Author Topic: General Opera News  (Read 237075 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #600 on: September 16, 2013, 07:31:25 AM »
It isn't bad enough that Hollywood has no imagination, remaking all its own movies, now the opera world can do no better than to echo cinema?
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Offline Brewski

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #601 on: September 16, 2013, 07:37:22 AM »
I get your point, but I'm sort of looking forward to this! (Almost all adaptations of Stephen King's books that I've seen have been much better than their source material.)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #602 on: September 16, 2013, 07:39:32 AM »
Understood, Bruce; and of course this is Minnesota, the Land of the Orchestra Gone Under, so the Opera may be a little twitchy to try anything that might be Popular.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #603 on: September 16, 2013, 07:40:59 AM »
I get your point, but I'm sort of looking forward to this! (Almost all adaptations of Stephen King's books that I've seen have been much better than their source material.)

--Bruce

Another irony being that King will draw royalty payments for adaptations which are superior to his own work.
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Offline Cato

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #604 on: September 16, 2013, 08:07:47 AM »
I get your point, but I'm sort of looking forward to this! (Almost all adaptations of Stephen King's books that I've seen have been much better than their source material.)

--Bruce

That is the Alfred Hitchcock rule: Mediocre books offer the opportunity for a great movie.  Great books usually offer a movie adaptation which falls short.
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Offline Cato

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Re: General Opera News: Turnage Opera A Bomb?
« Reply #605 on: September 18, 2013, 03:37:58 PM »
From the Wall Street Journal: Mark Turnage has composed an opera about someone...unusual.

Concerning Anna Nicole as performed by the New York City Opera:

Quote
This reality-inspired tale of Anna Nicole Smith—the waitress-turned-bombshell, courtesy of breast implants, who died of an overdose of pills at age 39 in 2007—has neither irony nor tragedy to recommend it. Vulgar, exploitative and musically empty, it pokes fun at its lower-class subject and invites the audience to laugh along. The well-heeled BAM gala crowd did just that.

Titillation, whether through financial brinksmanship or F-cups, needs something solid to back it up, but "Anna Nicole" is of a piece with City Opera's recent artistic history: all surface flash. The dense libretto by Richard Thomas, who is best known for "Jerry Springer: The Opera," drives the piece with its frantically paced, profanity-laden rhyming couplets ("I'm gonna rape that goddamn American dream" is one of its more printable lines), while Mr. Turnage's music, a pastiche of styles, heavy on the blues and the raunchy burlesque, feels illustrative rather than authentic...

...nothing in the opera suggests depth, invites compassion or even provokes thought. For all its color and surface agitation, this is a cold, heartless piece, built on mockery. 

See:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324492604579083111684842196.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_6

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Offline Octave

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #606 on: October 16, 2013, 11:40:57 PM »
I wasn't sure where to post this tidbit, but I see I'm posting it right after a relevant item from Cato.

Breaking Bad and Anna Nicole: Opera meets pop culture (Clemency Burton-Hill, from BBC Culture 'Counterpoint')
Quote
...Sung Jin Hong, artistic director of the small New York-based company One World Symphony, revealed he was planning to compose Breaking Bad−Ozymandias, an opera version of Vince Gilligan’s hit AMC TV show.
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20131016-is-breaking-bad-what-opera-needs
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 11:50:30 PM by Octave »
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Offline Cato

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Re: General Opera News: A Weird and Tedious Opera!!!
« Reply #607 on: December 17, 2013, 01:11:39 PM »
For those looking for the greatest opera of 2013.... well, don't look here:

A "weird" and "tedious" opera put together by three composers:

Quote
A successful memoir depends on the synergy of compelling raw material and the artistry of the teller, but Robert Wilson's "The Life and Death of Marina Abramović," a traveling production that opened last week at the Park Avenue Armory, brings out the worst aspects of both. The combination of Ms. Abramović, a performance artist known for long duration pieces (in "The Artist Is Present" at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010, she sat motionless for hours), and Mr. Wilson, a pioneer of cryptic, image-based, slow-motion theater (" Einstein on the Beach" lasts 41/2 hours), is weird and finally tedious. The content is repellent, and the artistry doesn't amaze...

The music is so amplified and mixed that although there are four live players in the pit, the instrumentals all feel electronic. Three musical genres overlap. The compositions of William Basinski, which repeat brief melodic figures in endless loops (like Philip Glass, another Wilson collaborator, but without the rhythmic drive), segue into the ululations of Svetlana Spajić and her four-voice ensemble. Their Serbian folk-inflected, straight-tone numbers, no doubt intended to evoke the heritage of Ms. Abramović, who was born in Belgrade, have more grit. Then there is Antony, a transgender singer and composer, who also wears a long black gown and sings croony, moony songs with few notes and little textual or textural variety.


As reviewed by Heidi Waleson:

See:  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304858104579262263065673006?cb=logged0.1296555924572511

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline Cato

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Re: General Opera News: Mini-Operas
« Reply #608 on: January 24, 2014, 04:45:12 PM »
From the Wall Street Journal:

Quote
New York: The second annual Prototype Festival, a 12-day exploration of contemporary opera and music theater produced by Beth Morrison Projects and the arts center HERE, was even more ambitious than last year's inaugural event. With seven presentations, including four fully staged chamber operas that are designed to tour, Prototype hopes to encourage presenters to bring projects by new and unusual creators to their own theaters...

I admired "Paul's Case," a taut, hallucinatory drama, based on a Willa Cather short story, by Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat...

Also strong was "Have a Good Day!" by Lina Lapelytė and Vaiva Grainytė, a production from Operomanija in Vilnius, Lithuania, which imagines the inner lives of cashiers at a Lithuanian version of Walmart. .... Sometimes the other women back up the soloists in rhythmic syllables, creating folklike harmonies or vivid minimalist textures that evoke the swirl of everyday life—banality transformed into art. The occasional noodling piano part is perfunctory: It is the virtuosic voices that count here. The opera is witty and poignant, never lapsing into condescension or agitprop. 

See:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304302704579332502491713142?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304302704579332502491713142.html
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #609 on: January 27, 2014, 06:56:14 AM »
For those looking for the greatest opera of 2013.... well, don't look here:

A "weird" and "tedious" opera put together by three composers:

As reviewed by Heidi Waleson:

See:  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304858104579262263065673006?cb=logged0.1296555924572511



Ah, well.  It is well that I read that ;)
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline Cato

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Re: General Opera News: Weinberg's Opera
« Reply #610 on: January 30, 2014, 04:31:38 AM »
Mieczyslaw Weinberg's opera The Passenger: a rave review from the Wall Street Journal's Heidi Waleson.

An excerpt:



Quote
Conductor Patrick Summers shaped the evening with enormous care, building dramatic tension but also allowing the long, meditative scenes in the women's barracks to unfold naturally. Weinberg's vivid musical language is accessible and precise, grotesque or wrenching as the moment demands. Violently pounding drums and brass suggest Dmitri Shostakovich ; a mere shimmer of wispy, haunting strings, Benjamin Britten. The orchestration always left space for the voices and amplified their meaning, as in the brief instrumental chorale that echoed Bronka's prayer, or the percussion that smashed into the prisoners' reveries along with the guards. The chorus was a key player with its refrain about the "pitch black wall of death." Soft and insinuating in Act I, it was a memory working its way into Liese's head; in Act II, the refrain became a dead march with a tolling bell.

See:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304007504579348631567426454?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_6
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline Wendell_E

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Offline king ubu

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #612 on: July 20, 2014, 01:20:31 PM »
This might not be the proper place, but I just stumbled over it: in a few hours, German/French tv channel arte will repeat an Offenbach programme w/Minkowski, featuring Sabine Devieilhe among others:
http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/048428-002/florilege-offenbach

Seems to be the fifth (and last) repetition of this concert recording - set my recorder (can't make copies there, alas, it's view and delete again only)
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Offline ritter

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #613 on: September 08, 2014, 07:02:47 AM »
Italian soprano Magda Olivero has died today in Milan, aged 104.

(ANSA) - MILANO, 8 SET - E' morta all'istituto Auxologico di Milano il soprano Magda Olivero. Classe 1910, aveva debuttato negli anni Trenta. Alla fine degli anni Cinquanta aveva anche partecipato alla trasmissione televisiva Il Musichiere, una delle tappe di una lunghissima carriera che la portò a debuttare al Metropolitan con Tosca nel 1975, a sessantacinque anni. Nel 2008 fu premiata dal presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano.

http://www.ansa.it/lombardia/notizie/2014/09/08/morta-a-104-anni-soprano-magda-olivero_390d13eb-3c44-4425-80d6-90cdbc4809cf.html

R.I.P.

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Offline listener

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #614 on: October 09, 2014, 01:15:52 PM »
My idea of an ideal website:  Victoria BC is presenting Das Rheingold (the reduced orchestration of Alfons Abbass)  this month and their website is up, lots of good links at the end to the piano/vocal score even.
link    http://www.pov.bc.ca/pdfs/rheingold_guide.pdf
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Offline ritter

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #615 on: November 13, 2014, 09:57:55 AM »
It seems that Marek Janowski will take over the Bayreuth Ring from Kyril Petrenko in 2016 and 2017.

http://slippedisc.com/2014/11/bayreuth-names-new-conductor-for-trashy-ring/

Rather than speculating (as Lebrecht does) that Petrenko is "not happy with the Frank Castoff Ring", I venture to say that the Bavarian State Opera is not amused by having their GMD retained in rehearsals in Bayreuth year after year, while not taking part in Munich's own opera festival in July.

Petrenko was superb this summer, and Castorf's production, controversial as it may be, is a thrilling theatrical experience with some fantastic insights (and many oddities as well). In any case, I think it is a great recognition to invite Janowski to Bayreuth at the twilight of his distinguished career (he'll, be 77 years old  in 2016), after having done excellent Wagner elsewhere and on record.

I do hope that this production (one of the sets of which graces my current avatar  ;)) is eventually preserved in video, as I think it deserves detailed analysis and wider circulation.


« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 10:27:17 AM by ritter »
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #616 on: November 13, 2014, 10:37:12 AM »
It seems that Marek Janowski will take over the Bayreuth Ring from Kyril Petrenko in 2016 and 2017.

http://slippedisc.com/2014/11/bayreuth-names-new-conductor-for-trashy-ring/

Rather than speculating (as Lebrecht does) that Petrenko is "not happy with the Frank Castoff Ring", I venture to say that the Bavarian State Opera is not amused by having their GMD retained in rehearsals in Bayreuth year after year, while not taking part in Munich's own opera festival in July.

Petrenko was superb this summer, and Castorf's production, controversial as it may be, is a thrilling theatrical experience with some fantastic insights (and many oddities as well). In any case, I think it is a great recognition to invite Janowski to Bayreuth at the twilight of his distinguished career (he'll, be 77 years old  in 2016), after having done excellent Wagner elsewhere and on record.

I do hope that this production (one of the sets of which graces my current avatar  ;)) is eventually preserved in video, as I think it deserves detailed analysis and wider circulation.

I've read the news, I'm sorry to hear Petrenko won't continue to conduct at the Bayreuth Festival; honestly, I don't know Janowski in Wagner's operas, is he a so good wagnerian interpreter? I really hope so anyway.
I completely agree about Petrenko, he was stunning in conducting the Ring this summer; his musical performance, very powerful, passionate, full of energy, tension and poetical beauty, was certainly the best part of that Bayreuth production (no comment about Castorf's direction).

Haha, the 'trashy' Ring. ;D
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Offline ritter

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #617 on: November 14, 2014, 01:41:30 PM »
More news from Bayreuth: the controversial Jonathan Meese will not produce Parsifal in 2016, as initially announced. Financial considerations have been invoked: apparently, Meese's ideas were imposible to carry out within budget. No substitute has been announced.

http://bayreuther-festspiele.de/deutsch/news_44.html

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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #618 on: November 18, 2014, 03:17:40 PM »
I wonder what he would have turned Parsifal into....
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Offline ritter

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #619 on: November 18, 2014, 03:28:28 PM »
I wonder what he would have turned Parsifal into....
Well, rumour has it that the budget thing was more than anything an excuse in letting Meese go  ::) ...but we'll never know now. I as opposed (I think  ;)) to you Ilaria, like new approaches and radical stagings (I adored the Castorf Ring--inconsistencies and all--this summer  :) )...
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