Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 41790 times)

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Offline Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #500 on: July 17, 2017, 11:38:31 AM »
And the sound ? The Guilini disc is "inaudible"
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 Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #501 on: July 17, 2017, 12:03:26 PM »
And the sound ? The Guilini disc is "inaudible"

One of the best live Callas sets.

Actually the Giulini is pretty good on ArsVocalis. The EMI, like most of their live Callas sets, is awful.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 12:12:49 PM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #502 on: July 17, 2017, 12:38:32 PM »
Excellent choice

Furthermore, I realized the Myto Callas "Nabucco" is on the shelves already (it's not even part of the cheapo EMI Callas Verdi Live set anyway). You must have mentioned that one before  ;)

Next up, in two weeks: "Les Contes d'Hoffmann" in Munich. I saw that very same production on TV with a more prominent line up before ... but am looking forward a lot to catching it live again! Not sure I'll have time to revisit any recordings before that.
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
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Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
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Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #503 on: July 20, 2017, 09:21:45 AM »
Next up, in two weeks: "Les Contes d'Hoffmann" in Munich. I saw that very same production on TV with a more prominent line up before ... but am looking forward a lot to catching it live again! Not sure I'll have time to revisit any recordings before that.

Yowzah! Just got the second mail noting about line-up changes for "Les Contes" - and now this one's great: Diana Damrau will sing Antonia/Giulietta/Stella. (The first one was that Nicolas Tèste will do half of the 17 male roles - don't know him, didn't know the initially announced singer either.)

https://www.staatsoper.de/stueckinfo/les-contes-dhoffmann/2017-07-27-19-00.html
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!

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Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #504 on: July 20, 2017, 09:46:03 AM »
Yowzah! Just got the second mail noting about line-up changes for "Les Contes" - and now this one's great: Diana Damrau will sing Antonia/Giulietta/Stella. (The first one was that Nicolas Tèste will do half of the 17 male roles - don't know him, didn't know the initially announced singer either.)

https://www.staatsoper.de/stueckinfo/les-contes-dhoffmann/2017-07-27-19-00.html

Interesting....Damrau will do all the roles on Thursday the 27th but another singer will do Olympia on Sunday the 30th.

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #505 on: July 20, 2017, 09:53:49 AM »
Interesting....Damrau will do all the roles on Thursday the 27th but another singer will do Olympia on Sunday the 30th.

Well, in the mail I just got, it's announced that Damrau will do the three, and Olga Pudova will do Olympia - not making a difference between the dates. That would be quite unusual indeed ... and checking again, I see that's how it's listed for both dates, at least if you open the site in German. Either way, looking foward, this will be the first live music during the summer break (more to come end of August, including Gardiner and his forces doing "L'Orfeo" at Lucerne Festival).
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 Jeffrey Smith

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #506 on: July 20, 2017, 12:40:43 PM »
Well, in the mail I just got, it's announced that Damrau will do the three, and Olga Pudova will do Olympia - not making a difference between the dates. That would be quite unusual indeed ... and checking again, I see that's how it's listed for both dates, at least if you open the site in German. Either way, looking foward, this will be the first live music during the summer break (more to come end of August, including Gardiner and his forces doing "L'Orfeo" at Lucerne Festival).

That's a nice one.  Forty years ago the music department of my college put on L'Orfeo, with musicians untrained in HIP and on a budget most high school plays would consider measly---and they produced an impressive result. I can only imagine what a real production must be like.

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #507 on: July 20, 2017, 12:47:23 PM »
That's a nice one.  Forty years ago the music department of my college put on L'Orfeo, with musicians untrained in HIP and on a budget most high school plays would consider measly---and they produced an impressive result. I can only imagine what a real production must be like.

It won't be a real production (no proper opera at Lucerne Festival, I think ... or maybe there's something from the theatre that is shown as part of the festival, the way that regular stages sometimes take part in seasonal festivals, too - don't really know), just a concert performance - but nonetheless I look forward to it bigtime!
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 marvinbrown

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #508 on: July 21, 2017, 02:11:09 AM »


  Currently listening to a digital file copy of this:

 



  I am thoroughly enjoying it, Boulez is brisk and surprising light, this is easily the best of the modern rings recorded at Beyreuth, there is far less stage noise than the Barenboim set. All in all a very pleasant experience!

  marvin

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #509 on: July 21, 2017, 02:38:14 AM »

  Currently listening to a digital file copy of this:

 



  I am thoroughly enjoying it, Boulez is brisk and surprising light, this is easily the best of the modern rings recorded at Beyreuth, there is far less stage noise than the Barenboim set. All in all a very pleasant experience!

  marvin
Great to see good things said about the Boulez Ring, which is usually much maligned. Yes, the singing is variable, but the Frenchman's brisk and light handling of the score, which you point out, represents an interesting angle to Wagner's music, and IMHO sounds as fresh today as almost 40 years ago. Of course I'm biased, because I got to see this in the theatre as a young man in 1979--a thrilling experience!

Cheers,
Ritter
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Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #510 on: July 22, 2017, 01:37:26 AM »


Hadn't heard this version in a while, so thought I would give it another chance. I liked it more than I thought I would.

Sonically it's gorgeous. Karajan's speeds tend to the spacious and he reveals beauties in the orchestration I'd never heard before, not even in the superb Mehta.

When it comes to the cast, I think Barbara Hendricks's Liu sounds just right, a lovely lyric soprano, perfectly suited to the demands of the role. By contrast Caballe sounds too much the grande dame, Schwarzkopf too much the Princess Werdenberg, though both sing divinely. Domingo makes a most interesting, more psychologically complex Calaf than Pavarotti, but I do miss Pavarotti's ringing top notes. Domingo is taxed by the upper reaches of the part.

The set's biggest stumbling block however remains Ricciarelli. Truth to tell, this time round I didn't find her casting quite as disastrous as I once thought. A most intelligent and musical singer, she adapts the role to suit her basically lyric soprano. She sings the opening of In questa reggia with a white, vibrato-less sound which is most effective, but she can't really disguise the fact that, even in the recording studio, her voice is a couple of notches too small. As I intimated above, she has to use all her intelligence to survive the role's treacherous demands. Sutherland sounds as if she was born to sing it.

Certainly worth hearing though for Karajan's superb realisation of the score, for Hendricks's wonderful Liu, and, apart from at the very top of the voice, Domingo's musical Calaf.


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

Offline Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #511 on: July 22, 2017, 06:34:49 AM »
Got a few Opera Rara lately and today I am starting with Donizetti "Les Martyrs" on a E. Scribe libretto, the french version Poliuto, censored in Italy, and eventually produced there after Donizetti death.



Although there are 3 operas "Polyeucte", the one by Gounod and Polieuct of the contemporary polish composer Zygmundt Krause, it is at the start a tragedy by Pierre Corneille based on the martyrdom of Polyeucte of Metylene in 262 AD.  Despite its religious theme this play is popular in France and is regularly given at "La Comedie Francaise" and other theater.  It is in fact one of my favorite classical tragedy as it explore the social (Polyeucte) and psycological effect (Pauline, his wife) of a religious conversion.  Pauline who witnesses Polyeucte martyrdom is a fantastic character as she discovers and embraces christianism through her husband.  For once, Donizetti & E. Scribe are faithful to Corneille play (how can one change perfection !).

This Opera Rara production has the orchestra of the age of enlightment, Michael Spyres  as Polyeucte and Joyce El Khoury as Pauline, all excellent.  I plan to get Gounod opera as well, if it exists in recorded form.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 06:52:30 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.

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Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #512 on: July 22, 2017, 02:46:13 PM »


Hadn't heard this version in a while, so thought I would give it another chance. I liked it more than I thought I would.

Sonically it's gorgeous. Karajan's speeds tend to the spacious and he reveals beauties in the orchestration I'd never heard before, not even in the superb Mehta.

When it comes to the cast, I think Barbara Hendricks's Liu sounds just right, a lovely lyric soprano, perfectly suited to the demands of the role. By contrast Caballe sounds too much the grande dame, Schwarzkopf too much the Princess Werdenberg, though both sing divinely. Domingo makes a most interesting, more psychologically complex Calaf than Pavarotti, but I do miss Pavarotti's ringing top notes. Domingo is taxed by the upper reaches of the part.

The set's biggest stumbling block however remains Ricciarelli. Truth to tell, this time round I didn't find her casting quite as disastrous as I once thought. A most intelligent and musical singer, she adapts the role to suit her basically lyric soprano. She sings the opening of In questa reggia with a white, vibrato-less sound which is most effective, but she can't really disguise the fact that, even in the recording studio, her voice is a couple of notches too small. As I intimated above, she has to use all her intelligence to survive the role's treacherous demands. Sutherland sounds as if she was born to sing it.

Certainly worth hearing though for Karajan's superb realisation of the score, for Hendricks's wonderful Liu, and, apart from at the very top of the voice, Domingo's musical Calaf.
I am actually quite fond of this recording. I think Karajan's preciosity and attention to orchestral detail suits this score like a glove, and agree with you, Tsaraslondon, that Barbara Hendricks's Liù is pure delight. Her "Tanto amore segreto, e incofessato tanto così..." is one of the most beautiful examples of lyric singing I have ever heard. And yes, Ricciarelli is overparted, but has some great moments (that start of "In questa reggia" you pointed out, and also e.g. the way she sings "Qui pose tanta forza nel tuo cuore" to Liù just before that passage ("Tanto amore...")  I pointed out before. There's a fragility that is a welcome change to the "standard" Scandianvian Turandots that I find quite refreshing. But, of course, I am biased, as I've always been partial to Ricciarelli, who had such a distinctive and beautiful instrument, and used it with great (but also elegantly controlled) expressivity. A pity how she evidently mismanaged her career.

A little known fact is that Ricciarelli did get to sing Turandot on stage, several years after the Karajan recording. She stepped in for an ailing colleague in some performances in Tokyo (apparently, there was no understudy, and if it hadn't been for her, the performances would have had to be cancelled). The audience apparently thanked her with warm appause on those nights.

Cheers,
Ritter
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Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #513 on: July 22, 2017, 03:25:24 PM »
But, of course, I am biased, as I've always been partial to Ricciarelli, who had such a distinctive and beautiful instrument, and used it with great (but also elegantly controlled) expressivity. A pity how she evidently mismanaged her career.

A little known fact is that Ricciarelli did get to sing Turandot on stage, several years after the Karajan recording. She stepped in for an ailing colleague in some performances in Tokyo (apparently, there was no understudy, and if it hadn't been for her, the performances would have had to be cancelled). The audience apparently thanked her with warm appause on those nights.

Cheers,

I have a soft spot for Ricciarelli too. She was a very intelligent and musical singer, and I really enjoy her contributions to the Philips early Verdi series, ditto her early recording of Suor Angelica and her Luisa Miller. I just think that her basically lyric soprano was completely unsuited to Turandot. She cleverly husbands her resources and consequently gives us a more multi-faceted character than we usually get, but she simply cannot ride the orchestra when she needs to. Callas, another soprano who gives us a more rounded character, was past her best when she recorded the role, and it is a great pity that she didn't record it just a few years earlier when she recorded a superb version of In questa reggia, but, though the role taxes her rather beyond her 1957 limits, she sounds less strained than Ricciarelli.

I was lucky enough to catch Ricciarelli a few times live; twice in the Verdi Requiem, once in Don Carlo, and once. most memorably, in a concert of opera arias with orchestra at the Barbican. If I remember correctly the programme was a mixture of bel canto and verismo, and though I can't now remember all the arias she sang, I do remember she sang Giulietta's Oh quante volte divinely, spinning out the melismas to heavenly lengths; so well in fact that she had to repeat it in the encores at the end.

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

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #514 on: July 22, 2017, 03:35:31 PM »
How well does Karajan do with the chorus in that recording?  For me the chorus is one of the main features of Turandot, especially the mercurial changes in mood which fill Act I.

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #515 on: July 22, 2017, 03:38:41 PM »
I have a soft spot for Ricciarelli too. She was a very intelligent and musical singer, and I really enjoy her contributions to the Philips early Verdi series, ditto her early recording of Suor Angelica and her Luisa Miller. I just think that her basically lyric soprano was completely unsuited to Turandot. She cleverly husbands her resources and consequently gives us a more multi-faceted character than we usually get, but she simply cannot ride the orchestra when she needs to. Callas, another soprano who gives us a more rounded character, was past her best when she recorded the role, and it is a great pity that she didn't record it just a few years earlier when she recorded a superb version of In questa reggia, but, though the role taxes her rather beyond her 1957 limits, she sounds less strained than Ricciarelli.

I was lucky enough to catch Ricciarelli a few times live; twice in the Verdi Requiem, once in Don Carlo, and once. most memorably, in a concert of opera arias with orchestra at the Barbican. If I remember correctly the programme was a mixture of bel canto and verismo, and though I can't now remember all the arias she sang, I do remember she sang Giulietta's Oh quante volte divinely, spinning out the melismas to heavenly lengths; so well in fact that she had to repeat it in the encores at the end.
I only saw her live once, late(ish) in her career as Mimì in La Bohème in Chicago. That's another role that suited her IMHO (I think she's quite good in Colin Davis's recording of the opera). The only problem was that she was really too tall and beautiful to make a credible stage character  :D.

I envy you for those concerts of the Verdi Requiem. I think her Libera me in Abbado's (not really universally acclaimed) first recording of the work is simply fantastic.

With her, and just a handful of other singers (most notably and towering above them all, of course, Maria Callas) a strange thing happens to me: a repertoire I'm no really that much into (or, to be more precise, I have lost almost all interest in in the recent past--after having explored it with enthusiam when I was younger), I can still find rather attractive. No mean feat for her, I venture to say.

Regards,
Ritter
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Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #516 on: July 22, 2017, 03:46:31 PM »
How well does Karajan do with the chorus in that recording?  For me the chorus is one of the main features of Turandot, especially the mercurial changes in mood which fill Act I.

Orchestra and chorus are practically the stars of the recording. It's quite a different reading from Mehta's, much more measured in tempo, but still vitally dramatic. I like them both.


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

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #517 on: July 22, 2017, 03:50:17 PM »
Orchestra and chorus are practically the stars of the recording. It's quite a different reading from Mehta's, much more measured in tempo, but still vitally dramatic. I like them both.

Thanks.  That goes onto The List.

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #518 on: July 22, 2017, 11:38:20 PM »
I only saw her live once, late(ish) in her career as Mimì in La Bohème in Chicago. That's another role that suited her IMHO (I think she's quite good in Colin Davis's recording of the opera). The only problem was that she was really too tall and beautiful to make a credible stage character  :D.

I envy you for those concerts of the Verdi Requiem. I think her Libera me in Abbado's (not really universally acclaimed) first recording of the work is simply fantastic.

With her, and just a handful of other singers (most notably and towering above them all, of course, Maria Callas) a strange thing happens to me: a repertoire I'm no really that much into (or, to be more precise, I have lost almost all interest in in the recent past--after having explored it with enthusiam when I was younger), I can still find rather attractive. No mean feat for her, I venture to say.

Regards,

It is no surprise, I suppose, that the most expressive singers are also the ones who are most fallible vocally. They put expression above vocal beauty and purity. Well, if truth is beauty, then, as far as I'm concerned, these singers have beautiful voices.

The conductor Nicola Rescigno revealed that, when he conducted her in La Traviata, Callas kept having problems with the final top A in Addio del passato. She strove for such a fine thread of sound, that the note would sometimes crack. He kept telling her to give the note a bit more volume and support, but she would not compromise. Though a firmer top A might have been safer, it did not reveal so well Violetta's emotional and physical collapse. Those for whom total vocal purity is paramount will never understand, I suppose. 


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

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #519 on: July 23, 2017, 02:03:14 AM »
Re: Katia Ricciarelli:
... Verdi Requiem. I think her Libera me in Abbado's (not really universally acclaimed) first recording of the work is simply fantastic.

Would that be the 1979 recording with Verrett, Domingo, Ghiaurov and the Scala forces? I have that included in the "Great Operas from La Scala" box, but haven't yet played it ... not really familiar with Verdi's requiem yet, anyway. That Karajan "Turandot" is here as well, part of another box (the Domingo one on DG, I think) ... but that's another opera I haven't yet spent much time with.

Thread duty:



Jacques Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann - not quite the way it shall sound in Munich next Sunday, but this is incredibly enjoyable indeed, very light, conversational, and even the sometimes extreme French diction doesn't trouble the fun a bit. Just finishing Act 1. Will segue with this (both first listens, both the then usual three act with prologue/epilogue version of course), where it seems the stars (or rather their egos) of the Met make sure that Monteux's aim at the same conversational lightness does not succeed:

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/

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