What Opera Are You Listening to Now?

Started by Tsaraslondon, April 10, 2017, 04:29:04 AM

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Roasted Swan

Quote from: Tsaraslondon on February 17, 2024, 09:13:58 AMPeter Grimes has been extraordinarily lucky on disc. I have both the Pears/Britten and Vickers/Davis recordings; both very different, but I wouldn't want to be without either. I saw Langridge in the role with ENO and he was absolutely fantastic in, I think, the best production I've ever seen on stage. I believe it's on DVD.
I also remember seeing a fine production at the Garden with Ben Heppner as Grimes and Janice Watson as Ellen.

to the bolded - you are completely right.  I saw Vickers at ROH with Davis at the time his recording was made and he was an extraordinarily powerful stage presence.  Grimes as anti-hero if ever he was.  I never saw Heppner live but enjoy his recordings a lot - I can imagine he was very fine.  It is a remarkable opera full stop.....

ritter

#3801
First listen to Francesco Cilea's L'Arlesiana, in this 1951 Cetra recording conducted by Arturo Basile.



With this opera, that can be described as "elegiac verismo", Cilea is much more convincing than in Adriana Lecouvreur, which is IMHO one of the prime example of cursi verismo (cursi is a untranslatable Spanish word which is defined as "something that, with the appearance of elegance or delicacy, is pretentious and in bad taste").

The work was revised many times by the composer, and this recording —despite dating from after Cilea's death— omits some of the later additions (such as the intermezzo linking Acts II and III). Ferruccio Tagliavini is quite wonderful as Federico, his plangent tone suiting the character like a glove. His rendition of the work's most famous piece, "È la solita storia del pastore" is superb. Pia Tassinari (Signora Tagliavini in real life) is an excellent singer, but perhaps a bit impersonal as Rosa Mamai.

A very enjoyable recording of an opera that, in its lack of pretentiousness, works rather well.

San Antone

Mozart - Don Giovanni - Teodor Currentzis


Wendell_E

Met Opera on Demand is again offering some free streams for Black History Month: Blanchard's Champion from last season, the 1984 Forza del Destino with Price. Yesterday, I watched their third offering, a 1989 Bluebeeard's Castle (in English) with Jessye Norman and Samuel Ramey, Levine conducting. The bill also included Erwartung with Norman, but they only have the Bluebeard.


https://ondemand.metopera.org/performance/detail/8b99be09-6683-5284-b25a-2175a77971ef
"Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." ― Mark Twain

Tsaraslondon

Quote from: San Antone on February 18, 2024, 11:46:33 AMMozart - Don Giovanni - Teodor Currentzis



What were your impressions. People seem to have polarised opinions on Currentzis.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

San Antone

Quote from: Tsaraslondon on February 19, 2024, 03:46:55 AMWhat were your impressions. People seem to have polarised opinions on Currentzis.

I like it a lot; but I am a huge fan of period performances in general. I find Currentzis a very interesting conductor, both for his HIP approach in this music, but also his take on 20th century works e.g. Le sacre.

Tsaraslondon

Quote from: San Antone on February 19, 2024, 04:40:12 AMI like it a lot; but I am a huge fan of period performances in general. I find Currentzis a very interesting conductor, both for his HIP approach in this music, but also his take on 20th century works e.g. Le sacre.

I really enjoyed his recording of the Tchaik 6th, but I know quite a lot of people who hated it. I haven't heard any of his Mozart operas, mostly because I can't bear Simone Kermes, who is on both his Figaro and his Cosi. Thankfully, she appears to be absent from his Giovanni.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Roasted Swan

Quote from: Tsaraslondon on February 19, 2024, 07:39:50 AMI really enjoyed his recording of the Tchaik 6th, but I know quite a lot of people who hated it. I haven't heard any of his Mozart operas, mostly because I can't bear Simone Kermes, who is on both his Figaro and his Cosi. Thankfully, she appears to be absent from his Giovanni.

to the bolded - add me to that list.  Interventionist music making that placed the performer above the composer/music.......

San Antone

Quote from: Roasted Swan on February 20, 2024, 10:14:28 AMto the bolded - add me to that list.  Interventionist music making that placed the performer above the composer/music.......

I am interested in any conductor who performs an intervention when it comes to Tchaikovsky's music.   ;D

DaveF


Not everyday listening for me, but I have to write a programme note on the overture, so need to know where the tunes come from.  A truly delightful way to spend an hour and a half.
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

nico1616



Aida is still one of my favorite Verdi operas. The drama gets me every time, the emotions are so compelling. Aida has fared well on disc, The Price/Vickers/Gorr/Solti recording is still on top but this one has a lot to offer too. The sound is great, you have Karajan in his prime and Tebaldi and Bergonzi have golden voices. Simionato is a force to be reckoned with, but Rita Gorr remains my all time Amneris.
The first half of life is spent in longing for the second, the second half in regretting the first.

Florestan



This is a superb opera from start (an overture with hauntingly beautiful horn solos) to end (a scene in which Armida vacillates between tender love and wrathful revenge until the latter gets the better of her and all hell breaks loose --- sort of a mad scene which is not in any way inferior to any of the subsequent ones by Bellini or Donizetti). Exquisite orchestration with particularly expressive writing for woodwinds and some numbers to die for, among which the two duets, one with piccolo obbligato, the other with violin obbligato, stand out. Rossini's genius shines throughout this magical score (pun). Live recording with a lot of stage noise but the glorious music trumps it all.
Si un hombre nunca se contradice será porque nunca dice nada. —Miguel de Unamuno

JBS

Quote from: Florestan on February 23, 2024, 03:58:02 AM

This is a superb opera from start (an overture with hauntingly beautiful horn solos) to end (a scene in which Armida vacillates between tender love and wrathful revenge until the latter gets the better of her and all hell breaks loose --- sort of a mad scene which is not in any way inferior to any of the subsequent ones by Bellini or Donizetti). Exquisite orchestration with particularly expressive writing for woodwinds and some numbers to die for, among which the two duets, one with piccolo obbligato, the other with violin obbligato, stand out. Rossini's genius shines throughout this magical score (pun). Live recording with a lot of stage noise but the glorious music trumps it all.

I have Ms. Fleming singing that role in a MET DVD.

Quite good.
The main competition to Ms. Fleming is a live performance with Callas; IIRC a major chunk was missing from the source tapes so it's incomplete. I'm sure Tsaraslondon knows the details.

There is also a recording conducted by Claudio Scimone that's been issued a few times but seems OOP right now.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Tsaraslondon

#3813
Quote from: JBS on February 23, 2024, 04:59:41 AMThe main competition to Ms. Fleming is a live performance with Callas; IIRC a major chunk was missing from the source tapes so it's incomplete. I'm sure Tsaraslondon knows the details.

There is also a recording conducted by Claudio Scimone that's been issued a few times but seems OOP right now.


Indeed there are around ten minutes or so where a male voice in slow speed is dubbed over the tape, which the Warner issue omit. It is, however included in Divina's release.



Be warned that the sound on both the Warner and Divina issues is pretty awful, but it's worth persevering for some of the most incredible dramatic coloratura singing ever committed to record.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Tsaraslondon



Pristine's re-master of Callas's studio Medea, which I've reviewed for Musicweb International.

https://musicwebinternational.com/2024/02/cherubini-medea-pristine-audio-3/
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Wendell_E

On Amazon Music, Rattle's new LSO Live recording of Káťa Kabanová, recorded in January 2023, but just released yesterday:

Amanda Majeski (Katya)
Simon O'Neill (Boris)
Katarina Dalayman (Kabanicha)
Andrew Staples (Tichon)
Ladislav Elgr (Kudrjash)
Magdalena Kožená (Varvara
Pavlo Hunka (Dikoy)
Claire Barnett-Jones (Glasha & Feklusha)
Lukáš Zeman (Kuligin)

London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus
"Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." ― Mark Twain

ritter

#3816
Today, Puccini in hyper-verista mode... Il Tabarro, conducted by Giuseppe Baroni (1949 recording in Turin).



What a terrible little opera... It makes Cavalleria rusticana look like the height of refinement  ::)

Tsaraslondon

Quote from: ritter on February 25, 2024, 06:37:32 AMToday, Puccini in hyper-verista mode... Il Tabarro, conducted by Giuseppe Baroni (1949 recording in Turin).



What a terrible little opera... It makes Cavalleria rusticana look like the height of refinement  ::)

I love it, but my preference is for the Bellezza version. Margaret Mas and Giacinto Predelli aren't much to write home about, but Gobbi transforms the whole opera.

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

ando

Quote from: Wendell_E on February 19, 2024, 01:21:33 AMMet Opera on Demand is again offering some free streams for Black History Month: Blanchard's Champion from last season, the 1984 Forza del Destino with Price. Yesterday, I watched their third offering, a 1989 Bluebeeard's Castle (in English) with Jessye Norman and Samuel Ramey, Levine conducting. The bill also included Erwartung with Norman, but they only have the Bluebeard.


https://ondemand.metopera.org/performance/detail/8b99be09-6683-5284-b25a-2175a77971ef
Odd choices for BHM, but a chance to see Norman and Price in action is always appreciated! Thanks.  :)

ando


Donizetti: Roberto Devereux Teatro di San Carlo - 1998 (Pendatchanska, Sabbatini, Guingal)
Superlative. Overall, I prefer it to the Sills/Mackerras version, the prevailing standard of the opera. Alexandrina Pendatchanska gives us a Bette Davis-like Queen Bess I but thankfully doesn't sing like it. Her superb performance is equaled by Giuseppe Sabbatini's stunning Devereux. Their chemistry is the highlight of the production.