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Author Topic: Opera  (Read 1467 times)
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« on: April 16, 2007, 08:41:22 PM »

Share your thoughts on opera and highlights of recent performances.
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TrojanHorse
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2007, 10:27:06 AM »

Are there really no opera fans?

We've been blessed in So Cal by having Placido Domigo as a general director at the L.A. Opera.  He recently extended through 2011 I believe.

If there are any folks out there that would like to be fans but are having trouble making the conversion, I would be happy to make some recommedations on easy entry productions.  another good tip is to go out and buy a CD of the opera (if not a video of an earlier performance) before you go to see it and get familiar with the music ahead of time.  Also read up on the story a bit ahead of time.  Many opera houses put on seminars in advance for this purpose also.  If you take these easy steps, you will enjoy the performance so much more as you won't be struggling to learn the music for the first time along with everything else...
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lulu
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2007, 01:41:49 PM »

 Smiley

Another opera forum???  Woohoo!

I'm a big one; so far this year I've seen Jenufa, Zauberflote, Turandot, Trittico and the beautiful Orfeo, all at the Met.  Daniels is a god, filling in for the late LHL, and doing a gorgeous job.  Mark Morris's sets and decorations were unusual but somehow fitting.

Am having withdrawal symptoms but listening on Saturdays to broadcasts of Chicago Opera.
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TrojanHorse
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 02:20:47 PM »

I've seen Magic Flute several times and I love the music, but  I've always wondered -- The movie "Amadeus" portrayed Zauberflute as written for the lower classes (like Vaudeville).

Is that so? 
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lulu
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2007, 02:32:02 PM »

I doubt that operas were written for the lower classes.  I think that idea refers to Shakespeare who wrote his plays with the public in mind (not salon goers, as in Mozart's day).  I rather think going to the Globe was akin to watching television.  The vulgar puns, jokes, etc.  WS had no idea that his plays would be performed and read by students and performed by "high culture" performers.
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cincy--man
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2007, 03:17:35 PM »

I am half an opera fan. Mozart is fine.  Cool 

Anything prior to Mozart--e.g. Handel, Gluck, Vivaldi-- really my cup of tea.  Cheesy

Anything after you can keep!!  Embarrassed  Undecided
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lulu
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2007, 12:18:41 PM »

cincy-man (can I use your other name)?

check out Kasey's family's band "Dead Ringer Band" with Kasey and her family playing American music.  Absolutely wonderful.  I think I have most of them (from Australia) and all of Kasey's (so far) cds.

While listening to thomas quastoff's jazz album ( the man is from Germany, a baritone opera singer and can do American music as good as Theessink does).  His jazz album (more standards than really hard core jazz) is wonderful.  then I played theessink's Crazy Moon and noted that back up on one song is Marcia Ball.  I saw her recently either on Mountain stage or soundstage, and was truly impressed with her.  (Must get one of her cds.)  Also on last number, Cindy Cashdollar, an excellent dobroist who was, I believe, with the late John Herald's band.

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lulu
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2007, 12:20:59 PM »

I think the above should be on pop music.  sorry.

As for Gluck, his Orfeo ed Euridice or Orfee et Euridice is magnificent.  the music never fails to move me and the production I saw at the Met earlier this month was breathtaking.  Daniels is a god.

Haydn has wonderful operas (as does Handel).

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cincy--man
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2007, 04:36:26 PM »

Lulu:

Cashdollar is wonderful. Last I heard, she was with Asleep at the Wheel.

I was very lucky to hear Marcia Ball live last fall. She was part of an extensive line up over a 5 day festival and was by far the best live act of all.

Good news:  Mollie O'Brien has a new disc which you can buy at her site: www.mollieobrien.com

Of course you can call me by whatever name suits you. I will post this also on the pop music site.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2007, 04:45:05 PM »

Lulu...if you are into DVD's of opera, you can't go wrong with the Christie/McVicar/Glyndebourne "Giulio Casare." 

Also quite nice...Peter Sellars' "Theodora" with Dawn Upshaw and David Daniels. 

But the current favorite in my set has to be Levine/Met Ring Cycle....everything nicely in place:  vocals, sets, costume.  Boulez/Bayreuth is a close second, but I'm not sure I like his industrial sets.   
« Last Edit: June 05, 2007, 04:47:55 PM by Lhoffman » Logged
lulu
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2007, 02:42:19 PM »

Rusalka

I heard this last night and was struck by Dvorak's beautiful music.  I just sat there until the opera was over; it was that wonderful.

And Gabriela Benakova has a magnificent voice.  I have her recording of Jenufa done live at Carnegie hall with Eve Queler.  What a magnificent singer.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2007, 07:24:52 PM »

I've seen Magic Flute several times and I love the music, but  I've always wondered -- The movie "Amadeus" portrayed Zauberflute as written for the lower classes (like Vaudeville).

Is that so? 

Trojanhorse, here is a letter written by Goethe's mother in 1795, in Frankfort.  (Magic Flute premiered in 1791). 

(From Annette Kolb, Mozart  Sein Leben.Erlenbach-Z├╝rich:  1958, Eugen Rentsch Verlag. 291)

"There is nothing new here, except that the Magic Flute was given 18 times and that the house was always full -- no one wants to have it said that he did not see it -- all tradesmen -- gardeners -- nay, even the Sachsenhausers -- whose young folks are performing as monkeys and lions, such a spectacle has never been experienced, here -- the house has to be opened before 4 o'clock each time -- and even with all of that, a few hundreds have to be turned away again who did not get a seat -- that has brought in money.  The King has attended it 3 times as he was here the last time, and he had the only box of Willemer and paid 100 carolins."   "Last week, the Magic Flute has been given for the 24th time to a full house, and it has already raked in 22,000 florins.  How has it been executed in your place?  Are your monkeys as good as ours from Sachsenhausen?).

The opera premiered in Vienna in the Theatre auf der Weiden.  By this time in his life, Mozart had fallen out of favor with the powers that be.  Franz Joseph, who had been his patron, had died two years previous to the opening and Mozart's funds (and patrons) had probably dried up.  There was also some dislike of his wife.  Given all this, it is safe to assume that when the opera opened in September 1791, it was probably considered a popular entertainment, and attended by people from all walks of life. 


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Lhoffman
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2007, 07:38:44 PM »

Lulu

Rusalka

I heard this last night and was struck by Dvorak's beautiful music.  I just sat there until the opera was over; it was that wonderful.

And Gabriela Benakova has a magnificent voice.  I have her recording of Jenufa done live at Carnegie hall with Eve Queler.  What a magnificent singer.

I've just been listening to that Rusalka on Amazon.  Benakova has a wonderful voice, nice warm lyrical quality to it.  Is the whole worth the $35?  There's also a very nice recording by the Czech conductor Zdenek Chalabala which has a sort of fairy talk quality about it.
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TrojanHorse
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2007, 09:49:41 PM »

Very Cool, LHoffman

thank you for that..most informative.  The fact that the King "attended" also in the same theater gives me a slightly different take than I had before.

Thanks
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lulu
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2007, 04:21:20 PM »

The whole Rusalka is worth it.  It's a wonderful opera, just beautiful.
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