Author Topic: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas  (Read 29302 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline springrite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6059
  • Location: Flying all over the place
  • Currently Listening to:
    Lots of Bach, Brian, Mahler, Rubbra, Beethoven and Buddhist chants
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2009, 02:04:43 AM »
If this is any consolation, the number of performances is no indicator of quality.

For me, for the most part, the popularity ranking is within reasonable range. We can all state our own personal preferences, but the popularity ranking is not about any one person's personal taste, and one needs to take into account casting, cost of production, etc. Once a production is made, it is less costly to repeat it later.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3023
  • selig sind
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2009, 09:36:16 PM »
If this is any consolation, the number of performances is no indicator of quality.


I could not agree more. Also to add, lavishness of a production, gimmckry (various stages of undress, kinkiness), the pomp and circumstance of going to view "opera" as a cultural fix, the problem of language--the confusion of having two going at the same time, the original (sometimes garbled by locals) and a running text translation to be dutifully read (educational value!), a lot of bad singing (but most people don't know the difference anyway), which allegedly necessitates bringing in big names to attract attention but carries a huge bill, and last but not least, the musical and social irrelevance of operas (on the list precious few, if any, from our own time) that when composed had some relevance and resonance of current social values whether the Court or outside it--all this and more causes me to question this huge dinosaur of opera the way it is still presented in the 21st century.

ZB
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Homo Aestheticus

  • Guest
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2009, 11:11:38 PM »
Also to add,

1. Lavishness of a production, gimmckry (various stages of undress, kinkiness).

2. The pomp and circumstance of going to view "opera" as a cultural fix,

3. The original (sometimes garbled by locals) and a running text translation to be dutifully read (educational value!)

***

Indeed...  And the above 3 are always exasperating in my opinion.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 12:03:40 AM by The Unrepentant Pelleastrian »

Offline springrite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6059
  • Location: Flying all over the place
  • Currently Listening to:
    Lots of Bach, Brian, Mahler, Rubbra, Beethoven and Buddhist chants
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2009, 07:01:56 AM »

Somebody please get Daniel Barenboim on the phone so he can slap some sense into Stern!! 



That will make Danny Marvin's Sung Hero. ;D
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

ChamberNut

  • Guest
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2009, 07:02:29 AM »
Marvin,

Long time no see!  Good to hear from you.  :)

Offline marvinbrown

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3059
  • Richard Wagner- The God of Opera!
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2009, 07:10:46 AM »
Marvin,

Long time no see!  Good to hear from you.  :)

  I have been travelling a lot on business and have been absent for some time from GMG.  It's good to be back to discuss opera, Wagner of course, Verdi, Puccini etc al.   Puccini's Turandot is playing in London and I believe there is an English spoken (yes I know I am not thrilled about that!) production of La Boheme to start soon.  I'll have to see about getting tickets  8)!!

  marvin

Bulldog

  • Guest
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2009, 07:15:47 AM »

  Asked by a reporter whether he had any plans to program the operas of Richard Wagner in Tel Aviv, David Stern answered in the negative. "I don't think it's such a great loss to Israeli audiences," he added. "I still conduct Wagner in other places around the world, but there are many other things that are worthwhile to conduct here."

 Warning: my reaction to the above quotation is bound to upset some GMG members but I write this with all honesty:

  What?? either David Stern is deaf (which I am quite sure he is not) or he is just a two faced liar and a cheat!  So he doesn't think that the ban on Wagner in Israel is "such a great loss to Israeli audiences" !Well Mr. Stern, I would like to ask you then why are you bothering to conduct Wagner elsewhere?   His statement is insulting to all opera fans and especially those in Israel who know what GREAT opera music is!  Not a great loss to Israeli audiences?? Please!  David stern knows that Wagner wrote the greatest operas in the repertoire and yet he panders to Jewish extremists set out to vilify Wagner!  Somebody please get Daniel Barenboim on the phone so he can slap some sense into Stern!! 

  Apologies are in order if this post has insulted anyone  $:)!

  marvin

I don't feel insulted, but I do think that Marvin's views are a little over-the-top (likely due to his passion for Wagner's operas.  Whether no Wagner is a great or small loss to Israeli audiences is an opinion; there's no basis for referring to Stern as a liar and cheat. 

Offline marvinbrown

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3059
  • Richard Wagner- The God of Opera!
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2009, 07:58:52 AM »
I don't feel insulted, but I do think that Marvin's views are a little over-the-top (likely due to his passion for Wagner's operas.  Whether no Wagner is a great or small loss to Israeli audiences is an opinion; there's no basis for referring to Stern as a liar and cheat. 

  I can always rely on Don  8) for the sensible approach.  Perhaps I have been over the top in my criticism of Stern but here is a great opera composer, (albeit controversial) whose works have been sensored because of his very bad reputation.  I am just against all censorship especially when great works of art are at stake.  Let the Israeli public decide what they want to see and hear that's all I am saying.  When Daniel Barenboim asked the Israeli audience if they would like to hear Wagner the majority said yes. So let the public decide and let those who feel offended leave given prior notice.

  marvin

Bulldog

  • Guest
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2009, 08:02:59 AM »
  I can always rely on Don  8) for the sensible approach.  Perhaps I have been over the top in my criticism of Stern but here is a great opera composer, (albeit controversial) whose works have been sensored because of his very bad reputation.  I am just against all censorship especially when great works of art are at stake.  Let the Israeli public decide what they want to see and hear that's all I am saying.  When Daniel Barenboim asked the Israeli audience if they would like to hear Wagner the majority said yes. So let the public decide and let those who feel offended leave given prior notice.

  marvin

That sounds most reasonable.  Israel certainly has an extreme reaction to Wagner, probably due to the nation's "survival protection" mentality.  Hopefully, its citizens are able to enjoy Wagner's music through recordings.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1760
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2009, 10:46:28 AM »

  Wagner wrote the greatest operas in the repertoire

  marvin

Well that is a debatable point, Marvin. Some of the greatest operas in the repertoire, I warrant you, but, in my opinion, and the opinion of many others, Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart and Verdi wrote some that were at least as great.

Nice to see you back by the way.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline marvinbrown

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3059
  • Richard Wagner- The God of Opera!
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2009, 05:43:33 PM »
Well that is a debatable point, Marvin. Some of the greatest operas in the repertoire, I warrant you, but, in my opinion, and the opinion of many others, Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart and Verdi wrote some that were at least as great.

Nice to see you back by the way.

  Yes Mozart and Verdi are also personal favorites of mine. But I view their operas differenly than those of Wagner.  Wagner's works are titanic works of art, and admittedly not very easy to digest nor stage for that matter,  which leads to fewer productions- but there is so much high quality music in practcally every opera Wagner wrote it saddens me that performances of his operas are not as many as they should be.  I find myself having to rely on DVD recordings of Wagnerian works which is a shame.  On the other hand you live in the UK it is quite easy to find a Verdi, Mozart, Puccini opera playing in theater near you!!

  PS: It's good to be back  :D!
  marvin

Offline Guido

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3322
  • 396 CCs
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2010, 02:00:57 PM »
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serial is no.12? What the hell?
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Online Wendell_E

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 980
  • Location: Mobile, AL, USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    mostly opera and chamber music
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2010, 02:54:41 AM »
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serial is no.12? What the hell?

I imagine that includes performances at lots of small German theatres.
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline False_Dmitry

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 416
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2010, 03:37:37 AM »
Face it, man.  Pelléas et Mélisande is just too modernist for most folks.

And too dull.  Synopsis - "nothing happens, but it takes 2.5 hours to happen".  Lovely music, undoubtedly.  Great on disc.  Box office poison.

I'm not at all surprised by the list at all,  although I might have expected Janacek to have scored more highly.  What the public will come to in the theatre,  and what cd-buyers will purchase are two very different things.  Collectors will buy opera rarities to try them.  Audiences can rarely be tempted to theatres on the same basis. 

When I worked at ENO, George Harewood famously said "If all we want is full houses and that's our only criterion, then do BOHEME, TRAVIATA, DUTCHMAN, AIDA, MAGIC FLUTE, PORGY & BESS, FIGARO, and PATIENCE.  We'd need extra box-office staff to cope.  But we don't work like that, do we?"

____________________________________________________

"Of all the NOISES known to Man, OPERA is the most expensive" - Moliere

Offline The new erato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14126
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2010, 03:42:58 AM »
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serial ...

Does that mean escape from the serial killer in English? No wonder it draws people at the box office!

Offline Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10609
    • Flickr photostream
  • Location: Florida
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2010, 01:35:11 PM »
I imagine that includes performances at lots of small German theatres.

There was a production here in Miami a couple of years ago; one of those that's shared with other opera companies around the country, so think of several performances in seveal American theatres.  Perhaps that's reflected in the figure.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5538
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2010, 06:12:43 PM »
Does that mean escape from the serial killer in English? No wonder it draws people at the box office!

Especially since it's written in a totally serial idiom.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Superhorn

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 844
  • Location: U.S.A.
  • Currently Listening to:
    I'm a classical music omnivore
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #37 on: July 19, 2010, 07:40:54 AM »
   Blaming Wagner for WW2 and the holocaust makes about as much sense as blaming Christ for the Spanish Inquisition. It's not his fault that Hitler appropriated him and his music for his nefarious purposes.
  Although Wagner disliked Jews and Judaism,it should be remembered that he never advocated genocide against them or any other group of people. His anti-semitism, as reprehensible as it was, never came remotely close to the maniacal evil of Hitler and the Nazis.
  It's understandable that Wagner's music is unofficially banned in Israel. There are still some holocaust survivors   there who heard Wagner's music blasted constantly from louspeakers during their horrible confinment, and it brings back unbearable meories to them.
  But Wagner is not to blame for this.
   And you should remember that Wagner's immortal Ring of the Nibelungen is NOT a glorification of Nazi ideology. Far from being this,it shows how Wotan and the gods are destroyed by lust for power and riches.

Franco

  • Guest
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2010, 07:50:39 AM »
   Blaming Wagner for WW2 and the holocaust makes about as much sense as blaming Christ for the Spanish Inquisition. It's not his fault that Hitler appropriated him and his music for his nefarious purposes.
  Although Wagner disliked Jews and Judaism,it should be remembered that he never advocated genocide against them or any other group of people. His anti-semitism, as reprehensible as it was, never came remotely close to the maniacal evil of Hitler and the Nazis.
  It's understandable that Wagner's music is unofficially banned in Israel. There are still some holocaust survivors   there who heard Wagner's music blasted constantly from louspeakers during their horrible confinment, and it brings back unbearable meories to them.
  But Wagner is not to blame for this.
   And you should remember that Wagner's immortal Ring of the Nibelungen is NOT a glorification of Nazi ideology. Far from being this,it shows how Wotan and the gods are destroyed by lust for power and riches.

While I would not go so far as to blame Wagner for Hitler, I also do not give him a complete pass for his ideas.  Wagner could have been a Nazi had he lived during that period and I certainly have no need to excuse him this toxic character flaw merely because he wrote some good operas.

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7594
  • Location: Northern California
Re: The Top 55 Most Performed Operas
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2010, 08:28:48 AM »
What is it about Wagner that attracts such devoted proselytizers?  I cannot ever recall having seen, here or elsewhere, fans of any other composer making such vigorous efforts forcefully convert others to their faith as seems routine with a significant subset of Wagner lovers.  I swear that many of them seem quite willing to use the same tactics Hitler used with Poland if only they could! 

(Whoops.  I momentarily forgot about "E L G A R" and a similarly deranged Schumann fan on another site I used to frequent.)

The typical posts (or blog entries!) go something like this:  Wagner's the greatest ever, period, it's self evident, everyone with any sense knows it, and if you don't agree then you're just stupid--with tin ears!  It's hard to imagine those who greatly admire the music of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Sibelius, Brahms, Debussy (well, that's a bit iffy!), or Poulenc going on in similar fashion (though, come to think of it, I have encountered two or three fans of the Darmstadt school who seem to be copying the Wagner fans' playbook).

Any ideas why this should be so?  (Note that I don't believe it has anything to do with anti-Semitism among Wagner's devotees.)
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK