Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 33575 times)

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Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #700 on: October 08, 2017, 05:41:56 PM »
A purchase crossposted from the main Purchase thread



As a kid, I used to listen to a recording of Acts 1 and 2 of Traviata on a set of 78s that belonged to my mother.  It was a heavy bulky folder of disks, and the companion set for the remainder of the opera was nowhere to be found. That set was my introduction to opera. I think the recording in this set is the one I played so often.

The "others" referred to on the cover include a couple of overtures, the Te Deum, the Hymn of the Nations, and various highlights from Rigoletto and Luisa Miller.

Offline jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #701 on: October 08, 2017, 08:18:03 PM »
Saw Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre in Lucerne last night - what a blast!  ;D

Lucky you! I would love to see that..........but it seems more likely I would have to travel to another country than wait for it to come down here in Australia.

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #702 on: October 09, 2017, 02:54:05 AM »
Lucky you! I would love to see that..........but it seems more likely I would have to travel to another country than wait for it to come down here in Australia.

Some info here (there are "DE" and "EN" buttons to switch from DEutsch to ENglish):
http://www.luzernertheater.ch/legrandmacabre

Don't know any of the involved ones, not sure if I saw play directed by Fritsch years ago ... but the musical director is the same that was part of the huge success they had last season with Nono's "Prometeo" (that was life-changing in a way that the Maccabee won't ever be, the piece isn't deep enough for that, I think - but a blast it was, hellyeah!) ... seems the new direction wants to start the season with a 20c opera now - would be cool if that became a tradition, I'd certainly make it a point to be there each year!
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 jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #703 on: October 09, 2017, 03:07:20 AM »
Some info here (there are "DE" and "EN" buttons to switch from DEutsch to ENglish):
http://www.luzernertheater.ch/legrandmacabre

Don't know any of the involved ones, not sure if I saw play directed by Fritsch years ago ... but the musical director is the same that was part of the huge success they had last season with Nono's "Prometeo" (that was life-changing in a way that the Maccabee won't ever be, the piece isn't deep enough for that, I think - but a blast it was, hellyeah!) ... seems the new direction wants to start the season with a 20c opera now - would be cool if that became a tradition, I'd certainly make it a point to be there each year!

Traditions like that are always good fun, especially when they promote operas not commonly performed.

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #704 on: October 09, 2017, 03:38:05 AM »
Traditions like that are always good fun, especially when they promote operas not commonly performed.

Yes indeed!

There's also a new Holliger opera coming up at Zurich opera this season:
https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/lunea/season_11232/
Will definitely go and catch it!

Also planning to catch a new one by Sciarrino at La Scala in late November with GioCar  ;D
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 ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #705 on: October 09, 2017, 12:49:32 PM »
Discussion on the generazione dell'ottanta (started by Mirror Image in the polls thread) has prompted me to revisit Respighi's charmingly nostalgic comedy Belfagor:


I don't really care much for Respighi's orchestral music, which I find flashy and derivative; I was listening to some piece--can't remember which--recently on the radio, and kept sayng to myself "look, now it sounds like Richard Strauss, but wait, now it's Debussy, oh no, it's Rimsky" until I said "Basta!;D .

But I've always had a soft spot for this little opera. Puccinian in some aspects, but with a very distinctive melancholy and nocturnal tinge to the comedy, and less melodic ease (compensated by very intelligible declamatory sung lines). The orchestration is very colourful, as could be expected.  Falstaff, and probably Gianni Schicchi as well, were most probably Respighi's direct models.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 12:57:53 PM by ritter »
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Offline GioCar

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #706 on: October 10, 2017, 07:40:08 AM »

Also planning to catch a new one by Sciarrino at La Scala in late November with GioCar  ;D

 8) 8) 8)

Online Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #707 on: October 10, 2017, 11:21:40 AM »
You lucky man. From the clips I've seen, it looked like an excellent production, and Tsallagova sounded superb.
Pélleas et Mélisande: recension of the live Paris Opera performance (Robert Wilson staging) and the new Simon Rattle LSO recording



Summary: if it had been possible to combine these two performances, we would have had the perfect Pelleas

Paris performance.  2 great singers/actors
1) Melisande was sung by Elena Tsallagova.  Phyically, as a young and frail woman, she is a perfect Melisande:

Her voice is quite pure, with little vibrato, exactly what you expect for Melisande.  Her diction was absoltely perfect.  She also fitted very much in Robert Wilson staging, which translates Maeternink symbolic poetry into symbolic gesture, mostly using arms and hands.

Another great actor singer was Jodie Devos (a belgian soprano) as Yniold (Golaud's son)

She had a very strong presence and acted and sung her role beautifully.
Pelleas was sung by Etienne Dupuis who did not convince me completely.   He is a real big guy, not quite compatible with the image I have of Pelleas.
Golaud was sung Luca Pisaroni, an italian barytone.  I did not like the way he interpreted nor sung Golaud.  Always opting for the darkest option for the caracter, rough, and brutal. This may be appropriate for the fourth act but not for the two first acts, I would say.
Jordan and Paris orchestra were OK, but I expected more orchestral colors, at least from this talented french chef directing a french orchestra.  Also, he did not use the full dynamic of his orchestra, except in the pianissimo introduction and the fortissimo for the deadly kiss at the fourth act.
One word about Wilson staging.  It is quite appealing, with interesting ideas: Melisande makes exactly the same gesture as she drops her crown at the beginning of the opera and Golaud ring at act II.  At act 3, the ring projected on the blue background breaks in two.  Otherwise, the staging is cold, as the character always avoid physical contact even when the text say the opposite (Yniold, "votre barbe pique, petit père").  This contributes to add distances which I did not feel are in Maeternink texts.

Now Rattle take.  I think his orchestra is really beautiful, one of the best I have heard in this piece.  Beautiful colors, exactly the dynamical ranges I expected.  He tends to use some Malherian inflections at times, but these are passing allusions which I actually found interesting.
Magdalena Kozena (one of my favorite mezzo) isnt a very good Melisande.  Her french diction isnt very intelligible I found.  Also she sings Mélisande as the mature woman she is and not Mélisande a young girl.  This is bothersome in the first two act.  During the last act, where Mélisande is portrayed as living in a parallel world, Kozena is much better, in fact her singing becomes suddenly appropriate.
The other singer are Gerhaher as Pelleas.  He has never disappointed me and here again he is a very good Pelleas.  Nearly perfect french diction, exactly the intonations and the nuances I expected.  As Golaud, Gerald Finley is also convincing.  His diction is good, maybe nt as perfect as Gerhaher.  But he portraits Golaud as the multifaceted man that he is.  Arkel is sung by Franz‑Josef Selig as in the Paris live performance.  A deep and beautiful bass voice.  Excellent.  Yniold is sung by Elias Mädler.  Not as good as Jodie Devos, I thought
In spite of Kozena weaknesses during the first two acts, I would recommend this new recording.  The orchestra is great and Gerhaher and Finley are excellent in their role.   You can download it on the LSO live site for a modest price.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 11:58:35 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

Offline betterthanfine

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #708 on: October 10, 2017, 02:13:42 PM »
^Thanks for that review, Spineur. I've been curious about the new Rattle set, as it's a piece he's been performing for years, and I'm a huge Gerhaher fan. Kozena to me seemed the weakest link here, which you have just confirmed. Still, I think I might get it.

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #709 on: October 10, 2017, 05:17:54 PM »
Probably some great performances.  But how is the audio?  All mono?

I am not sure, since it's in transit now. I assume some, if not all, is mono. Looking at the contents, I also expect some major cuts:

How do you fit a trio, a chorus, and an entire act of Rigoletto onto the second CD of Traviata?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 05:20:19 PM by Jeffrey Smith »

Offline jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #710 on: October 11, 2017, 01:43:13 AM »
Das Rheingold


Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #711 on: October 11, 2017, 04:17:52 AM »
I don't think I've seen such an interesting, positive master class in some time. Really fascinating:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suGCOxk6sGk
I love how he spends more time on the basics of singing and breathing and key things rather than minor phrasing as some do. Hampson is very articulate and has a wonderful manner.
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.

Online Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #712 on: October 13, 2017, 09:41:00 AM »
I don't think I've seen such an interesting, positive master class in some time. Really fascinating:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suGCOxk6sGk
Hampson is very articulate and has a wonderful manner.
I have always found Thomas Hampson interesting.  He sings the marquis de Posa in Don Carlos at Paris opera with Jonas Kaufmann and Sonia Yoncheva.  I did not succeed in getting ticket for this exceptional event.



TD another Opera Rara: Ambroise Thomas La cour de Célimène.  Typical Ambroise Thomas style, reminiscent of Mignon.  The libretto is so thin that it is transparent.  But the music is much better than I expected.  Some exquisite ensemble singing.  The orchestral prelude has 3 different themes one of which is treated as variation.  The Celimene aria at the begining of act to is often part of french cd recitals for sopranos.  4/5 for the music.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 09:42:45 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

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #713 on: October 13, 2017, 09:48:18 AM »
I have always found Thomas Hampson interesting.  He sings the marquis de Posa in Don Carlos at Paris opera with Jonas Kaufmann and Sonia Yoncheva.  I did not suceed in getting ticket for this exceptional event.



TD another Opera Rara: Ambroise Thomas La cour de Célimène.  Typical Ambroise Thomas style, reminiscent of Mignon.  The libretto is so thin that it is transparent.  But the music is much better than I expected.  Some exquisite ensemble singing.  The orchestral prelude has 3 different themes one of which is treated as variation.  The Celimene aria at the begining of act to is often part of french cd recitals for sopranos.  4/5 for the music.
I love that one. it led me to Mignon and then to Hamlet. Speaking of Hampson, I have the Hamlet with him, Ramey and June Anderson. As you would expect, the singing was pretty awesome. But the orchestra play beautifully too, and I really enjoy the orchestration of Thomas.
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 JCBuckley

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #714 on: October 16, 2017, 09:10:38 AM »
Spineur - many thanks for the reviews. I'm kicking myself for not making the trip to Paris. From what I can can gather, the DVD of the Wilson production suffers from lousy sound quality. And it costs a silly amount of money in the UK.

Online Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #715 on: October 16, 2017, 09:21:21 AM »
Spineur - many thanks for the reviews. I'm kicking myself for not making the trip to Paris. From what I can can gather, the DVD of the Wilson production suffers from lousy sound quality. And it costs a silly amount of money in the UK.
I have also heard that the sound quality of the DVD is very poor.  For Debussy that just kills it.
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

Online Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #716 on: October 21, 2017, 03:28:53 AM »
Revisiting al old favourite of mine, Emmanuel Chabrier's Le Roi malgré lui:



That this wonderful work is not better known and does not enjoy wider circulaton remains for me one of the great operatic mysteries of all time. It is so full of esprit and bon goût, has a fun (if convoluted--even by operatic standrads) plot and is brimming with great melodies. But not only that, Chabrier's mastery is present at every measure of the score, with the subtle introduction of unexpected modulations and daring harmonic twists. And the orchestration is simply superb.

In Act I, there are two jewels in quick succession; Minka's romance "Hélas! À l'esclavage..." (with the soprano being accompanied wonderfully by an oboe), and King Henri's entrance, with the nostalgic and plangent "Beau pays, pays du beau soleil" in which he regrets his far away France. Both numbers are breathtaking.

The perfomance (the only commercial recording of the work ever made AFAIK) is excellent (even if sans dialogues and appraently cut), with a very involved and homogeous cast, persuasively led by Charles Dutoit. Still, Barbara Hendrick's (at her considerable best as Minka) stands out. What a beautiful voice this lady has, and how effectively she uses it! Really touching...
I decided to check this opera which I confess I had never heard of.  Light and pleasant music very much in Chabrier style.  As you said, the King Henri aria Beau pays, pays du beau soleil in act I is wonderful so is Ah viens Minka fidèle in act II as well as the duo "O rêve eteint" at act III.  All the orchestral preludes are indeed wonderful.  A pretty cool work.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 03:36:37 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

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #717 on: October 21, 2017, 08:16:16 AM »
I decided to check this opera which I confess I had never heard of.  Light and pleasant music very much in Chabrier style.  As you said, the King Henri aria Beau pays, pays du beau soleil in act I is wonderful so is Ah viens Minka fidèle in act II as well as the duo "O rêve eteint" at act III.  All the orchestral preludes are indeed wonderful.  A pretty cool work.
Glad you liked it, cher ami... :)

You do know L'Étoile, no? Another jewel...

"Aussitôt que l'aurore,
aux doigts gantés de rose,
éclaire à son lever
les magasins de nouveautés
où le bon goût repose,
à nos vitrines apparaissent les clients"


Priceless!  8)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 08:23:36 AM by ritter »
Ritter
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Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #718 on: October 21, 2017, 11:54:46 AM »
Some French Rossini tonight:



I haven't listened to Maometto II for quite a while, and it's been even longer since I've approached its revision as Le Siège... This seems to be the only recording of the work that more or less presents what Rossini offered the Paris audience in 1826.
Ritter
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   Luxe, calme et volupté ».

Online Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #719 on: October 21, 2017, 01:32:24 PM »
There is also this Naxos CD.  I do not know either versions

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

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