Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 485673 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3040 on: May 06, 2022, 04:45:26 PM »
Looking forward to Verdi's Rigoletto on Sunday, from Opera Philadelphia.

https://www.operaphila.org/whats-on/on-stage-2021-2022/rigoletto/

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Offline absolutelybaching

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3041 on: May 07, 2022, 02:15:05 AM »
Because of this last Tuesday, the recording inevitably followed today!

(And since it's probably not obvious, the first photo is of me holding the manuscript full score of Britten's Death in Venice in the reading room of the Red House Archive, Aldeburgh).
« Last Edit: May 07, 2022, 03:13:49 AM by absolutelybaching »
It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. (Benjamin Britten)

Offline KevinP

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3042 on: May 08, 2022, 02:58:41 PM »
« Last Edit: May 20, 2022, 12:31:51 PM by Que »

Offline KevinP

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3043 on: May 09, 2022, 04:12:13 AM »
And by extention:



Bit of a Barber kick lately.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3044 on: May 09, 2022, 08:28:41 AM »


I often wonder why this opera has not been revived more often. I also wonder why Renée Fleming appears not to have sung it. It would have suited her brilliantly.

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

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3045 on: May 13, 2022, 11:12:06 AM »
Teresa Berganza in memoriam:



In 1957, still only 24 at the time, made her debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival as Dorabella in Così fan tutte. This was probably her first major international engagement, and opened the door to a long and very distinguished career. The cast was stellar: Aix stalwarts Teresa Stich-Randall and Hans Rosbaud are joined by Luigi Alva, Rolando Panerai, Marcello Cortis and Mariella Adani. Berganza (who I believe was singing her rôle for the first time, and years later went on to record it commercially under Solti) had been preceded as Dorabella at Aix by Nan Merriman, who had recorded the role under Karajan).

Even at this early stage of her career, all the features that made “Teresona” so unique (namely, the beautiful, velvety voice, a superb technique, and a captivating personality that can be felt from her singing alone, without the need to see her onstage) are there. The rôle of Dorabella of course doesn’t permit her to dazzle us with one of her other strengths, the coloratura she was extraordinarily deft at; for that we have to listen to her Rossini recordings. But this is superb singing, and the whole performance is of the highest quality.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 11:14:20 AM by ritter »
ritter
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« …tout cela qui prend forme et solidité, est sorti, ville et jardins, de ma tasse de thé. »

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3046 on: May 14, 2022, 05:14:19 AM »


I only once saw this opera, in a superb production by David Pountney at the English National Opera, with Josephine Barstow and Philip Langridge as Katerina and Sergey (oh what heady days were those). Without visual stimulus it can be quite a difficult listen, but this recording is really fantastic. This was the first recording of the orginal score and, if I remember correctly, it won a well-earned Gramophone Award, and probably many others too. Vishevskaya and Gedda could hardly be bettered and Rostropovich brings out the lyrcism as well as the violence in the score. The recording rather favours the voices and, by this time in her career, Vishnevskaya could sound a bit shrill above the stave. There is no doubting, though, that she is the star of the recording, even when it is so well cast as it is here, with Gedda outstanding as Sergei.
 
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline absolutelybaching

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3047 on: May 14, 2022, 10:33:16 AM »


I only once saw this opera, in a superb production by David Pountney at the English National Opera, with Josephine Barstow and Philip Langridge as Katerina and Sergey (oh what heady days were those).

I was there for that too! Excellent production: the massed ranks of the troops in their smart overcoats on the scaffolding has lodged deep in my brain!
It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. (Benjamin Britten)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3048 on: May 14, 2022, 07:16:39 PM »


I only once saw this opera, in a superb production by David Pountney at the English National Opera, with Josephine Barstow and Philip Langridge as Katerina and Sergey (oh what heady days were those). Without visual stimulus it can be quite a difficult listen, but this recording is really fantastic. This was the first recording of the orginal score and, if I remember correctly, it won a well-earned Gramophone Award, and probably many others too. Vishevskaya and Gedda could hardly be bettered and Rostropovich brings out the lyrcism as well as the violence in the score. The recording rather favours the voices and, by this time in her career, Vishnevskaya could sound a bit shrill above the stave. There is no doubting, though, that she is the star of the recording, even when it is so well cast as it is here, with Gedda outstanding as Sergei.

This is an excellent recording the best I can remember, but I'm planning on revisiting this opera soon, but I'll be giving this recording a listen (an acquisition made earlier this year or late last year):

"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3049 on: May 14, 2022, 11:38:33 PM »
This is an excellent recording the best I can remember, but I'm planning on revisiting this opera soon, but I'll be giving this recording a listen (an acquisition made earlier this year or late last year):



I'm assuming that recording is of the censored score, when Shostakovich made changes to satisfy the Soviet authorities. The Rostropovich was the first recording of the original score and he was only able to make it because, by that time, he was residing in the West.

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

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3050 on: May 20, 2022, 12:10:28 PM »


Sibelius's short (35 minutes) opera is an early work and this is its first recording. It works well enough on disc, but I'm not sure it would be particularly dramatic on stage.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3051 on: May 21, 2022, 10:33:35 PM »


This was the first of the five productions Callas did with Visconti at La Scala, a production which heralded a new era of artistic creatvity and excellence. Callas had just returned from her sensational debut in Chicago and was transformed into the svelte, glamorous woman we see on the cover here. If the weight loss was responsible for the eventual disintegration of her voice, there is precious little sign of it here and she sings throughout with glorious refulgent tone.

However, though often considered a sort of junior Norma, the opera doesn't offer anything like the same dramatic opportunites for her. The best of it is probably in the three well-known arias she later recorded in the studio. Votto hardly manages to bring it to life, but then neither, for that matter, does Muti in his 1995 live recording, also from La Scala. The rest of the cast (Corelli, Stignani, Rossi-Lemeni) is a great one, but the sound is not one of the best La Scala broadcasts from that period.

After its five scheduled performances at La Scala, Callas never sang it again.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3052 on: May 22, 2022, 05:13:53 AM »


Such a wonderful performance of Strauss's most popular operetta, perfecty cast from top to bottom and stunningly conducted by Karajan. I actually prefer this to the later Gala Performance he recorded for Decca. My only slight reservation is the casting of a tenor for the role of Orlovsky, but Helmut Krebs is so good he almost makes me forgive the fact he's singing in the wrong octave. I doubt Schwarzkopf and Streich have ever been bettered as Rosalinde and Adele, Gedda is a properly tenor Eisenstein, with a fine touch in comedy when posing as the lawyer Blind in the third act and Kunz, uncomfortably cast as Danilo in the first Schwarzkopf Die lustige Witwe, here finds his perfect character in the sardonic Falke. Pure joy.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3053 on: May 23, 2022, 01:35:49 AM »


More pure joy from Walter Legge's Champagne Operetta series. Eine Nacht in Venedig is performed in Korngold's revision, with further changes to accomodate Erich Kunz as Caramello, which was originally a tenor role, whilst Wiener Blut is a confection of Strauss tunes put together by one Adolf Müller, having got permission from Strauss himself before he died.

 
Editions aside, these ar absolutely joyful performances. You only have to hear Schwarzkopf and Gedda's delectable shading and phrasing in the duet Wiener Blut to recognise a delightful echt-Viennese style, which is now no doubt lost to us. Wonderfully styish performances too from the likes of Erika Köth, Emmy Loose, Karl Dönch and Peter Klein.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3054 on: May 25, 2022, 12:16:07 AM »


The music for Strauss's Der Zigeunerbaron is at least as good as that for Die Fledermaus but it rarely gets an airing outside of Austria. Maybe it's Hungarian gyspy themes travel less well. Whatever the reason, this 1954 recording is a classy affair. As in the other Ackermann conducted operettas, there are cuts, but not so many as in some of the others and the singing is absolutely wonderful. Pure joy!
 
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline JBS

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3055 on: May 25, 2022, 04:57:13 PM »


The music for Strauss's Der Zigeunerbaron is at least as good as that for Die Fledermaus but it rarely gets an airing outside of Austria. Maybe it's Hungarian gyspy themes travel less well. Whatever the reason, this 1954 recording is a classy affair. As in the other Ackermann conducted operettas, there are cuts, but not so many as in some of the others and the singing is absolutely wonderful. Pure joy!

I have the Clemens Krauss recording. You're right about the quality of the music, but I think the plot impedes it: to me it seems chaotic and incoherent. It's better to listen to it with no idea of what's supposed to be happening on stage.

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Offline KevinP

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3056 on: May 28, 2022, 04:16:48 PM »
Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole. Although I have a recording, this was my time to sit down and watch it, despite its brevity.

https://youtu.be/F8ZFlx8jRjo

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3057 on: May 29, 2022, 11:07:23 PM »


Every now and then I pull out my recording of Arabella in the hope I will enjoy it more. My favourite Strauss opera is Der Rosenkavalier which, though it has its tedious moments, has at its centrre one of the greatest characters in opera in the Marschallin. The problem with Arabella, it seems to me, is that Arabella herself is a bit of a prig. I don't warm to her at all, for all that she gets some gloriously lyrical music to sing, and in fact the most likeable characters turn out to be Zdenka and Matteo. The plot is pretty silly too, though plenty of operas survive silly plots. This one never does for me.


This is a very good recording indeed, with that experienced Straussian Sawallisch bringing out far more of the lyricism in the score than Solti does on his recording with Della Casa. Fischer-Dieskau is no doubt a bit over-the-hill as Mandryka and tends to bark sometimes, but Varady is a beautiful, creamy voiced Arabella and Donath thoroughly sympathetic Zdenka, though a little more contrast in their two voices would have been desirable. Schwarzkopf recorded excerpts from the opera with the superb Mandryka of Josef Metternich and I'm beginning to think that maybe that's all I need of the opera. There seems to me to be quite a bit of superfluous music in the piece and the Fiakermilli stuff I can certainly do without.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3058 on: May 31, 2022, 12:22:00 AM »


I've only once seen Ariadne auf Naxos on stage, in a visually splendid Glyndebourne Touring production. I was only nineteen and I really loved it, though how much that had to do with the music and how much with the spectacular production it's hard to say.

Nowadays I have rather equivocal feelings about it, even in such a wonderful performance as this one. The Prologue is, I think, practically flawless with hardly a wasted note and the various characters wonderfully characterised. It could almost stand on its own as a one act piece. Unfortunately the opera itself is not qute on the same level, though there is some wonderful music for Ariadne herself, especially as sung here by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, who recently won an Es gibt ein Reich competition on another forum I belong to. On the other hand I find some of the music for Zerbinetta and her cohorts rather outstays its welcome, even Zerbinetta's Grossmächtige Prinzessin and even when it's sung with such sparkle and charm as it is here by Rita Streich. Rudolf Schock is the only slightly weak link in the cast, being somewhat dry of voice, and in any case he gets some of the least interesting music to sing.

The Prologue is dominated by Irmgard Seefried's impetuously adorable composer, but has some great characterisations from the other singers as well, with Schwarzkopf and Schock hilariously sending themselves up. A special mention for Alfred Neugebauer in the speaking role of the Major-Domo, who delivers his dialogue with such clarity that anyone with even a passing acquaintance of the language should be able to understand him. Legge's production is also at its finest here too.

This is a classic recording in superb 1954 mono sound and I can't imagine the performance ever being bettered.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Biffo

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #3059 on: May 31, 2022, 12:36:12 AM »


I've only once seen Ariadne auf Naxos on stage, in a visually splendid Glyndebourne Touring production. I was only nineteen and I really loved it, though how much that had to do with the music and how much with the spectacular production it's hard to say.

Nowadays I have rather equivocal feelings about it, even in such a wonderful performance as this one. The Prologue is, I think, practically flawless with hardly a wasted note and the various characters wonderfully characterised. It could almost stand on its own as a one act piece. Unfortunately the opera itself is not qute on the same level, though there is some wonderful music for Ariadne herself, especially as sung here by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, who recently won an Es gibt ein Reich competition on another forum I belong to. On the other hand I find some of the music for Zerbinetta and her cohorts rather outstays its welcome, even Zerbinetta's Grossmächtige Prinzessin and even when it's sung with such sparkle and charm as it is here by Rita Streich. Rudolf Schock is the only slightly weak link in the cast, being somewhat dry of voice, and in any case he gets some of the least interesting music to sing.

The Prologue is dominated by Irmgard Seefried's impetuously adorable composer, but has some great characterisations from the other singers as well, with Schwarzkopf and Schock hilariously sending themselves up. A special mention for Alfred Neugebauer in the speaking role of the Major-Domo, who delivers his dialogue with such clarity that anyone with even a passing acquaintance of the language should be able to understand him. Legge's production is also at its finest here too.

This is a classic recording in superb 1954 mono sound and I can't imagine the performance ever being bettered.

My feelings are almost diametrically opposite - I find the Prologue tedious and quite often just listen to the Opera. I also have the Kempe recording and can't choose between the two. I have a DVD of a Met production, conducted by Levine with Jessye Norman a fine Ariadne.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2022, 12:20:07 AM by Biffo »