The Music Room > Opera and Vocal

Opera n stuff?

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Mandryka:

--- Quote from: jessop on April 30, 2017, 02:39:18 PM ---So is opera like just some kind of different world to other classical music? Ever since I started going on music forums like this one it seems as if opera has its own fans and devotees and most people either avoid it, don't listen to very much, or are committed for life to opera and only (or almost only) opera.

I'm interested to hear from those who don't have a huge interest in opera as to what you like and don't like about it, and particularly what operas you have listened to  to form your opinions about it and what you like/don't like about them. :)

--- End quote ---

One thing which makes it different is that it's dramatic, listening to a recording is no substitute really and videos  are somehow inconvenient and disappointing as an experience of opera for me. For me it needs the opera house ambience .

I used to be a great lover of opera, for years and years, but less so now.

One reason is that I find myself really repelled by the star system.

And I'm repelled by how bourgeois opera is, the glamour and the wealth. Men in suits, adverts for Rolexes in the programme. The idea of picnicking in Glyndebourne now sends shivers down my spine - I used to relish it but not now.

it's too expensive to go - in my experience one in ten nights at the opera are magical. Years ago I thought that made it all worth while, but I think it's just bad value for money now. I want to be in the circle by the way, where you can see the spit and smell the sawdust, I'm not interested in sweating it out in the gods.

Opera's a communal thing - it's sad to go to the opera alone. And right now I only have one friend who's passionate about it, sometimes I go with her but I think she's a bit indiscriminate!

I'm not so interested in The Art of Singing (did she hit the high notes accurately? I don't care.) I am interested in acting - but very few opera singers act with their body. And I'm interested in regietheatre.

I think with me it's partly a question of my friends, if I had a circle of friends who were into going to see Wagner, Mozart, Monteverdi then I'd be enthusiastic I think.





Florestan:
Interestinfg thread!

When I was about 14, Zefirelli's filmed Carmen with Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes-Johnson was a blast --- I've seen it on cinema twice on my own and a third time with my parents, whom I urged to join me. It was one of my first experiences with classical music --- love at first sight. To this day, it is my favorite opera.

I must confess, though, that I'm not a regular opera listener. There could be months between two consecutive operas I listen to. There could also be a month-long opera binge.

Frankly, I am  interested less in the action than I am in the music itself, that's why I don't mind silly librettos as long as the music is gorgeous, for instance Il viaggio a Reims or Il trovatore. That's also the reason I tend to favor Italian or Italianate opera, especially belcanto.

I might be a philistine petty bourgeois, but I subscribe to the notion that opera is, and should be, an agreeable pastime with or without a moral, not a grand and bold statement of philosophy or psychology --- therefore Wagner and his followers / admirers are generally not my cup of tea (although I've seen Der Fliegende Hollaender live twice (sic!) and I quite like Tannhaeuser).

In keeping with my general musical taste and preferences, my favorite 20th century opera is Der Rosenkavalier. I have once tried to watch the whole Lulu on Mezzo TV but I changed the channel after 10 minutes at most. I must say that the costumes (or rather the lack thereof in the case of the main character) were rather appealing, but the music was unbearable to these ears.  ;D

A a rule of thumb, my favorite opera composers have names that ends in -i, and most of them died before WWI.  :D

Mandryka:

--- Quote from: Florestan on May 01, 2017, 04:48:07 AM ---Interestinfg thread!

When I was about 14, Zefirelli's filmed Carmen with Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes-Johnson was a blast --- I've seen it on cinema twice on my own and a third time with my parents, whom I urged to join me. It was one of my first experiences with classical music --- love at first sight. To this day, it is my favorite opera.

I must confess, though, that I'm not a regular opera listener. There could be months between two consecutive operas I listen to. There could also be a month-long opera binge.

Frankly, I am  interested less in the action than I am in the music itself, that's why I don't mind silly librettos as long as the music is gorgeous, for instance Il viaggio a Reims or Il trovatore. That's also the reason I tend to favor Italian or Italianate opera, especially belcanto.

I might be a philistine petty bourgeois, but I subscribe to the notion that opera is, and should be, an agreeable pastime with or without a moral, not a grand and bold statement of philosophy or psychology --- therefore Wagner and his followers / admirers are generally not my cup of tea (although I've seen Der Fliegende Hollaender live twice (sic!) and I quite like Tannhaeuser).

In keeping with my general musical taste and preferences, my favorite 20th century opera is Der Rosenkavalier. I have once tried to watch the whole Lulu on Mezzo TV but I changed the channel after 10 minutes at most. I must say that the costumes (or rather the lack thereof in the case of the main character) were rather appealing, but the music was unbearable to these ears.  ;D

A a rule of thumb, my favorite opera composers have names that ends in -i, and most of them died before WWI.  :D

--- End quote ---

Oh but you underestimate rosenkavelier, with all those reflections on aging and the passage of time, there's nothing deeper in opera!

Florestan:

--- Quote from: Mandryka on May 01, 2017, 05:05:57 AM ---Oh but you underestimate rosenkavelier, with all those reflections on aging and the passage of time, there's nothing deeper in opera!

--- End quote ---

Oh, don't get me wrong --- I know there are deep overtones in it, or indeed in some other operas --- it's just that for me they are not the main interest. If I want only deep reflections, I go to theatre. Opera involves music as well, and if the music doesn't please me, then everything else is ruined --- while if the music please me, then everything else is of secondary importance.  :)

That's why I said, and reiterate, that my favorite operatic style is belcanto, and Italian in general. Afaic, an ear-and-heart-catching melody is worth a hundred deep reflections on anything.  ;D

EDIT: For instance, Tito Schipa singing Com'e gentil, or Toti dal Monte singing Un bel di vedremo

https://www.youtube.com/v/maZlBFdzAmM

https://www.youtube.com/v/JtPA-blKQzI

Mandryka:

--- Quote from: Florestan on May 01, 2017, 05:17:36 AM ---Oh, don't get me wrong --- I know there are deep overtones in it, or indeed in some other operas --- it's just that for me they are not the main interest. If I want only deep reflections, I go to theatre. Opera involves music as well, and if the music doesn't please me, then everything else is ruined --- while if the music please me, then everything else is of secondary importance.  :)

That's why I said, and reiterate, that my favorite operatic style is belcanto, and Italian in general. Afaic, an ear-and-heart-catching melody is worth a hundred deep reflections on anything.  ;D

EDIT: For instance, Tito Schipa singing Com'e gentil, or Toti dal Monte singing Un bel di vedremo

--- End quote ---

Without wishing to lower the tone (actually no, I do wish to lower the tone) -- have you heard Bernstein's recording of the Act 1 overture for Rosenkav? It is the best depiction of orgasm in music ever -- you can almost hear Octavian's cries of pleasure.

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