Author Topic: Favorite Operas of the Past Century  (Read 17534 times)

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Offline The new erato

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2007, 09:59:21 AM »
My wife Vanessa was never into opera (except a few arias from Turandot, Butterfly, etc.), and definitely NOT into 20th century music, she watched Edipus Rex (Stravinsky) on DVD last night and loved it! In fact, she loved it so much she wanted to watch it again and again, 4 times in 2 days!

So, this is one opera I'd add to the many already mentioned.
Your next listen should be Vanessa by Barber!

springrite

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2007, 10:02:19 AM »
Your next listen should be Vanessa by Barber!

Yes! I have it on LP but no turntable.  So, the alternative turns out to be Madama Butterfly. Vanessa means butterfly, of course.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #42 on: July 31, 2007, 12:54:43 AM »
I could modify my list but do you really believe that the best operas are those written during the past 100 years only?

  marvin 

As you probabøy realize that is a nearly impossible question to answer. As one whose opera listening pr 80% consists of Baroque opera + 20th century opera, I can only say; "that depends upon what are your preferences".

Offline The new erato

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #43 on: July 31, 2007, 01:09:37 AM »
And BTW, in case nobody have mentioned Nielsen, it is high time somebody did. His "Maskarade" ifs a great comic opera with brilliant orchestration, and his "Saul og David" a powerful, biblical drama.

Kullervo

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #44 on: July 31, 2007, 03:08:51 AM »
  What I did not miss out on is that the person who created this thread said that he was meaning to get into opera (implying that he was a newbe) and then requested favorite operas of the past century.  Well I did suggest operas from the past century (R. Strauss, Berg, some Puccini) but I really hated the idea that this individual was going to listen to operas only dating back to 1907 and leave so many masterpieces unexplored. I wanted to broaden his horizons.......I could modify my list but do you really believe that the best operas are those written during the past 100 years only?

  marvin 

This individual is only going to use the 20th century as a jumping point for opera. I'm not going to neglect older works, I just wanted to explore 20th century opera first. However, I do appreciate your recommendations. :)

karlhenning

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2007, 03:49:54 AM »
. . . but I really hated the idea that this individual was going to listen to operas only dating back to 1907 and leave so many masterpieces unexplored.

Why the hate, Marvin?

I mean, suppose I start a thread, Suggestions for Music by Dutch Composers Please, and someone hates the idea that I am leaving so many masterpieces by French and Belgian composers unexplored?  He's missing the point, isn't he?

But of course, you've neatly demonstrated that in two or three 'pages', every thread becomes a thread about everything and about nothing  ;)

karlhenning

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2007, 03:50:44 AM »
  Ah yes how soon we forget Baroque operas.

Hey, and I think there are reasons for that forgetfulness  ;D

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #47 on: July 31, 2007, 06:46:06 AM »
Why the hate, Marvin?

I mean, suppose I start a thread, Suggestions for Music by Dutch Composers Please, and someone hates the idea that I am leaving so many masterpieces by French and Belgian composers unexplored?  He's missing the point, isn't he?

But of course, you've neatly demonstrated that in two or three 'pages', every thread becomes a thread about everything and about nothing  ;)

  Okay forget I said anything on this thread.....I have just removed all my posts.

  marvin
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 06:49:02 AM by marvinbrown »

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #48 on: July 31, 2007, 08:09:10 AM »
Does anyone know about Britten's "Gloriana"--seen or heard it? It was written around the coronation of Elizabeth II. She was apparently expecting something more cheerful back in the early 50's, not her namesake's misdeeds, so it didn't really catch on with the public either.

ZB

Don't know how I missed your post til now, ZB. I saw an excellent English National Opera production of Gloriana years ago, with Sarah Walker in the title role. It was written for a soprano, so was probably a little too high for her, however I remember finding the opera and production mesmerising. I believe it is actually available on DVD. There is also an excellent CD with Dame Josephine Barstow as Elizabeth, and conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras. The DVD with Barstow is of a filmed version, directed by Phyllida Law and conducted by Paul Daniel. I haven't seen the Barstow, but the DVD of the Sarah Walker version confirmed my high opinion of the stage production. It is quite a dark work, but also has some hauntingly lovely moments, like the lute songs for Essex. I like it enormously.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #49 on: August 03, 2007, 09:14:53 PM »
Don't know how I missed your post til now, ZB. I saw an excellent English National Opera production of Gloriana years ago, with Sarah Walker in the title role. It was written for a soprano, so was probably a little too high for her, however I remember finding the opera and production mesmerising. I believe it is actually available on DVD. There is also an excellent CD with Dame Josephine Barstow as Elizabeth, and conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras. The DVD with Barstow is of a filmed version, directed by Phyllida Law and conducted by Paul Daniel. I haven't seen the Barstow, but the DVD of the Sarah Walker version confirmed my high opinion of the stage production. It is quite a dark work, but also has some hauntingly lovely moments, like the lute songs for Essex. I like it enormously.


Thanks, Tsaras, you've whetted my curiosity about this work and more so this one minute morsel with Barstow: http://youtube.com/watch?v=S9yBoECDRbA

ZB
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Offline Montpellier

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2007, 06:43:51 AM »
Tippett wrote about 4 operas but I'd be loath to recommend them.   I think Midsummer Marriage was issued on CD by Lyrita.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2007, 02:48:05 PM »
Thanks, Tsaras, you've whetted my curiosity about this work and more so this one minute morsel with Barstow: http://youtube.com/watch?v=S9yBoECDRbA

ZB

Thanks for that link, ZB. I've seen Barstow many times on stage, from roles as diverse as Violetta, and Salome right through to the older Heidi in Sondheim's Follies. She is a always a compelling stage performer, though I do wish her diction were clearer.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Kullervo

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2007, 09:58:03 AM »
 Listened to Das Wunder der Heliane last night... my head is still spinning. What an imaginative, lush work! The three hours went by so quickly!

pjme

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2007, 10:44:30 AM »


Luigi Dallapiccola's "Il prigioniero"     

A great work! From the opening scene of the mother ( really gripping) and the grand choral interludes to the eerily haunting "fratello" motif - the tragic end!

I mention again Ravel's l'Enfant et les sortilèges.

This afternoon I heard Albert Roussel's 'Padmâvati" on the radio ( Jean Martinon conducting BBC forces - ca 1968-1969) - an opulent,glittering score.

this version should still be available!

And I was deeply impressed by  by Klas Torstensson (January 16, 1951, Sweden) opera "The expedition" .

Torstensson’s compositions have been performed by orchestras, ensembles and soloists worldwide and presented on most major European new music festivals: Huddersfield, Ultima (Oslo), Steirischer Herbst (Graz), Wien Modern, Stockholm New Music, Nordic Music Days (Reykjavik/Malmö/Berlin), Gaudeamus (Amsterdam), Warsaw, Gaida (Vilnius), Festival van Vlaanderen (Belgium), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), GAS (Gothenburg), NYYD (Tallinn), Darmstadt, to name only a few. He was also featured composer at festivals such as Stockholm New Music 1999 (together with Mauricio Kagel and György Kurtág), Time of Music 2001, (Viitasaari, Finland), and Montréal-Nouvelles-Musiques 2003.

In 1991 Torstensson received the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize - the most prestigious composition prize in The Netherlands, in 1999 followed by the Stora Christ Johnson Priset, the major Swedish composition prize awarded by the Swedish Royal Music Academy. Torstensson’s opera The Expedition was a nominee for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2006, whereas the Intermezzo from the same opera received a recommendation by the jury of the International Rostrum of Composers in 1999.

Urban Songs for soprano Charlotte Riedijk, Ensemble Intercontemporain and computers - commissioned by Ircam, Paris -, was premiered in 1992, and was to be programmed for another two seasons by the same ensemble, as well as by many other European ensembles, such as Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), Asko Ensemble (Amsterdam) and Kammar-ensembleN (Stockholm).
In 1994 Torstensson composed The Last Diary for reciting voice and large ensemble, based on the diaries of S.A. Andrées, leader of the tragic Arctic balloon expedition of 1897. The Last Diary has in the past decade also been translated into German - for performances in Vienna and Graz with H.K. Gruber in the role of Andrée - and Icelandic.
The same material served as a basic for his opera The Expedition (1994-1999) for soloists, orchestra and electronics, to a libretto written by the composer. The opera was premiered in concert form during the 1999 Holland Festival in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in a performance conducted by Peter Eötvös. Performances followed in Germany, Sweden and Norway.From 1999 to 2002 Torstensson wrote a full-length cycle entitled Lantern Lectures. The cycle was a joint commission by Le Nouvel Ensemble Modern (Montréal), Asko Ensemble (Amsterdam), KammarensembleN (Stockholm) and Klangforum Wien. Over the past years Lantern Lectures has been performed some thirty times, by seven ensembles in thirteen countries.

The work has been issued on CD - but I don't know if it is still available.

Read more at http://www.donemus.nl/componist.php?id=18
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 11:25:23 AM by pjme »

Kullervo

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2007, 10:57:51 AM »
Nice recommendations, I've been meaning to hear Dallapiccola for some time now.

Offline Anne

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2007, 08:43:58 AM »
I'll add my voice to others recommending Britten's Peter Grimes.  Get the one with John Vickers and Heather Harper.  This performance is also available in DVD which is very worthwhile.  When you listen, notice how the style of music changes from that of the townspeople to that of Peter and Heather.

Britten's Billy Budd is very good also.  It has a gorgeous aria sung by Billy the night before his execution.

Kullervo

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2007, 08:47:54 AM »
I'll add my voice to others recommending Britten's Peter Grimes.  Get the one with John Vickers and Heather Harper.  This performance is also available in DVD which is very worthwhile.  When you listen, notice how the style of music changes from that of the townspeople to that of Peter and Heather.

Britten's Billy Budd is very good also.  It has a gorgeous aria sung by Billy the night before his execution.

Thanks, Anne. I just bought Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem. If I am impressed enough I will move onto his operas. :)

Offline Brewski

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2007, 02:04:03 PM »
Thanks, Anne. I just bought Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem. If I am impressed enough I will move onto his operas. :)

The Sinfonia is a marvelous piece.  You might also want to check out the Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, which are orchestral segments representing the sea at different times of the day and used to bridge key scenes.  There are many good recordings, but here is an excellent live performance conducted by David Atherton available very cheaply, and the rest of the program is very good, too:

http://www.amazon.com/Stravinsky-Interludes-Portsmouth-Mussorgsky-Khovanshchina/dp/B000BJL7C0/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1194990940&sr=1-11

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Kullervo

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #58 on: November 13, 2007, 02:09:17 PM »
The Sinfonia is a marvelous piece.  You might also want to check out the Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, which are orchestral segments representing the sea at different times of the day and used to bridge key scenes.  There are many good recordings, but here is an excellent live performance conducted by David Atherton available very cheaply, and the rest of the program is very good, too:

http://www.amazon.com/Stravinsky-Interludes-Portsmouth-Mussorgsky-Khovanshchina/dp/B000BJL7C0/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1194990940&sr=1-11

--Bruce

Those are on the same disc!

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Favorite Operas of the Past Century
« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2007, 05:57:01 PM »
Listened to Das Wunder der Heliane last night... my head is still spinning. What an imaginative, lush work! The three hours went by so quickly!
You think so? What an obscene, preposterous and totally incomprensible libretto and plot. Great music though.