Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #1246
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festat View Post
    (More) Alcina from Genčve, on Arte. Katie Mitchell kind of spoiled this to me, because after Aix-de-Provence I will never be able to sit through an Alcina without comparing — and this has a whole lot to compare!

    Not extraordinary but nonetheless nice. Stage direction can get a little farcical, Morgana is a big let down and Melisso (Michael Adams looking damn fine) is oddly violent. Monica Bacelli's Mi lusinga il dolce affetto made me forget to close my mouth, though. Kudos to Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani too, beautiful light tenor and super clear diction.
    Good summary. Katie Mitchell has definitively spoiled Alcina for me too.
    Natalie

  2. #1247
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict from la Monnaie, with the fantastic Anne Catherine Gillet and Stéphanie D'Oustrac. It's online until 2 May on the My Monnaie site worth catching for some glorious music in the middle, with the two ladies above and mezzo Eve-Maud Hubeaux.

    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; January 5th, 2018 at 12:43 AM.
    Natalie

  3. #1248
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    That's funny, there was a performance of a duet from Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict on the picture box last night in a celebration of Shakespeare and I immediately thought I have to look in to this work!

  4. #1249
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    I saw a live production of Béatrice et Bénédict last fall. "Nuit paisible et sereine," the lovely nocturnal duet for soprano and mezzo at the end of Act I, definitely stole the show--and is more than a little reminiscent of the beautiful "Nuit d'ivresse" duet from Les Troyens.

  5. #1250
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    I saw a live production of Béatrice et Bénédict last fall. "Nuit paisible et sereine," the lovely nocturnal duet for soprano and mezzo at the end of Act I, definitely stole the show--and is more than a little reminiscent of the beautiful "Nuit d'ivresse" duet from Les Troyens.
    Quite, just what I thought. In this production it is absolutely stunning.
    Natalie

  6. #1251
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    Lakme, from Australia. DYNAMITE!!

  7. #1252
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Watched the conductor interview last night. Start the opera tonight. It definitely is going to be wonderful:
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  8. #1253
    Opera Lively's Journalist Involved Member Elektra's Avatar
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    Name:  0809478009078.jpg
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    So spooky!

  9. #1254
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elektra View Post
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    So spooky!
    Love this film. Very creepy.
    Natalie

  10. #1255
    Opera Lively's Journalist Involved Member Elektra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Love this film. Very creepy.
    Yes, indeed. Horror movie almost. Maybe not good idea to watch it late in the night... home alone.

  11. #1256
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    A wee bit dull until Claron McFadden came on as Dido in Act two. She totally chewed up the scenery.

    Natalie

  12. #1257
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    This is now my recommended Freischütz DVD. Thielemann and the Dresden Opera Orchestra could not be bettered, and the singers are all great. A genuinely creepy Wolf's Glen scene as well for once.

    Natalie

  13. #1258
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Conductor: Christian Thielemann
    Director: Philipp Stölzl
    Cast: Jonas Kaufmann (Turiddu, Canio), Liudmyla Monastyrska (Santuzza), Ambrogio Maestri (Alfio), Annalisa Stroppa (Lola), Stefania Toczyska (Mamma Lucia); Maria Agresta (Nedda), Dimitri Platanias (Tonio), Alessio Arduini (Silvio), Tansel Akzeybek (Beppe)

    The musical performance here is generally first-rate, anchored by Jonas Kaufmann’s two (anti)heroes and the wonderful Dresden Staatskapelle under the baton of Christian Thielemann. JK’s Canio is truly exceptional, his rendition of “Vesti la giubba” absolutely brilliant. I must admit that I’m not crazy about Maria Agresta’s soprano, but the lady certainly can act. The real surprise for me among the cast members was Dimitri Platanas, with his big, robust, sonorous baritone that was a pleasure to listen to. I find that Philipp Stölzl’s production usually works – often quite well – in spite of the disconnects between the libretto’s text and the onstage action in “Cav” that is almost inevitable when a director finds it necessary to tinker with either the time period in which an opera is supposed to take place or with certain aspects of the characters (or both). Having Turiddu actually living together with Santuzza instead of just being her lover isn’t that much of a problem, though it does make one wonder why she’s asking Mama Lucia if the older woman has seen Turiddu when Santuzza herself had just served him and their son breakfast a short time earlier. The addition of a son (silent role) of Santuzza and Turiddu to the plot is unnecessary, and doesn’t serve to explain the motivation of Santuzza or Turiddu, or Mama Lucia, for that matter. At the opera’s beginning, we see the boy snuggling in his father’s lap and Turiddu’s love for the child is obvious, yet that paternal affection never figures in any of the character’s subsequent actions. Alfio is presented as a nasty, brutal Mafioso in a pin-striped suit (his entrance aria about the life of a carter notwithstanding) and not the sort of carefree, genial individual the libretto suggests. In fact, Stölzl has made just about all of the characters in Mascagni’s opera pretty unappealing, with the possible exception of Santuzza. Mama Lucia is a brittle, unfeeling, hardnosed businesswoman, which admittedly may suggest why Turiddu is such a jerk, but doesn’t explain why either Santuzza or Turiddu should expect any sympathy from her. Santuzza herself behaves at times like a pitiful doormat whose clinginess and abject groveling only seem to bring out the worst in her faithless lover – though that sort of thing occurs all too often in real life. Aside from updating the action to the 1930s (in both operas), the director’s approach to I Pagliacci sticks close to the libretto. Canio is portrayed as a rough-edged, tattooed macho with a penchant for violence lurking below the surface right from the beginning; perhaps this is why Nedda is attracted to the geeky, bespectacled, business-suited Silvio who is Canio’s complete opposite. I prefer a sexy Silvio, and this isn’t, even with a bit of naughty fooling around with a wine bottle during the rendezvous with Nedda. But give Stölzl credit for strong Personenführung, and the soloists credit for the dramatic commitment as well as the excellent singing they bring to their roles. The visuals (also designed by Stölzl) are truly striking, especially with the restriction to shades of black, white, and gray in “Cav,” and Brian Large’s video direction captures them and the characters’ actions superbly.
    I would definitely recommend this video to anyone who is already familiar with these two operas, and a newbie would do well with this Pagliacci, too. The directorial tinkering with Mascagni’s opera makes that less suitable for someone who is completely new to the work and may be puzzled by some of the inconsistencies mentioned earlier.

  14. #1259
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    We watched the new Dynamic release of Giovanna D'Arco. Vocally fantastic and very well conducted by Riccardo Frizza, the performance was seriously flawed by the visual aspects of the disc. Filmed in an outdoor venue, the poorly lit set ended up giving a blurred picture. Sets were almost nonexistent, due, I expect, to the medieval appearance of the building which served as the backdrop. Pratt was great in the title role, and tenor Jean-Francois Borras was dandy, as well. Best singing of the performance was done by baritone Julian Kim, of whom I hope to see and hear more. While I am a huge fan of early Verdi, one might save a few $$ (or Euros) and pass on this release.

  15. #1260
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    I like Jessica Pratt. Pity about poor picture quality, slightly ruins the point about getting the dvd...

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