Author Topic: VERDI King of Italian Opera  (Read 118557 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #460 on: December 20, 2013, 01:26:00 AM »
I am happy with many Otellos, though I think Domingo is probably my favorite. He was certainly consistently good in the role that seemed to suit his voice well. I love the end of Act I when he sings with Scotto on the RCA version. Divine!

Post war, there was Mario Del Monaco (not especially subtle, but with the right voice for the role), Vickers and then Domingo. Who is today's great Otello?
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Offline Fafner

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #461 on: December 20, 2013, 02:20:46 AM »
I was really disappointed with Botha as Otello in the recent MET HD broadcast. He is probably the best Lohengrin today, but his Otello was really flat and lifeless.
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kishnevi

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #462 on: December 20, 2013, 01:10:17 PM »
Post war, there was Mario Del Monaco (not especially subtle, but with the right voice for the role), Vickers and then Domingo. Who is today's great Otello?

I suspect the question may have to be held in abeyance until Kaufmann actually starts performing the role.

I was really disappointed with Botha as Otello in the recent MET HD broadcast. He is probably the best Lohengrin today, but his Otello was really flat and lifeless.


Botha (whom I don't think I've ever actually heard in recording or performance) seems to attract this sort of comment regularly--"he's good when he sings X, but when I heard him in Y he wasn't all that good).

Offline Moonfish

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #463 on: May 29, 2014, 11:46:36 AM »
Time for a Verdi session!

Any suggestions on other prime versions of Macbeth? I really enjoyed Warren's voice in this particular performance.

Verdi: Macbeth       Warren/Rysanek/Bergonzi/Hines/Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Leinsdorf   (1959)



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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #464 on: May 29, 2014, 12:28:19 PM »
Time for a Verdi session!

Any suggestions on other prime versions of Macbeth? I really enjoyed Warren's voice in this particular performance.

Verdi: Macbeth       Warren/Rysanek/Bergonzi/Hines/Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Leinsdorf   (1959)



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Great cast there. The set in the big Verdi Decca box is very good too (Abbado).
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Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #465 on: May 30, 2014, 12:50:34 PM »
I have tried various versions, but Abbado is my favourite version, great singing and conducting. The sound is still fresh.

Mike
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #466 on: June 02, 2014, 07:47:58 AM »
I have tried various versions, but Abbado is my favourite version, great singing and conducting. The sound is still fresh.

Mike

I second Mike. The Abbado is my preferred version too.
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kishnevi

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #467 on: June 03, 2014, 05:47:20 PM »
(Crossposted from the WAYLT thread)

This,  found in the used CD store.


A largely no name cast:  the only one I recognize is Sara Mignardo as Mrs. Quickly (Evans is not Geraint as Falstaff but Rebecca as Nanetta;  the title role is sung by Jean-Phillipe Lafont).   And, on top of a first rate Requiem,  this is turning out to be a first rate Falstaff, and Gardiner seems to be as excellent a Verdian as he is a Bachian.     Might seriously contend for the legendary status of "reference recording", and at least is firm evidence that Gardiner needs to record more Verdi (Otello especially).

Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #468 on: June 07, 2014, 01:47:48 PM »
Verdi: Macbeth in English on Chandos: Keenyside, Brindley Sherratt, Latonia Moore, Gwyn Hughes Jones. ENO Orchestra, Edward Gardner.

This is the 62nd and final opera-in-English that will be issued by Chandos in conjunction with the Peter Moores Foundation. It was founded 50 years ago to promote the arts, most commonly music. The charity is being wound up, though the family, whose generosity is enormous will continue to support the community in various ways. The foundation's sponsorship enabled the rescuing of the Goodall Ring Cycle and His Meistersingers, some early Joan Sutherland and late Janet Baker. Additionally they have worked their way through swathes of the repertoire and allowed a number of English speaking singers to provide some excellent recital discs including Diana Montague, John Tomlinson and Christine Brewer.

There are some superb offerings such as the Mackerras Magic Flute, Bluebeard's Castle and an exciting Aida. They have attracted excellent singers and conductors: though rarely the complete knock-out match of the very, very best singer to meaty role to the extent any recording has broken the barrier to become the preferred or equal choice with the very best in the work's native language. But there is a lot that gives a great deal of pleasure. I would have especially valued the excerpts of Rosenkavalier to have been from a complete recording and I have long hoped that they would rescue Berlioz Trojans in English with Janet Baker as both Cassandra and Dido.

So, what of this final offering of Macbeth?

As one of Verdi's earliest hits, despite the reworking, there remain elements here that look back to Rossini. I have always thought it a pity that Verdi wrote the witches and murders as chorus parts: the first, because three witches with Macbeth and Banquo would have made for a terrific intimate scene of drama instead of the rather public crowd rum-ti-tum stuff we get. As to the latter, well, it stretches it a bit that 25 stout murderers can't dispose of one man and a boy efficiently and it usually looks absurd on stage.

But the piece is nevertheless packed with marvellous music and the sleepwalking scene alone is worth the price of the ticket. Although based on Shakespeare the translation does not try to echo him significantly. The English is designed primarily for clear singing. In this the work of the chorus may as well be in Italian, but the soloists do well and especially with Keenlyside, it pays big dividends and he brings the character into life through uncertainty, confidence, brutality and disintegration. His voice has lost its sheen, but he still brings so much to us, a masterclass of a singing actor.

The Lady Macbeth of Latonia Moore is good. She has the weight of voice in the upper area of the role, though it is slightly lacking in laser beam penetration I like to hear in the part. She provides involvement and plenty of drama. She and Keenlyside really dig into each other in their scenes together.

Sherratt is in best voice of all, a pity there is not lots more of the part. The tenor aria for Macduff is workmanlike.

Possibly the main reason to buy the set is the thrusting, dramatic performance drawn out of the orchestra and singers by Edward Gardner. The piece sweeps along. It is a terrific concept of the work. As a bonus the final Macbeth aria, cut from the current standard text when Verdi revised the opera, is provided, I would have preferred it to be integrated.

I will listen again and again with pleasure. A fine end to a long journey.

Mike
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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #469 on: June 13, 2014, 06:29:07 AM »
Verdi: Macbeth in English on Chandos: Keenlyside, Brindley Sherratt, Latonia Moore, Gwyn Hughes Jones. ENO Orchestra, Edward Gardner.

...I have always thought it a pity that Verdi wrote the witches and murders as chorus parts: the first, because three witches with Macbeth and Banquo would have made for a terrific intimate scene of drama instead of the rather public crowd rum-ti-tum stuff we get... Although based on Shakespeare the translation does not try to echo him significantly. The English is designed primarily for clear singing. In this the work of the chorus may as well be in Italian, but the soloists do well...

Mike

That's the problem isn't it, with Shakespeare. English speakers would expect some of the original text in famous scenes instead of the translated back from Italian in order to accomodate its singing language.
I remember some of Maria Stuarda in English, although not Shakespeare, that to my ear, sounded strange.   ZB
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Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #470 on: June 15, 2014, 12:05:20 AM »
I cannot remember which opera it was, it was Verdi, but listening in English bits sounded like Gilbert and Sullivan. It was not a happy connection. I thought the translation was fine, plain, but the l language was direct.

Mike
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kishnevi

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #471 on: June 15, 2014, 06:27:07 AM »
I cannot remember which opera it was, it was Verdi, but listening in English bits sounded like Gilbert and Sullivan. It was not a happy connection. I thought the translation was fine, plain, but the l language was direct.

Mike
Sir Arthur would be pleased, since much of the music of the Savoy operas was inspired by Italian opera, and often meant to parody it.

Offline Moonfish

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #472 on: October 23, 2014, 03:19:05 AM »
Just listened to "Ernani" with Price/Bergonzi under Schippers.



I thought it was quite good (especially in terms of the singing - great voices). However, I found myself not immersed in the soundscape as I usually do in a Verdi opera. Any fans of 'Ernani' here at GMG?  I suspect that I should probably watch it on stage (at least via a dvd) and then return to the recordings. I am getting more fond of Bergonzi's voice every time I hear him in a recording.  :)
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #473 on: November 05, 2014, 02:34:41 PM »
Decided to wake up the thread. Kind of sad that the Verdi thread only has 19 pages....    :'( :'(

Verdi: Otello         Vinay/Brouwenstijn/Kraus
Covent Garden Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Kubelik
(recorded live, Oct 19, 1955)


from



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I was pleased with the performance. The sound was quite good considering that it was a live recording. Do you usually prefer the studio versions. I still get the chills listening to the Callas Aida from Mexico City so I simply never can ignore any live version I come across. Who knows what is hidden within?
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Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #474 on: November 06, 2014, 04:08:16 AM »
I have been tempted by the box, but I have a couple of the performances. I think the Don Carlo is the Vickers/Gobbi one and is pretty sensational. Alceste will be from the final run of opera performances given by Janet Baker. It is very enjoyable, but not for HIP die hards.

I will be interested in how you find the performances as you work through them and will have a look on Spotify to see if the box is there.

Mike
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #475 on: November 10, 2014, 08:09:57 AM »
Verdi: Rigoletto       Moffo/Merrill/Kraus/Elias/Flagello/RCA Italiana Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Solti   

Excellent version of one of my favorite Verdi operas!  Somehow Rigoletto became more enjoyable after I took in a staged version on a dvd. It was fantastic. The imagery of the staging blended with the music so now any Rigoletto triggers the enjoyable experience. This Solti version was very good with wonderful singing from Moffo and Merrill. Solti's orchestra embraced the performance.  I am still looking for my #1, but this one and a version with Callas would qualify as my current contenders. 
Such a sad story!   :'( :'( :'( :'(

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #476 on: November 12, 2014, 03:51:00 PM »
Verdi: Rigoletto       Moffo/Merrill/Kraus/Elias/Flagello/RCA Italiana Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Solti   

Excellent version of one of my favorite Verdi operas!  Somehow Rigoletto became more enjoyable after I took in a staged version on a dvd. It was fantastic. The imagery of the staging blended with the music so now any Rigoletto triggers the enjoyable experience. This Solti version was very good with wonderful singing from Moffo and Merrill. Solti's orchestra embraced the performance.  I am still looking for my #1, but this one and a version with Callas would qualify as my current contenders. 
Such a sad story!   :'( :'( :'( :'(



I do like Kraus's stylish Duke on this recording, but can't stand Solti in Verdi, so the Callas/Gobbi recording with Serafin at the helm still wins for me.

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Offline Moonfish

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #477 on: November 12, 2014, 04:46:23 PM »
I do like Kraus's stylish Duke on this recording, but can't stand Solti in Verdi, so the Callas/Gobbi recording with Serafin at the helm still wins for me.

Agreed!  :)     The Callas/Gobbi under Serafin version is fantastic!   
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Offline king ubu

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #478 on: November 30, 2014, 03:51:12 PM »
Gave a first listen to this today (from the big new Tebaldi box):



Had previously listened to two Mitropoulos live versions (1953, also with Tebaldi, and 1960 with Stella) and watched it on TV as well (with Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Ludovic Tézier ... one Asher Fisch conducting the Bavarian State forces - very good I found ... had seen Harteros on telly in "Don Carlos" earlier and there, her voice seemed too hard, too edgy for the Italian, but in "La forza" she was amazing).

Anyway, I'm really starting to love this opera! I still feel like a beginner, the Verdi operas I'm somewhat familiar with so far are "La Traviata", "Rigoletto", "Aida" and "La forza". I've also listened to "Nabucco" and "Falstaff" a few times, "Il Trovatore" as well, but ... sometimes I really wish every day had two hundred hours so I could listen to more!
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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #479 on: December 01, 2014, 08:18:45 PM »
How about trying something different, like the Il Trovatore directed by Dmitri Tscherniakov, conducted by Marc Minkowski at La Monnaie in 2012, with Scott Hendricks as Count Luna. The Texan baritone is being praised as the current best singer/actor in the opera world. I agree, breath-taking is the word for his performance. Tscherniakov does not give us the usual 'park-and-bark' 'organ grinder' Verdi, but the most exciting, thought-demanding version of this old outlived war horse.

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« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 08:23:53 PM by lisbeth »