Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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  1. #2386
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Interesting web page: FORGOTTEN OPERA SINGERS
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  3. #2387
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Bocelli sings flat.

    aaaargggghhhhhhhhh. Quite so. Bocelli sings like a labrador.

    Oh ha ha ha ha ha ha. I just stumbled across this. Hilarious!

    Ah, poor Bocelli, but if he would only stay out of opera, we would leave him alone. And, he does sing (and even howl) about 100 or more times better than I sing, so.... I'll just go out and howl with my dog!
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  5. #2388
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I often feel awkward when people like my current listening and I don't always like theirs, but sometimes it is just not an opera that appeals to me, and other times it is one that I don't even know. However, that you all are listening to opera is what matters, at least I hope you all are listening to opera, some have not been very active lately, so I hope everything is okay.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  7. #2389
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Do we have a thread for new releases? This released July 2021.
    https://www.arkivmusic.com/products/...anowski-937424


    We sure do! It's under the DVD/Blu-ray, and CD Reviews section:
    https://operalively.com/forums/showt...s-and-blu-rays
    Last edited by MAuer; September 2nd, 2021 at 11:23 AM.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

  8. #2390
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Oops -- I meant to reply to your post about the new Fidelio recording, not edit it!

    And I know what you mean about liking posts -- and not liking them isn't meant to be critical. We all have different tastes, and a voice I love may not be your cup of tea at all.

    I hope we'll hear from some of the other OL members again as conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic start to ease. With that Delta variant on the loose, we're not completely out of the woods yet, but many opera houses are starting to resume performances with the new 2021-22 season. I recently received the season brochure from the Met, and they're enforcing strict safety precautions. No one without proof of vaccination will be admitted.

  9. #2391
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Oh ha ha ha ha ha ha. I just stumbled across this. Hilarious!

    Ah, poor Bocelli, but if he would only stay out of opera, we would leave him alone. And, he does sing (and even howl) about 100 or more times better than I sing, so.... I'll just go out and howl with my dog!
    Speaking of Bocelli, Rhinegold Publishing (publishers of Opera Now) are offering a special edition devoted to "The Greatest Tenors," in which 10 individuals are listed: the "three" (Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras), Caruso, Gigli, Corelli, Jussi Björling, Alfredo Kraus, Vickers, and Kaufmann. Of course, choosing "the greatest" in almost any category is subjective; one might well wonder why Fritz Wunderlich hasn't been included. Wagnerians may also insist that Melchior should be in any listing of the "greatest." On the magazine cover, however, Bocelli's image is included along with most of the others. No idea why; he's not one of the 10, and I don't think there would be much argument among OL members that he really doesn't belong in this group, anyway. So why include his photo? I give a great deal of credit to the editorial staff at Opernwelt, who have simply never taken any notice of Bocelli whatsoever.

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  11. #2392
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Every year finds new recordings – either in CD or video format – of operatic rarities revived (or a new opera premiered) at the summer festivals. Some of the 2021 candidates may be:

    - Arrigo Boito’s Nerone, presented at the Bregenz Festival. According to the reviewer from Das Opernglas (Sept., 2021, issue), Boito conceived this opera as a “Gesamtkunstwerk” that was supposed to encompass all forms of dramatic expression and give the form of the classical Italian opera a pan-European synthesis. He continually revised the score and still hadn’t completed it to his satisfaction by the time he died. Afterward, Toscanini, who was one of the leading advocates of this work, developed a performance edition in collaboration with Antonio Smareglia and Vittorio Tommassini. Famed tenor Aureliano Pertile sang the demanding title role at the 1921 world premiere of Nerone at La Scala. In Bregenz, Dirk Kaftan was on the podium of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Prague Philharmonic Chorus, with a cast including Rafael Rojas (Nerone), Lucio Gallo (the magician Simon Mago), Svetlana Aksenova (Asteria), Brett Poligato (the young Christian Fanuel), and Alessandra Volpe (Rubria). Olivier Tambosi directed.

    - Kaija Saariaho’s Innocence, with a libretto by Sofi Oksanen, which had its world premiere at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. In Simon Stone’s production, action took place in what Opernwelt’s reviewer (Sept.-Oct., 2021) describes as a “two story horror house.” On the lower floor, the Romanian Stela and Finn Tuomas were celebrating their wedding, while on the upper level, the dark background history of the groom’s family was told in flashbacks. Tuomas’ older brother had been involved in a violent incident at a school, and the family would have liked to banish him (as well as a firstborn) from their collective memory. But the past caught up with the present as the characters’ recollection of the murder increasingly crowded out the happy nuptial festivities, and revealed that the entire family had skeletons in the closet. Susanna Mälkki conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, with cast members who sang not only the predominantly English text, but in their native languages as well. Among the soloists were Magdalena Kožena as a waitress, Sandrine Piau (mother-in-law), Tuomas Pursio (father-in-law), Lilian Farahani (Stela), Markus Nykänen (Tuomas), and Lucy Shelton (teacher).

    - Daniel-François-Esprit Auber’s Le philtre, with the same basic plot as Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, which was heard at the Rossini in Wildbad Festival in a semi-staged performance with the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Luciano Acocello. The cast included soprano Luiza Fatyol as Térézine (corresponds to Donizetti’s Adina), tenor Patrick Kabongo (Guillaume, i.e., Nemorino), Emmanuel Franco (Sergeant Joli-Coeur), Eugenio Di Lieto (Fontanarose, the Dulcamara figure), and Adina Vilchi (Jeannette).

    - Rossini’s La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder), which was also on the program at Bad Wildbad in a fully-staged production by the soprano Stefania Bonfadelli. José Miguel Pérez-Sierra led the Krakow Philharmonic in the performance of this opera, with a plot that revolves around Giulia, the ward of Dormont, who has no enthusiasm for the prospective husband her guardian has chosen for her. She hands the gentleman (Blansac) off to her cousin Lucilla, who is more than happy to accept him. Giulia, of course, is in love with Dorvil, and thanks to the titular silken ladder, the young couple achieves the desired happy ending. The overture to La scala di seta is among Rossini’s most popular ones and often finds its way into concert programs. Among the soloists in Bad Wildbad were soprano Claudia Urru (Giulia), tenor Michele Angelini (Dorvil), Emmanuel Franco (Giulia’s servant Germano), Emmanuel Di Lieto (Blansac), Meagan Sill (Lucilla), and Remy Burnens (Dormont).

    - Rossini’s Elisabetta Regina d’Inghilterra, yet another production from Bad Wildbad, may also find its way into the discography. The titular heroine is, of course, Queen Bess, who ends up deciding to forget about love and concentrate on ruling her country instead. The overture to this opera was such a smash hit that Rossini decided to reuse it for his Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Bad Wildbad’s cast included Serena Farnocchia as Elizabeth, Patrick Kabongo as the Earl of Leicester, tenor Mert Süngü as the Duke of Norfolk, Veronica Marini as Matilde, and mezzo Mara Gaudenzi in the breeches role of Enrico. The experienced Rossini conductor Antonino Fogliani was in charge of the musical performance, with Jochen Schönleben directing the production.

    - Alessandro Scarlatti’s Griselda, performed at the Festival della Valle d’Itria, Martina Franca, in a new edition by the musicologist Luca Della Libera. Apostolo Zeno’s libretto, based on Boccaccio’s Decameron, deals with Prince Gualtiero, who had married a woman of humble birth and had a daughter with her, but the marriage proved so unpopular with his subjects that he pretended to have her executed, though in fact sent her off to Prince Corrado of Apulia. Years later, faced with more civil unrest, Gualtiero decides the solution will be for him to remarry. His choice of a bride happens to be Costanza, who he’s unaware is his own daughter. Griselda, meanwhile, has been fending off the romantic advances of Ottone. Finally, she reappears, her true love for Gualtiero is proven, Costanza’s true identity is revealed, and everybody lives happily ever after. George Petrou led the ensemble La Lira di Orfeo in Rosetta Cucchi’s production at Martina Franca, with soprano Carmela Remigio as Griselda, countertenor Raffaele Pe as Gualtiero, Mariam Battistelli as Costanza, tenor Krystian Adam as Corrado, and Francesca Ascioti and Miriam Albano in what were originally the castrato roles of Ottone and Roberto, respectively.

    - Franz Schmidt’s early 20th century opera Notre Dame, with a libretto by the composer and Leopold Wilk based on Victor Hugo’s novel, that was revived at the St. Gallen Festival in a production by Carlos Wagner. Michael Balke led the musicians of the Festival orchestra, who played in an adjoining building with the sound broadcast over an amplification system to the forecourt of the St. Gallen Abbey, where the outdoor stage was located. Soprano Anna Gabler sang Esmeralda, with baritone Simon Neal as the Archdeacon Frollo, tenors Clay Hilley and Cameron Becker as Captain Phoebus and Gringoire, respectively, and bass David Steffens in the comparatively small role of Quasimodo.

    None of the reviewers mentioned the performance being recorded in their critiques, but it would be unlike anything in previous years (2020 excluded for the obvious reason) if none of these productions eventually turned up on CD or DVD/Blu-ray. We'll just need to wait for several more months to pass to find out which of them will make it.

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