Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 73054 times)

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Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #780 on: December 23, 2017, 06:11:12 AM »
I would also look into the June Anderson-Alfredo Kraus recording.  They both have reasonably good french diction.  I have Robert le Diable with June Anderson where she is superb.  I would think this repertoire fits Alfredo Kraus quite well.

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #781 on: December 23, 2017, 08:12:55 AM »
Dessay could possibly be an option for me, I like her alright.

But I will then check out the Sutherland/Pavarotti recording soon - thanks everyone!

As for Kraus, that's all from the 1980's, right? How old was he then? Does that really still work? Granted I'm not looking for a DVD, but still ...

And thanks Jens for the link - the current issue of Zurich opera's mag also has a write-up on her based on an interview, she seems to be very much down to earth. That thing about the odd character of "la fille" did of course not present much of a problem in the Zurich shows which weren't staged, but yeah, obviously it's all part of the game, the shady past of her when she's going to be married off by her aunt/mother and all that. The audience being "touched" and thus everybody willing to let Tonio marry her, as the synopses say - ha, that's just pathetic of course, but I guess we're in high-brow-stiff-upper-lip culture and still not supposed to talk about sex ... another funny thing yesterday: on the rangs, there were many people standing during the final applause (including yours truly), but downstairs were average age seemed to be around 105, everybody remained glued to their seats (which cost, I think, about triple the average age, so better make use of it as long as you're allowed ...)
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 #782 on: December 30, 2017, 12:15:56 PM »
Now near the start of Act III


I've heard bit, bobs, and bleeding chunks over the years, but I am pretty sure this is the first time I am hearing this as a complete opera.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #783 on: December 30, 2017, 12:35:48 PM »
Now near the start of Act III


I've heard bit, bobs, and bleeding chunks over the years, but I am pretty sure this is the first time I am hearing this as a complete opera.

I love this opera.

I've listened to this one complete on Spotify and still deciding whether or not to buy it. It's garnered some rapturous reviews, but my favourite remains the pioneering Davis recording on Philips with Veasey and Vickers, supplemented by Janet Baker in the final scenes on EMI. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is also a wonderful Didon, but I don't much like anything else I've heard from the live Levine recording she is on.

This new one is very fine from an orchestral point of view but the singers are all a little light of voice. I heard Michael Spyres singing Berlioz's Faust at the Proms this year, and I found him a wonderfully musical and intelligent singer. I wonder though whether he might be a bit light of voice for Aeneas. There were times at the Proms that I thought his lyrical voice a little too small even for Faust. Lemieux is also a light voiced Cassandre, though she's a great improvement on Lindholm, who is on the first Davis recording.

DiDonato is probably the most successful of the soloists. Some find her vibrato distracting, though it doesn't bother me unduly, and she is thoroughly inside the role. However she doesn't evince the sort of innigkeit you find in Baker and Hunt Lieberson. That said, I don't know of anyone else around today who could sing it better.

I need to listen to it again, but it gets a cautious thumbs up from me; certainly the best since Davis I and II, with my preference, marginally still being for Davis I.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 03:47:29 PM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Alberich

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #784 on: December 30, 2017, 12:59:57 PM »
Speaking of Les Troyens, I recently started to listen to Davis' recording of it in Spotify and now I like it a lot more. Shows what a simple change of recording and a re-listening can do.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

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kishnevi

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #785 on: December 30, 2017, 01:00:31 PM »
I love this opera.

I've listened to this one complete on Spotify and still deciding whether or not to buy it. It's garnered some rapturous reviews, but favourite remains the pioneering Davis recording on Philips with Veasey and Vickers, supplemented by Janet Baker in the final scenes on EMI. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is also a wonderful Didon, but I don't much like anything else I've heard from the live Levine recording she is on.

This new one is very fine from an orchestral point of view but the singers are all a little light of voice. I heard Michael Spyres singing Berlioz's Faust at the Proms this year, and I found him a wonderfully musical and intelligent singer. I wonder though whether he might be a bit light of voice for Aeneas. There were times at the Proms that I thought his lyrical voice a little too small even for Faust. Lemieux is also a light voiced Cassandre, though she's a great improvement on Lindholm, who is on the first Davis recording.

DiDonato is probably the most successful of the soloists. Some find her vibrato distracting, though it doesn't bother me unduly, and she is thoroughly inside the role. However she doesn't evince the sort of innigkeit you find in Baker and Hunt Lieberson. That said, I don't know of anyone else around today who could sing it better.

I need to listen to it again, but it gets a cautious thumbs up from me; certainly the best since Davis I and II, with my preference, marginally still being for Davis I.

So far, at least (meaning now in the middle of Act IV), no one seems to be too light voiced for me.  But I think Davis gave it a Wagnerian cast to the opera--for tenor heroique or however you translate heldentenor into French.  Whereas this recording seems to see it as a link between Mayerbeer and Massenet, with lyric voices.

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #786 on: December 30, 2017, 04:24:55 PM »
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

Musical director Marco Armiliato
Producer Barrie Kosky
Stage design Rufus Didwiszus
Costumes Klaus Bruns
Lighting designer Franck Evin
Choir director Ernst Raffelsberger
Dramaturgy Claus Spahn

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
Statistenverein am Opernhaus Zürich

--

Terrific night at Zurich opera ... before they started it was announced that Naglestad was ill and taking antibiotics ... not that I would have noticed anything being wrong, might be that in better condition she would have started a bit stronger, but she was putting on an intense and most convincing performance as Minnie. Glad I had a chance to catch this opera on stage, seems it is still not performed all that often, possibly also because you don't just need three strong main characters but also a good ensemble for all the various smaller male parts, that still are important enough that the whole show may fail if they're not sung well enough. Not a big deal at Zurich opera it seems, I heard no failures at all, and the orchestra was great again, too - sometimes loud enough to bring the rather small house to its limits (had the same with Verdi's "Don Carlo" last season), but all in all it was excellent indeed, including the production and set design - all kept simple and in many ways brutal and blunt, which fits the music much better than any kind of cowboy costumes. Puccini though would have been unhappy I guess (no eight horses in the third act).

And looking at my list, I realize I've not listened to any recording - only saw another, much glossier and Hollywood-like production on TV a few years ago ... I have the Matacic w/Nilsson in the EMI set of Puccini's operas, the Tebaldi one (cond. Capuana) and the Maazel one with Mara Zamperi singing Minnie, a singer whose name I've not yet noticed anywhere (my fault for sure) ... but that one is in the large Sony set that initially I didn't even want to buy (it got real cheap at some point and I snatched it up, the only thing I looked at yet is the glorious booklet of old set production photos, the box in in LP format, to the photos are large ... lovely stuff). From the guts I'd go with the Tebaldi one for starters, but I guess there are other valuable recordings I'm missing?
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 #787 on: December 30, 2017, 04:51:02 PM »
So far, at least (meaning now in the middle of Act IV), no one seems to be too light voiced for me.  But I think Davis gave it a Wagnerian cast to the opera--for tenor heroique or however you translate heldentenor into French.  Whereas this recording seems to see it as a link between Mayerbeer and Massenet, with lyric voices.

The role of Aeneas seems to me to suggest a more heroic voice, and I recall a wonderful recording of Inutiles regrets by Georges Thill, who had a number of Wagner roles in his repertoire. Spyres sounds OK on the recording, but I wonder how well he could be heard in the flesh. As I say, even his Faust, musically and elegantly though it was sung, was a bit underpowered in places.

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

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #788 on: December 30, 2017, 04:53:57 PM »
Also, finally, watched the Don Carlo that Paris opera staged to open its season ... found Kaufmann excellent again (as in the Salzburg/Milan Stein production that was also televised a few year ago), but Yoncheva is totally no match for Harteros as Elisabeth ... Garanca as Eboli I found great though.

So, my little Don Carlo fetish goes next round ... give me the actors guidance of Stein with the very, very dark light and costumes and stage design of the (acting wise extremely static - never give me Bechtolf if I can chose, also never, ever combine him with Eschenbach, it don't get any worse, Salzburg/Perreira!) Zurich version (they failed in that they used the 4-act version that makes no sense), give me not too many of those Eastern singers with bad Italian, but Garanca as Eboli is just fine, next to Kaufmann and Harteros.

Then, give me the force of the Zurich orchestra with the precision and quiet glow of the Scala and the wonderful french sound of the Paris horns (makes no sense, huh? can't have it all ... I guess I'll go with La Scala then, but in a smaller house, so it can have the forceful, almost angst-inducing intensity of the Zurich production).

Of course it needs to be a 5-act version, absolutely (that, Stein and his forces got right, but the costumes and light and all were just a bit too traditional for my liking), Italian or French are both very much okay, maybe do both at the same time and offer double tickets for two nights (oh, singers can't be the same? well, get good singers then, intelligent ones please, not just ones that can get the vowels and consonants into the right sequence ... Stoyanova/Semenchuk - the Scala ladies I saw on stage in the Stein production - just won't do, sorry).

Also: the Paris orchestra lacked precision I found ... or rather there seemed to be almost constant minor displacements between the (wonderfully sounding) orchestra and the singers on stage. None of that in Salzburg or Milan (the Stein production was given in Salzburg with Harteros and Kaufmann and then repeated in Milan with Stoyanova and Meli - the later, btw, really good).

So there ... one of my favourite operas, but not one that is easy to actually perform.

Question: did Kaufmann get over his "knödeln"? Somehow either I must have taken to his singing more than I did a few years ago, or that part of it really improved a lot. No idea what the term would be in English and I guess it's unfair to apply it to Kaufmann, it's more about voice colour, and that can change, so it may indeed have changed in a way that it bothers me less by now (he is getting grey, too ... aren't we all? better grey than bald, I guess ;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 André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #789 on: December 30, 2017, 05:19:03 PM »
From the WAYLT thread:



Orfeo ed Euridice is Gluck’s most famous opera, but I think it is neither as strong or as imaginative as Iphigénie en Tauride. This 1952 recording, in ok sound is a bit dated in the orchestral department, with thickish textures here and there. In the dramatic scenes though, Giulini whips up the excitement to great effect.

Soloists are quite extraordinary, arguably the best quartet on disc - and Iphigénie is not exactly neglected, with a dozen versions on offer right now. Neway’s Iphigénie is sung in the grand manner, with a beautifully projected dramatic soprano voice and impeccable diction. Her Ô malheureuse Iphigénie rivals Callas’ harrowing portrayal of the distraught priestess. Simoneau as Pylade and Mollet as Oreste are luxury casting indeed. Great singing and formidable dramatic involvement combine to make their duets as riveting as any tenor/baritone duet by Verdi.

While I wouldn’t recommend it as one’s only version of the work, it is an indispensable complement.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #790 on: December 31, 2017, 01:31:40 AM »
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

Musical director Marco Armiliato
Producer Barrie Kosky
Stage design Rufus Didwiszus
Costumes Klaus Bruns
Lighting designer Franck Evin
Choir director Ernst Raffelsberger
Dramaturgy Claus Spahn

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
Statistenverein am Opernhaus Zürich

--

Terrific night at Zurich opera ... before they started it was announced that Naglestad was ill and taking antibiotics ... not that I would have noticed anything being wrong, might be that in better condition she would have started a bit stronger, but she was putting on an intense and most convincing performance as Minnie. Glad I had a chance to catch this opera on stage, seems it is still not performed all that often, possibly also because you don't just need three strong main characters but also a good ensemble for all the various smaller male parts, that still are important enough that the whole show may fail if they're not sung well enough. Not a big deal at Zurich opera it seems, I heard no failures at all, and the orchestra was great again, too - sometimes loud enough to bring the rather small house to its limits (had the same with Verdi's "Don Carlo" last season), but all in all it was excellent indeed, including the production and set design - all kept simple and in many ways brutal and blunt, which fits the music much better than any kind of cowboy costumes. Puccini though would have been unhappy I guess (no eight horses in the third act).

And looking at my list, I realize I've not listened to any recording - only saw another, much glossier and Hollywood-like production on TV a few years ago ... I have the Matacic w/Nilsson in the EMI set of Puccini's operas, the Tebaldi one (cond. Capuana) and the Maazel one with Mara Zamperi singing Minnie, a singer whose name I've not yet noticed anywhere (my fault for sure) ... but that one is in the large Sony set that initially I didn't even want to buy (it got real cheap at some point and I snatched it up, the only thing I looked at yet is the glorious booklet of old set production photos, the box in in LP format, to the photos are large ... lovely stuff). From the guts I'd go with the Tebaldi one for starters, but I guess there are other valuable recordings I'm missing?

Definitely. I think the best audio recording of La Fanciulla del West is the Mehta, with Carol Neblett, Domingo and Milnes, which was based on a superb Covent Garden production of the opera.
There is also a DVD of the production with a slightly different cast (Silvano Carroli instead of Milnes) and it is also well worth seeking out.

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

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #791 on: December 31, 2017, 07:01:30 AM »
Definitely. I think the best audio recording of La Fanciulla del West is the Mehta, with Carol Neblett, Domingo and Milnes, which was based on a superb Covent Garden production of the opera.
There is also a DVD of the production with a slightly different cast (Silvano Carroli instead of Milnes) and it is also well worth seeking out.

Thanks, thought so ... not a natural MaMeMu fan here (where did they leave Mi and Mo?), but I read about the Mehta one being good in a Geman guide to opera recordings that I am perusing regularly, Löbl/Werba, "Hermen Handlexikon: Opern auf Schallplatten", it's from 1983 and was, alas never updated/expanded, but it covers, of course, most of the early recordings, all of the glorious fifties recordings, and then also all of the seventies ... I guess in many respects it almost completely covers the grand era of opera on records as such, and it does include some shady releases, too ... which is another part that could have been expanded bigtime in more recent times, of course.

Next up: Rossini's "Le Comte Ory" with Lawrence Brownlee in the title part, Cecilia Bartoli as Adèle, and Diego Fasolis conducting the HIP ensemble of Zurich opera ("La Scintilla") - shall be great, I hope!

Don't know that one yet, beyond "Il Barbiere", the petite messe, some arias and ouvertures, Rossini is pretty new to me anyway. But then I just watched the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées "Barbiere" with Jérémie Rhorer and his Le Cercle de l’Harmonie this morning, and enjoyed the sh*t out of it. What a lovely and convincing Rosina they were able to find (Catherine Trottmann). And the production was great too, I found (Laurent Pelly). Also much closer, smaller-scale stuff than the "Don Carlo" from Opéra de Paris, no coordination issues, no sound issues, very intimate music making and singing I found. Would buy this in a whim if alpha dips its feet into Italian opera (well, they do Mozart with Rhorer already, so ...)
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/

Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #792 on: January 02, 2018, 11:23:01 AM »
Donizetti: Pia de' Tolomei



Opera Rara had a 50% off around Thanksgiving, and I got this little known Donizetti opera along a few others.   This is one of the best little known Donizetti operas with an excellent libretto by  Salvatore Cammarano who also wrote Lucia di Lamermoor.  The plot inspired by a chapter of Dante Divina Comedia resembles Othello's with 3 male role, Nello della Pietra, Pia's husband, barytone whose role is the equivalent of Othello, Ghino, Nello' cousin (Iago) is a tenor, Rodrigo Pia's brother is a contralto.  The added value to the plot is the Gibelin/ Guelfe rivality.  The duo between Ghino and Pia in act 2 is breathtaking.  Truly magnificent music for this violent story of treason, exactly what is expected of an italian opera.

There is another live recording CD&DVD of this opera with Patricia Ciofi edited by Dynamics, which has also good press. 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 12:30:35 PM by Spineur »

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #793 on: January 03, 2018, 01:04:57 AM »
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 - Jean-Sébastien Bou
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/


Another great night at the opera yesterday. It is winter, after all, so Jean-Sébastien Bou was announced as a last minute sub (for an ill Oliver Widmer), and he put on a great show for sure (almost fell off a table in the second act ... he arrived in Zurich on Jan 1st and had to familiarize himself with the production within a day, but had just sung the part of Raimbaud in Paris, it seems) ... either way, Lawrence Brownlee, Ceciliar Bartoli, Rebeca Olvera, the fabulous music by Rossini - the first act is quite nice, the second is just wonderful - and the fine performance by the HIP ensemble under Fasolis ...

The orchestra, I felt, needed a while to warm up though, but after some 15 or 20 minutes, they were in fine fettle. Also it was a study in contrast from the Puccini a few days ago - this time around, they mostly played at very low volume, very intimate, never overbearing the singers. Brownlee was wonderful as Comte, and Bartoli was terrific as Adèle - most wonderful actually when singing piano and sustaining the voice beautifully ... and of course the coloraturas are still terrific, even though the voice may not be as full as it used to any more. Once again, as in "La fanciulla", I found the ensemble very good, no one sticking out as having a bad night or being unable to really cope with his or her part. The choir was also excellent - no idea why it only included two regular members of the Zurich opera choir, all the others were add-ons or members of the extended line-up or something ...

Now looking forward to one more Puccini on Sunday ... and I need to buy further tickets now, too  :)


--

Are there any recommended recordings of "Le Comte Ory"? Seems the Zurich production (from 2011 initially) was the first one to use a restored/complete edition of the score (there's a very long text by the guy who put together the new edition of the score in the programme book, also giving lots of background on the origins/influences etc.), so I guess they should actually release a recording ... did they?

>> okay, the Zurich production is available on DVD, hmm ... how about the Met one with Florez/Damrau/DiDonato? That one looks more attractive to me on paper ... but those are all DVDs, in the audio-only department, how about the Gardiner one?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 01:12:09 AM 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/

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #794 on: January 03, 2018, 08:04:51 AM »
Are there any recommended recordings of "Le Comte Ory"? Seems the Zurich production (from 2011 initially) was the first one to use a restored/complete edition of the score (there's a very long text by the guy who put together the new edition of the score in the programme book, also giving lots of background on the origins/influences etc.), so I guess they should actually release a recording ... did they?

>> okay, the Zurich production is available on DVD, hmm ... how about the Met one with Florez/Damrau/DiDonato? That one looks more attractive to me on paper ... but those are all DVDs, in the audio-only department, how about the Gardiner one?

There is a concert performance available on CD with Florez



It has 5 stars on Amazon, but I'm afraid I've never heard it.

The Gardiner also had great reviews when it was released.

However, I've always loved the old Gui recording



The text wouldn't bear scrutiny today, but it exudes a joy that I sometimes find lacking in more modern performances.



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

Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #795 on: January 03, 2018, 12:10:09 PM »
The comte Ory has been staged by Denis Podalydes (actor, film director,..) at the opera comique this last december.  It was a huge success.  Here is a YT presentation video

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/gJA9SR3Ll34" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/gJA9SR3Ll34</a>

There is a french blog "Opera critique", which discusses the comte Ory, if you are interested

http://operacritiques.free.fr/css/index.php?2017/12/31/2987-le-comte-ory-le-mystere-scribe-persiste
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 12:11:40 PM by Spineur »

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #796 on: January 03, 2018, 12:38:46 PM »
Thanks Tsaraslondon, will look what can be found (the Gardiner, alas, seems to be OOP, but the Gui may be of interest ... the one with Flórez is too early, too, to use the new edition, but I'll see what can be done - that one at least would be readily available. The Met one still looks very attractive to me, what with that line-up! Will have to look into it, check for reviews etc.

Thanks also, Spineur - that's the production they "borrowed" Bou from - and as I said, he was excellent! Seems the Zurich production is a huge success, too - but then Bartoli singing at Zurich opera seems to be almost guarantee for success.
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 king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #797 on: January 08, 2018, 12:40:05 AM »
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/

Wow! That was one hell of an amazing night at the opera! This new production is all as great as the reviews said, and then some! Aksenova, so I read, is a seasoned Cio-Cio-San, and she really owns the part, while Schmid was a wonderful Suzuki ... and Pirgiu a terrific Pinkerton. However, in this production, Sharpless - again excellently sung by Mulligan - is taking a more central role than usual and the perspective is shifted a bit, too ... the production makes us see it all from the point of view of Butterfly, so the exotic is mostly just how it is, and the American (the empty white stage, in the style of Japanese rooms, though of course much larger) becomes the foreign and strange part - intruding symbolically by various pieces of furniture that gets placed - and remains estranged - in the empty room as the first act evolves. The entire production has been choreographed and stresses the formulist aspect of opera as an art form quite strongly. The choir in act one moves in a "Japanese" way, very disciplined, thus creating - and dissoluting - geometrical shapes on the empty white stage. Quite fascinating indeed.

The long interlude in the second act has been incorporated fully, and is played with open curtain, while Cio-Cio-San is seen waiting - the stage at that point quite empty again, it's three years later after all and the American invasion has left a long time ago. Butterfly though welcomes Sharpless by stressing her American-ness ... though the costumes and behaviour, the movements, the flowers beings spread (looking gorgeous of course, on the white stage - both the flowers and the Japanese-styled costumes of Cio-Cio-San) speak another language. The orchestra under Rustioni did a fantastic job, too - they're really perfect for Verdi, Puccini and the like!

Review in German:
http://www.peterhagmann.com/?p=1467
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 king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #798 on: January 08, 2018, 05:05:27 AM »
Definitely. I think the best audio recording of La Fanciulla del West is the Mehta, with Carol Neblett, Domingo and Milnes, which was based on a superb Covent Garden production of the opera.
There is also a DVD of the production with a slightly different cast (Silvano Carroli instead of Milnes) and it is also well worth seeking out.

Getting back to this ... there's a remaster (on SACD, but I don't have a player, it's hybrid though and the regular CD layer may benefit from the remaster, too, of course) out on Pentatone - anyone familiar with this series?



I guess there's no libretto and stuff, but all DG editions seem to be OOP anyway, so not much of a choice ...
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 #799 on: January 14, 2018, 04:07:30 AM »


One of Callas's greatest nights in the theatre. Unfortunately Warner have botched the transfer, merely copying EMI's inferior source. Much, much better on Divina Records, so go for that one.

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