Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 428397 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3416
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2660 on: August 21, 2021, 10:21:46 PM »


I enjoyed this opera rather more tham I usually do. I still think its a load of old hokum, but it's entertaining enough and has some good tunes.

Everyone talks about Olivero in this role , but Scotto is superb, as are Domingo and Milnes. I'm afraid Obraztsova has ruined quite a few recordings for me and I like her no more here than I ever do. Yes, it's a mgnificent instrument no doubt, but she seems intent only on letting us hear it; relentlessly loud, with no finesse, no shaping of phrases. Her Princess emerges as a harridan from beginning to end.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Undersea

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 73
  • Location: Perth, Australia
  • Currently Listening to:
    Omnivorous Diet
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2661 on: August 27, 2021, 03:40:58 PM »
Recently:




Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov


Liking the work so far - I am keen to explore some more Russian Opera (have purchased a Box-Set of Rimsky-Korsakov Operas and Prokofiev's War and Peace to this end)....
I'd like to be
Under the sea
In an octopus' garden
In the shade

- Ringo Starr

Offline T. D.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1683
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2662 on: August 27, 2021, 05:20:11 PM »


Both story and music are heavily influenced by Wagner, but Chausson has his own voice and one has to wonder why this excellent opera has receieved so few performances since its 1903 première.

There is at least one other recording available, but I can't imagine it being better than this one. Winbergh lets it down a bit, singing for the most part too loud in questionable French, but both Quilico and Zylis-Gara are superb, as are the smaller roles and Armin Jordan makes sure the performance never sags.

I saw a live performance a month ago: https://fishercenter.bard.edu/events/king-arthur/

Listening to now:
« Last Edit: August 27, 2021, 05:21:43 PM by T. D. »

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3196
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2663 on: August 28, 2021, 09:29:48 AM »
NP:

Ravel
L'enfant et les sortilèges
Sylvaine Gilma (soprano), Francoise Ogeas (soprano), Colette Herzog (soprano), Jeannine Collard (mezzo-soprano), Jane Berbié (mezzo-soprano), Camille Maurane (baritone) et. al.
R.T.F. National Orchestre
R.T.F. Choeur De Radio France
R.T.F. Maitrise De Radio France
Maazel




Exquisite. French opera doesn’t get much better than this other than Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande.

I found this last month at a record store, Bananas in St. Petersburg, FL, a very large store with a sadly limited classical selection, but there were some cool things to be found like this. I've only listened once and must admit neither opera really clicked with me. I owe it another listen soon as Ravel is one of my favorite composers.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3416
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2664 on: August 28, 2021, 11:57:03 PM »


A classic recording of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, the French sung so clearly that even someone with only a smattering of French can understand most of the words. This edition has the added attraction of a collection of French songs sung by the original Mélisande, Mary Garden and her successor Maggie Teyye, both of whom studied the role with Debussy.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3416
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2665 on: August 29, 2021, 01:30:31 AM »
I saw a live performance a month ago: https://fishercenter.bard.edu/events/king-arthur/



How was it? You are one of the few people to have seen the opera staged.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline T. D.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1683
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2666 on: August 29, 2021, 05:13:08 AM »
How was it? You are one of the few people to have seen the opera staged.

I really enjoyed it. But I rarely attend operas any more, and this was my first in years, so (especially considering the COVID situation), I was bound to have a good time.
Background: Botstein is famed for programming interesting but neglected repertory. He's also an exceptional fund-raiser. The operas at his annual summer festival (Bard Summerscape) always have huge budgets, with lavish and attractive sets. Decades ago, Botstein's conducting got little respect (I recall some positively scathing New York Times reviews in the 1990s) but in my limited recent experience I have no complaints.

During the first intermission I reflected that the music was perhaps too Wagnerian, but that impression lightened up and I'd say it's sufficiently original. Sets and production impressive, singing fine.

There are many online reviews, but I'm almost totally paywalled (e.g. NYT, WSJ, Classicstoday, Opera News). I was able to read this one.
https://operawire.com/bard-summerscape-2021-review-le-roi-arthus/

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58194
  • Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Austro-Germanic and Russian repertoire mainly
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2667 on: August 29, 2021, 06:32:37 AM »
I found this last month at a record store, Bananas in St. Petersburg, FL, a very large store with a sadly limited classical selection, but there were some cool things to be found like this. I've only listened once and must admit neither opera really clicked with me. I owe it another listen soon as Ravel is one of my favorite composers.

L'enfant et les sortilèges is one of my favorites from Ravel. Keep listening is all I can tell you. If it helps, this work is more ‘operetta like’ than opera in that Ravel was inspired by Broadway musicals at the time he was writing L’enfant. There are some exquisite moments throughout and the huge orchestra used often times sounds like a mere chamber ensemble. Ingenious orchestration.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Wendell_E

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1131
  • Location: Mobile, AL, USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    mostly opera and chamber music
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2668 on: August 29, 2021, 10:36:37 AM »


No awards for the cover art, but the performance is very impressive.
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58194
  • Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Austro-Germanic and Russian repertoire mainly
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2669 on: August 30, 2021, 11:28:10 AM »


No awards for the cover art, but the performance is very impressive.

I bet it was --- I like this opera quite a bit.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline T. D.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1683
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2670 on: August 30, 2021, 03:24:13 PM »


No awards for the cover art, but the performance is very impressive.

Good to see modern recordings. Fine opera, but for a long time it seemed like the only available recording was the old one with Leinsdorf conducting. I guess I also missed the 2011 release on Oehms.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 05:08:33 PM by T. D. »

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 13057
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2671 on: August 30, 2021, 05:30:16 PM »


No awards for the cover art, but the performance is very impressive.

Adding to the very long list. If nothing else, the soloists!

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58194
  • Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Austro-Germanic and Russian repertoire mainly
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2672 on: August 31, 2021, 06:57:56 AM »
Continuing on with this Davis performance of Les Troyens from many weeks ago:

"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline JBS

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5270
  • If music be the food of love, play on!
  • Location: USA
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2673 on: August 31, 2021, 05:23:57 PM »



Thrift shop find for $1.50.
I tend to avoid Opera d'Oro because the sound on almost all their releases hasn't been good (exception: The Merry Widow,  because it's actually EMI's studio recording with Schwarzkopf) but this one is acceptable. Orchestra and sometimes chorus are badly compressed and shrill, but the soloists were well-engineered. (So was the audience's applause for some reason.) Singers knew what they were doing here, and Karajan doesn't get in anyone's way.

The same performance was issued by Orfeo in an issue that's OOP.

Recommended if anyone is looking for a live performance by Corelli or Price.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3416
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2674 on: August 31, 2021, 11:34:27 PM »



Thrift shop find for $1.50.
I tend to avoid Opera d'Oro because the sound on almost all their releases hasn't been good (exception: The Merry Widow,  because it's actually EMI's studio recording with Schwarzkopf) but this one is acceptable. Orchestra and sometimes chorus are badly compressed and shrill, but the soloists were well-engineered. (So was the audience's applause for some reason.) Singers knew what they were doing here, and Karajan doesn't get in anyone's way.

The same performance was issued by Orfeo in an issue that's OOP.

Recommended if anyone is looking for a live performance by Corelli or Price.

I've heard this recording in a different pressing. It's certainly a very exciting performance (so exciting that stage and pit become unstuck in a couple of places), but I wouldn't prefer it to Karajan's earlier studio recording with Callas. The singers on this live one might possibly be considered more entitled, but Karajan's grip on the score in the first studio one is tremendous, the score's execution wonderfully precise but just as thrilling, with superbly sprung rhythms. It's my absolute favourite recording of the opera.

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

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3416
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2675 on: August 31, 2021, 11:35:26 PM »
Continuing on with this Davis performance of Les Troyens from many weeks ago:



On balance, I still prefer this to Davis's later recording and also to the recent Nelson recording.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3416
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2676 on: September 01, 2021, 12:29:30 AM »


Karajan's Pelléas et Mélisande comes in for a deal of criticisim for being too Germanic (whatever that means) and for misrepresenting Debussy. Well we have no way of knowing what Debussy would have thought and it is a recording I find myself returning to quite often. It has an excellent cast and is wonderfully played by the BPO. It's also a much better balanced recording than many of Karajan's were around this time, with the voices well forward and never submerged by the orchestra.

I have the very different Désormière in my collection too and I think there is room for both.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7586
  • Location: USA
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2677 on: September 01, 2021, 06:15:00 AM »



Thrift shop find for $1.50.
I tend to avoid Opera d'Oro because the sound on almost all their releases hasn't been good (exception: The Merry Widow,  because it's actually EMI's studio recording with Schwarzkopf) but this one is acceptable. Orchestra and sometimes chorus are badly compressed and shrill, but the soloists were well-engineered. (So was the audience's applause for some reason.) Singers knew what they were doing here, and Karajan doesn't get in anyone's way.

The same performance was issued by Orfeo in an issue that's OOP.

Recommended if anyone is looking for a live performance by Corelli or Price.
Well, I had an enjoyable morning thanks to you, JBS, and your mention of this recording!  :)  I see what you mean about the choruses disappearing at times:  heard faint murmurs from the nuns and also later on in the opera too.  But glorious singing from the main characters.  Wonder who O.D. got this recording from?  Grateful that I have other recordings of it which include the full libretto as it was nice to be able to follow along with it--though I haven't managed to get as much done around my home this morning as I had planned to!  :-[

PD

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58194
  • Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Austro-Germanic and Russian repertoire mainly
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2678 on: September 01, 2021, 06:45:18 AM »
On balance, I still prefer this to Davis's later recording and also to the recent Nelson recording.

I don’t own the later Davis LSO Live recording, but I do own the Nelson recording, which was included in the Berlioz Warner set.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Online André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11166
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2679 on: September 01, 2021, 03:16:36 PM »
Well, I had an enjoyable morning thanks to you, JBS, and your mention of this recording!  :)  I see what you mean about the choruses disappearing at times:  heard faint murmurs from the nuns and also later on in the opera too.  But glorious singing from the main characters.  Wonder who O.D. got this recording from? Grateful that I have other recordings of it which include the full libretto as it was nice to be able to follow along with it--though I haven't managed to get as much done around my home this morning as I had planned to!  :-[

PD

It’s a 1962 Salzburg Festival production and the same performance as on the official SF release:




I have that Od’O release but not the DG one. Can’t tell if the sound is different. The DG dates from 1995, the Od’O from 2002. My hunch is that they’re identical.