Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 77125 times)

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ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #760 on: November 24, 2017, 04:09:56 PM »
Funny that Boulez has top billing with the name of the opera about 1/4 of the largest font.

Well, this is from a Boulez-based series of reissues so it isn't much of a surprise........ ::)

The first pressing looked like this:


kishnevi

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #761 on: November 24, 2017, 06:38:16 PM »
Well, this is from a Boulez-based series of reissues so it isn't much of a surprise........ ::)

The first pressing looked like this:



Actually, it was two CDs from Sony's B. Conducts S. budget box. Like the individual re-issue it appends Chamber Symphony 2 after the second act.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #762 on: November 25, 2017, 04:58:37 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/xi062TEqy3M" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/xi062TEqy3M</a>

The orchestra has a Toscanini-like intensity that must have been incredible to witness live.
Wunderlich is singing for his life, died a little more than a year later.
The sob in his throat sometimes obliterates the pitch but it carries a visceral punch.
Stratas is amazing as well.

A favourite of mine, and so good to have Wunderlich singing Italian opera in Italian for once. My personal top 5 Traviatas would be.

1. Callas/Valletti/Zanasi; Rescigno (Live Covent Garden 1958)
2. Callas/Kraus/Sereni;Ghione (Live Lisbon 1958)
3. Callas/Di Stefano/Bastianini (Live La Scala 1955)
4. Stratas/Wunderlich/Prey; Patane (Live Munich 1965)
5. Cotrubas/Domingo/Milnes; Kleiber (Studio DG)

Callas was not well and fighting flu at the time of the Covent Garden performance, but, though in frailer voice than she was in 1955, for instance, you'd hardly know, and the performance has a dramatic truth that takes us well beyond the realms of the opera house. You forget that this is the rather artificial medium of opera, and believe absolutely that what is happening on stage is real. For me it is the summation of what opera strives so hard to be (but so rarely is).

I review it here https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/callass-covent-garden-traviata/, though I should point out that it has now been issued in much improved sound on Ars Vocalis, if you can find a copy. Ars Vocalis have a shop on ebay and, if you contact them directly, they will normally do a CD-R version for you.




« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 05:01:23 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Todd

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #763 on: November 27, 2017, 11:27:01 AM »
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #764 on: November 30, 2017, 12:27:39 AM »


Bellini's pastoral opera is usually dismissed as being dramatically flaccid, but Callas and Bernstein make a far stronger case for it than usual, immeasurably helped by the stylish Valletti as Elvino.

Romani stated that Amina was a difficult role to play, and that the singer needed "a cry for joy and also a cry for joy, an accent for reproach and another for entreaty." No doubt Bellini and Romani would have found their ideal interpreter here.

The recording is better than some in the Warner box, but still overloads at climaxes. For such a thrilling performance, it's worth it.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #765 on: December 15, 2017, 04:44:41 AM »


This is one of the most famous of all live Callas performances, and also enjoys excellent sound, much improved in this new Warner transfer, quite eclipsing the old EMI, which also filtered out most of the applause. This is one of those cases where the side show is almost as important as the performance itself and the Berlin audience give it a rapturous reception, enforcing Karajan to encore the famous sextet. Apparently Callas was furious at having to do twice the work just before her mad scene, and snubbed him by turning her back on him during the mad scene. When she met him again years later, she said to him, "Well I knew you were a magician, but I now know you're a witch. How did you manage to stay with me so brilliantly when I wouldn't even look at you?" "Simple," he said, "I just watched your ribcage, so could see the precise moment you would breathe."

There is another story attached to this performance. Callas never listened to her live performances, but someone had sent her the discs of this Lucia,whilst she was rehearsing for her final concert tour with Robert Sutherland. Tensions were rising at rehearsal one day, and Sutherland suggested that they take a break and listen to the recording. Having listened to the whole opera through to the end of the Mad Scene, Callas turned to Sutherland, and said, "Well, what did you think?"
Rather embarrassed, especially when comparing it to her present vocal state, he responded that it was wonderful singing.
She snapped back, "Wonderful? It's bloody miraculous!" Then added quietly, "And to think that after that performance I went back to my hotel room and cried, because I didn't think I'd sung well enough."

Essential listening!
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Que

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #766 on: December 17, 2017, 07:10:17 AM »
Making the first dent in this mouth watering Baroque Opera set:


It has all the promises of a spectacular start..... :)

Q

PS https://www.amazon.it/Opera-Baroque-Various-Artists/dp/B00DHCJLWG/
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 07:32:59 AM by Que »
À chacun son goût.


Turner

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #768 on: December 17, 2017, 10:14:49 AM »
Did a quick comparison of Mozart´s Idomeneo with Schmidt-Isserstedt (in the complete Brilliant Mozart box) and with Ivan Fischer (DR CD), thinking that maybe-maybe Fischer could be skipped, but it turned that that it was much preferable. 

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #769 on: December 17, 2017, 10:21:52 AM »

Yes, Fischer's Idomeneo (and in fact much of his Mozart from that period with the Danish band) is absolutely terrific. I prefer only Jacobs... and not by much. (Gardiner's still a classic, too, of course.)

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #770 on: December 19, 2017, 01:36:02 PM »
Will be starting my own private opera festival on Friday ... was lucky to score a ticket for one of the almost sold out shows of the new production of "Madama" which got excellent reviews - the programme is this:

La Fille du régiment
Opéra comique in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
after a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and
Jean-François Alfred Bayard
Concertante performance

Marie Sabine Devieilhe
Tonio René Barbera
Sulpice Pietro Spagnoli
La Marquise de Berkenfield Liliana Nikiteanu
La Duchesse de Crakentorp Birgit Steinegger
Hortensius Henri Bernard
Ein Offizier / Ein Notar Huw Montague Rendall
Ein Bauer Utku Kuzuluk

Philharmonia Zürich
Chor der Oper Zürich
Musical director Speranza Scappucci
Choir director Janko Kastelic

https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/la-fille-du-regiment/season_11232/

--

La fanciulla del West
Opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini
after David Belasco’s eponymous stage play

Minnie Catherine Naglestad
Dick Johnson Brandon Jovanovich
Jack Rance Scott Hendricks
Nick Jamez McCorkle
Ashby Pavel Daniluk
Sonora Cheyne Davidson
Trin Jonathan Abernethy
Sid Valeriy Murga
Bello Tomasz Kumiega
Harry Thobela Ntshanyana
Joe Bogusław Bidziński
Happy Dmytro Kalmuchyn
Larkens Cody Quattlebaum
Billy Jackrabbit Donald Thomson
Wowkle Karina Demurova
Jack Wallace Yuriy Tsiple
José Castro Alexander Kiechle
Un Postiglione Omer Kobiljak

Philharmonia Zürich
Chor der Oper Zürich
Choir director Ernst Raffelsberger
Statistenverein am Opernhaus Zürich
Musical director Marco Armiliato

Producer Barrie Kosky
Stage design Rufus Didwiszus
Costumes Klaus Bruns
Lighting designer Franck Evin
Dramaturgy Claus Spahn

https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/la-fanciulla-del-west/season_11232/

--

Le Comte Ory
Opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Libretto by Eugène Scribe and Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson

La comtesse Adèle Cecilia Bartoli
Isolier Rebeca Olvera
Ragonde Liliana Nikiteanu
Alice, une paysanne Adriana Gonzalez
Le Comte Ory Lawrence Brownlee
Raimbaud Oliver Widmer
Le Gouverneur Nahuel Di Pierro
Coryphées Soyoung Lee
Karina Demurova
Dmytro Kalmuchyn
Donald Thomson
Thobela Ntshanyana
Gérard William Lombardi
Mainfroy Luca Martin
Un paysan Henri Bernard

Orchestra La Scintilla
Chorzuzüger
Zusatzchor der Oper Zürich
Choir director Janko Kastelic
Musical director Diego Fasolis

Producer Moshe Leiser/Patrice Caurier
Stage design Christian Fenouillat
Costumes Agostino Cavalca
Lighting designer Christophe Forey/Martin Gebhardt
Dramaturgy Michael Küster

https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/le-comte-ory/season_11232/

--

Madama Butterfly
Tragedia giapponese in two acts
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
after Pierre Loti, John Luther Long and David Belasco

Cio-Cio-San Svetlana Aksenova
Suzuki Judith Schmid
Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton Saimir Pirgu
Sharpless Brian Mulligan
Goro Martin Zysset
Fürst Yamadori / Der Standesbeamte Huw Montague Rendall
Onkel Bonze Ildo Song
Der kaiserliche Kommissar Stanislav Vorobyov
Kate Pinkerton Natalia Tanasii

Philharmonia Zürich
Chor der Oper Zürich
Choir director Ernst Raffelsberger
Statistenverein am Opernhaus Zürich
Musical director Daniele Rustioni

Producer Ted Huffman
Stage design Michael Levine
Costumes Annemarie Woods
Lighting designer Franck Evin
Assistant choreographer Sonoko Kamimura-Ostern
Dramaturgy Fabio Dietsche

https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/madama-butterfly/season_11232/

--

furthermore, in March I'll see the new Heinz Holliger opera Lunea, plus - beginning of February - a lecture concert with Christian Gerhaher (who will sing the main part in "Lunea") in which he will talk about his work and also sing Schumann's Op. 90 (with Gerold Huber of course):
https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/lunea/season_11232/
https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/gespraechskonzert-christian-gerhaher/season_11232/

--

will probably try and squeeze in some Puccini during x-mas vacation, but my listening (and concert) schedule is pretty full :)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 01:46:19 PM by king ubu »
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/

kishnevi

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #771 on: December 20, 2017, 05:35:30 PM »
Not listening yet, but


Ordered Monday morning from Barnes and Noble, with delivery originally promised for Friday, but found it on my doorstep when I got home from work this evening.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 12:35:34 AM by Que »

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #772 on: December 21, 2017, 12:30:50 AM »
Not listening yet, but

Ordered Monday morning from Barnes and Noble, with delivery originally promised for Friday, but found it on my doorstep when I got home from work this evening.

Many hours of thrilling singing ahead of you.

I'm still working my way through the set, and reviewing all the operas on my blog www.tsaraslondon.wordpress.com. For the most part, the Warner transfers are pretty good, though there are better transfers of some of the operas out there on labels like Divina Records and Ars Vocalis. The Anna Bolena seems to me to be the one real dud, and I don't know why Warner didn't try to find a better source than the one they used, which sounds the same as the really rather awful EMI one. Divina is in a different class, though more expensive. Myto is much better too.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 12:36:06 AM by Que »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

kishnevi

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #773 on: December 21, 2017, 07:26:04 PM »
Many hours of thrilling singing ahead of you.

I'm still working my way through the set, and reviewing all the operas on my blog www.tsaraslondon.wordpress.com. For the most part, the Warner transfers are pretty good, though there are better transfers of some of the operas out there on labels like Divina Records and Ars Vocalis. The Anna Bolena seems to me to be the one real dud, and I don't know why Warner didn't try to find a better source than the one they used, which sounds the same as the really rather awful EMI one. Divina is in a different class, though more expensive. Myto is much better too.

Yes, I've been following your posts here. It was only a matter of time before I got it. I may never watch the Blu-rays, since I don't have a Blu-ray player.  But the rest will be properly appreciated in due course.

The one surprise was that they did not include the live recitals, in parallel to the studio recitals which were included in the studio Remastered set. But I have the most recent mastering of the live recitals...and frankly given the audio quality of some of them, it's just as well.

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #774 on: December 22, 2017, 02:28:12 PM »
Will be starting my own private opera festival on Friday ... was lucky to score a ticket for one of the almost sold out shows of the new production of "Madama" which got excellent reviews - the programme is this:

La Fille du régiment
Opéra comique in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
after a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and
Jean-François Alfred Bayard
Concertante performance

Marie Sabine Devieilhe
Tonio René Barbera
Sulpice Pietro Spagnoli
La Marquise de Berkenfield Liliana Nikiteanu
La Duchesse de Crakentorp Birgit Steinegger
Hortensius Henri Bernard
Ein Offizier / Ein Notar Huw Montague Rendall
Ein Bauer Utku Kuzuluk

Philharmonia Zürich
Chor der Oper Zürich
Musical director Speranza Scappucci
Choir director Janko Kastelic

https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/la-fille-du-regiment/season_11232/

Holy holy, that was amazing!  ;D

Ms Devieilhe was terrific, all the way through, while Barbera had some show-stopping moments (and the first "da capo" I ever witnessed in the opera - it was not a staged production so that was an easy thing to do). The orchestra was outstanding, Scappucci did an excellent job ... and the production was pretty nice indeed, with the singers using the stage in a very good way, and I guess enjoying themselves, too.

Now I need a recording that is NOT the Sutherland one, a lively in-the-flesh one like Devieilhe can pull it off, not a distinguished and refined one as Sutherland will surely do (while Pavarotti I'm sure is the perfect Tonio - actually the seamless flow of Barbera's had me think of Pavarotti several times) ... what could I look for? Or is it indeed the Bonynge/Sutherland/Pavarotti one that's already here that I should explore?
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/

kishnevi

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #775 on: December 22, 2017, 05:57:02 PM »
Holy holy, that was amazing!  ;D

Ms Devieilhe was terrific, all the way through, while Barbera had some show-stopping moments (and the first "da capo" I ever witnessed in the opera - it was not a staged production so that was an easy thing to do). The orchestra was outstanding, Scappucci did an excellent job ... and the production was pretty nice indeed, with the singers using the stage in a very good way, and I guess enjoying themselves, too.

Now I need a recording that is NOT the Sutherland one, a lively in-the-flesh one like Devieilhe can pull it off, not a distinguished and refined one as Sutherland will surely do (while Pavarotti I'm sure is the perfect Tonio - actually the seamless flow of Barbera's had me think of Pavarotti several times) ... what could I look for? Or is it indeed the Bonynge/Sutherland/Pavarotti one that's already here that I should explore?

The Amazon listings suggest there are no recent CD versions, just historical or slightly dog-eared versions featuring Pons, Sills and Gruberova, and another with Alfredo Kraus.  There are some DVDs, the main choice being between Dessay and Ciofi: Florez is the tenor in both. 

Given the choices, you may as well start with Joan and Luciano.  It was recorded in their early days, when he was relatively svelte and trim. I don't remember her being excessively mannered, but it's been some time since I last listened to it.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #776 on: December 23, 2017, 03:07:06 AM »
Holy holy, that was amazing!  ;D

Ms Devieilhe was terrific, all the way through, while Barbera had some show-stopping moments (and the first "da capo" I ever witnessed in the opera - it was not a staged production so that was an easy thing to do). The orchestra was outstanding, Scappucci did an excellent job ... and the production was pretty nice indeed, with the singers using the stage in a very good way, and I guess enjoying themselves, too.

Now I need a recording that is NOT the Sutherland one, a lively in-the-flesh one like Devieilhe can pull it off, not a distinguished and refined one as Sutherland will surely do (while Pavarotti I'm sure is the perfect Tonio - actually the seamless flow of Barbera's had me think of Pavarotti several times) ... what could I look for? Or is it indeed the Bonynge/Sutherland/Pavarotti one that's already here that I should explore?

You will just need to wait until Devieilhe has recorded it, I suppose. Speaking of her in that opera: I recently talked to her about the character that is, frankly, quite icky (a young girl that's the mascot of a military unit? I mean... please!) but she said that the production had found a way around it... Forgot how exactly, though...

(The interview here's in German and the bit about La fille isn't in it, anyway... http://www.crescendo.de/sabine-devieilhe-alles-nur-keine-diva-1000023969/, but I might publish an English version at some point.)

Offline anothername

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #777 on: December 23, 2017, 04:15:21 AM »
Holy holy, that was amazing!  ;D

Ms Devieilhe was terrific, all the way through, while Barbera had some show-stopping moments (and the first "da capo" I ever witnessed in the opera - it was not a staged production so that was an easy thing to do). The orchestra was outstanding, Scappucci did an excellent job ... and the production was pretty nice indeed, with the singers using the stage in a very good way, and I guess enjoying themselves, too.

Now I need a recording that is NOT the Sutherland one, a lively in-the-flesh one like Devieilhe can pull it off, not a distinguished and refined one as Sutherland will surely do (while Pavarotti I'm sure is the perfect Tonio - actually the seamless flow of Barbera's had me think of Pavarotti several times) ... what could I look for? Or is it indeed the Bonynge/Sutherland/Pavarotti one that's already here that I should explore?

Of course you must, if not you have Sills/ Burrows  or the dull Cluytens one.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #778 on: December 23, 2017, 04:27:54 AM »
Holy holy, that was amazing!  ;D

Ms Devieilhe was terrific, all the way through, while Barbera had some show-stopping moments (and the first "da capo" I ever witnessed in the opera - it was not a staged production so that was an easy thing to do). The orchestra was outstanding, Scappucci did an excellent job ... and the production was pretty nice indeed, with the singers using the stage in a very good way, and I guess enjoying themselves, too.

Now I need a recording that is NOT the Sutherland one, a lively in-the-flesh one like Devieilhe can pull it off, not a distinguished and refined one as Sutherland will surely do (while Pavarotti I'm sure is the perfect Tonio - actually the seamless flow of Barbera's had me think of Pavarotti several times) ... what could I look for? Or is it indeed the Bonynge/Sutherland/Pavarotti one that's already here that I should explore?
As mentioned, the choices on CD are limited. But you can find samples on Amazon and youtube to see what you think.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #779 on: December 23, 2017, 05:11:42 AM »
Holy holy, that was amazing!  ;D

Ms Devieilhe was terrific, all the way through, while Barbera had some show-stopping moments (and the first "da capo" I ever witnessed in the opera - it was not a staged production so that was an easy thing to do). The orchestra was outstanding, Scappucci did an excellent job ... and the production was pretty nice indeed, with the singers using the stage in a very good way, and I guess enjoying themselves, too.

Now I need a recording that is NOT the Sutherland one, a lively in-the-flesh one like Devieilhe can pull it off, not a distinguished and refined one as Sutherland will surely do (while Pavarotti I'm sure is the perfect Tonio - actually the seamless flow of Barbera's had me think of Pavarotti several times) ... what could I look for? Or is it indeed the Bonynge/Sutherland/Pavarotti one that's already here that I should explore?

I'm no Sutherland fan, but the Sutherland/Pavarotti/Bonynge Fille du Regiment does fine for me. Her diction isn't quite as muddy as it was to become (though she's hardly a paragon) and she is in sparkling form, less apt to indulge in those swooning portamenti that later became a hallmark. I also think this one of Pavarotti's best recordings (though his diction is so good, you can hear how bad his French is).

The DVD with Dessay and Florez is also well worth investigating.

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