and emotions in that one are very much like those of Ludwig in this one.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  5. #830
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    São Paulo
    Posts
    1,184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    The *one* downside is the insistence with the clock symbolism, but it's not *one* element of a production that completely invalidates it, in my opinion (I know that this is not what you are saying - we actually seem to be on the same page regarding this issue).
    Yes, yes, we are. I just feel like poking Decker in the eye (with a dead fish ) for underestimating the audience so much. Even Zeffirelli is more subtle! His icon is also an easy one, fallen Teresa Stratas, which is, after all, the title of the opera, but he reiterates it more sparingly and, since it is the body of Violetta that conveys the image, less intrusively. He finds a very simple manner of getting his graphic motif across in an otherwise utterly decadent movie, and that's probably the thing I like the most about it.

  6. #831
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    5,879
    Post Thanks / Like
    Le Nozze di Figaro from Salzburg a la Downton Abbey. Great cast (that Cherubino!), great singing, great acting, good production. Not sure about diritto feudale in the 1930s but we'll let that pass.

    Luca Pisaroni (Conte Almaviva)
    Anett Fritsch (Contessa Almaviva)
    Martina Janková (Susanna)
    Adam Plachetka (Figaro)
    Margarita Gritskova (Cherubino)
    Ann Murray (Marcellina)
    Carlos Chausson (Don Bartolo)
    Paul Schweinester (Don Basilio)
    Franz Supper (Don Curzio)
    Christina Gansch (Barbarina)
    Erik Anstine (Antonio)

    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 4th, 2018 at 10:15 PM.
    Natalie

  7. #832
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Berkhamsted, UK
    Posts
    4,520
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    I would like to say outstanding but I've used that word too often, so it's

    beautiful, sexy, tragic, passionate, exciting, great theatre... it's b£**&y brilliant.

    Ditto on the Ah mio cor, schernito sei..., I was overcome with an emotion that I can only describe as I thought my whole world was falling apart. A sensational performance by PaPe.

    I would urge any Handel fans to watch this.

    I hope this comes out on dvd but just in case it doesn't I will be watching it again before streaming service expires at the end of the month.
    It is the final countdown, Festival d’Aix Alcina production with PaPe and Jaroussky will only be available for another week. As a process of risk management I will be watching it again (I hope it will be launched as a dvd) now and advise all Handel fans to get it whilst you can

    Tens of minutes and many clicks on the left button of the mouse later (causing some repetitive action stress on the index finger), I have given up trying to figure out how to record the stream. I was going to call a computer engineer but
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 4th, 2018 at 10:15 PM.

  8. #833
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Berkhamsted, UK
    Posts
    4,520
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    ...and advise all Handel fans to get it whilst you can...
    I could have phrased this better. Maybe watch it whilst you can would have been better.

  9. #834
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    São Paulo
    Posts
    1,184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    Tens of minutes and many clicks on the left button of the mouse later (causing some repetitive action stress on the index finger), I have given up trying to figure out how to record the stream. I was going to call a computer engineer but
    Most of the streams today are protected. They encrypt the video into hundreds of little fragments 1 or 2 seconds long that are fetched and decoded on demand. If we miss it, we have to pray for a commercial DVD/bluray release, there's no easy way out. :/

  10. #835
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Berkhamsted, UK
    Posts
    4,520
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    Most of the streams today are protected. They encrypt the video into hundreds of little fragments 1 or 2 seconds long that are fetched and decoded on demand. If we miss it, we have to pray for a commercial DVD/bluray release, there's no easy way out. :/
    oh

    if only i'd known this before my futile finger wiggling exercise

  11. #836
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Berkhamsted, UK
    Posts
    4,520
    Post Thanks / Like
    A special mention to Anna Prohaska who also performs a wonderful performance as Morgana, though whilst is less spectacular than Karina Gauvin in the Curtis production, is beautiful and pitiful.

  12. #837
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    São Paulo
    Posts
    1,184
    Post Thanks / Like
    I am watching it right now and Clayton hasn't exaggerated one bit.

  13. #838
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    São Paulo
    Posts
    1,184
    Post Thanks / Like
    I just finished Alcina and my advice is: HURRY!

    I think it is the best Handel staging I've ever seen? I don't know. I'm gobsmacked. Certainly it is Petibon at her peak. Very fragile Morgana by Prohaska, I was totally sold to her during Verdi prati and she wasn't even singing. Oberto is really a child! And isn't Anthony Gregory cute? Oronte with the whip...

    Really. I don't know what to say. Just go watch it while you can.

  14. #839
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    5,879
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    Most of the streams today are protected. They encrypt the video into hundreds of little fragments 1 or 2 seconds long that are fetched and decoded on demand. If we miss it, we have to pray for a commercial DVD/bluray release, there's no easy way out. :/
    Natalie

  15. #840
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    São Paulo
    Posts
    1,184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Unless a TVrip ends up on YouTube!

Similar Threads

  1. Watching Opera DVDs in 3D
    By Couchie in forum General Operatic Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: August 27th, 2012, 04:05 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


free html visitor counters
hit counter




Official Media Partners of Opera Carolina

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Opera Carolina

Official Media Partners of NC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of North Carolina Opera

Official Media Partners of Greensboro Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Greensboro Opera

Official Media Partners of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and Piedmont Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Piedmont Opera

Official Media Partners of Asheville Lyric Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Asheville Lyric Opera

Official Media Partners of UNC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of UNC Opera
Dept. of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences

www.operalively.com

VISIT WWW.OPERALIVELY.COM FOR ALL YOUR OPERA NEEDS