Author Topic: General Opera News  (Read 175671 times)

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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #740 on: January 05, 2018, 05:21:25 AM »
I've never really seen it like that. I think Carmen was a free spirit, who used men as men often use women. I'm sure she'd have been just fine if she'd stuck with men like Escamillo. It's always the quiet ones you have to be careful of.

Like Micaela? Just kidding.
Apparently in Prosper Mérimée's book, Carmen had a few more tricks up her sleeve, like stealing his watch, as he wrote the story in the first person. Carlos Saura read from the book in his own dance film on Carmen (starting a fad of would be flamenco-ists including myself), saying that she had "wolf's eyes" and she "always lied".
The reason she was arrested by Don José in the cigar factory was her carving out x's in a co-worker's face. She seduced him into a life of crime and even used him to attract other guys. This sort of rounds out her character.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #741 on: January 06, 2018, 02:37:47 AM »
Like Micaela? Just kidding.
Apparently in Prosper Mérimée's book, Carmen had a few more tricks up her sleeve, like stealing his watch, as he wrote the story in the first person. Carlos Saura read from the book in his own dance film on Carmen (starting a fad of would be flamenco-ists including myself), saying that she had "wolf's eyes" and she "always lied".
The reason she was arrested by Don José in the cigar factory was her carving out x's in a co-worker's face. She seduced him into a life of crime and even used him to attract other guys. This sort of rounds out her character.

Actually I always think Micaela quite a strong character too. She handles herself pretty well with the soldiers in Act I and proves herself quite brave when she goes to find Jose with the smugglers. It's wrong to portray her as a mousy milksop. Like many village women, she has quite a bit of pluck.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #742 on: January 07, 2018, 09:05:35 AM »
Maria Callas portrayed a more vixenish, even disdainful Carmen, than most singers. 

Finding the right living exemplar of Carmen was the premise of Saura's film in 1983.
Back then I ran the video countless times, enrolled in a flamenco course and must have watched the tabacalara scene at least 50x or more. I loved the raw singing and the faces of the women pounding on the table.
Now it is hard to find the whole scene online but fortunately I still have a VHS copy that hasn't yet disintegrated.

This Carmen is also on fire:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/6fAkVNxmV5E" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/6fAkVNxmV5E</a>
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #743 on: January 08, 2018, 04:05:17 AM »
I too love the Carlos Saura film.

As for Callas, I think her unconventional, intelligently thought out Carmen enthralling. Callas, whose views on male/female relationships were entirely conventional, is on record as stating that she didn't much care for the character of Carmen, because she treats men the way men have traditionally treated women, and that is how she plays her. Carmen is actually a very modern woman, who doesn't believe her existence is defined by men, and, even in the face of death, she absolutely refuses to bow down to their will.

I review her recording on my blog https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/the-callas-carmen/.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline listener

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #744 on: January 23, 2018, 03:51:45 AM »
Canadian Opera Company (Toronto) for 2018-19
Electra, La Bohème, Cosi fan tutte, Eugen Onegin, Otello, Hadrian (Rufus Wainwright)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/canadian-opera-company-unveils-compelling-new-season-lineup/article37633179/
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Offline ritter

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #745 on: January 23, 2018, 05:48:31 AM »
On June 1st, the Theater Erfurt (Erfurt being some 25 kilometers west of Weimar in Germany) will give the premiere of a new production of Gaspare Spontini's rarely heard last opera Agnes von Hohenstaufen (written to a German libretto by Ernst Raupach). (https://www.theater-erfurt.de/Programm/Alle-Stuecke/Agnes-von-Hohenstaufen.html). I still cannot see a cast list.

This "grand historical-romantic opera" stems from Spontini's Berlin years, and was first performed in 1829 (to be then revised in 1837) and is a sort of amalgam between German romantic opera (à la Euryanthe by Carl Maria von Weber) and French grand opéra, and is considered historically important (predating works such as Wagner's Rienzi by several years). It wasn't really that successful, as apparently many critics resented the appointment--by command of the Prussian king--of an Italian composer (whose greatest successus were in Napoleonic) to "revive" operatic life in Berlin.

As far as I know, the work has only been given twice in living memory, both times in Florence in Italian translation (conducted by Vittorio Gui in 1952--with Franco Corelli--, and by Riccardo Muti in 1974--with Montserrat Caballé). Recordings of both runs exist. I only know the Gui version, which was published on several bootleg versions (in dismal sound) and has now been reissued ("for the first time using the original recording") by the Maggio Musicale's house label.



I really hope some enterprising record label will record these performances, as the work in its original language, in a modern performance and in good sound would be a great contribution to the recorded repertoire of that now semi-forgotten but IMHO great operatic composer that was Gaspare Spontini.  CPO has collaborated in the past with the Erfurt forces, and recently given us a superb recording of Meyerbeer's Vasco da Gama (a.k.a. L'Africaine) from Chemnitz, so this would be in keeping with their publication policy  ;). Marco Polo has also recorded operas in Erfurt in the past (but I think they've stopped recording operas altogether--perhaps Naxos can take up the baton).
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 07:37:05 AM by ritter »
Ritter
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Spineur

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #746 on: January 23, 2018, 11:43:40 AM »
I have only listened to Spontini La Vestale and Olympie (my favorite).  The following aria "Oh déplorable mère" sung by Jennifer Borghi is a little wonder

https://m.soundcloud.com/outhere-music/spontini-olympie-o-deplorable-mere-jennifer-borghi-les-agremens-guy-van-waas

On the grand opera topic, there are confirmed  rumors that Meyerbeer Les Huguenots is going to be staged at Paris Opera next season.  Also among the other new productions will be Les Troyens.  Those two are sort of mandatory for me.

Offline listener

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #747 on: January 25, 2018, 03:12:28 PM »
"Keep your hand on the throttle and your eye on the rail as you walk through life's pathway."

Spineur

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #748 on: January 27, 2018, 09:54:22 AM »
Just got 2018-2019 program of the Paris Opera in the mail.  It is not even on their web site yet !!!

It is the 350 Birthday of this institution which was created by Louis XIV in 1669 as L'Academie Royale de Musique
For this exceptional season they are doing seven new productions.  They are

Les Huguenots, Giacomo Meyerbeer  :-*
Bérénice, Michael Jarrell. A worldwide creation (finally)  :D
Simon Boccanegra, Giuseppe Verdi  :-*
Il primo omicidio (Cain), Alessandro Scarlatti  :-*
Les Troyens, Hector Berlioz  :D
Lady MacBeth of Mzensk, Dimitri  Shostakovich  ::)
Don Giovanni, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  :-*

Plus some masterpieces from the repertoire which I have not seen (live) yet
Tristan und Isolde, Richard Wagner
La Forza del destino, Guiseppe Verdi

This is going to be an expensive year, and I better start saving !!

Offline North Star

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #749 on: January 27, 2018, 12:12:50 PM »
Just got 2018-2019 program of the Paris Opera in the mail.  It is not even on their web site yet !!!

It is the 350 Birthday of this institution which was created by Louis XIV in 1669 as L'Academie Royale de Musique
For this exceptional season they are doing seven new productions.  They are

Lady MacBeth of Mzensk, Dimitri  Shostakovich  ::)
Not a fan?
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Spineur

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #750 on: January 27, 2018, 01:40:56 PM »
Not a fan?
I have the CD plus 2 DVDs, so it is not an opera I have neglected. But it is a violent libretto - and most of it is "violence gratuite", which always bothers me.  So for this reason (and not the music) I will probably skip this performance.

Offline North Star

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #751 on: January 27, 2018, 01:44:43 PM »
I have the CD plus 2 DVDs, so it is not an opera I have neglected. But it is a violent libretto - and most of it is "violence gratuite", which always bothers me.  So for this reason (and not the music) I will probably skip this performance.
Fair enough, indeed.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Offline André

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #752 on: January 27, 2018, 05:29:52 PM »
I have the CD plus 2 DVDs, so it is not an opera I have neglected. But it is a violent libretto - and most of it is "violence gratuite", which always bothers me.  So for this reason (and not the music) I will probably skip this performance.

I didn't know that. Oups! I just revealed I’ve never heard the opera, let alone see a production of it.  :-[ Well, I’m not sure I’ll buy it, now. Must be a depressing experience...

kishnevi

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #753 on: January 27, 2018, 08:58:16 PM »
I have the CD plus 2 DVDs, so it is not an opera I have neglected. But it is a violent libretto - and most of it is "violence gratuite", which always bothers me.  So for this reason (and not the music) I will probably skip this performance.

LMoM is a dark opera, but it's not exceptional in its violence. Think of Tosca, which includes a torture session that is heard but not seen, a rape attempt ended by the rape target killing the rapist on-stage, an on-stage execution by firing squad, and a suicide that is partly performed on-stage. Madama Butterfly ends with an onstage suicide. Turandot has an off-stage execution and an on-stage torture session.  And that's just one composer.  And the violence in LMoM is fundamental to the story.

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #754 on: January 29, 2018, 11:41:23 AM »
2018 International Opera Awards
http://www.operaawards.org/archive/2018/

Thrilled to see Lyric Opera of Chicago nominated twice, and the only U.S. Opera company as well.


Opera Company
Bayerische Staatsoper
La Fenice
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Oper Graz
Opera North
Teatro Real

Opera Orchestra

Bayerische Staatsoper
Bayreuth Festival
Deutsche Oper
Lyric Opera of Chicago
MusicAeterna
Teatro alla Scala


Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #756 on: March 13, 2018, 08:21:53 AM »
The Met sacks James Levine

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/the-met-sacks-james-levine

Only a matter of time, I suppose. Like Jimmy Saville at the BBC, it was an inside secret for quite a few years.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Spineur

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #757 on: April 01, 2018, 02:01:21 AM »
Sad news: Michel Sénéchal, tenor and advocate of the french art of singing passed away at age 91.

Here in Anges du Paradis from Gounod Mireille.  2018 is the 200 anniversary of Gounod birth.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/unx6yv7mbK" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/unx6yv7mbK</a>
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 02:08:19 AM by Spineur »

Offline zamyrabyrd

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“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds