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Thread: Our 13 favourite operas

          
   
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  1. #61
    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    I tried to like The Magic Flute, but I have a lot of difficulty listening to the German language.
    Italian, French, and Russian just sound more beautiful to my ears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    I love The Magic Flute, though I wouldn't say it (or any of the Mozart operas) are above criticism.

    Well, OK, maybe Marriage of Figaro.

  2. #62
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tardis View Post
    I tried to like The Magic Flute, but I have a lot of difficulty listening to the German language.
    Italian, French, and Russian just sound more beautiful to my ears.
    That's unfortunate. For many years back in the nineteenth century, this opera was only known in England in Italian translation as Il flauto magico. This libretto even gave the Queen of Night a name: 'Astrafiammante', for 'star-flaming'. Too bad there's no recording of this translation; that might help you with your antipathy. There is an old RAI recording of the work in Italian, with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf as Pamina and Giuseppe Taddei as Papageno; you might be able to track that down somewhere. It's worth the effort!

  3. #63
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tardis View Post
    I tried to like The Magic Flute, but I have a lot of difficulty listening to the German language.
    Italian, French, and Russian just sound more beautiful to my ears.
    It occurs to me that you might also try Ingmar Bergman's film version, which is sung mostly in Swedish; the Queen of Night sings in Norwegian, apparently in an effort by the director to point up her foreign and mysterious nature. This is just about the strongest argument I know in favor of this work; many times I have been reduced to happy tears during a screening, so childlike and wonder-filled is the production.

  4. #64
    Schigolch
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    Some excerpts from Il Flauto Magico:


  5. #65
    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    Is this the one? I think I will buy it.
    http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Die-Zau.../dp/B000R00V6G

    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    That's unfortunate. For many years back in the nineteenth century, this opera was only known in England in Italian translation as Il flauto magico. This libretto even gave the Queen of Night a name: 'Astrafiammante', for 'star-flaming'. Too bad there's no recording of this translation; that might help you with your antipathy. There is an old RAI recording of the work in Italian, with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf as Pamina and Giuseppe Taddei as Papageno; you might be able to track that down somewhere. It's worth the effort!

  6. #66
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tardis View Post
    Is this the one? I think I will buy it.
    http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Die-Zau.../dp/B000R00V6G
    Yes, that's the one. It is the only full recording of Schwarzkopf as Pamina, saving a recording in English of the role with a rehearsal pianist.

  7. #67
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    Very interesting thread. I have some choices no one mentioned before. For each composer, I just pick one. Alphabetical order:

    1. Die Tote Stadt (Korngold).
    2. Don Carlo (Verdi). I prefer four-act version. I don't want any happy moments in this opera haha
    3. Don Giovanni (Mozart).
    4. Elektra (R. Strauss).
    5. Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky).
    6. Iphigenie en Tauride (Gluck). My unique choice. This opera goes directly to your heart.
    7. Jenufa (Janacek). Does anyone choose this?
    8. King Roger (Szymanowski). My unique choice too. The most mysterious opera I've ever seen.
    9. Norma (Bellini).
    10. Pelleas et Melisande (Debussy).
    11. Peter Grimes (Britten).
    12. Thais (Massenet). I have no idea why this one is not that welcome.
    13. Tristan und Isolde (Wagner).

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  9. #68
    Junior Member Recent member Sherlock Hamlet's Avatar
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    1. Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
    2. Carmen (Bizet)
    3. Don Giovanni (Mozart)
    4. The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart)
    5. Madama Butterfly (Puccini)
    6. La Traviata (Verdi)
    7. The Magic Flute (Mozart)
    8. La Boheme (Puccini)
    9. Turandot (Puccini)
    10. Otello (Verdi)
    11. Tosca (Puccini)
    12. Maria Stuarda (Donizetti)
    13. Cosi fan Tutti (Mozart)

    Watching Les Troyens right now, split into 3 parts, 1 per night...and Part 1 was good, so we'll see if Berlioz's work cracks this list...

    But with 4 each for Mozart (3 Italian, 1 German) and Puccini, 2 for Verdi, and 10/13 overall being Italian opera, I suppose that's a bias well established (though that being said, it IS odd that with such a wide margin the Top 2 then go to a Russian and French opera, respectively...I'll also note I didn't count any of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas, as they don't seem to quite fit here, but were they to count certainly HMS Pinafore if not Pinafore and Penzance would have scored here...and, YES, Otello DOES crack my Top 10, as it has two major biases--Italian Opera and Shakespeare--going for it.)
    "There are more things in heaven and earth then are dreamt of in your philosophy" --Hamlet

  10. #69
    Senior Member Veteran Member Itullian's Avatar
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    let me try this.....
    1.-7. All 7 Wagner operas, the Ring counted as one, so I have six left.

    8. Tales of Hoffman
    9. Magic Flute
    10.Faust
    11. Mefistofeles
    12. Lucia
    13. William Tell

    no particular order for last 6.

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  12. #70
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    let me try this.....
    1.-7. All 7 Wagner operas, the Ring counted as one, so I have six left.

    8. Tales of Hoffman
    9. Magic Flute
    10.Faust
    11. Mefistofeles
    12. Lucia
    13. William Tell

    no particular order for last 6.
    I like very much all the other 12 that you've quoted, but Faust? What is so wonderful about it? I much prefer, on the same topic, both Boito's opera that you've quoted, and Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust. I mean, like we've been saying, there's no accounting for taste, but since you've been talking about the operas that don't do it for you, Faust is one that doesn't do it for me.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  13. #71
    Senior Member Veteran Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I like very much all the other 12 that you've quoted, but Faust? What is so wonderful about it? I much prefer, on the same topic, both Boito's opera that you've quoted, and Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust. I mean, like we've been saying, there's no accounting for taste, but since you've been talking about the operas that don't do it for you, Faust is one that doesn't do it for me.
    just the wealth of unbelievably beautiful melodies, that's all.

  14. #72
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    just the wealth of unbelievably beautiful melodies, that's all.
    Meh.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  15. #73
    Schigolch
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    While it's true that the appeal to the modern audiences of Gounod's Faust is not as great as it was in the past, this opera is still one of the staples of the repertory.

    Personally, I don't like it a lot, but neither I do with Berlioz or Spohr versions, and only a little bit more with Boito's, among the well-known Faust's operas.

    My favorite operatic adaptation of the myth is Busoni's Doktor Faust (there are a few others in the 20th and even the 21st centuries, the myth is still alive).


  16. #74
    Senior Member Veteran Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    While it's true that the appeal to the modern audiences of Gounod's Faust is not as great as it was in the past, this opera is still one of the staples of the repertory.
    Personally, I don't like it a lot, but neither I do with Berlioz or Spohr versions, and only a little bit more with Boito's, among the well-known Faust's operas.

    My favorite operatic adaptation of the myth is Busoni's Doktor Faust (there are a few others in the 20th and even the 21st centuries, the myth is still alive).

    yes,
    because it's so beautiful.

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  18. #75
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    While it's true that the appeal to the modern audiences of Gounod's Faust is not as great as it was in the past, this opera is still one of the staples of the repertory.

    Personally, I don't like it a lot, but neither I do with Berlioz or Spohr versions, and only a little bit more with Boito's, among the well-known Faust's operas.

    My favorite operatic adaptation of the myth is Busoni's Doktor Faust (there are a few others in the 20th and even the 21st centuries, the myth is still alive).
    I don't know Spohr's version. I do know Busoni's, and love it; I forgot to mention it.
    But I also really love La Damnation de Faust. I think for an oratorio, it is very stage-worthy, with good pace, and that horse ride at the end is very well rendered in 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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