Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 320743 times)

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Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2220 on: November 21, 2020, 03:21:35 AM »


Pushkin's dark tale of obsession and addiction, brilliantly put to music by Tchaikovsky is one of my favourite operas and it's good to see it's performed far more in the West now than was once the case.

On balance I'd say this Gergiev recording is the best reasonably modern recording available. Gergiev certainly has the measure of this turbulently swirling score.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2221 on: November 22, 2020, 03:04:04 AM »


Admittedly on modern instruments, but this really is a terrific performance and, were it in Italian, I'm sure it would be one of the most recommendable versions.

It seems incredible now that the English National Opera could field such a team of great singers, but that was the norm back then. Sarah Walker, Della Jones and John Tomlinson are all superb, but Janet Baker and Valerie Masterson are both exceptional. Indeed Masterson's Cleopatra is one of the best I've ever heard, her coloratura absolutely stunning and  yet she is infinitely moving in the slower arias. Piangero  had me in tears. Furthermore her diction is well nigh perfect. The voice wasn't large but I seem to remember she had no trouble being heard in either the London Coloseum or the Royal Opera House.

The one relative disappointment is James Bowman's Ptolemy is a bit hooty. Countertenors these days are so much better.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Todd

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2222 on: November 22, 2020, 03:41:40 PM »
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Offline listener

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2223 on: November 22, 2020, 11:01:18 PM »
on DVD:VERDI:  Les  Vêpres Siciliennes  -
original French version, some of the famous ballet extracted and used throughout,
3 hours    The Royal Ballet Covent Garden     Antonio Pappano cond.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 11:13:36 PM by listener »
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Offline Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2224 on: November 23, 2020, 01:43:18 AM »
Recent listening:



Verdi: Simon Boccanegra
Conor

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2225 on: November 23, 2020, 04:09:37 AM »
on DVD:VERDI:  Les  Vêpres Siciliennes  -
original French version, some of the famous ballet extracted and used throughout,
3 hours    The Royal Ballet Covent Garden     Antonio Pappano cond.


IIRC, though there's dance throughout, they didn't use any of Verdi's actual Four Seasons ballet. I guess now I'll need to rewatch it.
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Offline pjme

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2226 on: November 23, 2020, 01:27:10 PM »
A re-run at Stingray - Classica.
A great evening with Fun & magic & vocal fireworks.
Prokofiev: l'Amour des trois oranges.
(Barry Banks is superb!)
Mise en scène : Gilbert Deflo
Décors & costumes : William Orlandi
Lumières : Joël Hourbeigt
Chorégraphie : Marta Ferri



Philippe Rouillon : le Roi de Trèfle
Charles Workman : le Prince
Hannah Esther Minutillo : la Princesse Clarice
Guillaume Antoine : Léandre
Barry Banks : Truffaldino
Jean-Luc Ballestra : Pantalon
José van Dam : Tchélio
Béatrice Uria-Monzon : Fata Morgana
Letitia Singleton : Linette
Natacha Constantin : Nicolette
Aleksandra Zamojska : Ninette
Victor von Halem : la Cuisinière
Jean-Sébastien Bou : Farfarello
Lucia Cirillo : Sméraldine
Nicolas Marie : le Maître de cérémonies
David Bizic : le Héraut

Orchestre et Chœurs de l’Opéra de Paris
Direction musicale : Sylvain Cambreling

Enregistré à l’Opéra National de Paris-Bastille en décembre 2005
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 01:32:32 PM by pjme »

Offline knight66

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2227 on: November 24, 2020, 12:40:45 AM »
Recent listening:



Verdi: Simon Boccanegra

One of my favourite sets. The plot is tangled, but the music is great. I did not know this Verdi until this set came out. I do now have an earlier on with Gobbi, Christoff and de los Angeles, I listen to it for those three voices, but Abbado provides a more dramatic performance and his cast is very good.

Mike
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Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2228 on: November 24, 2020, 02:38:27 AM »
One of my favourite sets. The plot is tangled, but the music is great. I did not know this Verdi until this set came out. I do now have an earlier on with Gobbi, Christoff and de los Angeles, I listen to it for those three voices, but Abbado provides a more dramatic performance and his cast is very good.

Mike

Same here, Mike. I got to know the opera from this superb Abbado recording, which has now become something of a classic. Later on I bought the Santini for the performances of those three great singers (Gobbi, Christoff and De Los Angeles) but the Abbado is the better all round performance.

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

Offline Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2229 on: November 25, 2020, 02:48:22 PM »
One of my favourite sets. The plot is tangled, but the music is great. I did not know this Verdi until this set came out. I do now have an earlier on with Gobbi, Christoff and de los Angeles, I listen to it for those three voices, but Abbado provides a more dramatic performance and his cast is very good.
Same here, Mike. I got to know the opera from this superb Abbado recording, which has now become something of a classic. Later on I bought the Santini for the performances of those three great singers (Gobbi, Christoff and De Los Angeles) but the Abbado is the better all round performance.

Also have the Santini recording and a second recording by Abbado (it's a Live one I think) - plan to give all 3 of these a good listen this week...
Conor

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2230 on: November 26, 2020, 01:44:49 PM »
The plot is tangled, but the music is great.

Opera in a nutshell.  :D
“Especially as far as I am concerned, romanticism is not the bloodless intellectual commitment to a program, but the expression of my most profound mind and soul.” --- Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2231 on: November 27, 2020, 03:45:11 PM »
Don’t forget your three A’s, folks: Arnie, Alban and Anton!


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2232 on: November 28, 2020, 05:22:41 PM »
Janáček
The Makropulos Case
Vladimir Krejcik (tenor), Anna Czakova (mezzo-soprano), Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Ivana Mixova (mezzo-soprano), Vaclav Zitek (tenor), Peter Dvorsky (tenor), Blanka Vitkova (contralto), Jiri Joran (bass), Beno Blachut (tenor), Dalibor Jedlicka (bass), Zdenek Svehla (tenor)
Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Staatsoper
Sir Charles Mackerras



Don’t forget your three A’s, folks: Arnie, Alban and Anton!


Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2233 on: November 29, 2020, 08:57:21 AM »


A splendid recording of Aroldo, Verdi's re-working of his Stiffelio. I prefer the earlier opera, which is dramatically more cohesive, but there is some excellent new music in Aroldo even if, ultimately, it is a less moving piece.

Hard to choose between this and the Queler recording. I prefer Caballé to Vaness, whose voice by this time has become to harden on top, but Luisis directs the better performance. Not much to choose between the tenors, but Anthony Michaels-Moore is excellent and one of the newer recording's chief assets.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2234 on: November 30, 2020, 12:52:08 PM »

Latterly:







I must state I’ve been lucky with these three sets, as all are superb phonographic representations of the works, sumptuously sung, played and recorded - somewhat surprisingly, since the Sinding and d’Albert are cast with little-known names. And, despite their differences in style, all are easy to like.

The Berlin Classics production of Tiefland boasts the superbly full and refined playing of the Staatskapelle, Dresden. In this opera the orchestra is on its collective toes throughout, as not a moment passes by without it commenting and leading words and action. The 1963 recording (from the Lukaskirche) is full, clear as a bell, wonderfully transparent. Better and more natural-sounding than many a digital effort.

Sinding’s way is recognizably wagnerian in its use of orchestral leitmotivs to introduce characters or comment on the action. None of the singers is a ‘name’, but all have very good voices. No fluttery vibrato, no wobble, no missing low notes or screechy high tones. The engineering is excellent as well (a 1986 digital production). Musically this is much stronger than I expected.

Gloriana is sumptuously cast, with strong singers in every role. I was very impressed with Richard van Allan’s Walter Raleigh and Willard White’s Blind Singer. Barstow is strong of voice. In the spoken epilogue she is suitably moving in conveying Elizabeth’s selflessness and determination to sacrifice love for duty. I can understand why this work may have struck the musical establishment as unsuited for a coronation celebration. The plot’s emphasis on deceit, treason and the loneliness of the queen is rather chilling. A deluxe production.

Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2235 on: December 02, 2020, 06:15:56 AM »




 

Gloriana is sumptuously cast, with strong singers in every role. I was very impressed with Richard van Allan’s Walter Raleigh and Willard White’s Blind Singer. Barstow is strong of voice. In the spoken epilogue she is suitably moving in conveying Elizabeth’s selflessness and determination to sacrifice love for duty. I can understand why this work may have struck the musical establishment as unsuited for a coronation celebration. The plot’s emphasis on deceit, treason and the loneliness of the queen is rather chilling. A deluxe production.

I have this set too, and I must say I like the opera more and more each time I listen to it. Many moons ago I remember a fabulous ENO production, with Ava June in the title role. It was revived a few years later, this time with Sarah Walker in the role of Elizabeth and that production exists on DVD.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2236 on: December 02, 2020, 06:16:20 AM »


I don't know why I hadn't heard this recording before, but, whatever the reason, I like it a lot more than the famous Sutherland one. Mesplé, with her small, bright, very French soprano, her perfect intonation, superb diction and needle-fine accuracy in the coloratura is almost at the opposite pole from Sutherland. Who knows what language she is singing in or about? I doubt she even knew herself. In terms of mushy diction, it's one of her worst recordings. Vanzo was the best thing on the Sutherland recording, but Charles Burles is honestly just as good and Roger Soyer excellent as Nilakantha. The acoustic is a bit boomy, as was often the case in the Salle Wagram, but Lombard's conducting is much more stylish than Bonynge. All in all a very pleasant surprise.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2237 on: December 02, 2020, 02:17:54 PM »


I don't know why I hadn't heard this recording before, but, whatever the reason, I like it a lot more than the famous Sutherland one. Mesplé, with her small, bright, very French soprano, her perfect intonation, superb diction and needle-fine accuracy in the coloratura is almost at the opposite pole from Sutherland. Who knows what language she is singing in or about? I doubt she even knew herself. In terms of mushy diction, it's one of her worst recordings. Vanzo was the best thing on the Sutherland recording, but Charles Burles is honestly just as good and Roger Soyer excellent as Nilakantha. The acoustic is a bit boomy, as was often the case in the Salle Wagram, but Lombard's conducting is much more stylish than Bonynge. All in all a very pleasant surprise.
That's a recording that I've heard good things about in the past but don't have a copy of yet.

By the way and thinking of you and other fans (including moi   ;) ):  Happy Birth anniversary to Maria Callas!  I'd read that it was not certain of the exact date:  anywhere from December 2nd to the 4th.

Best wishes,

PD

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2238 on: December 03, 2020, 08:24:26 AM »
By the way and thinking of you and other fans (including moi   ;) ):  Happy Birth anniversary to Maria Callas!  I'd read that it was not certain of the exact date:  anywhere from December 2nd to the 4th.

Really? That's interesting. Mine is 4th December and I was pretty much certain that the only (in)famous person that shares my birthday is Franco which isn't exactly flattering.

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2239 on: December 03, 2020, 08:29:10 AM »
J/K, I am sure there are countless famous and infamous people sharing my birthday. But Franco's is the only one of those that I remember.  ::)