Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 67017 times)

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Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #840 on: February 12, 2018, 08:56:29 AM »


Adolphe Adam’s Le toréador. Review in the WAYLT thread.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #841 on: February 13, 2018, 04:33:18 AM »


It's a great shame the La Scala performance of the previous year (with Corelli and Bastianini) was never recorded, so this Carnegie Hall concert will have to do.

Though hardness and stridency afflicts some of her top notes, Callas is still a great singer and a great Bellinian stylist. Unfortunately Ferraro or Ego are really no more than adequate. None the less I am happy that we have this one recording of Callas in her penultimate creation.

The sound on this Warner issue is a marked improvement on the murky EMI release.
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Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #842 on: February 14, 2018, 10:27:47 AM »
Revisiting the complete Act IV of Pietro Mascagni’s Parisina:



Parisina has nothing to do with the crude verismo of Cavalleria rusticana, the pastoral atmosphere of L’amico Fritz or the florid orientalism of Iris (just to mention the composer’s best known operas). This is an ambitious (over-ambitious?) and overlong medieval tragedy by Gabriele d’Annunzio (a companion to the poet’s Francesca da Rimini, set to music by Riccardo Zandonai). Mascagni apparently said he’d set “even the commas” of d’Annunzio’s text to music, and the result is a work that lasted 3 hours and forty minutes. On the second performance in 1913, the composer decided to suppress the fourth act completely, but still the opera has had very little circulation since then.

It is a very interesting piece, and the composer tries to adopt a much more refined musical language, with a superb orchestration. The opera’s tone is one of almost incessant exaltation (in line with text), and accomplished as it is, this is also a weakness IMHO. Still, I think this is a noble effort, worth exploring, and represents Mascagni at the top of his craft (which one could argue isn’t saying much).

Gianadrea Gavazzeni, who was an ardent defender of the opera in print and in the pit in post-WWII Italy, leads a impassioned performance of this fourth act, with his wife Denia Mazzola in the title role. She went on to record the whole opera (shorn of this fourth act, and apparently with assorted cuts here and there) in Montpellier for Actes Sud, and is in better form there than in this concert from the Maggio Musicale. There’s also a recording of the four act opera under Gavazzeni, in an abridged edition of his own, live from Rome in 1978 on Bongiovanni (which I’m tempted to seek out).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 01:52:41 AM by ritter »
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Offline Draško

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #843 on: February 15, 2018, 12:20:21 PM »


From The Metropolitan, 18.01.1956, in quite spectacularly good sound for its day and age.

Gorgeously sung by Della Casa, Gueden and Edelmann in top form as well. Slight reservations over Rise Stevens' somewhat matronly Octavian. Very well played and balanced Met orchestra under Kempe. A fine performance overall. Worth hearing.

I've been streaming it, but it also can be sampled (in its entirety) via youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDdZMcLkr-c

Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #844 on: February 18, 2018, 12:26:59 AM »
.



Wagner: Tannhäuser, WWV 70 - Wolfgang Windgassen, Etc.; Wolfgang Sawallisch: Chor & Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiele


Only the 2nd time I have listened to this work - I loved it!.

Offline anothername

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #845 on: February 18, 2018, 03:55:15 AM »


Lombard conducting Cosi fan Tutte,
Delightful singing by the ladies.

Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #846 on: February 18, 2018, 04:45:06 AM »
.



Verdi: Rigoletto - Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Etc.; Richard Bonynge: London Symphony Orchestra


Good, as you would expect, but (in my copy at least) a fair bit of distortion in the louder moments.

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #847 on: February 18, 2018, 06:01:51 AM »


Lombard conducting Cosi fan Tutte,
Delightful singing by the ladies.

I have to chuckle at how much larger their names are than the gentlemen's, and that the Alfonso gets first billing in the XY group.  :D
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline anothername

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #848 on: February 19, 2018, 12:23:42 AM »
I have to chuckle at how much larger their names are than the gentlemen's, and that the Alfonso gets first billing in the XY group.  :D

I think it's pure marketing.  ;)

Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #849 on: February 23, 2018, 02:23:46 AM »


Verdi: Macbeth - Sherrill Milnes, Fiorenza Cossotto, Ruggero Raimondi, José Carreras; Riccardo Muti: Ambrosian Opera Chorus & New Philharmonia Orchestra

Enjoyable work - No complaints about the performance from the pictured Box-Set

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #850 on: February 24, 2018, 09:21:11 AM »
Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread:

Still (re)exploring obscure works of the Italian operatic novecento:



I have long admired Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, which imho contrins some of the best pages of any Italian opera of this (or any) period. I cavalieri di Ekebù is more uneven, while the subject matter (based on Nobel prize winner Selma Lagerlöf’s novel Gösta Berling's Saga) is less appealing to me, and it also permits Zandonai  to occasionally lapse into verismo-ish clichés and crudeness. Still, the harmonic treatment of the orchestra is interesting and sometimes daring, and the piece overall is a fun operatic show.

The 1983 performance is lovingly and expertly led by Gianandrea Gavazzeni, and the vocalists are all fine. Fiorenza Cossotto is past her prime, but puts her experience to use in the role of Commandante.
Ritter
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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #851 on: February 25, 2018, 01:03:36 AM »


Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore - Richard Suart, Thomas Allen, Etc. Charles Mackerras: Chorus & Orchestra Of The Welsh National Opera

Just a (probably not too interesting) aside about this recording - It's part of a Box-Set which I purchased back in 2011 and I am only now listening to it for the 1st time. :-[
It was a pretty enjoyable Disc - I must listen to the rest of the Set soon.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 01:39:12 AM by Undersea »

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #852 on: February 26, 2018, 12:58:13 AM »


Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado - Donald Adams, Anthony Rolfe-Johnson, Etc.; Charles Mackerras: Chorus & Orchestra Of The Welsh National Opera

From:


Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #853 on: February 26, 2018, 04:02:37 AM »
Zurich Opera – 24 February 2018

La scala di seta

Farsa comica in einem Akt von Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa

Musical director Ottavio Dantone
Producer Damiano Michieletto
Stage and costume design Paolo Fantin
Lighting designer Elfried Roller

Giulia Sen Guo
Lucilla Deniz Uzun
Dorvil Edgardo Rocha
Germano Elliot Madore
Blansac Carlo Lepore
Dormont Martin Zysset

Philharmonia Zürich
 Statistenverein am Opernhaus Zürich

Caught the final night of this 2011 production (initially run at the Pesaro Rossini festival and then a few weeks later in Winterthur, and I guess re-run in the 2012/13 season in Zurich - that's how the Winterthur productions are handled now at least).

This is a very effective piece, where play and music fall together nicely. The music keeps to be surprising, the horns (oboes, clarinets) have lots of work indeed. The orchestra was of small size, with a harpsichord accompanying the recitatives ... Dantone did a fine job, so did the singers. Never heard Guo in such a big role yet, but she sang very well, and acted accordingly, too, yet she's no charismatic stage animal persona (not really needed for Giulia I think, but Deniz Uzun - I love her voice! - was more effective in her smaller part). The entire ensemble was very well cast, the production itself suited the play very well, too.

So, not a breathtaking night, but a very, very nice one ... would love to be able to hear more of this rarely played repertoire, and if done at this level, it's definitely an enriching thing!

Dantone will also conduct a new production of "L'incoronazione di Poppea" in June/July - with the HIP ensemble then, and with a terrific cast, too:
https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/lincoronazione-di-poppea/season_11232/
Also, in March his Accademia Bizantina and Delphine Galou (who'll sing the part of Ottone in "L'incoronazione") will give a concert at Tonhalle-Maag ... got tickets for both already  :)
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 ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #854 on: February 26, 2018, 01:59:53 PM »
More post-Verdian opera...

Over the weekend, this old recording of the cloak-and-dagger opera par excellence, La Gioconda:


The performance is utterly undistinguished, but has a quaint charm to it. As curiosities, this is one of the few recordings of Fernando Corena in a non-buffo role (he’s Alvise), and the recording omits the opera’s most famous page, the Dance of the Hours (not that I miss it).

And now, Act III of this classic recording of Mefistofele (hat tip to king ubu ):


I got this for a pittance (used, from an Amazon MP seller) and it is as fantastic as expected, with Tebaldi outstanding as Margherita, and del Monaco more restrained (and therefore, more enjoyable) than usual. Siepi in the title role (the set’s raison d’être) has little to do in this act, but I’ll listen to the whole opera sometime soon.
Ritter
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #855 on: February 26, 2018, 10:10:12 PM »
Definitely on the menu for rediscovery (at some point --- not anytime soon):



I’ve only heard this opera once. I own the Dervaux recording, but it’s in mono and I prefer stereo so it seems that Nagano is the one I’ll be revisiting.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 10:14:53 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #856 on: February 26, 2018, 11:46:54 PM »
Definitely on the menu for rediscovery (at some point --- not anytime soon):



I’ve only heard this opera once. I own the Dervaux recording, but it’s in mono and I prefer stereo so it seems that Nagano is the one I’ll be revisiting.

I don't have a problem with old mono recordings, and the Dervaux, with many of the singers from the first French performance (it was premiered at La Scala in Italian translation) can claim a certain authenticity.

However, though I've never heard it, I remember the Nagano getting a very good press. I'm sure you can't go wrong.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #857 on: February 27, 2018, 01:12:56 AM »
... Mefistofele (hat tip to king ubu ):


I got this for a pittance (used, from an Amazon MP seller) and it is as fantastic as expected, with Tebaldi outstanding as Margherita, and del Monaco more restrained (and therefore, more enjoyable) than usual. Siepi in the title role (the set’s raison d’être) has little to do in this act, but I’ll listen to the whole opera sometime soon.

will have to check it out soon ... but next up I'll expose myself to three hours of Mozart and five hours of ol' Dickie and his fantasy crap (hat tip to giocar and to you, too, I guess  ;) )

https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/idomeneo/season_11232/
https://opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/parsifal/season_11232/

Got a decent seat for "Parsifal", front row on the upper balcony, but not the first (stretching legs and all that) but the second one, alas ... for "Idomeneo" I might hear more than I see, but that's fine, the production seems to be pretty bland but the music all the better (Antonini, after all!)
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 Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #858 on: February 27, 2018, 03:20:57 AM »
I don't have a problem with old mono recordings, and the Dervaux, with many of the singers from the first French performance (it was premiered at La Scala in Italian translation) can claim a certain authenticity.

However, though I've never heard it, I remember the Nagano getting a very good press. I'm sure you can't go wrong.

I like both recordings, though if I had to pick one, I'd go with the earlier one. The newer one, in addition to modern sound, also restores the cuts made in the earlier one.
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #859 on: February 28, 2018, 03:44:53 AM »


Callas's return to La Scala after a two and a half year hiatus (her entrance provokes a prolonged bout of applause, which literally stops the show).

It is evident from the outset that Callas is treading cautiously, but, even so, her musical and dramatic instincts are unparallelled. Though the voice is obviously past its best, she continually illuminates the vocal line. Corelli is in splendid form, a noble presence in the title role. Bastianini and Zaccaria are also in fine form, and this was, in every way, a starry night in the theatre.

Just as a postscript, the production was originally to have been directed by Visconti, but he pulled out in protest after a play he produced was censored by the government. He was replaced by Herbert Graf, who had directed Callas's official La Scala debut in I Verspri Siciliani exactly nine years before.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas