Author Topic: General Opera News  (Read 127736 times)

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Offline André

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #680 on: September 13, 2016, 07:30:19 PM »

jlaurson

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #681 on: September 14, 2016, 01:04:08 AM »
For readers of German, an essay on Jose (Josep) Carreras and a review of his, hopefully absolutely final, opera: El Juez.
Kindly unmentioned in the essay was the fact that Carreras was tastefully amplified throughout, because his voice and what's left of it couldn't even fill that small house anymore.
http://www.crescendo.de/adios-jos-1000012723/

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #682 on: September 14, 2016, 01:43:41 AM »
For readers of German, an essay on Jose (Josep) Carreras and a review of his, hopefully absolutely final, opera: El Juez.
Kindly unmentioned in the essay was the fact that Carreras was tastefully amplified throughout, because his voice and what's left of it couldn't even fill that small house anymore.
http://www.crescendo.de/adios-jos-1000012723/

Interesting. He never had a huge voice anyway, but a very beautiful expressive instrument.
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Offline Cato

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Re: General Opera News: New Opera by Bright Sheng
« Reply #683 on: September 21, 2016, 03:26:25 AM »
A review (and not a positive one in general) of Bright Sheng's latest work, an opera based on "the Chinese War and Peace" from the Wall Street Journal's Heidi Waleson: the most positive comments are...

Quote
Mr. Sheng’s musical realization of the tale is puzzling. He uses occasional distinctive Chinese percussion effects, and there is a brief, tangy appearance by the qin, an ancient zither, but for the most part the score sounds like Puccini with dashes of Borodin and Bernstein. The vocal writing, especially in the first act, reaches for high notes so regularly as to become predictable, and the only character with a distinctive musical signature is the Machiavellian Lady Wang, who gets an ominous, Scarpia-like orchestral accompaniment. There are some musically gripping moments, most in the second act, as the clouds gather: the unsettled choral lament for the death of Granny Jia, the family matriarch; Bao Yu’s aria of self-assertion, when he stands up to his mother about his marriage; and Dai Yu’s mournful final aria.

See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/dream-of-the-red-chamber-and-andrea-chenier-reviews-opera-opts-for-old-over-new-1474404766
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Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #684 on: September 21, 2016, 03:29:24 AM »
Well, I would give it a go. I always think of the first Tannhauser crit that stated that there were NO tunes in it.

Mike
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #685 on: September 21, 2016, 03:50:24 AM »
. . . sounds like Puccini with dashes of Borodin and Bernstein . . . one hopes she means that positively.
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Offline Cato

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #686 on: September 21, 2016, 04:04:00 AM »
. . . sounds like Puccini with dashes of Borodin and Bernstein . . . one hopes she means that positively.

Well, it did not seem to be positive: the opening paragraph gives the opinion that she was hoping for something original in an East-West Fusion way, but instead the composer "channeled Puccini."
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #687 on: September 21, 2016, 04:38:44 AM »
Well, it did not seem to be positive: the opening paragraph gives the opinion that she was hoping for something original in an East-West Fusion way, but instead the composer "channeled Puccini."

I rather suspected.  Ah, well . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
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Offline Cato

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #688 on: September 21, 2016, 07:31:02 AM »
Well, it did not seem to be positive: the opening paragraph gives the opinion that she was hoping for something original in an East-West Fusion way, but instead the composer "channeled Puccini."

I rather suspected.  Ah, well . . . .

So "influenced by" could be all right vs. "derivative of" or "imitating" or "channeling"...
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Online Jeffrey Smith

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Re: General Opera News: New Opera by Bright Sheng
« Reply #689 on: September 21, 2016, 06:25:58 PM »
A review (and not a positive one in general) of Bright Sheng's latest work, an opera based on "the Chinese War and Peace" from the Wall Street Journal's Heidi Waleson: the most positive comments are...

See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/dream-of-the-red-chamber-and-andrea-chenier-reviews-opera-opts-for-old-over-new-1474404766

Lady Wang is one of the most complex characters in literature, and reducing her to "Machiavellian" is a great disservice--although whether it is the reviewer or the librettist who is at fault, I can not say at this remove.

Come to think of it, War and Peace is not an apt comparison either. Dream of the Red Chamber aka Story of the Stone is a sprawling family saga that portrays all parts of Chinese society, but lacks the historical background of Tolstoy:. no equivalent of the Battle of Borodino, for instance.  Perhaps Buddenbrooks or the Forsyte Saga would be better, or better yet Proust.

Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #690 on: September 21, 2016, 10:08:11 PM »
Jeffrey,

Interesting remarks: the critic makes it sound derivitave, a pastiche. But my superficial take was really that; being clueless about the quality and track record of the critic, I would give the piece a go. And I used the Tannhauser remark as am example of a clueless critic. This one may be reliable for all I know. But even the casual use of 'Machiavellian' sets my teeth on edge. It is used in such lazy shorthand and by people who have either never read him, or read him and totally misunderstood him and his work. So that makes me instantly want to give the composer the benefit of the doubt, possibly unjustly.

BTW, please don't read any of the above as even remotely combative. I am not countering any points, just sharing my thinking.

Cheers,

Mike
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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #691 on: September 22, 2016, 03:59:46 AM »
As there are no threads on Manuel Garcia and Cecilia Bartoli, I may as well put this comment here.

Yesterday there was a radio program about the brilliant Garcia family but featuring mainly the two above mentioned. I didn't catch everything as I was driving. As there were so many bright lights in that clan, I was loosely aware of them, did not know that Manuel (1775-1832) himself was a composer. His elder daughter was mezzo-soprano Maria Malibran, the 2nd daughter Pauline Viardot (also composed some songs), a son, Manuel Patricio Rodríguez García, a baritone, who became a world-famous vocal pedagogue.

They played examples from what seems to be a recording from 2007:
https://www.amazon.com/Cecilia-Bartoli-Maria-Hardcover-Malibran/dp/B000RPSVDQ

Though technically accomplished, some of it was rather hard on my ears. I got the idea in view of when he lived, Rossini's contemporary, though slightly older than him, that maybe he was the Spanish connection that eventually led to Bizet's Carmen. An aria featuring virtuoso castanets was played on the radio as well as this doozy of an aria: "Yo Que Soy Contrabandista".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BNFOWeWu44

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Online ritter

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #692 on: September 26, 2016, 12:03:51 PM »
The aria (polo) Yo que soy contrabandista is from Manuel García's monodrama El poeta calculista. The whole poece is available on this CD:

I must confess I do not know this compostion, but is certainly looks appealing.

I do own CDs of two of García's full-length Italian operas, which were published in Spain (I think the Archiv issue of Il Califfo was only for the domestic market here). These are:

 

Both are very much in the Rossinan buffo vein, and quite accomplished and pleasant as I remember. The Quixote is available from AmES (here). Il Califfo is OOP AFAIK, and I haven't seen any copies anywehere as of late.  :(

I should relisten sometime soon. A rather interesting character, García (and his family as well).



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Offline Spineur

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #693 on: November 06, 2016, 06:14:41 AM »
For those interested in Prokofiev operas, "L'ange de Feu", a rarely performed opera, was staged at l'Opera de Lyon this fall.  This opera composed between 1919 and 1927, was in fact premiered in Paris in 1954 !!  The Opera de Lyon performance, was extremely well recieved - see Le Monde review - and Le Temps (Geneva)
https://www.letemps.ch/culture/2016/10/12/un-ange-feu-foudroyant-lyon
Particularly impressive was Ausrine Stundyte, a Lithuanian soprano, in the role of Renata, the heroine.
This performance will be broadcasted   on France musique Today Sunday Nov 6th at 20:00 and you can listen to it via streaming.  In the event you miss it, a catchup broadcast will be available on France Musique Web site
www.francemusique.fr/emission/dimanche-l-opera/2016-2017/l-ange-de-feu-l-opera-de-lyon-11-06-2016-20-00
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 08:10:29 AM by Spineur »
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Offline Spineur

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #694 on: February 09, 2017, 01:43:14 PM »
Nicolai Gedda, swedish tenor just passed away.   His diction was flawless in french and german.   I really liked him.  He was an honor to his profession considering all what he has achieved in music.
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

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Offline king ubu

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #695 on: February 10, 2017, 06:47:44 AM »
Nicolai Gedda, swedish tenor just passed away.   His diction was flawless in french and german.   I really liked him.  He was an honor to his profession considering all what he has achieved in music.

Just read the news elsewhere ... not a Gedda specialist, but what I've heard has always pleased me a lot, and as a result of a discussion about him someplace else a while ago, I have also bought his book (German edition, still on my shelves, unread).

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Offline André

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #696 on: February 10, 2017, 07:36:13 AM »
Gedda's ease in so many languages (Russian, Swedish, French, German, Italian, English) was a wonder per se. His understanding of the vocal colouring and accenting in all these languages was just as astonishing. On any given day he could outshine locals in fluency. The only crack in his armoury was the rather dryish tones that developed in his artistic maturity, a bit like Alfredo Kraus.

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #697 on: March 04, 2017, 04:12:37 AM »
From the not-a-surprise-at-all department.  Kaufmann cancels on the Met. Again.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/arts/jonas-kaufmann-withdraws-from-met-operas-tosca-next-season.html?_r=0
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Offline Spineur

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #698 on: March 04, 2017, 04:21:18 AM »
From the not-a-surprise-at-all department.  Kaufmann cancels on the Met. Again.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/arts/jonas-kaufmann-withdraws-from-met-operas-tosca-next-season.html?_r=0
I saw the news.  I was fortunate to hear him his recent Lohengrin appearance at the Paris opera.  He still has trouble to recover from his hematoma at the vocal cords.As a result, he keeps cancelling his engagements these days.
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #699 on: March 06, 2017, 01:40:25 PM »
"Twinkle, twinkle, little Czar, Putin put you where you are." — George Takei

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