Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #916
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    That was the plan anyway! I've seen the role list and it looks good plus met on demand has the five act french version which by all accounts is supposed to be superior. If its as good as the worst of the Verdi I've seen still makes it worth a watch and if its as good as Rigoletto or La Traviata it makes it a necessity to watch!
    Best. Verdi. Evaah.
    Natalie

  2. #917
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Best. Verdi. Evaah.
    That is a mighty claim. Though the Verdi Game does bear that out as it does Die Walküre for Wagner. Alas for the title of best Puccini ever we remain in suspense until the Puccini Game draws to its conclusion!

  3. #918
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    That is a mighty claim. Though the Verdi Game does bear that out as it does Die Walküre for Wagner. Alas for the title of best Puccini ever we remain in suspense until the Puccini Game draws to its conclusion!
    What I have found is that after 35 years I'm still not bored with Don Carlos (or Otello - though I find the plot painful - or Falstaff) while La Traviata, Rigoletto, Trovatore and the other warhorses have begun to pall a bit.
    Natalie

  4. #919
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Where do you put Un ballo in maschera could it be considered a warhorse? The more I listen to it the more I increasingly believe that despite it being comparatively often performed it may be a tad underrated. It's not usually one people consider to be one of their favourites. However I've found it gets stronger after each listening. Speaking of which a little while ago i was introduced to Un Ballo in Maschera by the met on demand service.

    The Mets Un ballo in maschera (2012) I found a pleasant surprise. Until recently I had not heared of it at all unlike the Shakespeare Verdi's the warhorses and Nabucco . If Il Trovatore managed to convince me that Verdi was Puccini's superior after being slightly disappointed by Aida; Un Ballo in Maschera proved to me that some of the best Verdi is often the ones you haven't heard about. From the prelude to the finale the abstract 2012 performance was a performance i enjoyed on an aesthetic level in regards to the production as well as the singing and music. If there was a weaker link it might have been Sondra her timbre can be mildly irritating at times and long soprano solos have never been a part of opera I massively enjoy (Suor Angelica by Puccini becomes even more of a miracle in this regard). Despite this however I was very pleasantly surprised by the Mets Un ballo in maschera and it might have the best last act of a Verdi I've heard so far next to Rigoletto (Rigoletto has one of the strongest final acts in Opera I've seen with an amazing tenor solo a divine quartet a lovely trio and a heart breaking duet) . Therefore bar some minor problems at best the Mets 2012 Un ballo in maschera works very well however prima un avvertimento this version is not for people who dislike Regietheater massively. I myself am not adverse to Regietheater when done well which I think is the case here as it does not distract from the original aims or message but other's may feel differently.

    9/10 A good performance. Singing overall was strong I liked the staging and the music was divine. If not a massive regietheater fan maybe give it a miss unless your a fan of the principals: Dimitri is good as always, Marcelo Álvarez remain a mar-mite singer I like him others will hate him in the role, Sondra remains good as long as she isn't dominant for too long and other minor roles are done incredibly well.

  5. #920
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I sort of agree with this. I, too, think Un Ballo in Maschera tends to be underrated. I've seen it staged a couple of times - the first time in the early 1980s when the Met toured here at the Kennedy Center, with a terrific Pavarotti singing Riccardo (I can't for the life of me remember who sang the other roles, though do recall that both Renato and Amelia were terrific.

    It is one of my stories that I found my way down to the dressing rooms after the performance to meet and chat with Pavarotti and get his autograph.

    One problem with Un Ballo is that when it is only competently cast, it doesn't grab hold as well. The music still is good, of course, but the dramatic effect fades very tellingly.

  6. #921
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    One problem with Un Ballo is that when it is only competently cast, it doesn't grab hold as well. The music still is good, of course, but the dramatic effect fades very tellingly.
    This is very accurate the recording I have works very well but all the leads are quite strong. I think without a stellar cast even in the minor roles Un Ballo can fall flat easily. If Il Trovatore requires 4 great voice Un Ballo in Maschera requires 6 or 7 to have the full effect!

    On a side-note you got to meet Pavarotti! That is actually amazing.

  7. #922
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    I, too, believe that Ballo is top Verdi. I rate his best works (in no particular order) as Traviata, Trovatore, Rigoletto and Ballo. All catch Verdi in top melodic form and all can be compelling drama if performed correctly.

  8. #923
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    I, too, believe that Ballo is top Verdi. I rate his best works (in no particular order) as Traviata, Trovatore, Rigoletto and Ballo. All catch Verdi in top melodic form and all can be compelling drama if performed correctly.
    At the moment these are my Top 4 as well. Don Carlos comes close to Il Trovatore though and while not my favourite music wise does have a very compelling story line that isn't as scattered as some of the others.

    Anyway surprise surprise what I have been watching recently was the Mets Don Carlos starring Alanga,Keenylside,Poplavskaya and many others. Unlike many other Verdi I do not find myself humming many of Don Carlos's tunes however Don Carlos seem to me to be a deeper Opera than some of Verdi's others. For reasons I won't go into here because it's to complex; I felt the music and story were inexplicably more intertwined than other Verdi works. On this occasion for once Love was starting to take a back seat to the more important issues that the characters were dealing with elevating this story wise above many of my favourite Verdi's. By miles it outshone Nabucco and Aida works that while good come nowhere close to Don Carlos for me. Overall while not my favourite music wise Don Carlos almost needs its own separate category as a Verdi work managing to bring in many more themes than usual while allowing for strong character development even of only relatively minor characters. Performance wise I cant spot any flaws I'm sure I'm wrong but for me the singing was superb the staging was simple yet effective and whats more if the singing was great the acting was possibly even better. Say what you will about Roberto Alanga if his singing may occasionally falter in the eyes of some I have yet to see a Met On Demand performance where his acting did anything else but convince me he had become the character and when sharing the stage with Keenlyside he shone even more than usual.

    Don Carlos 10/10 Not my favourite Verdi music wise but the strength of the cast the staging and the story make this irrelevant. Truly an opera in which the parts make for a greater whole. Highly recommended!

  9. #924
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Through the wonders of a student resource I have access to (due to being a UK student) I have once again watched the ROH interpretation of Suor Angelica from 2011. I love this staging! It is one of the rare stagings in which a directors choices changes the Operas ending for the better rather than the worse without changing the meaning to much. The idea of setting the opera in a children s hospital run by nuns is inspired and adds to the drama rather than takes away anything. As for the ending I won't spoil how this interpretation deals with it but needless to say I feel it works very much in favor of the opera rather than to its detriment.

    9/10 As with the Mets Un Ballo detractors from Regietheater might want to give this one a miss. However, if you stick with it you will find it a rewarding experience. If the singing is not spectacular Puccini's score more than makes up for it. As with all of Il Trittico this is Puccini at his best with inspired melody despite its relative unpopularity among audiences.

  10. #925
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    Through the wonders of a student resource I have access to (due to being a UK student) I have once again watched the ROH interpretation of Suor Angelica from 2011. I love this staging! It is one of the rare stagings in which a directors choices changes the Operas ending for the better rather than the worse without changing the meaning to much. The idea of setting the opera in a children s hospital run by nuns is inspired and adds to the drama rather than takes away anything. As for the ending I won't spoil how this interpretation deals with it but needless to say I feel it works very much in favor of the opera rather than to its detriment.

    9/10 As with the Mets Un Ballo detractors from Regietheater might want to give this one a miss. However, if you stick with it you will find it a rewarding experience. If the singing is not spectacular Puccini's score more than makes up for it. As with all of Il Trittico this is Puccini at his best with inspired melody despite its relative unpopularity among audiences.
    While the ROH Suor is a smidge less traditional than the Met Ballo, and the ending a little adapted, I would call neither of them really Regie. The plots are largely respected and there is no directorial Konzept overriding the original. Compare that to Rusalka as a the victim of child abuse, or the Rat Lohengrin, or the Copenhagen Ring, where Brunhilde survives and is left literally holding the baby.
    Natalie

  11. #926
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    My son and I just finished Meistersinger and are now on to this.
    Unfortunately on this FIdelio production the director took liberties with the libretto.
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 4th, 2018 at 10:27 PM.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  12. #927
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    On the subject of favorite Verdi (and, this is favorites, not best Verdi): Don Carlo is tops. But, I have a real weakness for Nabucco (probably because of the Gardelli/Suliotis/Gobbi recording) and Macbeth (which almost are guilty pleasures) and also love Un Ballo in Maschera and Otello. I also like La Forza del destino a lot - it plays strong dramatically even to just listen to on CD.

    I don't know Il Trovatore well at all - I've never seen it staged and recordings, so far, haven't impressed me much. Rigoletto is nice, but a little ho-hum outside of its really big arias/set pieces. La Traviata kind of makes me crazy - not in a good way - I find it to be increasingly annoying to the point I almost never listen to it.

  13. #928
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I don't know Il Trovatore well at all - I've never seen it staged and recordings, so far, haven't impressed me much. Rigoletto is nice, but a little ho-hum outside of its really big arias/set pieces. La Traviata kind of makes me crazy - not in a good way - I find it to be increasingly annoying to the point I almost never listen to it.
    I see your point on Il Trovatore. Its plot can be a mess and I think the Mets staging from a few years ago is what convinced me to get a recording. I do love some of it but it drags in parts. La Traviata I love the first act and act two but act three weakens it significantly in my view. Rigoletto however remains in my pole position for Verdi but then again I've listened to it so many times all of it seems chains of highlights except for the latter part of act 1 scene 2 after Rigoletto leaves and before he comes back.(I know this contains caro nome.I love all of Rigoletto just don't like this part as much). The opera only gets stronger after this act 2 is brilliant and act 3 is immense. In act 3 you get possibly the famous aria in Opera (I've tested this many times to show people they know opera every single one knows La Donna e Mobile so far!) this if followed by one of the greatest quartets ever and the music remains very strong after this.

  14. #929
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    On the subject of favorite Verdi (and, this is favorites, not best Verdi): Don Carlo is tops. But, I have a real weakness for Nabucco (probably because of the Gardelli/Suliotis/Gobbi recording) and Macbeth (which almost are guilty pleasures) and also love Un Ballo in Maschera and Otello. I also like La Forza del destino a lot - it plays strong dramatically even to just listen to on CD.

    I don't know Il Trovatore well at all - I've never seen it staged and recordings, so far, haven't impressed me much. Rigoletto is nice, but a little ho-hum outside of its really big arias/set pieces. La Traviata kind of makes me crazy - not in a good way - I find it to be increasingly annoying to the point I almost never listen to it.

    I should add that the Il Trovatore deficit will be corrected in July 2016, when we have tickets (already!) for the opera at the Berliner Staatsoper with Anna Netrebko.

  15. #930
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I should add that the Il Trovatore deficit will be corrected in July 2016, when we have tickets (already!) for the opera at the Berliner Staatsoper with Anna Netrebko.
    That should be good. Had a look at the cast list not only is the lovely Anna in the production Dolora Zajick is Azucena. That explains why the tickets went so fast!!!!

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