Thread: What opera have you been watching lately?

          
   
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  1. #1456
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    "Particularly fascinating is the insertion of a spoken segment, not in the libretto, into the coronation scene."
    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; November 24th, 2016 at 08:43 AM.
    Natalie

  2. #1457
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    "Particularly fascinating is the insertion of a spoken segment, not in the libretto, into the coronation scene."
    Thanks, Now it (the Italian review) makes perfect sense.



    I think there are some other insertions and for a while I was worried it was not Mussorgsky's orchestration, though the scenes are strictly from the 1869, they do have the song of the Drake at the inn which is from the 1872. A rep of Dynamic video stated:

    It is not the R. Korsakov version. This is the OUP Oxford University Press edition, orchestration by David LloydJones. The matter of the version is quite complicated , the OUP edition is based on a combination of some scenes of the 2nd version with the add of the San Basil Cathedral scene from the 1st version, music by Musorgskji anyway. This version uses almost all the original music of Musorgskji and is actually the most used.
    Whereas the NAXOS website indicates it is "Boris Godunov (original 1869 version)." One thing for certain. It is good. Here is another review (this time in English).

    Anyone want to watch this 5 minute clip and tell me if it is Mussorgsky's orchestration (perhaps fancied up by the conductor) or maybe he followed Shostakovich? I can't tell, but it seems like stuff was added.

    One thing for certain. With the multitude of versions and orchestrations, my searching will never be Godunov. And this opera should never Boris.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  3. #1458
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Just finished this one. Besides the insertion of the crowning ceremony (post 1468), there are a few other things unusual about it (probably more on a closer watch by someone more familiar with the opera):

    - While it has only the seven scenes of the 1869 version, there are at least some insertions from the 1872 such as the innkeeper's song of the drake. But the silly songs of the 1872 Terem scene are not included.

    - When Shuysky comes to talk to Boris in the Terem scene there was no boyar coming first to ask for an audience for Shuysky.

    - When Pimen relates the shepherd's miraculous story, there is an actor dressed like an old shepherd that tells the story instead of Pimen.

    - Boris doesn't die! Well he finally seems to but then gets back up and in the last bars that normally play with Boris laying dead on the stage, instead, Boris gets up and walks off the back of the stage slowly into a blinding light.

    I also did not find the death scene as convincing as in the other two DVDs I listed in post 1466 above. The set had its quirks, such as beams laying all over the ground that looked totally out of place, Pimen's desk being up in a wooden structure about 10+ feet in the air against a backdrop of trees. People would appear or disappear from the stage floor with various trap doors, some quite large. When Grigoriy flees the inn police are chasing him on horseback. Yes they did have real horses. A rail car is pushed into the set made up like a big oven for the inn, with Varlam, Misial, and Grigoriy riding on it. It was a decent production, but not worth the $24 shipped I paid. Would have liked it more at half that price.

    Anyway, my vote goes for Gergiev with Lloyd as Boris as the best of the three, and the one to get if you are only going to have one. Second in my list would be Anastassov (the one with the blood filled helmet). Even though there were parts I did not like as noted in a previous post (#1468), the acting was great.

    I hope I am not going out of place to put this in this thread, but it is not really a review in the proper sense, but moderators are welcome to move it if it is more appropriate elsewhere (probably then move all my previous posts with it for continuity: 1468, 1469 [and 1470 is related], and 1472).

    -
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  4. #1459
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  5. #1460
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Unfortunately my masters has kept me very busy in recent months (its a politics masters and I shall leave it at that!). This has kept me away from watching new operas but several have intrigued me and particularly after hearing a fragment on television program (Gotham) I wanted to see Don Giovanni. Fortunately this version was on YouTube
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    I enjoyed the opera a lot. While it has not taken the place of any of my immediate favourites overall (give it time though...) it was a very enjoyable experience that I definitely rank above several of my less favourite Verdi and Puccini operas.

    In fact I enjoyed it so much I have already bought a recording!
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    I am going to enjoy exploring this one in far more detail though it is quite different from what I have enjoyed in the past!
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  6. #1461
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Today was the first viewing of a very different opera in language and tone. Today's viewing was the 2016 met Broadcast of Elektra. Having read Luiz's review of the piece back when he first saw this production and not being too keen on the aesthetic of the other one on the met player I decided to wait until it came on the Demand service to watch a brilliant version of the opera for the first time. I was not disappointed at all and everything said in Luiz's review of the piece is absolutely correct. This production even for those who like Strauss a little less (I don't dislike him nor am I indifferent just not as big a fan as I am of some other composers) is certainly a must watch! .

    The opera itself as a piece fits into how I have started to see Strauss' other operas being great musically and superb dramatically but something that must be experienced in all parts rather than as something that can be dipped into on an Ipod with less short independent arias/duets or an overflow of melodies to hum (although my perception of this may be skewed after seeing Don Giovanni yesterday which has a surplus of both "Ma in Ispagna Ma in Ispagna son giÓ mille e tre!"). Admittedly my experience so far does not include the Rosenkavalier or Die frau ohne schatten but Ariadne auf Naxos, Salome and now Elektra all seem to fit this pattern. Still this was an excellent experience and I enjoyed the opera greatly placing it above Salome with it definitely being my favourite by Strauss so far.

    If I have time I might watch another new opera tomorrow (I keep on meaning to get around to Wagner but the length of his pieces mean setting aside too much of the day while shorter pieces like Elektra are easy to watch even while getting significant amount of work and other activities done).
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  7. #1462
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    This is my 8th Barber of Seville on DVD (with two more I am seeking). This one is not a traditional performance, but is modern with Figaro riding a motorcycle with sidecar (or at least coasting onto the stage as it runs out of fuel) and Count Almaviva riding into the scene on a scooter (the one-foot-pushes-type kiddie scooter). But I am liking it a lot. the singing is good, and Kasarova's voice is wonderful! So far I am about 36 minutes in or about where Almaviva asks Figaro to help get him into the house.

    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  8. #1463
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    La favorite from La fenice 2016 Weird production, deeply irritating story.



    and L'olimpiade by Mysliveček 2013:

    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; December 7th, 2016 at 09:19 AM. Reason: spelling
    Natalie

  9. #1464
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Natalie

  10. #1465
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    This is my 8th Barber of Seville on DVD (with two more I am seeking). This one is not a traditional performance, but is modern with Figaro riding a motorcycle with sidecar (or at least coasting onto the stage as it runs out of fuel) and Count Almaviva riding into the scene on a scooter (the one-foot-pushes-type kiddie scooter). But I am liking it a lot. the singing is good, and Kasarova's voice is wonderful! So far I am about 36 minutes in or about where Almaviva asks Figaro to help get him into the house.

    I finished this last night and want to say that the modern setting in no way detracts from this wonderful opera (and in fact is quite nicely done to the point that I don't mind at all, but rather like it) and that the staging is quite clever with a rotating set that has 3 or 4 different scenes that are easily moved into place and change frequently through the opera. Kasarova's singing is absolutely wonderful. I can't say that I have found a more wonderful Rosina in the 8 Barbers I have watched on DVD (three more in the mail including Kathleen Battle).

    I hope I am not coming off as cruel here, but this is my observation/feeling: While Kasarova has that slightly dished (concavity) to her face from the side profile (probably mostly due to a more prominent chin) that turned me off to Joan Sutherland (besides Joan's garbled diction) I found Kasarova to be much more attractive of the two.

    It is also interesting for me to observe how small Kasarova's mouth is compared to many others, and especially compared to Maria Ewing (a great Barber DVD also) whose mouth is so wide that she looks to me like a Muppet.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  11. #1466
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Maria Ewing . . . whose mouth is so wide that she looks to me like a Muppet.
    Yes, but what a stirring rendition of Elmo's Song!

  12. #1467
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    OMG I don't know if I am going to last. Getting antsy and we are only 40 mins in.

    Natalie

  13. #1468
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    OMG I don't know if I am going to last. Getting antsy and we are only 40 mins in.
    What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it?

  14. #1469
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it?

  15. #1470
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it? What's wrong with it?
    add to that: What's good with it? What's good with it? What's good with it? What's good with it?

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