Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #2326
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    The finals for Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition are coming up in a few days.
    https://www.operaliacompetition.org/prague-2019

    When I looked at the list of singers who will be participating, I was excited to see that some Cincinnati Opera alumni are among them, including our wonderful Roméo and Zerbinetta from this summer’s productions of Roméo et Juliette and Ariadne auf Naxos, Matthew White and Liv Redpath. Also among the “alums” are Piotr Buszewski, Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette; Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Ottone in last year’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea; and Christian Pursell, who created the role of Senator Potter’s assistant in the 2016 world premiere of Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers, and also sang (Liberto and four other roles in L’Incoronazione di Poppea.

    Of course, I hope all of the finalists will do their best, and will be interested to see who the award winners will be.

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  3. #2327
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    For fans of Semele, this is an interesting 30 minutes with Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csz1yr

    They toured with it but I didn't know it was on otherwise I'd have gone.

    https://monteverdi.co.uk/media/handel-semele-tour
    "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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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Last night Deutsche Oper Berlin premiered a new La forza del destino directed by Frank Castorf and it has created quite a stir.

    Blogger Operatraveller has reviewed it. https://operatraveller.com/2019/09/0...e-oper-berlin/

    Before he published this review, he had an interesting Twitter conversation with Russell Thomas.

    Operatraveller @Operatraveller
    Did a lot of reflection on last night’s Forza. It’s going to take all I have not to title the review ‘I predict a riot’. Or maybe I should.


    Russell Thomas @travlingtenor
    (Replying to @Operatraveller)
    To be honest when I heard the protests before the 4th act, I thought there was a riot. Then it got worse before the Invano Alvaro. In 20 years, I’ve never experienced anything like that!

    Operatraveller @Operatraveller
    (Replying to @travlingtenor)
    I’m in total and complete admiration to all the cast for not only continuing after all that but then knocking it out of the park. Congratulations. Your Alvaro was spectacularly good.


    Russell Thomas @travlingtenor
    (Replying to @Operatraveller)
    Thank you!!!


    I hope it emerges somewhere on the internet!
    "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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  7. #2329
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Opera house managements know what they're doing when they engage someone like Castorf, undoubtedly figuring there's no such thing as bad publicity. I'm sure some people will now try to attend one of the remaining performances of this production just to see what all the commotion was about. I feel sorry for the singers, who get caught in the middle in situations like this. I was glad to hear that Russell Thomas was still able to deliver such a fabulous performance. I keep hoping the local opera company will be able to engage him again, but fear that chances are slim now that his international career has really taken off.

  8. #2330
    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
    Last night Deutsche Oper Berlin premiered a new La forza del destino directed by Frank Castorf and it has created quite a stir.

    Blogger Operatraveller has reviewed it. https://operatraveller.com/2019/09/0...e-oper-berlin/

    Before he published this review, he had an interesting Twitter conversation with Russell Thomas.

    Operatraveller @Operatraveller
    Did a lot of reflection on last night’s Forza. It’s going to take all I have not to title the review ‘I predict a riot’. Or maybe I should.


    Russell Thomas @travlingtenor
    (Replying to @Operatraveller)
    To be honest when I heard the protests before the 4th act, I thought there was a riot. Then it got worse before the Invano Alvaro. In 20 years, I’ve never experienced anything like that!

    Operatraveller @Operatraveller
    (Replying to @travlingtenor)
    I’m in total and complete admiration to all the cast for not only continuing after all that but then knocking it out of the park. Congratulations. Your Alvaro was spectacularly good.


    Russell Thomas @travlingtenor
    (Replying to @Operatraveller)
    Thank you!!!


    I hope it emerges somewhere on the internet!
    Oh wow, I'm sad that this very good opera company, one of our Hoffmann's favorites, is staging something that adds a lot of spurious stuff to Verdi's opera. When will stage directors understand that opera doesn't need any help? These masterpieces are self-sufficient and almost every time someone wants to add text and characters to a good opera, the result is a disaster. Poor singers... it seems like they still survived and did well, despite the director's excesses.

    I'm all for original and creative stagings, but I'm not for sheer alterations of the work itself. If someone wants to profoundly change a work, then they should find their own title, and publicize it as "based on" or "adapted from" the opera itself. If you add a lot of material, then it's no longer the opera.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  10. #2331
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Not opera but applies just the same.

    "The celebrated German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter had just reached the most sublime moment of the Larghetto in the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night when she suddenly stopped playing and pointed to the front row.

    The orchestra ground to a halt. A young woman was shooting a video of Mutter’s performance with an iPhone, just feet away and directly in front of the star.

    A confrontation of several minutes ensued, with Mutter exclaiming, “Either I will leave, or you will put away your phone and recording device,” while the person stood up and spoke to her, seeming to be pleading her case. Finally, CSO president Jonathan Martin appeared and escorted the disruptor out, to the applause of the audience."


    https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinna...led-after.html
    "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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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm really surprised that something like this occurred at the CSO. Prior to performances by the Cincinnati Opera, audience members are always asked to turn off any of their electronic devices (and receive a reminder after intermissions in case they used the time to check messages, etc.) Programs even specify that any recording of performances is absolutely forbidden.

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    Wow, I'm really surprised that something like this occurred at the CSO. Prior to performances by the Cincinnati Opera, audience members are always asked to turn off any of their electronic devices (and receive a reminder after intermissions in case they used the time to check messages, etc.) Programs even specify that any recording of performances is absolutely forbidden.
    Anne-Sophie Mutter explains. I'm with her 100%.

    https://www.classicfm.com/artists/an...ming-incident/
    "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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  16. #2334
    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
    Anne-Sophie Mutter explains. I'm with her 100%.

    https://www.classicfm.com/artists/an...ming-incident/
    She is totally right. We've seen bad YouTube clips with shaky camera work and horrible sound, and it detracts from the artist's image. It is also a copyright infringement. Not to forget, it's annoying and distracting.

    Can't these people put down their phones and enjoy the music???
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  18. #2335
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    I finally have a theater in Texas (only two hours drive away! :\ ) playing the ROH broadcasts on a weekend, so I'm considering seeing the Michieletto Don Pasquale.

    The first couple reviews hated the production, calling it bitter and unfunny. But part of me deep down was like... "this old dude from the Guardian probably sucks..." And then I read this rave review, scrolled to the bottom and found what I expected: the reviewer was a woman. I think I see what's going on here....

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemorino View Post
    I finally have a theater in Texas (only two hours drive away! :\ ) playing the ROH broadcasts on a weekend, so I'm considering seeing the Michieletto Don Pasquale.

    The first couple reviews hated the production, calling it bitter and unfunny. But part of me deep down was like... "this old dude from the Guardian probably sucks..." And then I read this rave review, scrolled to the bottom and found what I expected: the reviewer was a woman. I think I see what's going on here....
    Yep!
    Many people think it's cruel and mean but I don't think it is. After all, DP boots out his nephew so he can get himself a wife!

    If you do go (two hours drive - just 'up the road' for Texas!) I hope you enjoy it.
    "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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  22. #2337
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    A new film by Michael Volpe, Director of Holland Park Opera.

    https://operahollandpark.com/news/into-the-light

    I've watched it several times now and the epilogue still has me crying and laughing.


    "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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  24. #2338
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    Oh wow, I'm sad that this very good opera company, one of our Hoffmann's favorites, is staging something that adds a lot of spurious stuff to Verdi's opera. When will stage directors understand that opera doesn't need any help? These masterpieces are self-sufficient and almost every time someone wants to add text and characters to a good opera, the result is a disaster. Poor singers... it seems like they still survived and did well, despite the director's excesses.

    I'm all for original and creative stagings, but I'm not for sheer alterations of the work itself. If someone wants to profoundly change a work, then they should find their own title, and publicize it as "based on" or "adapted from" the opera itself. If you add a lot of material, then it's no longer the opera.
    That said, I am a great admirer of some of Peter Sellars' additions - his recent Salzburg Clemenza re-imagined with terrorist themes, with the replacement of recits by music from Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music; and his Indian Queen from Teatro Real with themes of conquest, female oppression, and colonisation (admittedly the first is a rather stuffy plot and the second was unfinished, so both lend themselves to adaptation.).
    Natalie

  25. #2339
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I only know the Peter Sellars production of Don Giovanni that was set in Harlem (NYC) and starred African-American twins singing Don G. and Leporello. I've searched and, unfortunately, the DVD/VHS whatever, is out of print. The production was broadcast on PBS and was riveting. It was so long ago that I don't recall the quality of the singing, but the production seemed so out of synch with what we assume about the opera that I couldn't peel myself away.

    I was in Berlin at the same time that La Forza del Destino was on stage. Alas, I had no idea about the production and Elizabeth, my hostess, was focused on seeing the Ring at the Staatsoper across town. I could have gone alone, of course, but Elizabeth had us well scheduled during my visit (which was shorter this year due to a couple of family weddings). It would have been interesting to see.

    I mentioned in my update posting last night that I have a ticket for Otello at Washington National Opera on 8 November (which I rescheduled so not to miss last night's Game 7 World Series...) which is starring Russell Thomas singing the lead role. I didn't want to miss it, so am happy that I was able to get a ticket for another evening.

  26. #2340
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Admittedly, I'm no fan of Regietheater -- but Chacun à son gout, to borrow Prince Orlofsky's philosophy. But it's great to have both of you back again!

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