Escape from Elba

Arts => Music => Topic started by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 08:41:22 PM



Title: Opera
Post by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 08:41:22 PM
Share your thoughts on opera and highlights of recent performances.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: TrojanHorse 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...


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu on May 31, 2007, 01:41:49 PM
 :)

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.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: TrojanHorse 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? 


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu 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.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: cincy--man on June 01, 2007, 03:17:35 PM
I am half an opera fan. Mozart is fine.  8) 

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

Anything after you can keep!!  :-[  :-\


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu 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.



Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu 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).



Title: Re: Opera
Post by: cincy--man 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.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: Lhoffman 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.   


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu 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.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: Lhoffman 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. 




Title: Re: Opera
Post by: Lhoffman 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.


Title: Re: Magic Flute
Post by: TrojanHorse 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


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu on June 13, 2007, 04:21:20 PM
The whole Rusalka is worth it.  It's a wonderful opera, just beautiful.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: martinbeck3 on September 06, 2007, 10:42:02 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONUCPKdGcrk

PAVAROTTI LIVES


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: rmdig on October 20, 2007, 10:29:32 AM
martinbeck

Hello old friend.  I recently posted something in classical music about Osvaldo Golijov's opera Ainadamar.  Have you heard a recording of this?  I've been listening to it for a few days and am enjoying the experience.  Not your typical opera, at least not like any operas I'm familiar with.  More like an oratoria, or a Greek tragedy with chorus.

In case you don't know, Ainadamar is based on the death of Spanish poet Frederico Garcia Lorca.  Lorca's part in the opera is sung by a mezzo soprano (I didn't know Lorca was homosexual, not that I care which way a poet gets his kicks.)


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu on October 20, 2007, 06:44:01 PM
Well, I see the opera chat room is picking up.  I thought I was all by myself.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: madupont on October 21, 2007, 06:53:24 PM
rmdig,re:#16

Yes, but did you know that Dumbledore is? (Don't worry, this is a hypo-thetical.)

Take your pick; "It's all good."  Some laughs in here, mostly British.

http://norfolkblogger.blogspot.com/2007/10/dumbledore-is-gay.html
 
http://ricksincerethoughts.blogspot.com/2007/10/dumbledore-is-gay.html
 
http://revjph.blogspot.com/2007/10/madpriests-thought-for-day_20.htm
 
http://kinsi.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/breaking-dumbledores-gay/#comment-6299
 
http://12amusings.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/dumbledore/
 
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Entertainment/2007/10/20/jk_rowling_dumbledore_was_gay/7986/


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: rmdig on October 22, 2007, 06:40:49 AM
I'm afraid I wouldn't know Dumbledore from Dumbo although I've heard of Harry Pottter.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: madupont on October 22, 2007, 11:41:03 AM
Rmdig,

I can say this much, I've never read him.  My sister in law while visiting (she's a grandmother) was watching one of the Potter films, so I caught it with her but it remains to me as the kind of writing for children who have not delved sufficiently into the classics of children's literature where those ideas abound. 

Dumbledore is a kind of loveable Michael Gambon (who was also teacherly in, The Good Shepherd, as a teacher of poetry).


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: rmdig on October 25, 2007, 10:41:21 AM
madupont

I guess it's okay to stay off topic since no one seems to be posting on Opera.

Watched The Good Shepherd yesterday and, though it might have been a little longer than it needed to be, I enjoyed it.  Matt Damon, who I never think I am going to appreciate but usually do, did a fairly good job with a character whose closed-mouthedness was an occupational hazard.

I initially thought that the Michael Gambon character was Vladimir Nabokov but the time frame didn't seem right nor the university.




Title: Re: Opera
Post by: nytempsperdu on October 25, 2007, 09:03:43 PM
Recently the SF Opera simulcast a production of Samson and Delilah at the Giants ballpark, free for those willling/able.    I guess this kind of event was started by Houston Grand Opera, now done here by director who started same there.  Anyone been to one of these events and want to comment on what it's like?  (Can't help wondering what supertitles look like on the Jumbotron.)

Also, anyone interested in the Glass opera, Appomattox?  About this, I couldn't help but think of Thurber's essay "If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox," naturally.  I really must broaden my frame of reference...


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu on October 27, 2007, 07:53:03 PM
>:(

I am furious with Comcast for removing the Opera channel from its music lineup.  I mean several devoted to Rock/Hip Hop/Alternative Rock/Adult Rock, several hispanic channels and a Songs of the Season channel.

I was devastated when they removed the American channel (for no reason); now they brought back Americana channel but dropped the Opera channel.  I've tried e-mailing, calling, to no avail.  Comcast does not see fit to answer or respond to consumers' complaints.

So now I joined up with Sirius and it's opera broadcast but it's not the Opera channel.  I only have Met broadcasts, current and archival.

I'm still figuring out to navigate YouTube to get opera singers, known and unknown. 


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: madupont on October 28, 2007, 12:26:46 AM
That's really weird that they would drop Opera.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: TrojanHorse on November 07, 2007, 08:11:29 PM
If you want to start a letter writing campaign -- I'm in...


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: rmdig on December 17, 2007, 04:17:27 PM
I am listening to a lot of Anna Netrebko these days.  Any other fans out there?


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: peloux on December 18, 2007, 12:41:21 PM
>:(

I am furious with Comcast for removing the Opera channel from its music lineup. 

Cox Cable in San Diego did the same thing and at about the same time. Effective Sept 18, no more Opera Channel. At first I thought that it was Music Choice, the distributor who had discontinued the channel, but later found out that it was Cox. I emailed them and received a couple of personalized responses but since have received only form letters. I wrote a nice but fairly passionate letter to the Director of the San Diego Opera Company but did not get a response. The Opera Channel is a dream come true for any opera fan and it blows me away that they would toss it aside, especially when they carry 5 Rhythm and Blues channels, 5 Spanish language music channels, several rock channels, and 2 Rap channels, and many others, about 45 an all. Are we supposed to believe that Cox Cable can't afford to carry the Opera Channel when they probably get a group price for the whole package?

Below is an email address for Cox Cable. I don't think it matters that you might not live in San Diego. The larger point is at issue. These Philistines at Cox need to hear from us.

Lulu, if you provide me with an email address for Comcast, I would be happy to write to them. I have friends who will write as well.

[email protected]

````





Title: Re: Opera
Post by: madupont on December 18, 2007, 11:51:00 PM
Peloux,

Are you referring to the fact of having been able to hear the full opera performance as we did on radio when I was a kid, the Longine Hour or something of the kind each weekend?  Never missed listening; probably because my mother took me to the opera early in my life.

If you meant the programs on tv channels that present a variety of arias that is a different kind of program and even so I could not comprehend why a distributor would choose to eliminate any operatic program from their scheduling  and that still alarms me. 


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: peloux on December 19, 2007, 12:39:25 AM
Madupont

This is TV not radio but there is nothing visual, per se. The Opera Channel plays complete operas while the artists' names are displayed on the screen. When an opera is over, anthologized songs and arias are played until the next hour at which time a new opera begins. This continues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No advertising. There is also a Classical Music Channel and a Light Classics Channel (which they have retained.) These music channels alone are worth the cost of the cable service (to me). Also, the music is transmitted digitally, so it is at or near CD quality.

It's curious that this would happen to two major cable companies and at approximately the same time. Maybe something's going on. If so, they might at least tell us.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: rmdig on December 23, 2007, 11:00:59 AM
Saturday's Met broadcast of Prokoviev's War and Peace was, IMHO, difficult to listen to.  There are reasons this opera is not often performed and not all of those reasons have to do with the enormous cast.  I found it tedious in the extreme.


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: lulu on December 23, 2007, 04:06:46 PM
I have loved the Opera Channel and Classical channels since I first got them.  Recently they  dropped the Opera Channel and I went berserk.  It was terrible withdrawal symptoms so I signed on to Rhapsody.  They originally dropped Americana channel a year or so ago and kept Opera channel and I went berserk then.  They then brought back the Americana channel and dropped the Opera channel and I freaked.  Now I have them both.

Talk about being a very happy camper.  (Selfish but I need both.)


Title: Re: Opera
Post by: madupont on December 25, 2007, 09:36:37 AM
Peloux, and Lulu:

I think part of the problem with the disappearing channels may be that another means of profitable distribution has appeared. I had not taken any notice of this at first when I would look to see what was playing at the movies, but since the subject has been brought up of the missing Opera performances, my attention redirected itself and this is what I found. As occurred with PBS, operas have been televised and are now shown in multiplex theaters where you must reserve a ticket as you would when attending them as live performance.

http://www.fathomevents.com/details.aspx?eventid=679