Author Topic: A Streetcar Named Desire  (Read 8416 times)

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Offline Guido

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Re: A Streetcar Named Desire
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2009, 08:04:13 AM »
Are you an actor by trade?

She's a very serious artist I think, with a genuine and profound interest in a huge number of aspects of music - I've seen several interviews with her and she always comes accross as highly intelligent and passionate.
Geologist.

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Offline Guido

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Re: A Streetcar Named Desire
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2010, 02:26:02 AM »
I've listened to and watched this opera a number of times now and each time I am more struck by it's quality. I was rather tentative with my praise in the original topic starting post but now I think I would be much more positive. Of course there are weak sections - I think the first act is a bit of a shambles dramatically, until the final portion at least, and musically it doesn't really flow, but the second and third acts are just superb in both these regards. So many more highlights than have been already mentioned - "How about takin a swim" for instance - the miniature mad scene where Blanche is halucinating just before the rape, is just amazing. Also "Soft people have got to shimmer and glow going" into the little scene where she seduces the young man and then her flirtations with Mitch - such beautiful music but a masterful little character arc there too. Also the recounting of the death of her young husband after Mitch's aria. The rape music is probably the weakest portion in the opera - and even I'm not going to use my argument for the validity of banal or vulgar music for expressive effect (that I think is perfectly justified in Salome say) - this music is just terrible. But then the rest of the final act is superbly moving, as drama and as music. The singing in that original production is just perfect for the music too, not least la Fleming - the voice in wondrous form.

I wish I'd seen it in London. Fleming has said in interviews that she wants to revisit this role at some point, but I'm not hopeful it will be in Europe.

I recently asked Chester Novello for his more recent opera - Brief Encounter. It's pretty lame - none of the beauty of Streetcar, and none of the dramatic scope - it's just not a very operatic story. One feels for long periods that Previn is at a loss as to what to do musically - New Orleans seems much easier for him to conjour up with his jazzy Korngoldian/Straussian sound pallete than 1940s middle class Britain. Futral sings the lead role - and she's not as characterful as she is in Streetcar as Stella. Also the English accents of the original cast are awful.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 02:47:00 AM by Guido »
Geologist.

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Offline Guido

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Re: A Streetcar Named Desire
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2010, 02:28:33 AM »
Her most recent recital disc (Homage) is a good example of her strengths and weaknesses. The Strauss and Korngold items are glorious, so too are the Russian and Czech items (a perhaps surprisingly successful scene from Jenufa, for one), but the Italian items don't really work. In French, we have one hit (Massenet's Cleopatre) and one miss (the waltz song from Mireille, a natural for Sutherland).
She has a beautiful presence and a natural stage demeanor. I really don't know why she comes in for so much carping. The voice itself must surely be one of the most naturally beautiful before the public today. Admittedly, more now than when she first started out, she can have a tendency to croon (something her compatriot Anna Moffo also suffered from), but I would still call her one of the most important voices of the present generation.

I agree 100% with your assessment of this disc (though I like her Visi d'arte! So maybe I agree 96%)
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: A Streetcar Named Desire
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2010, 01:47:12 PM »
I agree 100% with your assessment of this disc (though I like her Visi d'arte! So maybe I agree 96%)

I don't like the Vissi d'arte at all, the climactic phrase drawn out so long , and the last note of it held long past its usefulness. I find it much too self indulgent. My feelings about the rest of the disc remain unchanged.

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

Franco

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Re: A Streetcar Named Desire
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2010, 01:56:56 PM »
I don't like the Vissi d'arte at all, the climactic phrase drawn out so long , and the last note of it held long past its usefulness. I find it much too self indulgent. My feelings about the rest of the disc remain unchanged.

I saw a clip of Angela Gheorghiu singing Vissi d'arte and it made me think about buying a DVD of her in that role.

What is your opinion of her in Tosca?

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: A Streetcar Named Desire
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2010, 01:02:35 PM »
I saw a clip of Angela Gheorghiu singing Vissi d'arte and it made me think about buying a DVD of her in that role.

What is your opinion of her in Tosca?

I like what I saw of her in the film version (I only caught the last 2 acts when it was shown on TV here recently). When she first performed the role here at Covent Garden though, the reviews weren't that good, may of the critics finding her voice not quite large enough for it in the theatre.

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

Franco

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Re: A Streetcar Named Desire
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2010, 05:57:36 PM »
I like what I saw of her in the film version (I only caught the last 2 acts when it was shown on TV here recently). When she first performed the role here at Covent Garden though, the reviews weren't that good, may of the critics finding her voice not quite large enough for it in the theatre.

I think I'll pass on the DVD since I prefer filmed live performances as opposed to movies of the opera with dubbed sound and buy the CD of the opera.  It is too bad that her voice is not big enough for the theater since I found her interpretation splendid.