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

          
   
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  1. #121
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    This Incoronazione has bright pools of blood and quite the most briliantly twisted, vicious, giggling, sadistic, capricious, perverted Nerone I have ever seen. Poppea's not much better, and everone else ends up in dead in the blood.



    Krassimira Stoyanova is really worth hearing in this, and the production has grown on me since first it viewing free online. You actually need a good quality picture to take it all in.



    Classic fly in the ointment DVD. Nearly everything is perfect, it could be the greatest Pique-Dame ever. The twisted claustrophobic set mirrors Herman's descent into madness and the direction brings out the psychological elements of this strange story; Andrew Davis' conducting is vigorous and expressive; Nancy Gustafson is a touching but unbalanced Lisa, Dimitri Kharitonov as Yeletsky is noble and dignified, Felicity Palmer a chilling countess, particularly eery in the Ghost scene, and Yuri Marusin is utterly convincing without overdoing Herman's descent into madness. BUT, and this is a big but, he can't sing. He wails, he howls, he declaims. I can hear the orchestra around him, I know how it's supposed to go, but I can't hear the music. A perfect DVD, except for this.

    Last edited by Soave_Fanciulla; March 26th, 2012 at 10:20 PM.
    Natalie

  2. #122
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    Just watched 'L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe' by Hanze Werner Henze via this production. It was very weird, I was starting to get tired of it in the part where the Demon sang about the apple, but it turned out that the apple discussion was instrumental in the weird way it ended. I think the orchestral music was pretty cool. Parts were a little static, but on the whole, it was a very entertaining production and the music suited it in its odd and somewhat darkly comical way.

  3. #123
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daniel42 View Post
    Nice line up. I enjoy all the Vivaldi operas I know. What do you think of this recording, Daniel?
    Natalie

  4. #124
    Junior Member Newcomer daniel42's Avatar
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    I think it is a steller recording. Alan Curtis and Il Compresso Barocco come highly recommended and the singers are excellent. ( you said "nice line up" so I take it your familier with the vocalist. I'm not." ) The pacing and dynamics flow, the fidelity of the recording is excellent. I'm a little familier with Vivaldi and like his work but I was not aware of this opera and its fascinating history. Any idea if this has been performed in the last decade?

  5. #125
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daniel42 View Post
    I think it is a steller recording. Alan Curtis and Il Compresso Barocco come highly recommended and the singers are excellent. ( you said "nice line up" so I take it your familier with the vocalist. I'm not." ) The pacing and dynamics flow, the fidelity of the recording is excellent. I'm a little familier with Vivaldi and like his work but I was not aware of this opera and its fascinating history. Any idea if this has been performed in the last decade?
    I've got it on DVD (Alan Curtis again) so yes it has:

    Natalie

  6. #126
    Senior Member Involved Member StLukesGuildOhio's Avatar
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    I picked up a couple of these great bleeding chunks... erm... "highlights" of Wagner's operas sans vocals. As a sworn Wagnerian I should be ashamed but I actually picked them up so that I can listen a bit more to Wagner in the studio while painting, where I don't tend to listen to any opera outside of highlights and arias because I simply cannot follow the libretto.







    Wagner by Jarvi with the beautiful sound production of Chandos... not bad.

    *****

    I finally got around to listening to Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten. I had picked up the highly regarded Karajan live recording last year after Alma praised the opera to the high heavens... but I put off listening to it after some noted that Karajan's version includes cuts that make the complex narrative even more confusing. I finally picked up this live Bohm recording with Birgit Nilsson, Leonie Rysanek, Walter Berry, and James King:



    I also picked up a second Bohm after reading up on it and giving a listen to bits and pieces on Spotify... after all it was priced under $10 at the time.

    As in the first hearing of any opera I generally just read through the synopsis and then give the entire work a first hearing focusing almost exclusively on the music. The music in this instance is thrilling... dramatic... and grandly sensuous. The quality of the recording is quite stunning. I'd have been hard-pressed to know this was a live recording prior to the applause at the end of act one. The orchestra sound rich and deep... not muffled or lost in contrast to the vocals... as it can be in live recordings. This is great because Strauss is surely one of the greatest masters of orchestration ever. Of course the vocals are equally brilliant... which one would certainly expect with the cast.

    With a week off for Spring Break I'll have the time to give this a second spin where I can follow along with the libretto, and I'll also have the time to listen to a number of other operas purchased... but yet to be played, including a couple by Gluck, a couple by Mozart, Beethoven's Fidelio, several other Strauss recordings, a couple Wagner operas... including Bychkov's Lohengrin, and a slew of works by Vivaldi and Handel.
    "Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of
    Congress .. But I repeat myself." -Mark Twain

  7. #127
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I quite like Kasarova in this Clemenza, her register is reasonably even and she gets some beautiful notes out. Kušej direct a rather frenzied production, Röschmann is positively rabid as Vitellia and Schade plays Tito as completely unhinged. And who would have known that Garanca could make such a cute boy.

    Natalie

  8. #128
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    22 November 2007

    GAETANO DONIZETTI

    L’ELISIR D’AMORE
    Melodramma in due atti
    Libretto: Felice Romani

    Adina Aleksandra Kurzak
    Nemorino Stefano Secco
    Belcore Ludovic Tézier
    Dulcamara Paolo Gavanelli
    Giannetta Kishani Jayasinghe

    Conductor Mikko Franck

    ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN

    That Secco is very good tenor, never heard him before and yet he's much better to my ears that lots of those which I'm hearing about all the time. Kurzak wasn't as perfect as I'm used to by her studio CD but good Adina nevertheless and Tezier was just great Belcore, less comic and more lyrical this time, certainly one of best I've heard... I know there was a lot of bad stuff said about Tezier here recently, I just want to say that he sings 43954549825 times better and is 3287545 times more handsome that Simon Keenlyside, though I'm not sure if the latter number is apt because nothing x 3287545 is still nothing... anyway, the Dulcamara was fine too, great listening all in all.

    Buy the way, who has more L'Elisirs than I? I have around 9 right now. I guess Schigloch has, if he likes L'Elisir even half as much as those 100 Normas he owns.

  9. #129
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    This DVD is absolutely worth it for Patrizia Ciofi singing "Oh quante volte, quante" which is now my favourite bel canto aria. So beautiful and heartbreaking, and perfectly interpreted here (the audience thought so too).

    Natalie

  10. #130
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I preferred this to the fairly recent Met production with Graham and Domingo. Musically wonderful, and I liked the production with the marionettes acting out the backstory.



    Robin Blaze - another name to add to favourite countenors. The combination of voices in these beautiful duets is truly lovely.

    Natalie

  11. #131
    Schigolch
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  12. #132
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Ha ha, coincidence, I just watched this and while on one level I enjoyed Ms Dessi's performance I didn't like the singing. Wobbly and harsh.



    Fabio Armiliato looked rather dashing in his military coat though, and Kate Aldrich was a fine Adalgisa.
    Natalie

  13. #133
    Schigolch
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  14. #134
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    Donizetti. Lucia di Lammermoor. Diana Damrau. Piotr Beczała. Vladimir Stoyanov. Ildar Abdrazakov. Ronald Naldi. Michaela Martens
    Conductor: Marco Armiliato (from 2008, Met).

    Not one complain, all singers are great - even Arturo isn't one of those tenors that they often get for such roles like they would think "let's get some entirely unejoyable voice so the minor character won't overshadow the main tenor, just in case". And there's also that glass harmonica in the mad scene, not the flute replacing it. I'm not sure if they did take some liberties with it, I remember other performance with glass harmonica but don't recall it having so much to say in final cabaletta.

  15. #135
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Part ghost story, part psychological drama, this opera is based on the true story of three lighthouse keepers who disappeared mysteriously from a remote Scottish lighthouse in 1900. In the prologue, three officers from a lighthouse ship report to a Court of Enquiry how they arrived to relieve the three keepers and found the place deserted. The main act flashbacks to the keepers, working the lighthouse far longer than usual. They are nervous and pass the time by singing characteristic ‘set piece’ songs – which express their individual guilt. Out of the fog, their past emerges to taunt them. They see the arrival of a blinding light as Antichrist, in which they are replaced by the relief officers: the mystery is unresolved.

    Sandy: Neil Mackie
    Blazes: Christopher Keyte
    Arthur: Ian Comboy

    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
    Conducted by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

    It's taking a while to get to know it & very different from my usual fare but it's intriguing.
    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

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