Author Topic: General Opera News  (Read 210010 times)

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Offline False_Dmitry

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #480 on: August 14, 2010, 07:27:46 AM »

......including cost savings over live performances

Although I appreciate what you are saying here,  the argument about home-theatre has one logical flaw in it.  The productions that you get on blu-ray disks have all originated in opera theatres ;)  Without opera theatres and the people who work in them,  those disks would never exist.  It is the "film of the show".  The economics of the video industry would never support the creation and filming of an opera that didn't originate in an opera theatre, and to that extent the blu-ray format is a parastical venture that feeds off an existing production.

Nor is it true to say that the recording/broadcast revenues that result from a production "going to disk" help to subsidise the original creation costs of a production,  because video deals on productions are not cut that way.  Instead some hard-working opera-house tries its damndest to create a superlative production.  It may, or may not, catch the imagination of the audience, and if it sells-out for weeks and gets revived due to enormous demand, THEN and only then will a production company approach the opera-house concerned.   Most productions are never filmed in this way - because an entirely different set of market-forces are at work.  The opera-house, cast, conductor and director were trying to make a great show that their catchment audience would like.  But suddenly a new field opens...   "your production of DON GIOVANNI is superlative, guys...   but there are 18 others on the market and you haven't got Damrau or Netrebko in yours, so, well, sorry". 

So the reality is that it's the RICH WELL-HEELED PUBLIC attending the opera-house performances who are cross-subsidising the blu-ray disk...  and not vice-versa!   And the corporate sponsor of the show, and the general sponsor of the opera-house,  and the Friends Of The Opera House, and the Opera Circle who paid to have adequate showers installed in the Chorus dressing-rooms...   they have all cross-subsisidised the blu-ray disk.

And one other thing...   there is no experience at all remotely similar to being in the audience when a major star has a big difficult moment coming up...  you can't replicate it at home.  Down there on the stage someone is about to attempt something that goes beyond all human expectation...    be it O PATRIA MIA, or EMBROIDERY or I AM THE WIFE OF MAO-TSE-TUNG,  a hushed expectation goes through the audience when it happens.  As the best showbiz anecdotes always end...  "I guess you had to be there"  :)    Even the band are part of this shared emotional experience. 

Last night in our current show (about the life of Handel), the final aria is "Where shall I fly?" from HERCULES - a mezzo-soprano warhorse that's incredibly difficult to pull-off in live performance (no chance for "Take-13" on stage...).  We knew she was going to change the final cadenza, and were ready...   she pulled a sustained ff top B-natural out of the hat, then shot down in semiquavers through two octaves to bottom B-natural.  It brought the house down :)  The band were crying bravo louder than the audience, and they're a bunch of hardened cynics who've heard it all before :)

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"Of all the NOISES known to Man, OPERA is the most expensive" - Moliere

Offline sospiro

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #481 on: August 14, 2010, 07:31:52 AM »
I'm not rich but I do love the whole experience of seeing a live performance of one of my favourite operas.

I'm also a fan of F1 & I'm going to Monza & if you think opera is expensive, have a look at these prices.
Annie

Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #482 on: August 14, 2010, 07:32:12 AM »
If we make it difficult for opera houses to produce good work, it becomes much less likely that they can produce the kind of home viewing performances you are prepared to buy. No doubt there is a profit in BluRay products, but they would cost a lot more if the performances filmed had not been subsidised in some way or other. Opera is simply not a commercial proposition. Nor is a full scale symphony orchestra.

Mike
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DarkAngel

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #483 on: August 14, 2010, 07:52:39 AM »
Last night in our current show (about the life of Handel), the final aria is "Where shall I fly?" from HERCULES - a mezzo-soprano warhorse that's incredibly difficult to pull-off in live performance (no chance for "Take-13" on stage...).  We knew she was going to change the final cadenza, and were ready...   she pulled a sustained ff top B-natural out of the hat, then shot down in semiquavers through two octaves to bottom B-natural.  It brought the house down :)  The band were crying bravo louder than the audience, and they're a bunch of hardened cynics who've heard it all before :)

Bravo....
Nothing I like more than vocalists walking the high wire with ornamented runs on the fly and dazzling the house
 
But my Blu ray home theater system allows me to relive them again and again  ;)
(and interview her after the show and get her comments)

Offline False_Dmitry

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #484 on: August 14, 2010, 08:02:36 AM »

Bravo....
Nothing I like more than vocalists walking the high wire with ornamented runs on the fly and dazzling the house
 
But my Blu ray home theater system allows me to relive them again and again  ;)
(and interview her after the show and get her comments)

Ah, but the thrill of the high wire is disipated by the safety-net of sixteen different studio takes, and the production software that can correct intonation,  and tidy-up each of the semiquavers in the long coloratura runs  (ooooh yes, it can do all of that, and much more, I've watched them at work ;) )

Bluray captured from live performance...  well yeah, maybe ;)
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Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #485 on: August 14, 2010, 08:22:58 AM »
I agree and, there is the occasion when it goes wrong. That never reaches the DVD, yet it is vital to the experience.

Slightly unconnected: 20 years ago I watched the live relay of Tosca filmed in the specified Roman locations over a day. In act 1 Domingo fell as he ran down the ramp from the painting above the altar in the church. It was a heart stopping moment; would this ruin the entire live project. He got up and never missed a beat.

I just bought the DVD version of that broadcast and was disappointed to see that the fall had been eliminated; a cut to an alternative camera shot. Now why do that? Part of what makes the live experience so valuable is that tension about whether the aria, ensemble, stagecraft etc will gel together or....not.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline False_Dmitry

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #486 on: August 14, 2010, 01:29:59 PM »
the fall had been eliminated; a cut to an alternative camera shot. Now why do that? Part of what makes the live experience so valuable is that tension about whether the aria, ensemble, stagecraft etc will gel together or....not.

Entirely agreed.  It's this over-produced, unrealistically flawless element that creates anodyne, dull performnces on disk.  It's performance without cojones. 

I know this forum is primarily directed towards recorded performance.  But frankly it drives me crazy.  I can't even bear to watch my own recorded performances either.
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"Of all the NOISES known to Man, OPERA is the most expensive" - Moliere

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #487 on: August 15, 2010, 02:00:28 AM »
I agree with all those who extol the values of live performance. Even watching a live relay on tv or in the cinema cannot replicate the thrill of 'being there', filtered, as it is, through the eyes of some film or tv producer, or some camera director.

Of course, now that we have film in one format or another, there are numerous advantages. Future generations will not only be able to hear what Domingo sounded like, but will be able to see him act, whereas we will never really know what Caruso was like. They can also see a cross section of different productions and styles, whereas we can only read about Visconti's fabled productions for Callas at La Scala in 1957, Wieland Wagner's ground breaking productions at Bayreuth. (Nowadays, no doubt they would have made it to blu-ray.)  And of course, ultimately, it also means that those performances which are recorded reach a far greater audience than they could ever hope to in the theatre. But I refuse to accept that they can ever really replace the thrill of a live event.

Indeed, if the live event weren't so important, why would thousands flock to stadiums the world over to see pop stars live? The sound is invariably not as good as the record; unless you mange to get a space right up at the front, the artists will only be dots on the horizon, viewed mainly on large screens relayed into the stadium. Surely it would be better just to wait for the DVD which will no doubt be produced. But actually no. Those fans are there because nothing can ever match that atmosphere, and so they can say, "I was there when....". It is the same reason why people who enjoy sport prefer to watch it live than on tv. The view might be better on tv, but the experience is not.







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Offline sospiro

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #488 on: August 17, 2010, 12:37:15 PM »
Just had an email from ROH. It's advertised as Mozart meets Sex and the City - not really tempted.

COSÌ FAN TUTTE
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

10 / 13 / 15 / 17 / 22 / 24 September at 7pm
19 September at 3pm

Così fan tutte, it's Italian for 'all women do it' and that doesn't just mean buying shoes. These two very modern ladies are both convinced they've found 'The One'. They've even saved their fiancés' pictures in their iPhones to prove it.

Then the guys are suddenly called off to a war zone and OMG - two handsome strangers turn up out of nowhere. The new arrivals are definitely interested. The girls are tempted. But hello? Isn't there something a bit familiar about them?

Treat yourselves to a sophisticated evening out at the Royal Opera House, complete with comic disguises, erotic intrigue and Mozart's wonderful music. Plus a surprisingly recognizable setting, where must-have gadgets and hot chocolate-to-go are all part of the drama.
Annie

Scarpia

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #489 on: August 17, 2010, 01:41:50 PM »
Just had an email from ROH. It's advertised as Mozart meets Sex and the City - not really tempted.

COSÌ FAN TUTTE
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

10 / 13 / 15 / 17 / 22 / 24 September at 7pm
19 September at 3pm

Così fan tutte, it's Italian for 'all women do it' and that doesn't just mean buying shoes. These two very modern ladies are both convinced they've found 'The One'. They've even saved their fiancés' pictures in their iPhones to prove it.

Then the guys are suddenly called off to a war zone and OMG - two handsome strangers turn up out of nowhere. The new arrivals are definitely interested. The girls are tempted. But hello? Isn't there something a bit familiar about them?

Treat yourselves to a sophisticated evening out at the Royal Opera House, complete with comic disguises, erotic intrigue and Mozart's wonderful music. Plus a surprisingly recognizable setting, where must-have gadgets and hot chocolate-to-go are all part of the drama.


When does the Blu-ray come out?   8)

Drasko

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #490 on: August 17, 2010, 02:16:37 PM »
When does the Blu-ray come out?   8)

Don't know if it is the same production but blu-ray of last years Salzburg production is just coming out. I understand the production created some stir and youtube clips do look somewhat sexandthecity-ish.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzmNqbFDikU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocb3X7Tf3WM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=786_wsNY7kU

Offline Guido

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #491 on: August 19, 2010, 07:21:36 AM »
The view might be better on tv, but the experience is not.

The opera blogger Operachic put it accurately, if crudely when she said it's like the difference between renting a porno and the real thing - obviously it's better.

I agree of course, but only for seats that I can't afford!
Geologist.

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jlaurson

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #492 on: August 21, 2010, 05:14:20 AM »

Offline sospiro

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #493 on: August 28, 2010, 08:25:47 AM »
Some amazing photos of rehearsals for the live Rigoletto from Mantua.

(I'm sure most people will have seen these but just in case)

Annie

Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #494 on: August 28, 2010, 09:21:35 AM »
It was new to me and news, interesting look to the production. Domingo really is remarkable. I wonder if he will be singing Wotan at age 85?

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline sospiro

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #495 on: August 28, 2010, 09:25:02 AM »
It was new to me and news, interesting look to the production. Domingo really is remarkable. I wonder if he will be singing Wotan at age 85?

Mike

Wouldn't be surprised!

BBC2 is showing the live Rigoletto on 4th & 5th September.
Annie

Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #496 on: August 28, 2010, 09:54:11 AM »
Wouldn't be surprised!

BBC2 is showing the live Rigoletto on 4th & 5th September.

I will look out for that. I watched his live Boccanegra recently. He was good but not great; in that the role really lies in the wrong part of the voice. I suspect it will be the same with Rigoletto. The high phrases that ought to sound trumpet like and to a certain amount stressed, passed you by, as they sat in the middle of his voice.

However, within that Boccanegra production  was one of the best singers I have encountered for years: Marina Poplavskaya. Beautiful to look at, to hear and an above average actor. I then bought a live DVD Otello with her as Desdemona, I am going to post a review. This month the DVD issues show her in Don Carlos, I will be buying that too.

Mike
« Last Edit: August 28, 2010, 09:56:19 AM by knight »
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Offline sospiro

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #497 on: August 28, 2010, 10:12:15 AM »
I will look out for that. I watched his live Boccanegra recently. He was good but not great; in that the role really lies in the wrong part of the voice. I suspect it will be the same with Rigoletto. The high phrases that ought to sound trumpet like and to a certain amount stressed, passed you by, as they sat in the middle of his voice.

However, within that Boccanegra production  was one of the best singers I have encountered for years: Marina Poplavskaya. Beautiful to look at, to hear and an above average actor. I then bought a live DVD Otello with her as Desdemona, I am going to post a review. This month the DVD issues show her in Don Carlos, I will be buying that too.

Mike

Agree with all of that. I was disappointed with Domingo's Boccanegra on TV but saw it live at ROH & it seemed better & loved every second. My star of the show though was Joseph Calleja - he was absolutely amazing.



Top Pappano, middle Calleja, bottom Domingo



I have that Don Carlo (recorded off the TV) & love it especially Simon Keenlyside & am looking forward to a much better quality version.
Annie

Offline listener

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #498 on: August 29, 2010, 08:24:07 PM »
SANTA FE OPERA SCHEDULE 2010-2011

Santa Fe Opera will stage five productions during its 2011 festival season: Faust, Boheme, Griselda, Last Savage and Wozzek. Frédéric Chaslin will assume the Chief Conductor role starting Oct. 1, 2010.
Three of these operas are being presented for the first time. Heading the list is the first major U.S. production of Vivaldi’s opera, Griselda. Also featured are Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Last Savage, marking the centennial of the composer’s birth, and Gounod’s beloved masterpiece, Faust. Returning are the 2007 production of Puccini’s La Bohème and the acclaimed 2001 staging of Berg’s Wozzeck.

“The 2011 season is in the best Santa Fe Opera tradition, staying true to its mission of presenting a mix of repertory with a rarity in Menotti’s The Last Savage, a premiere -- in this case something very old that is new -- Vivaldi’s Griselda written in 1735, and a major 20th century masterpiece, Berg’s Wozzeck, along with Faust and La Bohème,” General Director Charles MacKay said in his announcement.

cast lists, etc. at  http://www.playbillarts.com/features/article/8385.html
"Keep your hand on the throttle and your eye on the rail as you walk through life's pathway."

Offline sospiro

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #499 on: August 30, 2010, 09:15:16 AM »
Annie