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Thread: Miscellaneous YouTube videos

          
   
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  1. #46
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post


    This clip from the production of Ariadne auf Naxos at the 2001 Salzburg Festival captures the tenor Jon Villars at a time when his international career was really taking off and documents the quality of his singing. I first heard him more than a decade ago in a radio broadcast of Turandot, in which he was singing Calaf, and was very impressed with his attractive voice. A winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council auditions in 1995, he had a tremendously promising career started around the turn of the 20th century, with appearances in leading roles at the Opéra de Paris, Dresden State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, La Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Met, as well as the Salzburg Festival and Salzburg Easter Festival. He usually sang roles in the lyric-dramatic/spinto Fach (though he included Puccini’s Rodolfo and Massenet’s Werther in his repertoire), made some recordings (such as the Dresden Ariadne auf Naxos I’ve been listening to) – and then lost it all in a fit of temper. In 2009, he was supposed to sing Florestan with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, and had a memorable (for all the wrong reasons) clash with the conductor at a public dress rehearsal. Specifically, he flipped the Maestro “the finger” and stormed offstage. Needless to say, he was replaced, and if he’s sung anywhere since, I’m not aware of it. News reports of the incident quoted other cast members (not named), who mentioned the ongoing tension between conductor and tenor that had existed during previous rehearsals. This was probably the tip of the iceberg; it's anyone's guess what else might have been going on in Villars' life at the time that made him decide to end his performing career. (I can't imagine that this single incident would have been serious enough for other houses to cancel their contracts with him.) Now one can only wonder what might have been.
    I never knew that! It says in this NY Times item that the conductor "sang several phrases of the tenor’s part, loudly and ostensibly to adjust Mr. Villars’s tempo." That would be enough to humiliate and infuriate anyone and I don't blame him for storming off. Shame that Villars didn't continue with his career.
    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

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  3. #47
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    I never knew that! It says in this NY Times item that the conductor "sang several phrases of the tenor’s part, loudly and ostensibly to adjust Mr. Villars’s tempo." That would be enough to humiliate and infuriate anyone and I don't blame him for storming off. Shame that Villars didn't continue with his career.
    Wow! Such a story!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #48
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Thankfully, this is available on DVD with subtitles. I have it and plan to watch it again soon. Here is a choice clip:
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  5. #49
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Documentary on Birgit Nilsson.

    There's a great comment: "My best friend and I were at the Lexington concert and went backstage to meet Mme. Nilsson. We noticed we were being filmed. How thrilling, forty years later, to discover our young selves on this video, talking to the great Birgit! Tempus fugit."

    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

  6. #50
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    More Adventures in YouTube Land . . . I was searching for excerpts from Sir Thomas Beecham’s recording of Messiah, with Vickers as tenor soloist, when I came across a clip of him singing – “The Star-Spangled Banner??!!” This video is from a Memorial Day or Independence Day concert on the Washington Mall, and it was very neighborly of the Canadian Vickers to participate and sing the United States’ National Anthem. His voice still sounds to me as though it has a certain hard edge to it (I think of a cut diamond), but I find his unfussy, dignified account of the anthem to be far preferable to anything we’ve heard from recent “stars.” (Yes, Renée Fleming, that includes you.)


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  8. #51
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    More Adventures in YouTube Land . . . I was searching for excerpts from Sir Thomas Beecham’s recording of Messiah, with Vickers as tenor soloist, when I came across a clip of him singing – “The Star-Spangled Banner??!!” This video is from a Memorial Day or Independence Day concert on the Washington Mall, and it was very neighborly of the Canadian Vickers to participate and sing the United States’ National Anthem. His voice still sounds to me as though it has a certain hard edge to it (I think of a cut diamond), but I find his unfussy, dignified account of the anthem to be far preferable to anything we’ve heard from recent “stars.” (Yes, Renée Fleming, that includes you.)

    MUCH better than the melodramatic versions by Renée Fleming and others. It's the same everywhere now though. At the start of F1 Grand Prix races the local anthem is sung like this. Maybe this is how they're told to sing it?
    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

  9. #52
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Here is an interesting young tenor.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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  11. #53
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the clip doesn't give his name. Who is he?

  12. #54
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Unfortunately, the clip doesn't give his name. Who is he?
    Joshua Wheeker
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    He's from my general neck of the woods, too -- a native of Dayton and graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. Wonder if he'll be singing with the local opera company at some point in the future. He certainly does have a lovely voice.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Marlena Devoe (STORY)

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

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  18. #57
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Piotr Beczała concert from Dublin last night (02 November).

    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

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  20. #58
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    Piotr Beczała concert from Dublin last night (02 November).

    Very nice! I think he's one of the best tenors around today.

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  22. #59
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    I love hearing proper opera singers sing musical numbers.

    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

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  24. #60
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Especially those rich bass voices! His English sounds pretty idiomatic, too.

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