Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 31348 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« on: April 10, 2017, 04:29:04 AM »
As the opera posts tend to get lost on the What Are You Listening to Now thread, it being something of a minority pursuit on this site, I thought I'd add one for opera in this sub forum.

Today I have been listening to Verdi's I due Foscari.



A splendid recording of one of Verdi's more interesting galley operas.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 04:30:44 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 06:38:26 AM »
Here is another rare Verdi opera, which I havent seen yet, but plan to sometime this week.
It is Jerusalem, an opera in french composed by Giuseppe Verdi on a libretto by Alphonse Royer for the opera Le Peletier in 1847.  It is a reworking of "I Lombardi alla prima crociata" given at La Scala in 1843.  A new production by the Opera royal de Wallonie has just been made available for all of us to see (for the time being on Culturebox)

http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/opera-classique/opera/opera-royal-de-wallonie-liege/jerusalem-de-verdi-a-l-opera-royal-de-wallonie-253987

The youtube link went dead. This should be a fun moment for all the GMG Verdi's fans (This video may not last real long).

Edit: Just watched the first act during my lunch break.  It is quite nice: the production is very pleaseant, the singers diction is clear and the music has Verdi's golden touch.   I prefer it to Giovanna d'Arco (Joan of Arc) composed just before in 1845, which is the only Verdi's opera which I considered (almost) as a flop.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 03:00:41 AM by Spineur »
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

Drasko

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 08:57:01 AM »
As the opera posts tend to get lost on the What Are You Listening to Now thread, it being something of a minority pursuit on this site, I thought I'd add one for opera in this sub forum.

That's a good idea. Maybe one of the moderators could pin the thread, so it doesn't slip down?

on topic:



Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - The Maid of Pskov

In a very good, and surprisingly clean and clear for its age and provenance, 1947 recording from Bolshoi forces conducted by Simon Sakharov. With Elisabeta Shumilova excellent as the eponymous maiden, strong clear ringing Slavic soprano (never heard her in anything else and any info seems scarce), Georgi Nelepp reliably stentorian as her love interest and Alexander Pirogov imposing, and quite touching in father-daughter scenes, as tsar Ivan Grozny. Until 90s and Gergiev this, I believe, was the only recording of the opera, and it holds up rather well in my opinion. Don't think it was released on CD by Melodiya, but it was available on Aquarius or Great Hall or some other Russian semi-pirate label. It can be heard on youtube in its entirety:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AzkZnOArU0

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 01:18:53 AM »
That's a good idea. Maybe one of the moderators could pin the thread, so it doesn't slip down?

on topic:


Looks as though they've already done so  :)
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 01:33:09 AM »


Sticking with Verdi, I move on to Ernani, in this 1967 recording, which still stands up pretty well, though the upper voices make more of an impression than the lower ones. Sereni and Flagello have agreeable voices, but both lack authority. Bergonzi is possibly a little light of voice, but he compensates with phrasing of distinction and singing of great beauty. Price also sings with great beauty of tone, her voice at its early career best. Is it a little churlish of me to point out that a little more flexibility would be desirable in this early Verdi role? One only has to listen to Ponselle, Callas or Sutherland in Elvira's Act I aria and cabaletta to hear what real trills and staccati sound like. It is none the less one of her best recorded roles.

Schippers conducts with clarity and rhythmic vitality.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 01:40:19 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 01:49:56 AM »
Great tread idea. Yesterday I listened to this, on the Met's Sirius/XM channel:

Peter Grimes {22}

Metropolitan Opera House
April 5, 1969 Matinee Broadcast

Peter Grimes............Jon Vickers
Ellen Orford............Lucine Amara
Captain Balstrode.......Geraint Evans
Mrs. Sedley.............Jean Madeira
Auntie..................Lili Chookasian
Niece...................Mary Ellen Pracht
Niece...................Lilian Sukis
Hobson..................Paul Plishka
Swallow.................Raymond Michalski
Bob Boles...............Paul Franke
Rev. Horace Adams.......Robert Schmorr
Ned Keene...............Gene Boucher
Lawyer..................William Mellow
Fisherwoman.............Gail Leonard
Fisherman...............Edward Ghazal
John....................John Allan

Conductor...............Colin Davis
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Online Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 10:28:53 AM »
Listening to acts 3&4 of  Offenbach Die Rheinnixen"



This opera is Offenbach at his best.  A lot of melodic and harmonic creativity in this work.  Because Offenbach was in part an autodidact (as Mussorsky) there is a great deal of freshness in the musical writing.  There are some influence but they seem to evolve as the opera proceeds: in the first two acts I thought of Mendelssohn music while in the second part Verdi influences seem quite percertible.  It is also a profoundly European work were pan-european love triumphs over the german nationalism.   :-*


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 springrite

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 06:08:00 PM »
Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini

Sir Colin Davis conducting the London Symphony & Chorus

Kunde, Claycomb, Jeffery, Coleman-Wright, Relyea, Cals, etc.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Online Que

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2017, 09:57:10 PM »
As the opera posts tend to get lost on the What Are You Listening to Now thread, it being something of a minority pursuit on this site, I thought I'd add one for opera in this sub forum.

Today I have been listening to Verdi's I due Foscari.



A splendid recording of one of Verdi's more interesting galley operas.

I think this thread is a wonderful idea! :)

And though I am by no means an opera buff, this recording of Verdi's I Due Foscari is actually one of the first opera recordings I ever bought after attending a live performance as a teenager.

Q
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 09:40:10 AM by Que »
À chacun son goût.

Offline jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2017, 10:54:26 PM »
Ha, this thread popped up at a rather appropriate time as I'm having a bit of an opera phase right now.

Last night, a favourite of mine and a brilliant production



Very funny and very moving

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2017, 02:50:25 AM »
Again on the Met's Sirius/XM channel, a 1985 Idomeneo with David Rendall, Benita Valente, Frederica von Stade, and Hildegard Behrens, Jeffrey Tate conducting.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 02:52:18 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 10:51:26 AM »
Love having this thread as well, thanks for starting it!  :)

Saw Massenet's "Werther" on stage at Zurich opera last night, was exhausted after work, but wow, this was a near-epiphany! Juan Diego Flórez IS Werther, really! The moment he enters is amazing, he really owns the part! The production is great as well, really working in a way that the whole thing is great theatre (not just great music in a - more or less - appealing setting). Anna Stéphany gives her role debut as Charlotte, and both her and Mélissa Petit's Sophie were up to the challenge that Flórez presents, and Audun Iversen's Albert was more than adequate. The orchestra, conducted by Cornelius Meister, was wonderful - transparent to the point of reaching a chamber-like lightness often. And did I mention how amazing Juan Diego Flórez was - seriously!
Details here: http://www.opernhaus.ch/en/activity/detail/werther-02-04-2017-18667/
Some thoughts in German: http://forum.rollingstone.de/foren/reply/10143577/

--

Now listening to this for the very first time (some controversy arose last week when I mentioned listening to the somewhat glossy Sutherland/Pavarotti recording two days before catching the opera live at Zurich with the great Nello Santi on the podium, or rather: behind the piano) to this recording that just arrived:



First impression, half an hour in, is that quite possibly I will not need to look for another recording (the Sutherland/Pavarotti is the only other complete one I have). The music is wonderful indeed, there's enough melancholy and brooding in the comedy so it really does appeal to me, and the orchestration is so varied and colourful and so well done that I really love listening to it just for the thrill of discovering this little detail here and that nice touch there.
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2017, 02:10:22 PM »
Love having this thread as well, thanks for starting it!  :)





First impression, half an hour in, is that quite possibly I will not need to look for another recording (the Sutherland/Pavarotti is the only other complete one I have). The music is wonderful indeed, there's enough melancholy and brooding in the comedy so it really does appeal to me, and the orchestration is so varied and colourful and so well done that I really love listening to it just for the thrill of discovering this little detail here and that nice touch there.

Pavarotti was always good as Nemorino, but I find Sutherland a bit po-faced as Adina.

My personal favourite has always been the Pritchard, based on highly successful performances at Covent Garden, except that at Covent Garden Carreras was the Nemorino. Domingo almost convinces he has the right voice for the role (he hasn't), but Carreras would have been better. Cotrubas is delightful as Adina. Worth a listen



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

Offline Brewski

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2017, 02:44:18 PM »
Was going to pin this, but another mod beat me to the punch!

Looking forward to a rare Milhaud opera, La mère coupable ("The Guilty Mother"), produced by On Site Opera here in June.

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Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
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Offline jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2017, 02:54:01 PM »
I've been listening to this quite a bit over the last week



And also this



Both are amazing, but at the moment I prefer the former slightly more. Still, the latter's cast and sound is unsurpassed and similar to the really just perfect version I have on DVD....although I got no time to watch that one again just yet! Tonight I will actually see if I have time to watch Lohengrin.......(maybe just one or two acts haha)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 02:55:38 PM by jessop »

Offline Brewski

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2017, 02:54:57 PM »
Ha, this thread popped up at a rather appropriate time as I'm having a bit of an opera phase right now.

Last night, a favourite of mine and a brilliant production



Very funny and very moving

Saw this live! Great opera, great production, and the orchestra...just fantastic.

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2017, 12:12:13 AM »
Pavarotti was always good as Nemorino, but I find Sutherland a bit po-faced as Adina.

My personal favourite has always been the Pritchard, based on highly successful performances at Covent Garden, except that at Covent Garden Carreras was the Nemorino. Domingo almost convinces he has the right voice for the role (he hasn't), but Carreras would have been better. Cotrubas is delightful as Adina. Worth a listen



Yes, Pavarotti is wonderful! But Sutherland, based on what rather little I've heard so far (there's lots more to explore in the Pavarotti first decade box of course), will not likely ever become a favourite of mine.

Thanks for the Pritchard recommendation. If I ever feel like buying one more recording, I'll try to remember  :)
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline timh1

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2017, 12:17:47 AM »
Britten Peter Grimes Haitink 1992.
 

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2017, 07:10:01 AM »
Yes, Pavarotti is wonderful! But Sutherland, based on what rather little I've heard so far (there's lots more to explore in the Pavarotti first decade box of course), will not likely ever become a favourite of mine.

Thanks for the Pritchard recommendation. If I ever feel like buying one more recording, I'll try to remember  :)
With Sutherland, it can matter at what age you hear her. Her voice did not always age well, and you can hear it on some recordings more than others. When she was young though, she was as good as anyone (though diction was often an issue even then) and sometimes better.
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2017, 07:33:34 AM »
With Sutherland, it can matter at what age you hear her. Her voice did not always age well, and you can hear it on some recordings more than others. When she was young though, she was as good as anyone (though diction was often an issue even then) and sometimes better.

The voice and technique were stunning, that is true, and I do enjoy her Art of the Prima Donna set, for instance, but she is a singer who never really "speaks" to me, and even that recital I can only take piecemeal. I've tried and tried, but I can think of very few of the operas she sang that I don't actually prefer sung by someone else. Even in La Fille de Regiment which is brim full of breath taking vocal feats, the mushy diction drives me potty. Pavarotti, on the same recording, sings with a terrible French accent, but his diction is so good, you can hear just how bad hers is. I know it bothers most people a lot less than me, but it irritates me terribly and consequently I have very few of her recordings.

Incidentally, on the live 1959 Lucia di Lammermoor from Covent Garden which made her a star, her diction is pretty good. Tullio Serafin was in the pit, so maybe that had something to do with it. He actually thought she should go on to sing more dramatic fare, and said he thought she'd have made an excellent Lady Macbeth. The voice was huge. Maybe she would have.

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

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