Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 227253 times)

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Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1840 on: January 14, 2020, 01:42:51 AM »
Thanks for the comment (I am curious about the other versions, too!). Could you post again the url link? I can’t open it. The german libretto will be fine. At least I’ll know who sings what. There are 5 female roles in the opera, so it’s confusing at times  :D.
Sorry, there was a typo in my reply to you (which is now corected). The link is https://opera-guide.ch/operas/penthesilea/libretto/de/.

Cheers,
ritter
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Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1841 on: January 14, 2020, 02:10:30 PM »

Fantastisch !  :D

Muchas gracias, señor !

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1842 on: January 14, 2020, 06:04:19 PM »
Cross-posted from the ‘Listening’ thread -

Britten
Death in Venice, Op. 88
Michael Chance (counter-tenor), Philip Langridge (tenor), Alan Opie (baritone)
BBC Singers, City of London Sinfonia
Richard Hickox




One of the greatest operas I’ve ever heard and one that I still rank highly. Apparently, Pears said that Death in Venice was an ‘evil opera’ and it was killing Britten. I think this is true to some extent. As told in the documentary by John Bridcut titled Britten’s Endgame, that Britten was supposed to have heart surgery but ignored his doctor’s wishes and continued to work on this opera. The subject matter is also risky as it is essentially about a man who falls for a young teenaged boy. Britten was certainly wrestling with some demons of his own. The music itself harkens back to some of that Gamelan-influence found in the ballet, The Prince of the Pagodas. For those that loved The Turn of the Screw, will most definitely find much to savor here. I doubt I’ll finish this entire opera tonight as I’ve got some other works I need to get to, but for anyone who hasn’t heard this Hickox performance and enjoy this opera, then please run out and buy it.

A great article found here with some video presented by Colin Matthews:

https://brittenpears.org/explore/benjamin-britten/music/work-of-the-week/40-death-in-venice/
"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” - Leonard Bernstein

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1843 on: January 15, 2020, 02:53:31 AM »
"The subject matter is also risky as it is essentially about a man who falls for a young teenaged boy."

I would say, as Viconti did about the novella and the film, that it is about a man who beomes obsessed with an idealised form of beauty. Apparently Hollywood moguls were also concerned about the subject matter and requested that the boy be turned into a girl - as if lusting after an under age girl were more acceptable than lusting after a boy. I know that Visconti strove to make the boy fairly androngenous. I don't know if that were the case in the original production of the opera, but I was actually at drama college (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) with Robert Huguenin, who played Tadzio in the first production. In fact we danced together in a modern piece entered in a Royal Society of Arts Choreography Production by one of our movement teachers at Guildhall. He was a very good looking young man, quite short in stature. He would have been in his late teens at the premiere, but presumably looked younger.

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

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1844 on: January 15, 2020, 11:28:15 AM »
"The subject matter is also risky as it is essentially about a man who falls for a young teenaged boy."

I would say, as Viconti did about the novella and the film, that it is about a man who beomes obsessed with an idealised form of beauty. Apparently Hollywood moguls were also concerned about the subject matter and requested that the boy be turned into a girl - as if lusting after an under age girl were more acceptable than lusting after a boy. I know that Visconti strove to make the boy fairly androngenous. I don't know if that were the case in the original production of the opera, but I was actually at drama college (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) with Robert Huguenin, who played Tadzio in the first production. In fact we danced together in a modern piece entered in a Royal Society of Arts Choreography Production by one of our movement teachers at Guildhall. He was a very good looking young man, quite short in stature. He would have been in his late teens at the premiere, but presumably looked younger.



Very interesting, Tsaraslondon. What would you say is your favorite Britten opera and why?
"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” - Leonard Bernstein

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1845 on: January 15, 2020, 12:13:58 PM »
Very interesting, Tsaraslondon. What would you say is your favorite Britten opera and why?

I'm not sure which would be my out and out favourite.

The Turn of the Screw was the first Britten opera I ever saw and it made a definite impression on me. That first production made the ghosts very insubstantial so you never knew whether they actually existed or only existed in the Governess's imagination. I've seen others which make the ghosts much more real and the work can take both approaches. Its ambiguity is one of the things I like about it, plus the miraculous scoring, of course.

Peter Grimes would probably come next, a magnificent masterpiece, which is now more or less a repertory standard. It has a cumulative power that rarely fails in performance and, yet again, I've seen quite a few different productions. Its depiction of the power of the mob is quite terrifying.

Next would come Billy Budd, an opera I resisted for quite some time, because I didn't like the idea of an opera with no female voices. I need hardly have worried. Britten creates amazingly colourful soundscapes with his all male cast and, dramatically, it too has an inexorable power. Vere is a fascinating character because of his ambivalence, Billy is an example of pure goodness without being cloying and Claggart a vilain as black as Iago. As in Grimes, the depcition of the sea is superb.

I have no hesitation in claiming Britten as the pre-eminent opera composer of the post World War II age, and one of the greatest of any age. The only operas I never took to were Owen Wingrave and Albert Herring, but I should probably give them another try.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1846 on: January 15, 2020, 01:30:25 PM »
I liked Albert Herring !  :D Admittedly light and slight but, being based on one of Maupassant’s best short novels, I couldn’t help liking it. Britten in a rare instance of comic mood.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1847 on: January 15, 2020, 03:29:30 PM »
I'm not sure which would be my out and out favourite.

The Turn of the Screw was the first Britten opera I ever saw and it made a definite impression on me. That first production made the ghosts very insubstantial so you never knew whether they actually existed or only existed in the Governess's imagination. I've seen others which make the ghosts much more real and the work can take both approaches. Its ambiguity is one of the things I like about it, plus the miraculous scoring, of course.

Peter Grimes would probably come next, a magnificent masterpiece, which is now more or less a repertory standard. It has a cumulative power that rarely fails in performance and, yet again, I've seen quite a few different productions. Its depiction of the power of the mob is quite terrifying.

Next would come Billy Budd, an opera I resisted for quite some time, because I didn't like the idea of an opera with no female voices. I need hardly have worried. Britten creates amazingly colourful soundscapes with his all male cast and, dramatically, it too has an inexorable power. Vere is a fascinating character because of his ambivalence, Billy is an example of pure goodness without being cloying and Claggart a vilain as black as Iago. As in Grimes, the depcition of the sea is superb.

I have no hesitation in claiming Britten as the pre-eminent opera composer of the post World War II age, and one of the greatest of any age. The only operas I never took to were Owen Wingrave and Albert Herring, but I should probably give them another try.

Interesting. I’m with you on Albert Herring --- I found nothing particular noteworthy about it. I haven’t heard Owen Wingrave yet, but plan to get around to it soon. I love The Turn of the Screw, Peter Grimes, and I’m not sure how I feel about Billy Budd but there were some great moments in it for sure. Noye’s Fludde was quite a revelation to me as well. I feel that Britten was not only one of the great opera composers, but one of the greatest composers of any time. Now that I’ve really gotten his music under my skin and into my blood, it’s hard to shake it. I’m more and more impressed with his music as the days pass.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 03:31:55 PM by Mirror Image »
"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” - Leonard Bernstein

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1848 on: January 17, 2020, 01:38:37 PM »
Act III of Götterdämmerung from this Ring (of eventful gestation), Naděžda Kniplová in memoriam:


Mme. Kniplová, who died on January 14 just two months shy of her 88th birthday, sings Brünnhilde in this “forgotten” budget Ring from 1968. She had sung the role in Die Walküre under Herbert von Karajan the previous year at the Salzburg Easter Festival.

This was the cover of Götterdammerung when it was released in the US by Westminster (the original release was in Europe by Fratelli Fabbri):



But that’s nothing compared to the cover of The Walküre, one of the true classics in the field  ;D:

« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 02:55:01 PM by ritter »
ritter
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« Et tandis que nous roulerons, à pleins poumons nous chanterons: 'Muguet! Muguet! Joli muguet, par toi l'on reprend confiance' »