Author Topic: Conrad Osborne: High Fidelity Critic/Blogger - Specialty: Opera  (Read 21167 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9194
  • An American Hero!
Re: Conrad Osborne: Jane's List of Modern Problems in Opera
« Reply #40 on: January 04, 2020, 07:15:04 AM »
I read this yesterday. Osborne's singer friend makes some very good points. It makes for rather depressing reading though.


It is possible that certain European countries might - might - be immune to some of the tribulations in her list.  There does seem to be at times an odd snobbishness against opera and classical music both here and in Europe. 

I recall being upbraided by a German exchange student 20 years ago or more, as I was about to crank up a section of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder for my advanced German classes.

"Ve do not like ziss music."  And why?  It was for rich and elderly people.  Young people do not like it, he said, because it is too slow and long.

Recently via YouTube I showed my 7th and 8th Graders Luciano Pavarotti singing Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck.  (A performance probably from the 1970's.)

"Why's he keep making those faces?" asked a student.

I explained: "His face is expressing the emotion in the text and in the music.  As an opera singer he also needs to be an actor."   Apparently for my student this was a new idea. 

I know that our Music teacher does an excellent job in offering Classical Music throughout the 9 years: I also know that she is told never to give homework, never to expect the kids to remember much, and is in general - and this is also the case with Art - not supported by the administration or by (most) of the parents, who are very worried about MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE.

And so students are taught by their parents that classical music is not important, or even irrelevant.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 07:16:44 AM by Cato »
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9194
  • An American Hero!
Re: Conrad Osborne: High Fidelity Critic/Blogger - Specialty: Opera
« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2020, 07:44:39 AM »
And as an addendum to the above: let me mention the inordinate and incomprehensible mania in the schools and among the parents about SPORTS of all kinds!

The amount of time and energy expended on children's sports today is appalling.   
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9194
  • An American Hero!
Re: Conrad Osborne: High Fidelity Critic/Blogger - Specialty: Opera
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2020, 04:20:57 AM »
New essays on the original versions of Gounod's  Faust and Puccini's Madame Butterfly :

https://conradlosborne.com/2020/06/13/butterfly-and-faust-the-originals-restored-part-1/

https://conradlosborne.com/2020/06/19/butterfly-and-faust-the-originals-restored-part-2/

Also, a classic recording of Manon Lescaut is reviewed:

Quote


The Manon Lescaut is a recent release from the St. Laurent Studio of the Metropolitan Opera performance of March 31, 1956. The romantic protagonists are sung by Licia Albanese and Jussi Björling, and the conductor is Dmitri Mitropoulos. This was a broadcast that acquired a legendary status among devotees, partly on its merits as one of those electric afternoons, partly for its presumed superiority to the RCA Victor studio recording starring the same protagonist pair, and partly as one of the relatively few complete opera broadcasts by Björling, who had dismayed us with frequent cancellations.



https://conradlosborne.com/2020/05/08/manon-lescaut-the-famous-albanese-bjoerling-mitropoulos-broadcast-newly-released-a-personal-report/
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9194
  • An American Hero!
Re: Conrad Osborne: Apologia pro Charpentier's "Louise"
« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2021, 03:26:29 PM »
Conrad Osborne writes about the merits and neglect of Gustave Charpentier's Louise:

e.g.

Quote


"..."Louise" is true verismo, both in subject matter and musical style—the only French example of that genre to achieve a lasting success. Its composer, Gustave Charpentier, called it a “musical novel,” and it does suggest both a Zola-esque naturalism and a Balzacian ambition,


.... Here in New York, it is one of five operas that had been fairly regularly in the repertory of the Metropolitan through the 1940s but vanished abruptly as of 1950, never since to return. (The others: "Mignon, Lakmé, The Golden Cockerel"—but sung in French, as "Le Coq d’or"—and "L’Amore dei tre re".)

All five were given some life support by the New York City Opera at one point or another, with "Louise" and "Golden Cockerel" (with the Sills/Treigle team) getting the best response, and the San Francisco Opera staged "Louise" for Renée Fleming as recently as 1999. But Louise is now no more than an antique curiosity for American opera-goers, and not much more than that even in France. Which is a shame..."


See:

https://conradlosborne.com/2021/04/16/mia-g-charpentiers-louise/6/


Mahler knew Charpentier and conducted the opera:

Quote



"...One day in January (Mahler) told me (i.e. Alma Mahler) he had had a very remarkable
opera sent him. "It doesn't inspire great confidence in the piano
score, but the full score is brilliant and dramatic. Couldn't be
otherwise. It was the hit of this year's opera season in Paris...."

 


See:

(Scroll down to #52)

https://archive.org/stream/gustavmahlermemo00mahl/gustavmahlermemo00mahl_djvu.txt
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9194
  • An American Hero!
Re: Conrad Osborne: Apologia pro Charpentier's "Louise"
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2021, 02:15:31 PM »
Conrad Osborne writes about the merits and neglect of Gustave Charpentier's Louise:

e.g.

See:

https://conradlosborne.com/2021/04/16/mia-g-charpentiers-louise/6/


Mahler knew Charpentier and conducted the opera:


See:

(Scroll down to #52)

https://archive.org/stream/gustavmahlermemo00mahl/gustavmahlermemo00mahl_djvu.txt


YouTube offers a performance from about 15 years ago:  (The National Opera of Paris)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/vsaEh8QtBq4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/vsaEh8QtBq4</a>

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)