Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #991
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    "Fancuilla de West was good but didn't have the magic quality that I find has appeared in my favorite Puccini moments. La Rondine however was a different story altogether unlike parts of madame butterfly (The second act before sharpless arrives*) or Tosca's start(Which I found was slow but eventually worth the wait) La Rondines magic managed to carry all the way through to become my third favorite Puccini after La Boheme and Gianni Schicchi."

    This quote is from a post I did in a thread (met demand 7 day trial) on July the second and after a couple of rewatches of certain operas I feel some statements need to be corrected. Firstly my dismissal of Fancuilla I learned was dead wrong. On a re-watch I realized my new opera lover mistake at the time. Throughout watching Fancuilla I was looking for a catchy aria or two and on this level Fancuilla falls down. Overall however it is a magical opera but in a different way with glorious melodies throughout not encased in a single aria or set piece. Thus I will give the Met 2011 Hd Transmission a 8.5/10 and definitely worth a re-watch.(Fanciulla's plot remains unforgivably cheesy though!)

    As for La Rondine I confess my opinion on it has worsened by a minute fraction. I confess its third act does fall down though I still maintain that its first two acts are ridiculously magical thus it keeps a special place in my heart though its rating has plummeted in comparison to 5th place on my Puccini list (Special thanks go to the other 2 parts of Il Trittico which I hadn't seen at the time). The Met On Demand transmission from 2007 therefore earns its 9/10

    My opinion on Tosca remains comparatively similar. I still think its music takes a while to get going but probably significantly less than I did then and It has multiple glorious benefits to it. The Version I watched was the one below on YouTube



    I make no claims this is the best version (as the bold title does) but I do like it a lot. Enough to give it a 9/10 despite Tosca still being no great favourite of mine (6th Place maybe on my Puccini list?)

    Madama Butterfly (Nope nothing has really changed. Sharpless is the operas scene steal-er though I confess I should re-watch Butterfly thoroughly. In time though I have realized that I struggle to get through it once Sharpless stops singing and Butterfly arrives mainly because Butterfly is really really irritating! It places 9 on my list behind Fanciulla and Turandot at this point )

    The above Puccini Opera's average on re-watching 8.84/10 (The lesson learned here is Puccini is really really great!)
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  2. #992
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    "Fancuilla de West was good but didn't have the magic quality that I find has appeared in my favorite Puccini moments. La Rondine however was a different story altogether unlike parts of madame butterfly (The second act before sharpless arrives*) or Tosca's start(Which I found was slow but eventually worth the wait) La Rondines magic managed to carry all the way through to become my third favorite Puccini after La Boheme and Gianni Schicchi."

    This quote is from a post I did in a thread (met demand 7 day trial) on July the second and after a couple of rewatches of certain operas I feel some statements need to be corrected. Firstly my dismissal of Fancuilla I learned was dead wrong. On a re-watch I realized my new opera lover mistake at the time. Throughout watching Fancuilla I was looking for a catchy aria or two and on this level Fancuilla falls down. Overall however it is a magical opera but in a different way with glorious melodies throughout not encased in a single aria or set piece. Thus I will give the Met 2011 Hd Transmission a 8.5/10 and definitely worth a re-watch.(Fanciulla's plot remains unforgivably cheesy though!)
    Bravo Povero Buoso.

    Please watch this one if you ever can. Great singing and acting, and the cheesy plot works in the silent movies setting (love that poker scene though, and I'll forgive any amount of cheesiness for such a gallant heroine)

    Natalie

  3. #993
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    (Fanciulla's plot remains unforgivably cheesy though!)

    Sorry, PB, I have to weigh in on this. It's opera!

    Cheesy plots are always forgiveable! (even if one might have to cringe from time to time...)

  4. #994
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Cheesy plots are always forgivable! (even if one might have to cringe from time to time...)
    I know I know but its still got the cheesiest plot of an opera I've seen (Il Trovatores plot isn't cheesy just crazy) and it definitely has one of Puccini's happiest endings (along with Gianni Schicchi). I just tend to like my Puccini more when he's his usual downer self (with the exception of Schicchi which is my favourite part of my favourite opera/s)
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  5. #995
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    Yesterday, I received Erato's new release of the Met's La Donna Del Lago from Presto Classical, and, not being for anything other than "instant need gratification" when it comes to opera, we watched it last night. It was splendid in every respect! Florez put 100% into his portrayal of James V, and rather than wearing out his voice, seemed to go from excellence to excellence without fatigue. Di Donato's Elena convinced me that whatever British music critic referenced her singing a "sunshine pouring from her mouth" was not being hyperbolic.

    What a splendid effort!!

  6. #996
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGerald View Post
    Yesterday, I received Erato's new release of the Met's La Donna Del Lago from Presto Classical, and, not being for anything other than "instant need gratification" when it comes to opera, we watched it last night. It was splendid in every respect! Florez put 100% into his portrayal of James V, and rather than wearing out his voice, seemed to go from excellence to excellence without fatigue. Di Donato's Elena convinced me that whatever British music critic referenced her singing a "sunshine pouring from her mouth" was not being hyperbolic.

    What a splendid effort!!
    JDF fan adds this to shopping basket...

  7. #997
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Another Ring session, now Die Walkre. Highlights:

    "He [Siegmund] is cute. Why won't he shut up, though?"

    "Oh, so that's what a tenor is? Disappointing."

    "I liked emo Wotan better."

    She was quite impressed by Mrs. Blythe and was absolutely revolted people didn't stand for her during the curtain call. I think we have a mezzo-girl in the making.

  8. #998
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    Another Ring session, now Die Walkre. Highlights:

    "He [Siegmund] is cute. Why won't he shut up, though?"

    "Oh, so that's what a tenor is? Disappointing."

    "I liked emo Wotan better."

    She was quite impressed by Mrs. Blythe and was absolutely revolted people didn't stand for her during the curtain call. I think we have a mezzo-girl in the making.
    It's not my habit to give "relationship advice"; that's a minefield that only the truly mad endeavor to navigate. However, one thing I have noticed that those more experienced than I in such matters may comment upon is the effect of Juan Diego Florez on the fair sex. That curly headed Peruvian has inspired (if that is the correct term) some serious friskiness in young and old alike. Observed personally, BTW ... but not in the ... participatory sense.

    Just sayin'...

  9. #999
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Second trip through this one now that I got new computer speakers with subwoofer. Hey, does anyone know of a CD Hollander set that has vocals sounding similary to the Dutchman and Senta on this DVD? Here is a link to the video on You Tube. I was thinking perhaps the set conducted by Levine, though I like Bohm's with Jones better.

  10. #1000
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    The recent Opera Rara CD has better singers but I like watching an opera to get an idea of what is going on.

    Natalie

  11. #1001
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    It has been quite an Opera heavy week for me this week. Apart from my mandatory new weekly Opera that I watch on a Thursday and my usual Ipod listening I have re-watched an Opera I had not seen for several months and dived back into Un Ballo in Maschera.

    Anyway Simon Boccanegra through the Met on Demand was a wonderful excursion. Unusually for Verdi its ending I didn't find too depressing it being more bittersweet. I watched the older performance on the site with Milnes (who I like a lot). Its music was lovely but I feel I'm going to have to revisit it as I was too caught up in the story and the action to pick up on to many exceptional highlights (with the exception of the prologues finale and the touching scene between Boccanegra and Amelia (Verdi sure likes this name!)). The production was great and I cant find anything to fault it majorly.

    The second opera I watched was Un Ballo in Maschera on you-tube. A brilliant version with subtitles I know the plot too well now to need them but if its never been seen definitely worth a watch. Staging great and singing great. I can't find even minor faults with this one!

    Simon Boccanegra 9/10 : The singing great and the staging as well overall the opera touched me*

    Un Ballo in Maschera with Domingo 10/10 : It's a great version of Un Ballo!

    *Simon Boccanegra made me notice something. Of the 8 Verdi operas I've seen so far the Parent child relationships are a major contributing point if not the major contributing point to the Operas Climax or a significant amount of the drama!
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 4th, 2018 at 10:33 PM.
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  12. #1002
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    It has been quite an Opera heavy week for me this week. Apart from my mandatory new weekly Opera that I watch on a Thursday and my usual Ipod listening I have re-watched an Opera I had not seen for several months and dived back into Un Ballo in Maschera.

    Anyway Simon Boccanegra through the Met on Demand was a wonderful excursion. Unusually for Verdi its ending I didn't find too depressing it being more bittersweet. I watched the older performance on the site with Milnes (who I like a lot). Its music was lovely but I feel I'm going to have to revisit it as I was too caught up in the story and the action to pick up on to many exceptional highlights (with the exception of the prologues finale and the touching scene between Boccanegra and Amelia (Verdi sure likes this name!)). The production was great and I cant find anything to fault it majorly.

    The second opera I watched was Un Ballo in Maschera on you-tube. A brilliant version with subtitles I know the plot too well now to need them but if its never been seen definitely worth a watch. Staging great and singing great. I can't find even minor faults with this one!

    Simon Boccanegra 9/10 : The singing great and the staging as well overall the opera touched me*

    Un Ballo in Maschera 10/10 : It's a great version of Un Ballo!
    I think arranging to watch opera on a specific day is a good one and that's what I'm going to do in future. At the moment I dip in and out in between doing stuff and it's not very satisfying.


    Quote Originally Posted by Povero Buoso View Post
    *Simon Boccanegra made me notice something. Of the 8 Verdi operas I've seen so far the Parent child relationships are a major contributing point if not the major contributing point to the Operas Climax or a significant amount of the drama!
    The loss of Verdi's children (and in particular, his daughter) had a profound effect on him.
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 4th, 2018 at 10:33 PM.
    "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

  13. #1003
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Opera is quite father-heavy stuff, isn't it? Fathers really dominate the parents section, even if they aren't really fathers, but father-like figures like Sarastro and Il Commendatore. I think that's curious because it is the opposite of what one would expect considering melodrama as we know it today, ruled by mothers, and how much it relates to opera. Maybe it is linked to the general notion that an old man is wise and respectable while an old woman is just old (and/or crazy, and/or evil)? Maybe it's a more practical necessity for proper distribution of voice types?

    I don't know, but it bugs me a little. I believe it's the relative shortage of mothers that makes my sympathize so much with Azucena, Norma or Jenůfa and what makes Cornelia and Sesto's Son nata a lagrimar from Giulio Cesare an obligatory weep.
    Last edited by Festat; November 28th, 2015 at 03:42 PM.

  14. #1004
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    The loss of Verdi's children (and in particular, his daughter) had a profound effect on him.
    My thoughts exactly. Especially as these relationships are present in the all Top 5 Verdi operas by performances.
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  15. #1005
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Moniuszko Straszny dwr on the Opera Platform. A good opportunity to get to know the most popular opera in Poland (there's a lot of singing about glorious manly Polish soldiers), in a colourful and straightforward production set in the twenties. It's also fun to look at the subtitles (Polish and English) and to hear singers make their way through words with 407528958945 consonants and no vowels.



    (Red and white are the Polish national colours). Did I mention this is a Polish opera?
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 4th, 2018 at 10:35 PM.
    Natalie

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