Author Topic: mothers in opera  (Read 19000 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline val

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2090
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #60 on: April 23, 2007, 03:39:29 AM »
Quote
knight


"Suor Angelica...

She was forced to leave her baby, later she tries to kill herself once she knows about the death of her child. To me, that is very touching (I am not talking about the music).

Quote
Countess de la Roche is not Marie's mother, her own does not register in the piece.....so, nup.

I know that. But she is the only person that understands Marie tragedy and tries to help her (in part from the abuse that Marie received from her own son).

And another touching mother, victim of her sisters and her husband: Militrissa in Rimski-Korsakov masterpiece "The Tzar Saltan".



Mike


[/quote]

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9834
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2007, 04:11:08 AM »
Now I hope you will not take this amiss, but I was asking for good mothers who had major parts in the opera concerned, implicitly I guess I was assuming that it would be a given the mothers would have a benign influence on their kids or make some extraordinary sacrifice for them. Aspiring motherhood at a distance does not qualify. Having read the story I can see why I have avoided Suor Angelica.

Now I do think that also knocks out the splendid Countess de la Roche.

As to The Tzar Saltan character, I had to read this one up as I had no clue as to the plot. I don't like to keep saying 'No' to you, but apart from giving birth and being locked in a barrel with him, what does she actually do? I agree she was benign, by the terms above, I think she has to be allowed in, but she is a bit of a passive character.


Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

uffeviking

  • Guest
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #62 on: April 23, 2007, 11:11:04 AM »
How could we have missed her, Earth Mother, mother of the brood of female warriers - and she sings a lot too, drum roll:

ERDA!   0:)

Offline Siedler

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 306
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #63 on: April 23, 2007, 11:48:47 AM »
How about the empress from Die Frau Ohne Schatten? We don't know whether she's going to be a good mother or not, but odds are favourable.  0:)

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9834
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #64 on: April 23, 2007, 12:27:00 PM »
How could we have missed her, Earth Mother, mother of the brood of female warriers - and she sings a lot too, drum roll:

ERDA!   0:)

A good joke, in what way is she showing her credentials as a Mother? We don't even know if all the 'girls' were hers.

Now, the Empress....she is not eligible, good potential is no qualification here. We have our standards you know.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Lilas Pastia

  • Guest
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #65 on: April 23, 2007, 02:15:24 PM »
Mother's Day is in 20 days!  :D

Offline Maciek

  • Ban them all!
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 5200
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #66 on: April 23, 2007, 02:31:10 PM »
That must be why Mike started this thread... ;D

uffeviking

  • Guest
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #67 on: April 23, 2007, 07:15:19 PM »
Mike, don't short change Erda! She definitely is the mother of The Norns! OK, maybe they sing too long for some of us here, but they are pretty good girls, doing their spinning as they had been told by their mother!  :P
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 05:25:37 AM by uffeviking »

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5983
  • Posts: who's counting?
  • Currently Listening to:
    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #68 on: April 23, 2007, 07:51:20 PM »
Prince Igor was mentioned a few posts back. Are stepmother's allowed? Admittedly the role of the stepmother (Yaroslavna) is geared more towards the good wife but the implication is that the family, as a unit, is very solid indeed.

Retuning to the maternal, Ludmila in the Bartered Bride is quite the supportive mother, offering sound advice when her daughter's back is against the wall. However, the role is pretty minor.

Neither good nor bad is the central character of Mother [sic] in Martinu's The Knife's Tears. While the mother here is far from a malevolent figure she's not exactly 'motherly' material, either. In truth, her and her daughter are cut from the same flighty cloth and as such are easy prey for a mysterious, face changing Don Juan type (the devil in disguise).

Both Mother and daughter prattle on endlessly as neither know what to do with the devil's cat-and-mouse seduction game. Eventually both get taken in as the devil takes on respective disguises.

Both get dumped, of course, with the daughter left in a complete shambles at the betrayal (mom's just miffed).

So this mother's not exactly evil but she's no shining example of motherhood, either (hey, there are those kind of mothers out there!)

Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9834
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #69 on: April 23, 2007, 10:06:50 PM »
I am learing some interesting things about Operas I don't know other than by name. Thanks....but I don't think any of the fresh crop measure up to my arbitrary standards.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Hector

  • Guest
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #70 on: April 24, 2007, 04:58:10 AM »
I feel sorry for Azucena.

What she did was completely and utterly wrong but, boy, did she pay for it: an Italian tenor!

No, seriously, Verdi does give her some truly great music. Doesn't 'Ai nostri monti' tear at the heart strings, especially when her 'son' and his lover are arguing in the background.

And she gets the last line and it's a doozy!

Larry Rinkel

  • Guest
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #71 on: April 24, 2007, 05:36:03 AM »
Don't forget Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All.

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9834
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #72 on: April 24, 2007, 06:20:15 AM »
Larry, Yet another new one on me, care to advocate it.

Azucena's music is esp. dramatic in that Act 4 scene 2, Ai nostri monti that you mention Hector. When I run it through my head I can only hear Brigitte Fassbaender, who made the words so vivid. I felt that she bested even the best native Italian singers.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Maciek

  • Ban them all!
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 5200
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #73 on: April 24, 2007, 01:53:29 PM »
Well, the thread seems pretty desperate, so I'll chime in after all. 0:)

The best opera composer ever, as you have all probably guessed by now is... yes, of course, Joanna Bruzdowicz.

Now, I've never seen or heard any of her operas but I've read a synopsis of her The Trojan Women (based on the tragedy by Euripides) where Hecuba is one of the main characters (or perhaps even the main). By the time the action of the opera takes place her son Hector and husband Priamus are both dead and she has only to witness the death of her grandson. Her demeanor throughout the opera befits the queen she is - faced by the fate of a slave she decides to commit suicide (here the opera departs from the Greek play). It seems she was a very decent mother, wife and grandmother, a proud queen, and her end is aptly heroic. And you definitely can't accuse her of any wrongdoings in dealing with her family. There's not much she can do but she does what is possible...

Well, you can't blame me for trying... ;D

According to the book, the work was premiered in France, in Saint-Denis in 1973.

m_gigena

  • Guest
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #74 on: April 24, 2007, 02:56:47 PM »
A bad mother is Amahl's mom... she sold his son's sheeps.

Larry Rinkel

  • Guest
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #75 on: April 24, 2007, 06:51:41 PM »
Larry, Yet another new one on me, care to advocate it.

No. I loathe Virgil Thomson's musc. TMofUA is an opera about Susan B. Anthony.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2260
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #76 on: April 24, 2007, 11:45:04 PM »
How about Norma? True, she contemplates killing her children, but, unlike Medea, she cannot bring herslef to do it. The long solo she sings here is one of the most beautiful passages in the opera. Norma reacts as many would, when hearing the man she loves is unfaithful to her. She rants and raves and swears vengeance, but in the end her nobility shines through and she confesses her own guilt, (that of having a lover and children, when she was supposed to be a virgin). Her final plea is to her father to look after her children. I'd say she was a good mother.

And Medea is not really a bad mother. She is unhinged admittedly, but she kills her children out of love for them. She cannot bear the thought of letting them be brought up by a father she hates and his new wife, whom she also loathes. Jason is really the villain in this opera. Don't forget that, not only has he deserted her to marry another, younger Princess, who will improve his social standing, but that he demands that Medea give up her children as well. This is what tips her over the edge. She can't bear the thought of losing them.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

PerfectWagnerite

  • Guest
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #77 on: April 25, 2007, 06:40:29 AM »
I got one:

From Copland's the The Tender Land, Laurie's mother. Protective and loving, eventually learning to let her daughter go.

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9834
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #78 on: April 26, 2007, 04:21:51 AM »
Translondon, Sorry I am not moved by your arguments.

Norma....A pyre has been erected. She mounts it, but not alone. Pollione, his love rekindled at the spectacle of her greatness of soul, joins her. In the flames he, too, will atone for their offence before God.

So she is another one who commits suicide instead of shutting up and looking after her children. I wonder how she hid the bump.....but then if she is always Caballe sized, people would possibly not clue in.

Medea....We should all be fortunate enough to avoid such a loving mother.

PW, Does she have a major part to play?

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2260
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #79 on: April 26, 2007, 05:19:50 AM »
Translondon, Sorry I am not moved by your arguments.

Norma....A pyre has been erected. She mounts it, but not alone. Pollione, his love rekindled at the spectacle of her greatness of soul, joins her. In the flames he, too, will atone for their offence before God.

So she is another one who commits suicide instead of shutting up and looking after her children. I wonder how she hid the bump.....but then if she is always Caballe sized, people would possibly not clue in.

Medea....We should all be fortunate enough to avoid such a loving mother.

PW, Does she have a major part to play?

Mike


Well in Norma's defence, it has to be said, that once she has confessed her guilt, she doesn't actually have any choice about dying. So strictly speaking it is not suicide. And as sung by a Callas, her final plea to her father to save and look after her children would melt the hardest heart. Funny how Callas always saved her most melting tones for the passages about her children.
Incidentally both Ponselle and Callas, two of the greatest Normas, would have had a lot of trouble hiding their bumps. Maybe they just wore voluminous robes for a while or took a priestess sabbatical.

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