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Thread: The A to Z of opera; the unofficial OL community guide to opera

          
   
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  1. #481
    Senior Member Involved Member Floria's Avatar
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    P is for Turandot's Ping, Pang and Pong

    Ping, Lord Chancellor - Baritone
    Pang, Majordomo - tenor
    Pong, Head chef of the Imperial Kitchen - tenor

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  2. #482
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    P is for Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, one of the great opera directors during the second half of the 20th century. He initially studied philosophy, art, and history; he first worked in opera as a set designer for Hans Werner Henze’s Boulevard Solitude. His first directing assignment came with a production of Tristan und Isolde in Düsseldorf in 1962, a work he also staged at the Bayreuth Festival in 1981. He frequently worked with the Salzburg Festival, Metropolitan Opera, and San Francisco Opera, produced a made-for-TV version of Madama Butterfly with Freni and Domingo, and directed film versions of several operas, among them Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by Karl Böhm. Not all of his productions were without controversy; his decision to interpret Der fliegende Holländer as the Steersman’s dream in a 1979 Met production, and to replace ballet dancers with young boys in his staging of Aida at the Royal Opera House in 1986 both met with storms of booing. Sadly, he died two years later from injuries suffered during a fall into the orchestra pit during rehearsals for Carmen in Israel. Fortunately, he has left an extensive video legacy.

    Here he's seen with conductor James Levine during rehearsals in Salzburg.


  3. #483
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    P is for Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, one of the great opera directors during the second half of the 20th century. He initially studied philosophy, art, and history; he first worked in opera as a set designer for Hans Werner Henze’s Boulevard Solitude. His first directing assignment came with a production of Tristan und Isolde in Düsseldorf in 1962, a work he also staged at the Bayreuth Festival in 1981. He frequently worked with the Salzburg Festival, Metropolitan Opera, and San Francisco Opera, produced a made-for-TV version of Madama Butterfly with Freni and Domingo, and directed film versions of several operas, among them Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by Karl Böhm. Not all of his productions were without controversy; his decision to interpret Der fliegende Holländer as the Steersman’s dream in a 1979 Met production, and to replace ballet dancers with young boys in his staging of Aida at the Royal Opera House in 1986 both met with storms of booing. Sadly, he died two years later from injuries suffered during a fall into the orchestra pit during rehearsals for Carmen in Israel. Fortunately, he has left an extensive video legacy.

    Here he's seen with conductor James Levine during rehearsals in Salzburg.

    Creator of the campest and most (unintentionally?) hilarious Clemenza ever.

    Natalie

  4. #484
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Now I'm curious. Need to check YouTube . . .

  5. #485
    Senior Member Involved Member Floria's Avatar
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    P is for Amilcare Ponchielli

    Amilcare Ponchielli, (born August 31 or September 1, 1834, Paderno Fasolaro, near Cremona, Lombardy [Italy]—died January 16, 1886, Milan, Italy), Italian composer, best known for his opera La gioconda (“The Joyful Girl”).

    Ponchielli studied at Milan and produced his first opera, I promessi sposi (“The Betrothed”; based on the novel by Alessandro Manzoni), in 1856; its revised version was popular in Italy and abroad. Between 1873 and 1875 he wrote two ballets and four operas. La gioconda (1876), with a libretto by Arrigo Boito based on Victor Hugo’s Angelo, tyran de Padoue (1835; “Angelo, Tyrant of Padua”), achieved wide success. Later it was remembered chiefly for its ballet, Dance of the Hours, but it returned to the repertory of Italian opera houses in the 1950s. From 1881 to 1886 Ponchielli was music director at Bergamo Cathedral; there he wrote several sacred works.

    Although in his lifetime Ponchielli was very popular and influential, in introducing an enlarged orchestra and more complex orchestration, the only one of his operas regularly performed today is La Gioconda. It contains the great tenor romanza "Cielo e mar", a superb duet for tenor and baritone "Enzo Grimaldo", the soprano set-piece "Suicidio!", and the ballet music "The Dance of the Hours", known even to the non-musical from its use in Walt Disney's Fantasia in 1940, Allan Sherman's novelty song, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh", and other popular works.

    La Gioconda is one of my favorite operas.

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    When I hear the Dance of the Hours, I can't help picturing hippos, ostriches, and crocs




  6. #486
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    P is for the young Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, who has achieved international stardom as an interpreter of roles by Mozart and in the bel canto and Baroque repertoires. Detailed information is available in this exclusive Opera Lively interview:
    http://operalively.com/forums/conten...-luca-pisaroni

    Here he is at the Opéra de Paris singing Figaro’s “Non più andrai” from Le Nozze di Figaro – or part of it, anyway. (They cut off the wonderful ending!!)


  7. #487
    Senior Member Involved Member Floria's Avatar
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    P is for Hermann Prey

    Hermann Prey (11 July 1929 – 22 July 1998) was a German lyric baritone, best known for his lieder renditions and for light comic roles in opera.

    Hermann Prey was born in Berlin and grew up in Germany. He was scheduled to be drafted when World War II ended. He studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and won the prize of the Frankfurt contest of the Hessischer Rundfunk in 1952.

    He began to sing in song recitals and made his operatic debut the next year in Wiesbaden. He joined the Staatsoper, where he sang until 1960. During his last years in Hamburg, he also made frequent guest appearances elsewhere, including the Salzburg Festival.


    He sang frequently at the Metropolitan Opera between 1960 and 1970 and made his Bayreuth debut in 1965. Although he often sang Verdi early in his career, he later concentrated more on Mozart and Richard Strauss. Prey was well known for playing Figaro (Mozart and Rossini), but he played other Mozart roles at least equally often, particularly Papageno and Guglielmo. He also played, and recorded, the Count in The Marriage of Figaro. He is regarded by many as the best Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus.

    He was at home with comic opera Italian-style, displaying scenic intelligence, liveliness and hilarity. His virtuoso agility and great comic acting made him an obvious choice for numerous productions of Mozart's and Rossini's operas in the 1970s. In 1972 he performed as Figaro in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's television film of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Teresa Berganza as Rosina, Luigi Alva as Almaviva and conductor Claudio Abbado. He appeared alongside Fritz Wunderlich and Hans Hotter in the live televised version of Il Barbiere di Siviglia in its German translation, Der Barbier von Sevilla. He also portrayed Figaro in 1976 in Ponnelle's film of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro.

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  8. #488
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    P is for Giovanni Paisiello, a prolific Italian composer of the classical period whose works included operas, secular cantatas, and a wide variety of religious music (oratorios, Masses, motets, etc.) Among his 80 operas is Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which enjoyed considerable popularity before it was eclipsed by Rossini’s setting of the Beaumarchais story. There have been occasional revivals of his Barbiere as well as Nina, o sia La pazza per amore (staged by the Zürich Opera as a vehicle for Cecilia Bartoli), La Serva Padrona, L’Olimpiade, Don Chisciotte, Gli Astrologi Immaginari, and Fedra.


  9. #489
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    P is for Perceval, le Conte du Graal,

    A poem (unfinished) by Chrétien de Troyes written in the late twelfth century, which was in some part the base for

    Parzival,

    a poem by Wolfram von Eschenbach written in the early thirteenth century, which was in some part the base for

    Parsifal, the opera or ein Bühnenweihfestspiel by Richard Wagner which he started in 1857 but did not manage to complete until twenty-five years later.

  10. #490
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Yes, the quest for the lost spear that pierced Christ's side. Undertaken by that famous operatic character . . . um . . . Parsifal.

  11. #491
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Wasn't that because the other guy stabbed himself with his own spear?

  12. #492
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    P is for Philadelphia

    an American city where in 1854 there was the premier of the first publicly performed American grand opera, Leonora by William Henry Fry (1813-1864). The composer was born in Philadelphia.

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    It is also a popular cream cheese that I like on toasted bagel with smoked salmon with a little sprinkle of lemon and black pepper and a glass of white wine.

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  13. #493
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    P is also for Phaëton

    an opera where a young hothead and inexperienced driver borrows his dad's sports car, which is way too powerful for him, to show off to his mates and then crashes it.

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    bonus: it is in early french baroque style with beautiful music

    Phaëton (LWV 61), tragédie en musique by Jean-Baptiste Lully 1683.

  14. #494
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    P is for pft!

    the reaction I first had for the vacuum tube amp purchased, I couldn't hear any difference. Oh well, it's a pretty (but very expensive) illumination for the tea cabinet.

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    BUT

    now hearing different...

    played around and the biggest difference (maybe obvious) is playing the music from MP3 through the amps then playing the same from CD. With just the DAC, the difference is subtle; maybe enough to choose the CD (I stopped playing MP3 a whilst back but it was mainly for the fun of looking at the CD box and opening it). This is greatly exaggerated through the tubes, enough to say eugh!. Now, I'm 73% sure, there is a difference between CD, DAC, tube amp and CD, DAC, no tube amp.

    Now, P is for pretty illumination and pretty sound.

    Posted from a guy whose pretty sure he's 5 amps short of a good circuit.

  15. #495
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    P is for packaging part 2

    a special CRAP (Clayton Rally for Amazing Packaging) achievement award for the new release AliaVox Savall recording...

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    a CD book of absolutely stunning quality, 415 glossy pages of essays, biographies, pictures, facsimiles, text (in all sorts of languages) and even a ribbon page marker.

    The music is recorded on SACD (pity I only have a normal CD player) and the singing is superlative. It is apparently a different (multichannel) edition to the DVD but I cannot comment as the DVD is still in the unwatched pile. This is straight to the top of the L'Orfeo charts, displacing both the Cavina and Alessandrini.

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