Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 294786 times)

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Offline T. D.

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1980 on: June 05, 2020, 09:58:07 AM »

Earlier post got lost in a crash. I don't buy many opera recordings any more, but sprung for this relatively obscure release and have enjoyed it.


Not particularly coherent, maybe incomprehensible, but I enjoy listening to it, though it's been years since the last spin. I haven't kept up with the prolific Rihm's subsequent work, however.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 07:03:26 PM by T. D. »

Offline pjme

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1981 on: June 07, 2020, 09:33:55 AM »
Yesterday, on France 5: André Messager's 1907 "Fortunio". An Opéra Comique production from 2009/2019.
The libretto follows closely Alfred de Musset's play "Le chandelier", a very French (yet bitter sweet) affair.

After two hours Jacqueline (young & handsome, married to an old notary) falls really in love with Fortunio (a naive clerc) who acted as a "chandelier" (a sort of go between/ beau/ elegant sidekick/ distractor...) for her more lusty affair with a "capitaine"...

But the music is very eloquent, sweet, more Debussy than Massenet, more a conversation piece than a work with long monologues or big arias. It is not an operetta.
The production is really fine and quite traditional. Belgian soprano Anne Catherine Gillet is perfect as Jacqueline and Cyrille Dubois has the perfect looks & voice for Fortunio.
Elegant entertainment for those who have a romantic heart.

https://youtu.be/t-G_vgOQdKk

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1982 on: June 07, 2020, 09:40:54 AM »
Yesterday, on France 5: André Messager's 1907 "Fortunio". An Opéra Comique production from 2009/2019.
The libretto follows closely Alfred de Musset's play "Le chandelier", a very French (yet bitter sweet) affair.

After two hours Jacqueline (young & handsome, married to an old notary) falls really in love with Fortunio (a naive clerc) who acted as a "chandelier" (a sort of go between/ beau/ elegant sidekick/ distractor...) for her more lusty affair with a "capitaine"...

But the music is very eloquent, sweet, more Debussy than Massenet, more a conversation piece than a work with long monologues or big arias. It is not an operetta.
The production is really fine and quite traditional. Belgian soprano Anne Catherine Gillet is perfect as Jacqueline and Cyrille Dubois has the perfect looks & voice for Fortunio.
Elegant entertainment for those who have a romantic heart.

https://youtu.be/t-G_vgOQdKk
A delightful opera. I know it from 1987 Gardiner recording from Lyon.

I particularly like this bit from Act I:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Gm9RDcCb91s" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Gm9RDcCb91s</a>

EDIT:

P.S.: I see that staging at the Opéra Comique is by Denis Podalydès. I saw an interesting production by him of Hugo’s Lucrèce Borgia at the Comédie Française in 2014; Lucrèce was played by a man, Guillaume Gallienne, and Gennaro by a woman, Suliane Brahim. Strange, but surprisingly effective. I’m not really that much into a Hugo’s dramas, but that was a great night at the theatre.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 10:10:47 AM by ritter »
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Offline nico1616

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1983 on: June 07, 2020, 10:36:40 AM »


Minkowski made his best recordings at the end of the 90s and this one is a personal favorite.
His cast of young singers is excellent and I am surprised Mireille Delunsch did not have a bigger career.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 10:38:36 AM by nico1616 »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1984 on: June 08, 2020, 01:19:56 AM »


The first time I ever saw Fidelio (and the first time I'd ever heard it) was when Scottish Opera brought the opera to Newcastle-upon-Tyne with Helga Dernesch as Leonore. Though all the singers were very good, Dernesch was in a class of her own. I well remember her entry into the Canon in Act I, which was like a shaft of sunlight coming through the gloom. This was around the same time she made this recording with Karajan and the effect is exactly the same here. Famously Dernesch started having problems with the top of her voice and took time out, returning as a mezzo, though there is precious little sign of any strain in her voice here. Throughout she is a gleaming, radiant presence and this is arguably the greatest recording she ever made.

She is not the only reason I treasure this recording. Karajan's reading is bitingly dramatic and the whole cast one of the best ever assembled for the opera. Certainly I'm not sure anyone has ever equalled Vickers' searing intensity as Florestan. Ridderbusch as Rocco and Kéléman are superb as Rocco and Pizarro and Van Dam luxury casting as Don Ferando, as is Helen Donath as Marzelline. Dialogue is kept to a minimum and superbly delivered by the singers (thankfully no separate cast of actors).

I've lived with this recording for around forty-five years and it's still my favourite. When I was moving from LP to CD, I bowed to popular opinion and bought the Klemperer, but was profoundly disappointed, finding it less thrilling, less dramatic. It wasn't long before I bought the Karajan again.
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Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1985 on: June 08, 2020, 07:59:13 AM »
That’s the Fidelio I have. EMI chose it for its big Beethoven box. Coincidentally, I’m awaiting the delivery of the Klemperer set any day. I’m curious about its hallowed reputation. Certainly Vickers is the great Florestan of our time.

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1986 on: June 10, 2020, 12:48:55 PM »
First listen to Édouard Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys:


This short opera, based on a Breton legend (which also inspired Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie) is very enjoyable, nicely paced, and with strong choral passages. So far, so good...and then, in Act III, I was suddenly struck by a really beautiful aria (aubade) for the tenor, “Vainement, ma bien-aimée”, which turns out to be the most famous piece of the work. This is followed by the soprano’s “Pourquoi lutter de la sorte”, which is also lovely. The opera, which is good enough in any case, is worth it even if it were only for these passages (well, all of Act III, actually).

The recording  is superb, lovingly led by Cluytens, and boasts an all-French cast with impeccable diction and that particularly French singing style that is so seldom encountered now. And Henri Legay is simply outstanding in the aubade:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/rI7TiG5F1LI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/rI7TiG5F1LI</a>


« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 01:14:25 PM by ritter »
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Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1987 on: June 10, 2020, 02:00:49 PM »
+1. A superb opera. I don’t have that Cluytens version, I guess I should remedy to that !

This is the one I have:



Allow me to offer « my » Aubade in turn  ;):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH2TRnnx2sQ



Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1988 on: June 10, 2020, 10:25:34 PM »
+1. A superb opera. I don’t have that Cluytens version, I guess I should remedy to that !

This is the one I have:



Allow me to offer « my » Aubade in turn  ;):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH2TRnnx2sQ

Lovely performance as well, in the authentic French style.  :)
ritter
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1989 on: June 11, 2020, 02:13:57 AM »
I only know the Aubade. In fact I used to sing it myself. I should give the complete opera a try. There was a third recording available at one time with Barbara Hendricks as Rozenn and Edouard Villa as Mylio. It seems to be out of print now.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 02:17:14 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1990 on: June 12, 2020, 11:24:14 PM »


Listening to this classic recording in Warner's deluxe presentation.

Interesting to read that the sessions were linked to concert performances at the Royal Festival Hall and that both the recording and the concerts were to have been conducted by Klemperer. Ill health meant that Klemperer had to stand down and Giulini took over virtually last minute, even though he had never conducted the opera before. Giulini was not available for the concerts which were conducted, in what became a life changing event, by Colin Davis. Amazing how happenstance resulted in one of the greatest recordings of all time.

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

Offline knight66

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1991 on: June 13, 2020, 12:32:35 AM »
I never knew any of that, really interesting. And quite something that Giulini had never conducted it, but produced one of the very best recorded versions. I have had it for about 40 years, still enjoy it though it has a lot of competition on my shelves.

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1992 on: June 13, 2020, 01:06:18 AM »
Last night I streamed the new Otello.

  https://www.jonaskaufmann.com/en/191/



Jonas Kaufmann (Otello) Federica Lombardi (Desdemona), Carlos Álvarez (Jago), Liparit Avetisyan (Cassio), Virginie Verrez (Emilia), Choir and orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma; Conductor: Antonio Pappano

I liked it a lot. The opening scene was exciting, but I thought the chorus was very slightly ragged, not the orchestra. That apart it sounds very much together as a performance and I noticed details in the orchestra that I had never heard before. The key dramatic Points are all very well handled. I enjoyed the individual performances. Kaufmann seems well into the detail of the role, more so than when I saw the Covent Garden broadcast. By the end I felt he really had the heights and depths of the role. Lombardi is new to me. She is very good. I did not like the beat in her voice in her initial phrases, but was not aware of it as an issue elsewhere. It is quite a creamy voice and it opens out well when needed. Alverez is very experienced as Iago, committed and full of verbal expression.

I think it is on a level with the Aida from Pappano, I need to hear it some more. For a generation I have been wedded to the Vickers/Gobbi partnership and don’t seem able to break it. I have quite a few versions and am tempted to buy this one, but will wait until I can find a bargain.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1993 on: June 13, 2020, 04:18:28 AM »
Last night I streamed the new Otello.

  https://www.jonaskaufmann.com/en/191/



Jonas Kaufmann (Otello) Federica Lombardi (Desdemona), Carlos Álvarez (Jago), Liparit Avetisyan (Cassio), Virginie Verrez (Emilia), Choir and orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma; Conductor: Antonio Pappano

I liked it a lot. The opening scene was exciting, but I thought the chorus was very slightly ragged, not the orchestra. That apart it sounds very much together as a performance and I noticed details in the orchestra that I had never heard before. The key dramatic Points are all very well handled. I enjoyed the individual performances. Kaufmann seems well into the detail of the role, more so than when I saw the Covent Garden broadcast. By the end I felt he really had the heights and depths of the role. Lombardi is new to me. She is very good. I did not like the beat in her voice in her initial phrases, but was not aware of it as an issue elsewhere. It is quite a creamy voice and it opens out well when needed. Alverez is very experienced as Iago, committed and full of verbal expression.

I think it is on a level with the Aida from Pappano, I need to hear it some more. For a generation I have been wedded to the Vickers/Gobbi partnership and don’t seem able to break it. I have quite a few versions and am tempted to buy this one, but will wait until I can find a bargain.

Mike

I should definitely try and listen to it. I'm sure that Kaufmann and Pappano will make it worthwhile. That said I bought the Aida with them and, although I liked it at the time, especially their contributions, I find it tends to get ignored in favour of others in my collection when I want to listen to the opera.

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

Offline knight66

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1994 on: June 13, 2020, 04:56:36 AM »
I should definitely try and listen to it. I'm sure that Kaufmann and Pappano will make it worthwhile. That said I bought the Aida with them and, although I liked it at the time, especially their contributions, I find it tends to get ignored in favour of others in my collection when I want to listen to the opera.

I very much liked everything about that Aida except that Aida. She is so lauded and famous etc and the dream team when with Kaufmann. But I can’t get to grips with her voice. Another Nina Stem for me, I am deaf to what promotes the adulation. So, I have been back to Solti, which I know you dislike and Muti.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1995 on: June 13, 2020, 05:06:05 AM »
I very much liked everything about that Aida except that Aida. She is so lauded and famous etc and the dream team when with Kaufmann. But I can’t get to grips with her voice. Another Nina Stem for me, I am deaf to what promotes the adulation. So, I have been back to Solti, which I know you dislike and Muti.

Mike

The Amneris was a bit of a problem for me too. She sounded a bit like Obrasztsova, who is another mezzo I've never taken to. My favourites in the role are Simionato, Dominguez and Baltsa. I'm afraid I'm a bit deaf to Gorr as well.

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

Offline knight66

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1996 on: June 13, 2020, 05:50:47 AM »
I should have another listen as I don’t remember the mezzo specifically.

I have been reading advocacy of Regina Resnik. I used to have her Carmen and thought it crude and her voice unpleasant. What I am reading does not sound like it could be the same singer.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1997 on: June 14, 2020, 12:34:32 AM »


One of those sets that is never quite the same. Each time I listen to it I notice some detail I'd missed the first time around. I find Callas's unconventional Carmen endlessly fascinating, "like Piaf singing La vie en rose, or Dietrich in The Blue Angel, which is inimitable, unforgettable, and on no account to be missed”, according to Richard Osborne in The Gramophone.

My review here https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/the-callas-carmen/

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

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1998 on: June 16, 2020, 02:45:48 PM »


Along with the EMI Karajan recording, this is by some margin the best conducted Aida I know of. Abbado leads an exciting, vital performance that carries all before it. Overall it is very well sung, too. Cossotto’s fire-eating Amneris is rather crudely sung, the big voice overpowering all others. The voice itself is something to behold, but it’s simply too loud most of the time. She reminds me of Obraztsova and Gorr on that respect. Arroyo’s Aida is a more delicate, aristocratic creature. Her portrayal acquires more depth as the opera proceeds, and vocally she is quite beautiful to listen to. Domingo is in very good voice, singing with a lot more involvement than in the Muti or Abbado DGG recordings. Indeed, his Radamès is thrilling. The other men are excellent (Cappuccilli, Ghiaurov, Roni).

It's a live recording from La Scala on tour in Munich in 1972. The snag is the recording, which is very variable. Curiously the big crowd scenes come out best, with plenty of air and depth to the recording, with a big dynamic range. Elsewhere there is discoloration and a kind of intrusive radio signal, especially noticeable in the Prelude and the last scene. Because of the sound issues I cannot recommend this in preference to the best studio recordings. As a complement to those however it is quite a find. It pulses with life and drama like few of them do.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1999 on: June 16, 2020, 10:45:11 PM »

 
Just fabulous. I honestly think this is one of the best things Karajan ever did. He conducts with splendid elan, rhythms superbly sprung but shaping the lyrical sections in long, heavenly phrases. And the cast could hardly be bettered. Di Stefano is probably its weakest link, a lyric tenor in a role that cries out for a bigger sound, but he almost gets away with it. Callas is slightly past her best and the top of the voice occasionally turns sour, but nobody sings Leonora's music with so much musicality, such elegant phrasing and such accuracy in the coloratura with which the role abounds. Barbieri is more conventional but still a barnstorming Azucena and Panerai and Zaccaria are absolutely splendid. I've always thought this recording was almost as much of a classic as the De Sabata Tosca

Full review on my blog https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/il-trovatore/[/IMG]
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas