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

          
   
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  1. #7066
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Hmmm. She looks familar some how... Oh, I know! I think I used to work for her. Different clothes, of course. Maybe she was dressed up for a State Dinner or something. I'd know those arms anywhere.

  2. #7067
    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).

  3. #7068
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    Bartok: Blue Beard's Castle, in English

  4. #7069
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    any comments?

  5. #7070
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    any comments?
    I bought this set because it was very low priced. If you are seeking a great Iolanta you probably have to look elsewhere according to the Gramophone review of this set where they quote Geoffrey Horn:

    The singers are awkwardly placed with the orchestra, and often too much obscured though not always to the benefit of Tchaikovsky’s scoring: some of the orchestral passages sound reasonably well, but much detail is lost, such as the fanfarings and other effects as the hunt arrives. There is too little differentiation between the singers in their dramatic prominence at any given moment. This does not sound like the fault of the conductor, who has a good feeling for the work and directs much of it with a fine sense of its originality and its shifting tensions. Michaela Gurevich is quite a sympathetic Iolanta, especially in the opening scenes before the arrival of the young men who unwittingly reveal to her the secret of her blindness. Arutiun Kotchinian delivers Robert’s apostrophe to Mathilde vigorously, and is answered by a well-turned serenade to the as yet unseen Iolanta by Ian Denolfo; the King and the Moorish sorcerer Ibn-Hakia make a less positive impression.
    It should be emphasized that the recording is the product of a summer school for young singers, and gives them an early chance of performance. That doesn’t necessarily make it recommendable for those seeking a recording for their libraries, especially as in this case there is no text or translation.'
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  6. #7071
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post


    Bartok: Blue Beard's Castle, in English
    Hearing this in English sounds like a good idea. After all it is a psychological exploration. Did the words fit OK?
    Natalie

  7. #7072
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I could not decide between my Tchakarov and Gergiev Khovanshchina sets, so instead am listing to this sung-in-Italian set. Full length (3 disk set):

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

  8. #7073
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Tamerlano is my second favourite Handel opera (after Giulio Cesare). It has an interesting exploration of a father/daughter relationship, some heartbreaking duets and truly gorgeous arias and a bittersweet ending with the death of Bajazet.

    I have just listened to my two versions and they each have some advantages:

    Pinnock: Tom Randle’s deeply characterised Bajazet, Monica Bacelli’s despotic Tamerlano chewing the carpet in fine monomaniac style, Anna Bonitatibus’s rich mezzo as Irene, and the inclusion of my very favourite aria, Su La Sponda del prigo Lete (why is this sometimes left out?????)



    Minasi: Beautiful voices, especially John Mark Ainsley, the countertenors (Pushee on the Pinnock version clearly belongs to an older more reedy generation), and Karina Gauvin; and rather more decisive conducting.



    Despite that, given the two, I’d chose the Pinnock as being more satisfying all round. It’s also available as a beautiful DVD.

    I'll leave you with lovely Tom Randle breaking my heart:

    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; August 5th, 2017 at 03:40 AM.
    Natalie

  9. #7074
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Live recording. 1966 Salzburg. Sena Jurinac as Marina.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  10. #7075
    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).

  11. #7076
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Hearing this in English sounds like a good idea. After all it is a psychological exploration. Did the words fit OK?
    The words fit fine for me but as it is my first listen to this particular opera, I have nothing to compare it to. I know that's sacrilege to some other opera fans, and understandably so. But these Chandos Opera in English recordings have opened up a lot of flexibility for me to understand these operas. I do use both visual opera recordings and libretto reading, but I only really do those once a week at most, often less. I have a one hour work commute total each day, so using these on my commute I've gotten such a broader array of operas both listened to and understood than I could have possibly otherwise.

    Let me clarify that I plan to listen to BlueBeard's Castle in the original language this week, and in fact in all cases I have done so. These recordings are primarily a tool that can help me appreciate the original better.

  12. #7077
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    I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Gluck This my first time listening to this particular Gluck opera and I'm really enjoying it. I loaded up my other Gluck operas onto my iPod and will get back into enjoying this fine composer!

  13. #7078
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    The words fit fine for me but as it is my first listen to this particular opera, I have nothing to compare it to. I know that's sacrilege to some other opera fans, and understandably so. But these Chandos Opera in English recordings have opened up a lot of flexibility for me to understand these operas. I do use both visual opera recordings and libretto reading, but I only really do those once a week at most, often less. I have a one hour work commute total each day, so using these on my commute I've gotten such a broader array of operas both listened to and understood than I could have possibly otherwise.

    Let me clarify that I plan to listen to BlueBeard's Castle in the original language this week, and in fact in all cases I have done so. These recordings are primarily a tool that can help me appreciate the original better.
    I think it's a great idea.
    Natalie

  14. #7079
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    The words fit fine for me but as it is my first listen to this particular opera, I have nothing to compare it to. I know that's sacrilege to some other opera fans, and understandably so. But these Chandos Opera in English recordings have opened up a lot of flexibility for me to understand these operas. I do use both visual opera recordings and libretto reading, but I only really do those once a week at most, often less. I have a one hour work commute total each day, so using these on my commute I've gotten such a broader array of operas both listened to and understood than I could have possibly otherwise.

    Let me clarify that I plan to listen to BlueBeard's Castle in the original language this week, and in fact in all cases I have done so. These recordings are primarily a tool that can help me appreciate the original better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I think it's a great idea.
    Definitely. I agree with Nat,

  15. #7080
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    Makropulos Case by Janacek. Performed in English and conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras

    So I've enjoyed running through several of these Chandos Operas in English sets. and I have to say here, the opera is not served well in English. I don't feel it's a fault of the performers, to my untrained ear I think they did a fine enough job. But what in Czech is a strange foreign beauty, I must admit I got a little bit of a headache following the English and the story. That said, as I've not come across a libretto yet, it was still a worthwhile experience that will serve me when I go back and listen to the original language. I'll be listening to Cunning Little Vixen in English next, and I suspect that another reviewer was correct in that English for these Czech opera is even less ideal than some other opera languages translated.

    Of the opera itself, I really enjoy the plot. After a score of operas involving adultery, murder, suicide on one side, and mistaken or switched identities on the comedy side of plots, its refreshing to have a really original idea. A legal case with a touch of fountain of youth. it's fun.

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