View Poll Results: Rossini's favourite opera

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  • La scala di seta

    0 0%
  • La pietra del paragone

    0 0%
  • L'occasione fa il ladro

    0 0%
  • Il signor Bruschino

    1 5.26%
  • Tancredi

    1 5.26%
  • L'Italiana in Algeri

    5 26.32%
  • Il Turco in Italia

    2 10.53%
  • Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra

    0 0%
  • Il Barbiere di Siviglia

    13 68.42%
  • Otello

    1 5.26%
  • La Cenerentola

    8 42.11%
  • La gazza ladra

    1 5.26%
  • Armida

    0 0%
  • Mosè in Egitto

    0 0%
  • Ermione

    1 5.26%
  • La donna del lago

    4 21.05%
  • Bianca e Falliero

    0 0%
  • Maometto secondo

    1 5.26%
  • Matilde di Shabran

    0 0%
  • Zelmira

    0 0%
  • Semiramide

    5 26.32%
  • Il Viaggo a Reims

    3 15.79%
  • Le Siège de Corinthe

    0 0%
  • Le Comte Ory

    3 15.79%
  • Guillaume Tell

    0 0%
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Thread: Our preferred Rossini opera

          
   
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  1. #1
    Schigolch
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    Our preferred Rossini opera

    Like Donizetti or Händel, Rossini wrote many operas, so this is a selection. If one of the operas selected by a member is not in the list, just mention it in the post.

    We need to pick up three, mine are Tancredi, Semiramide and La Donna del Lago.

  2. #2
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Mine are Ermione, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and L'Italiana in Algeri.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); March 13th, 2012 at 07:12 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #3
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I voted for Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, and La Donna del Lago. As usual, I have a lot of learning to do where this composer's operas are concerned.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Involved Member CountessAdele's Avatar
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    Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Donna del Lago, and Le Comte Ory! Naturally
    Only the positive!

  5. #5
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L'Italiana in Algeri, and La Cenerentola. Completely unnatural.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Involved Member Bardamu's Avatar
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    Only listened to L'italiana in Algeri, Barbiere and Cenerentola with small bits of Guglielmo Tell and Turco.
    La gazza ladra overture is also a favorite of mine.

    Barbiere and Cenerentola are the two I appreciated most.

    From the voting seems La donna del lago is very good, interesting.

  7. #7
    Schigolch
    Guest
    La donna del lago is indeed a great opera. There is a good version complete in youtube:

    [Link removed by Admin - video no longer available]
    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); January 7th, 2018 at 08:52 AM.

  8. #8
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    While La Donna del Lago is one that I don't know (I do have a version but it's in my UWP), I'm surprised that I'm kind of the only one who likes Ermione, for me his greatest opera (unless La Donna del Lago beats it when I finally get to it).
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  9. #9
    Schigolch
    Guest
    Of course, I like Ermione. It's just I like more the other three.

  10. #10
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    About La Cenerentola, it's good, but not one of my favorites; I think it abuses of ensembles, there are too many and at one point it becomes boring.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  11. #11
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    About La Cenerentola, it's good, but not one of my favorites; I think it abuses of ensembles, there are too many and at one point it becomes boring.
    No, no. The ensembles in Cenerentola are amazing! Especially the 2nd act sextet.

  12. #12
    Schigolch
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    Finally, it's Il Barbiere the one most favoured by OL members.

    [Link removed by Admin - video no longer available]
    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); January 7th, 2018 at 08:52 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Involved Member Bardamu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    While La Donna del Lago is one that I don't know (I do have a version but it's in my UWP), I'm surprised that I'm kind of the only one who likes Ermione, for me his greatest opera (unless La Donna del Lago beats it when I finally get to it).
    Gave a brief sample of La Donna del Lago, Ermione and La Gazza Ladra and I must say Ermione was the one impressed me more.
    When I long to listen more Rossini probably I will go with it.

  14. #14
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    OK, I have patched a hole in my exposure to Rossini, and have finally watched La Donna del Lago, on YouTube, the one Schigolch has posted for us:

    [Link removed by Admin - video no longer available]

    It's from the Rossini festival in Pesaro, in 2001. Aramis should not miss this, since it features a young Juan Diego Flórez as Giacomo (King James V of Scotland), a.k.a., in disguise, Uberto, and JDF is in spectacular form.

    This is conducted by an excellent conductor (often overlooked): Daniele Gatti, with the Orchestra del Teatro Communale di Bologna, and the Prague Chamber Chorus. Stage direction Luca Ronconi. The cast also features Simone Alberghini (Douglas), Charles Workman (Rodrigo), the excellent Mariella Devia (Elena), Daniela Barcellona (mezzo, in the trouser role of Malcolm), Maria Lucia Menichetti (Albina), and Gregori Bonfatti (Serano).

    There is a lot of audience noise, and the open air arena in Pesaro doesn't help the acoustics, but the sound is good enough. The image is very dark. I did not like the sets and costumes. They use a rocky plateau the whole time, and the lake is suggested by two sliding panels (that part is neat). Otherwise, everything is done on the same plateau, including the supposed palace of the King, which gets a little change by a rising Stonehenge-like formation.

    Another downside is the fact that certain scenes are cut, including a very essential one - when Douglas asks for the King's pardon and is denied. One needs a good synopsis to compensate for these cuts, in order to follow the story.

    Musically however this is a very rewarding production, thanks in great part to JDF and Mirella Devia. Some of the supporting roles are good (such as Albina, Serano, and a correct Douglas) but a couple are not as good (Rodrigo, and especially Malcolm, I didn't really like Daniela Barcellona in this role, which was written for a contralto).

    Now, have I changed my mind and brought down Ermione as my favorite Rossini opera seria, in favor of La Donna del Lago? No, I have not. I continue to like Ermione better, for a couple of reasons.

    La Donna del Lago is packed full of beautiful Belcanto melodies. Really. Packed. Full.
    No doubt about it. It's a beautiful, very beautiful opera. Not only one great Belcanto opportunity comes after the other over and over throughout the entire work, but also a couple of moments are truly sublime - for example, Aurora, Ah sorgerai (sung by Uberto off-stage); and Uberto's cavatina Oh fiamma soave - wow, so beautiful! And several others.

    So, it's not because of the music. Why, shouldn't the music be the essential factor? Well, because Ermione's music is beautiful too. I think it is just as beautiful. So, I can't judge my favorite among these two, based only on the music. I gotta find other factors to differentiate the two.

    Then, it's gotta be the libretto, the plot, the dramatic potential, the pace, the theatricality. In all of these, I believe Ermione to be superior.

    La Donna del Lago doesn't have as much dramatic punch. See, there is one death (Rodrigo, a character who is not central to the story - he is the intended husband for Elena's arranged marriage which she doesn't want, so his death actually is a positive event for her. And it happens offstage. Like Bellini would say, we need a couple of good deaths in opera seria.

    Then, it ends in general happiness and forgiveness - not your usual opera seria ending, and again, it makes it less impressive. In terms of theatricality, for instance, the fact that after the essential events we still get two more numbers - a rondò and a finale, both celebrating Elena's happiness (but with her beloved Malcolm strangely silent - it's just her, singing, and the chorus), is anti-climactic.

    Another interesting aspect is that there is no baritone. This opera uses a high tessitura most of the time - three tenors, one alto (in this production, a mezzo), one soprano, one mezzo, and a couple of basses with small roles. No evil baritone! Well, Ermione doesn't have one either.

    And it's one of the rare operas in which the soprano dumps the tenor.

    Anyways, the plot is weak. The two supposed heroes, Douglas and Malcolm, are utterly defeated by the King, beg for forgiveness, don't get it, and it's just because the King is in love with Elena that they get pardoned. No wonder they remain silent in the end. It's kind of shameful. Not a very macho thing. So she sings at the end of how blissful it is to have her father and her lover side by side, while the men look - well, not exactly thrilled. The prospective husband, Malcolm, must be thinking - "well, I got spared because the King who beat the crap out of me has the hots for my girl... that's not so good, and doesn't bode well for this relationship."

    So, Ermione packs a lot more drama... I'll stay with it. But don't read me wrong - Rossini's music is awesome in La Donna del Lago. But as much as music is the essential part in the art form, it's not the only one. If Ermione didn't have good music, then I'd have to replace it in my preference, but it does, and it has a lot more going for it. In my opinion, of course. Questions of preference are personal, so, whoever prefers La Donna del Lago, fine with me; like I said, it's a beautiful opera too.
    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); January 7th, 2018 at 08:52 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  15. #15
    Schigolch
    Guest
    Both Pirro, in Ermione, and Rodrigo, in La Donna del Lago, were written for Andrea Nozzari, a tenor that was able to sing formidable low notes, as well as the high C and he could also sing 'di sbalzo' with ease. Rossini took advantage of this fact. He (Nozzari) was an example of what's known as 'baritenore'.

    Recently we have had something approaching this description in Bruce Ford or Chris Merritt. This performance from Michael Spyres can also give an idea of what a 'baritenore' is:


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