Started by uffeviking, April 08, 2007, 06:49:51 PM
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Quote from: uffeviking on June 12, 2007, 12:53:27 PMLook forward to your review, Bruce! The Hindemith piece a bit too much for the New York/New England audience? Nigel's comment went something like: 'This too is Hindemith?" or words to that effect.
Quote from: uffeviking on June 27, 2007, 03:32:47 PMVery lively and interesting review, Bruce! Thank you. Muti does have his way with musicians, doesn't he? It's the Italian Labour Unions he can't tame.I wonder if the program was recorded and we get a CD some day? No, I won't dream about a DVD, New York events are rare on DVD, small German towns like Schwetzingen are commonly available!
Quote from: bhodges on June 27, 2007, 03:39:20 PMThank you, Lis! You can tell by the musicians' faces that they really like working with him. There was some speculation that he was the number one choice to follow Maazel, but I don't get any indication Muti wants to conduct full-time over here. (Supposedly that's the main reason he left Philadelphia, i.e., to spend more time with his family.)
Quote from: O Mensch on June 27, 2007, 03:46:23 PMHe's also being frequently mentioned as a potential successor to Barenboim here in Chicago. I don't see either of those happening. One of the main reasons so meany US orchestras are leaderless or looking for successors is the amount of extramusical work with which US orchestra administrations have burdened the position of music director. They will have to scale that back considerably if they want to attract and retain top international talent. I don't see Muti or Chailly or Barenboim or even Rattle or any of those guys coming back permanently to these shores.
Quote from: O Mensch on June 27, 2007, 03:46:23 PMtop international talent. .
Quote from: uffeviking on June 27, 2007, 03:54:55 PMDoes it have to be international talent? I'll get a bit personal here, but a friend of mine, chief conductor and artistic director of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra for 25 years, is sitting in Arizona, unemployed! Even his Italian name does not help him getting a job!
Quote from: zamyrabyrd on July 06, 2007, 12:04:40 AM"SOUR Angelica" was the first opera to be presented in Puccini's "Trittico" (New Israel Opera, Tel-Aviv June 21-July7) reversed in its usual order with "Tabarro" (the "Cloak") second. "Gianni Schicchi" was the delightful third after the horrors of the first two. When first seeing the advert about "bitter" Angelica (though she had every right to be) in the local press, I did a double take but "sour" was duly reprinted in big red letters in the program. The decided unimportance of the words was reflected in the performances as well but not surprising in a tower-of-babble country where everyone speaks a few languages badly. Except for those male performers who either were in the main, natives, one born and bred Italian and a very competent Romanian who from childhood were used to open vowels, the language was the weakest link, leaving one wondering whether they were supposed to understand one another onstage.The women on the whole were awful. The mangling of the Italian language would probably not be tolerated in any European Opera house. It was practically unrecognizable coming out of the mouths of the women mainly from the former Soviet Union. (And they sing with TOTAL confidence!!). Also their style of gut screaming (none of the women could produce a pianissimo let alone a piano) was practically unbearable.The Mother Superior and the second female supporting role In Tabarro had the same aggressive production and unclean vowels. The latter sounded and looked like she just walked out from Onegin as Tatiana's nurse with more or less the same costume.A perusal of the program showed a preponderance of Russian names. Having to depend largely on locals from the Russian invasion of the past 20 years is probably the reason for Moskovization of the Israel Opera. (Issac Stern said "those coming off the plane from Russia without violins are pianists"-- also wannabe singers, I guess.) Opera being a huge undertaking with large numbers of people involved is why it can only be as strong as the weakest link. But really they should sing in any other language but Italian, even Hebrew. All the above to me was a severe distraction since opera is singing and music. Direction seems to be much better than before though. The kind of exhibitionism still alive and well in Europe fairly kept people away from "taking their kids to the Opera" for years so perhaps they cleaned up this act. The "Tales of Hoffman" 20 years ago in its utter kinkiness was simply embarrassing. "Sister Angelica" had the nuns sing lying face down and the protagonist herself on her back and also with her arms attached to a pole as on a cross towards the end of the opera in "expiation". Those non-Christians who were the bulk of the audience will walk away thinking that nuns live in black holes and are not allowed to pet or keep sheep--not exactly the rustic monastery from the "Sound of Music". (Angelica's aunt was also dressed up like a female Darth Vader and sang like a cross between Ulrica and Azucena on a bad day.) But if there is any visual misrepresentation, it is Puccini's fault who was exploiting perhaps the dark side of monastery life for its shock value on stage. Strangely enough, though, in Schicchi, keeping the money out of the hands of "fat monks" was the reason for futzing the will. I wonder if anyone else noticed that contradiction. Oh well.The turbulent, even violent dramaticism of the operas, especially the first two do not lend themsevles to singing in the conventional sense, rather intense shrieks and shouts except for short monologues. This is "verismo" where life becomes art and art supposedly becomes life. So if one didn't hear a lot of Bel Canto the fault can also be ascribed to Puccini.The orchestra deftly accompanied throughout and kept a good pace but in the "O Mio Babbino Caro" a short aria for a young girl in "Schicchi" simply drowned her out. Due to her lack of development, she had no business on an opera stage but people in the audience applauded her "college try". One wonders WHAT THE POINT is in expending so much effort and capital for this kind of "entertainment", whether it is supposed to be educationally uplifting or something to see live performances rather than much better examplars on film. But "Opera" itself is problematic especially for the alleged need to trot out the SAME relatively few operas that have been written 100-200 years ago but are repeated as nauseam. The New Israel Opera is as largely conventional and tradition bound as the Old one in their choice of repertoire.
Quote from: T-C on July 13, 2007, 12:20:10 PMThis arrogant and insulting "review" is disgusting.
Quote from: zamyrabyrd on July 15, 2007, 10:37:41 PMExcuse me, paying the equivalent of $75 to hear Russo-Italian is disgusting. Having less than a handful of professionals interact with rank amateurs is putting the wool over the eyes of the public, or is it "cloak"?
Quote from: T-C on July 16, 2007, 02:15:36 AMI have no intention in analyzing your post line by line. I also attended the NIO performance of Il Trittico. You think that the performance was awful with many unprofessional singers. As someone who knows the opera very well, I think that your review is awfully unprofessional and petty and gives a very poor and distorted impression of the show that was directed by Giancarlo del Monaco, a very well known opera director. You are of course entitled not to like what you have heard and seen but I hope that I have the right not to like what I have read.But what I find the most disgusting of all are those stereotypical generalizations: in this tower-of-babble country everyone speaks at least one language correctly. Most Israelis speak very good HEBREW, others speak very good RUSSIAN a.s.o. Many speak more than one language fluently. I resent your use of the term "Russian invasion" for the immigration of Jews from Russia to Israel. There are plenty of very talented musicians among the immigrants, singers too. Your nasty disrespect for them as a group is outrageous. Many of them perform all over the globe and are desirable artists. I really encourage you to purchase the latest addition to the Opus Arte DVD label – a performance of Rossini's opera Il Viaggio a Reims that is conducted by Valery Gergiev. All the cast of about 17 solo singers, sing in Italian with a very prominent Russian pronunciation. But this performance was not recorded in Tel-Aviv but at the center of the world: Le theatre du Chatelet in Paris...But anyhow if you suffer so much from the unprofessional nature of the singers at the NIO why did you spend $75 for a ticket? You can get a very good recording of Il Trittico for much less. I can recommend a few options...
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