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Thread: What opera have you been listening to, lately?

          
   
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  1. #5566
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    One of this forum's favourites:



    In the car for dayssss now. I know everbody's lines.

  2. #5567
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    This one plays way too much like an oratorio for my present tastes.
    Guess Handel opera is not for me, but I do treasure this one for Beverly Sills part.
    Forrester not bad either.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  3. #5568
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    ...Guess Handel opera is not for me...


    AAAaaaarrrgh!

    Clayton slumps to the floor, his body stone cold before it hits the ground.

  4. #5569
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    This one plays way too much like an oratorio for my present tastes.
    Guess Handel opera is not for me, but I do treasure this one for Beverly Sills part.
    Forrester not bad either.
    An oratorio? This opera is very eventful and exciting. Try this:



    One of the best opera videos ever made, a superb production.



    And Dani is lots of fun:

    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); April 16th, 2016 at 08:51 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  5. #5570
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Goodness Giulio Cesare is an action movie compared with this, which is extremely static, with an awful lot of recit:

    Natalie

  6. #5571
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Goodness Giulio Cesare is an action movie compared with this, which is extremely static, with an awful lot of recit:

    After going through a lot of recit for that otherwise musically sublime performance of Vinci's Artaserse, I think the HIP conductors in their search for authenticity need to cut more recit from Baroque operas. Authenticity is fine and I love the sound of a HIP orchestra, but I'm not sure if this value should suppress another very important value: theatricality.

    A big expert in Baroque opera, our dear Vivica, *is* for cuts in recitative.

    The thing is, at the time these operas were being presented, patrons had the same attitude we Americans have with baseball games. They are long. Three hours plus. Not a lot happens most of the time. Sometimes there is some fast and exciting action, then it goes back to long stretches of static filler. So, we eat hot dogs, we drink beer, we chat with our buddies, and then from time to time we look at the field to watch some of the game. One of the good points of baseball is the ballpark experience. We go there to see each other and catch up with the latest, over some beer and some hot dogs. The game helps, but is almost not the main point.

    So, these Baroque operas had people in the boots drinking, eating, flirting, and gossiping. Then sometimes they'd stop and listen to the arias. Then the recits would start again and they'd go back to eating, drinking, flirting, and gossiping.

    Nowadays we sit silently at the opera house, no drinks, no eating, no talking, and hopefully no flirting during the performance... (could be fair game in the intermissions).

    So, it's hard to stand minutes and minutes and minutes of recitative expressing typically convoluted plots, from a long distance to the stage (so even if the singers are good actors and have nice facial expressions during the recits, it's hard to see).

    So, yes, absolutely, let's shrink these long pieces a little and get rid of some recitatives.

    And this is not due to having short attention span. I don't. I can perfectly sit through the 5 hours of Les Troyens or the 16 hours of the Ring. It's just that some Baroque operas lose theatricality if there are too many recitatives.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  7. #5572
    Senior Member Veteran Member Povero Buoso's Avatar
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    Sometimes recitative can be exciting! Although I confess due to my opera focus primarily being post 1850 opera where thorough composition was becoming the norm my knowledge of earlier opera where it was more clearly defined is limited to a scattered handful none of which are my favourites. Anyhow I was on a 12 hour couch journey back from Brussels* the other day (Long story) and I found time for a fair bit of opera in between naps and talking with my fellow travelers.

    Before Nap one was undertaken Il Tabarro. This was followed later in the journey by the rest of Il Trittico which I maintain is just about perfect for all 3 of the operas.
    Name:  510nO0m5WsL.jpg
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    You couldn't want for more variety of emotion and theatricality between the three.

    This was followed by Il Trovatore by Bonynge
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    I am tempted to branch out and see about a different Il Trovatore due to how much negative reception this recording has from elsewhere (sounded fine to me but I'm still new to this) the Mehta seems a bit slow and I am not sure how I will find Callas as my opinion of her varies depending on the type of opera though she grows on me increasingly. Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

    *Nothing was on at the local house (La Monnaie)
    "Non sono in vena" Rodolfo summing up P.B's feelings on his dissertation.

  8. #5573
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Goodness Giulio Cesare is an action movie compared with this, which is extremely static, with an awful lot of recit:

    AAAaaaarrrgh!

    Clayton slumps to the floor, his bo...





    oh shut up Clayton.

    Sorry but someone had to say it.

  9. #5574
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    An oratorio? This opera is very eventful and exciting. Try this:



    One of the best opera videos ever made, a superb production.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoC9fjY7u7I

    And Dani is lots of fun:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7klKEtcXxr0
    Yikes! Those videos are hyperactive! Second video looks like a mix of pop stage movements with operatic singing--the lady does sing quite well though. I think I'll stick with the Sills CD set. I gave it a second listen today and the voices are wonderful. I think this one will grow on me, and it does provide variety to my operatic collection. But it may be my only Handel opera.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  10. #5575
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    AAAaaaarrrgh!

    Clayton slumps to the floor, his bo...





    oh shut up Clayton.

    Sorry but someone had to say it.
    Don't get me wrong, I thought the singing was great (Bernada Fink) and some of the arias good, but just too much recit. I prefer some other Scarlattis eg Carlo Re d'Alemagna
    Natalie

  11. #5576
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    I think getting into Handel is somewhat like meeting a suspicious cat. You spend a long time looking warily at each other and then you decide to make a move, after all you are the human, but the interaction is awkward at best. The cat hisses at you and hides, and you say to yourself OH WELL I TRIED and carry on.

    Then one day completely out of nowhere it comes to your lap purring like the adorable ball of fluff it is and suddenly you see yourself sleeping squeezed in one fifth of your bed — so it has all the space it wants to sleep more comfortably, even though its favourite spot it right on top of your face — but happy as a kid on Christmas because you have a friend for life.

  12. #5577
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Enjoyed this way more on second acquaintance.



    Listening to this confirms that Il Tabarro is my second favourite Puccini.

    Natalie

  13. #5578
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    well there's a string of posts that completely confused the morning listening plans

    ah Giulio Cesare, no Griselda, no Belisario...

    um

    where to go, where to go



    it can't be all 3, my memory doesn't last that long


    I go to Handels work catalogued as number 17 by Herr Baselt

    Name:  Giulio Cesare - Alan Curtis 2011, Il Complesso Barocco, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Karina Gauvin, Rom.jpg
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    Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto
    Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Giulio Cesare), Karina Gauvin (Cleopatra), Romina Basso (Cornelia), Emoke Barath (Sesto), Filippo Mineccia (Tolomeo), Johannes Weisser (Achilla), Milena Storti (Nireno), Gianluca Buratto (Curio)
    Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

    an absolutely superb recording with a great cast.

  14. #5579
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    T
    he thing is, at the time these operas were being presented, patrons had the same attitude we Americans have with baseball games. They are long. Three hours plus. Not a lot happens most of the time. Sometimes there is some fast and exciting action, then it goes back to long stretches of static filler. So, we eat hot dogs, we drink beer, we chat with our buddies, and then from time to time we look at the field to watch some of the game. One of the good points of baseball is the ballpark experience. We go there to see each other and catch up with the latest, over some beer and some hot dogs. The game helps, but is almost not the main point.



    AAAAAaaaaaarghh. Hoffmann falls to the floor stone cold .....

  15. #5580
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    T




    AAAAAaaaaaarghh. Hoffmann falls to the floor stone cold .....
    Well, if I interpret you correctly, as a baseball fan that's what caused your falling-to-the-fall-stone-cold event. In my defense, my market is not MLB but rather AAA (Durham Bulls) so the games are not exactly that decisive, and I did say "almost" not the main point. hehe
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); April 17th, 2016 at 07:05 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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