Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #2251
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    I'd never heard of this duet before, so went snooping on YouTube:



    Many parts of the music certainly sound like Mozart. Could some anonymous tunesmith simply have cobbled together melodies that stylistically copied elements from other Mozart operas? That it's remained so obscure suggests that many other musicologists have also questioned its authenticity.
    Thanks Mary, I didn't think to try YouTube! I'll do some more digging.
    " … 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."
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  2. #2252
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Interesting experiment conducted by the Met using wax cylinder equipment to record opera singers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/20/a...ng-edison.html

    " … 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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  4. #2253
    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
    Interesting experiment conducted by the Met using wax cylinder equipment to record opera singers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/20/a...ng-edison.html

    Very interesting!

    "The contrast between their big, healthy voices and the crackly, thin recorded playbacks was stark. It proved just how difficult — indeed, impossible — it was to capture the sounds of the legendary singers a century ago."

    So, Caruso indeed was probably way better than his recordings show, and the sopranos are even more hindered by the primitive technology.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  5. #2254
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Opernwelt’s 2018 Yearbook has now been published, and contains a broad overview of the 2017-18 season. Every year, the magazine’s publishers query 50 reviewers (most of them from the German-speaking countries along with a couple from London and one each from New York, Paris, and Bologna) and ask for their choices in a total of 15 categories. The singer, opera house, director, production, recording, etc. receiving the largest number of “votes” from the reviewers is designated as best of the year. Johann Martin Kränzle is the 2018 Singer of the Year, with Frankfurt taking top vote for the opera house, and John Nelson’s recording of Les Troyens selected as Recording of the Year. Sir John Eliot Gardiner is the 2018 Conductor of the Year, with the new Bayreuth Festival production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg named the year’s best performance.

    Among the categories is one labeled “Ärgernis des Jahres” – Irritation/Annoyance of the Year. The top vote-getters in this dubious classification include:
    - Prominent painter Georg Baselitz’s sets for the Bavarian State Opera’s new production of Parsifal -- 6 votes
    - The long-delayed reopening of Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden, including the €40 million cost overrun on the renovations and unimpressive result (called “East German Baroque” by one critic) – 4 votes
    - When engaging big names takes precedence over artistic standards, i.e., Rolando Villazón and Plácido Domingo (and to an extent, Baselitz) – 3
    - The disappointing Salzburg Festival Aida – 3
    - The proliferation of (often private) country house summer opera festivals -- 2
    - Roberto Alagna’s cancelation of his Bayreuth Lohengrin – 2
    - The continuing harassment of Kirill Serebrennikov by Russian authorities – 2

    Individual votes went to assorted productions/directors as well as delayed renovations of the opera houses in Stuttgart and Augsburg, the selections at this year’s ECHO Klassik awards, and assorted wrangling at some other German theaters. A few of the “singles” worth noting:
    - The chronic underfunding of the English National Opera by Arts Council England
    - The Met management’s claim that they knew nothing of James Levine’s misconduct until the latest round of allegations were made
    - Anna Netrebko’s “nepotism” in making sure that her husband, Yusif Eyvazov, was cast in the leading role in La Scala’s new production of Andrea Chénier

  6. #2255
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    I hope a few of you take a chance and go see the Met's HD of "Marnie". I went to NYC to see Jonas' Dick Johnson (had to word that one carefully), and saw opening night of "Marnie" too, and it far exceeded my expectations and turned out to be the highlight of my trip. The reviews have been mostly negative. I'm not sure what people were expecting. It's not as musically accomplished as Benjamin or Ades opera, but on the other hand it's still very well-written, beautiful, and more accessible to an average audience; most of the audience around me seemed to be enjoying it as much as I did.

    Some things to watch for:
    - Isabel Leonard is so perfect in this. Her voice and fully committed performance perfectly suited to Marnie's glamour, coldness, and later breakdown.
    - There's a quartet of Marnie's alter-egos that appears on stage when we are in Marnie's inner world. Their first opportunity to sing in Act 1 is unaccompanied, simple and gorgeous, with no vibrato, and really the drew the audience to rapt attention.
    - The short prelude to Act 2 is fantastic. (You can hear it in this trailer.)
    - The Hunting Scene. How well this will translate to the HD will have to be seen, but there's an offstage drum battery rumbling loudly like hooves, and a natural horn calls from one of the upper balconies. It's a riveting, cinematic sequence.
    - Denyce Graves has a supporting role in it. Her voice has lost some of its beauty, but none of its volume. The audience loved seeing her again.
    - Don't expect a huge climactic or triumphant ending. Befitting the ending of the original novel, the opera sinks into a sort of calm, quiet devastation at the end. It gave me goosebumps.
    - The projected backdrops are very good, and I was not surprised at all to find out they were done by 59 Productions. Who are far and away the best at doing this (they've also done the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony, this year's Opening Night of the Proms, and Laurent Pelly's Candide).

  7. #2256
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    I hope a few of you take a chance and go see the Met's HD of "Marnie". I went to NYC to see Jonas' Dick Johnson (had to word that one carefully), and saw opening night of "Marnie" too, and it far exceeded my expectations and turned out to be the highlight of my trip. The reviews have been mostly negative. I'm not sure what people were expecting. It's not as musically accomplished as Benjamin or Ades opera, but on the other hand it's still very well-written, beautiful, and more accessible to an average audience; most of the audience around me seemed to be enjoying it as much as I did.

    Some things to watch for:
    - Isabel Leonard is so perfect in this. Her voice and fully committed performance perfectly suited to Marnie's glamour, coldness, and later breakdown.
    - There's a quartet of Marnie's alter-egos that appears on stage when we are in Marnie's inner world. Their first opportunity to sing in Act 1 is unaccompanied, simple and gorgeous, with no vibrato, and really the drew the audience to rapt attention.
    - The short prelude to Act 2 is fantastic. (You can hear it in this trailer.)
    - The Hunting Scene. How well this will translate to the HD will have to be seen, but there's an offstage drum battery rumbling loudly like hooves, and a natural horn calls from one of the upper balconies. It's a riveting, cinematic sequence.
    - Denyce Graves has a supporting role in it. Her voice has lost some of its beauty, but none of its volume. The audience loved seeing her again.
    - Don't expect a huge climactic or triumphant ending. Befitting the ending of the original novel, the opera sinks into a sort of calm, quiet devastation at the end. It gave me goosebumps.
    - The projected backdrops are very good, and I was not surprised at all to find out they were done by 59 Productions. Who are far and away the best at doing this (they've also done the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony, this year's Opening Night of the Proms, and Laurent Pelly's Candide).
    Thanks, Nemorino, for your usual thoughtful observations.

    I think one problem with Marnie might be the unusually creepy book - the film is considered by some critics as one of Hitchcock's rare misses - and there are a few others who rave about it. I saw the film on TV - once, it doesn't show up very often - many years ago and wasn't much impressed.

    The one review I read complained/was disappointed that the opera doesn't go into the psychological depths that Hitchcock did and that the score seemed 'hurried'. I don't know what that means, really, but that combined with my memory of the film is enough to convince me not to make the effort to see it in NY.

    Not much else going on at the Met this season worth the trouble, though I would love to have seen that 'Fanciulla'.

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  9. #2257
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    It's not the complete performance, but there are sizable chunks of it on YouTube:






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  11. #2258
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    It's not the complete performance, but there are sizable chunks of it on YouTube:
    I like it a lot. I think it could be better than the Kaufmann/Stemme set that is out on DVD. Is this one going to be released on DVD?
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  12. #2259
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I suspect it won't since there are already two video recordings of this particular production -- the first one with Barbara Daniels, Domingo, and Milnes, and the second one with Deborah Voigt. I also find this preferable to the version with Stemme (that poor woman saddled with that ghastly red wig which makes Minnie look like a frump) and Konieczny's Rance.

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