View Full Version : Opera Suggestions

Pages : 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

10-03-2009, 06:15 AM
Placido Domingo's greatness is his unsurpassed ability to act with his singing voice. If your children can appreciate that, then by all means have them watch Simon Boccanegra.

Carmen, Ada, and Turandot are all war horses for a reason -- great music and plenty of spectacle. Not much comedy to be had in any of them, but your kids should enjoy them.

The production designers of the Met's Tosca got booed (!) at the debut for their stark, modern sets. I'm guessing that there might not be enough there visually for your kids.

10-03-2009, 07:16 AM
I have not heard the music from Aida, but my opera buff Aunt said it was worth seeing for sure. My aunt was the one who use to take my sister and I to various plays, musicals, ballets and opera's growing up.

The list I gave you, are the opera's I am most familiar with and if they come to you one day, I am sure the kids will love them, as a few from that list, I saw when I was younger.

Have fun!!!

10-03-2009, 08:43 AM
agalisgv, how old are your children? The themes and plot points of many operas are frequently violent, sexual or both. There is no opera on the list which is really comparable to Cenerentola. The lightest in tone is probably Rosenkavalier, but its plot is focused on romance and illicit affairs. The music is gorgeous, but Strauss might be a bit challenging for children. My recommendation goes to Turandot as another fairy tale but in the violent Brothers Grimm school. It's exciting, but has a happy ending, at least for the 2 main characters. Of course, the title character is a sociopath who is responsible for many deaths and the torture and suicide of the secondary female lead, but Hansel and Gretel cooked an old woman in an oven so that's not unexpected in fairy/folk tales. Puccini's music is easier for most children to appreciate, too. I've never seen Tales of Hoffman, but I seem to remember that it has 3 stories. It's a far lesser work than the others on your list, but you might want to check it out if the others seem too adult in content.

10-03-2009, 11:52 AM
Boos for Tosca


10-03-2009, 12:24 PM
Seeing the great Domingo, especially now in the twilight of his career, is a must; however, Boccanegra isn't the most visually stimulating or action-driven opera. Don't know how kids would like it, but hey, they can tell their grandkids they saw Domingo.

If "spectacle" is most easily digested by the young-ins, I would say Aida, Turandot, or Carmen. Zajick is singing Amneris in Aida, that alone is worth the price of a ticket. She'll hit it out of the park.

Der Rosenkavalier is one of my personal faves and has glorious music, but its Strauss and 20th century and therefore its melodies are more adventurous than 19th century fare. Fleming is a fantastic Marschallin and Graham always shines as Octavian. However, very much character driven: the climax is three ladies (one of them playing a boy) singing overlapping monologues.

Armida and Hamlet are all about the singing. With Fleming in the former and Keenlyside (dreamboat!!!!) and Dessay in the latter, you can't go wrong. But again, not exactly the most action packed.

Hoffmann is just boring and has too many characters, IMHO.

Let me finish by saying that it is SOOOOO groovy that your kids are into it! Keep it up, we need young people to continue performing AND attending in the future!!!

10-03-2009, 03:53 PM
On a side note, I find this music video of Anna Netrebko singing the Song to the Moon from Dvorak's Rusalka (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xcvtrJjqhE) highly entertaining, although you might not want your kids to see it, agal. :inavoid: ;)

This video made me laugh. She is physically beautiful and has a wonderful voice, but the cheesecake effort was too funny. The cheap float, the awful lip synching, the attempt at "opera porn" ... just a hoot.

Between the opera I saw last night (Rigoletto) and this whole thread, I feel the need to find my Florence Foster Jenkins CD and rock out to some horrific singing today. :lol:

10-03-2009, 04:13 PM
Would you say it's worth it to hear Placido Domingo? I know nothing about Simon Boccanegra.

Probably, but not ahead of my other recommendations. I've never been big on Simon - but Domingo is one of the preeminent artists of the past century. What a wonderful arts form to bring to your kids.

10-03-2009, 05:10 PM
From the list, I would choose "The Tales of Hoffman" & "Carmen" as being the best for children. I saw "Carmen" live at the Met when I was 12 years old & have been a lifelong lover of opera ever since.

10-03-2009, 11:25 PM
I'm going to see Turandot.

I love the fairy tale plot. I want to hear Nessun Dorma live on the big screen, instead of my TV. And it's a lot shorter than Tristan and Isolde, which I saw last year.

10-04-2009, 09:40 PM
I most heartily agree with both Fergus and ebayj about Domingo. Decades from now I think that your children would still be thanking you for the privilege of having seen him perform. :encore:

My first experience with live opera was as a child on a class visit to see La Boheme. I don't remember who that teacher was but to this very day, I am grateful. Thanks, teach!!! :respec:

10-05-2009, 03:58 AM
On a side note, I find this music video of Anna Netrebko singing the Song to the Moon from Dvorak's Rusalka (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xcvtrJjqhE) highly entertaining, although you might not want your kids to see it, agal. :inavoid: ;)

O.M.G. :eek:

10-05-2009, 07:01 AM
I would lean toward Turandot and Carmen. Turandot for a lot of the reasons people have already mentioned, plus one of the performers is Marina Poplavskaya, who was fabulous in the LA Opera production of La Traviata last year.

Carmen is easy to follow, the music is great, and has a lot of spectacle that kids will love.

Der Rosenkavalier is a comedy, so the kids might appreciate it, but Strauss could be difficult. However, having said that, my introduction to opera was a production of Faust, which is hardly a kid-friendly opera, but I enjoyed the drama of it.

I also would suggest that you also consider watching some opera DVDs with your kids. The Magic Flute and Marriage of Figaro are great introductions for kids. (Amazon has the Julie Taymor-directed Met production of The Magic Flute from a few years ago, which was done in an abridged version and in English.) You might also look at some light opera or operettas. I highly recommend renting this production of Luisa Fernanda (http://www.amazon.com/Moreno-Torroba-Fernanda-Teatro-Madrid/dp/B000NHHF2Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1254720857&sr=1-2), a zarzuela, which is a Spanish type of light opera. The music is great and the story accessible, and will also illustrate that not every opera has to be a huge, lavish production. (I saw this version of Luisa Fernanda at the LA Opera a few years ago and really loved it.) Here is a video clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19-GI2LzOtc).

ETA: I keep hoping that they do a DVD version of the Woody Allen-directed production of Gianni Schicchi. That would be a fantastic production for kids, since it had most of the adults I know falling out of their seats. Imagine an opera with Puccino music (and one of the most beautiful arias ever (O mio babbino caro) done in a style of a Marx Brothers version of an Italian mob film.

10-05-2009, 07:58 AM
I have two questions:

Based on people's suggestions here, I was thinking of Der Rosenkavalier. But then I saw the performance time is close to five hours. Is that a long and/or difficult production to sit through? Or did it fly by? I'm wondering how well my kids will last through that.

Also, does anyone know if the production for Carmen will be a traditional one, or a modern revision? I didn't know if they were going to do a Tosca with Carmen ;). I ask because the scene pic they posted looks very minimalistic, and I don't know the various production crews from one another.

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions so far.

Oh, one last thing--does anyone know when the Met announces their line-up for next year? I was thinking if we could catch Domingo in a different opera next year, we may take a pass on Simon Boccanegra this year. Simon doesn't play until February I believe. Would next year's schedule be up by then?

Thanks again :)!

10-05-2009, 05:44 PM
One of the first operas I saw live was Der Rosenkavalier and I did. not. enjoy. it. at. all. I don't think a Strauss opera is a good choice for opera newbies. I do plan to go see it this time though, but that's cause I'm in love with Renee Fleming. ;)

Tosca is one of my mother's favorite operas so we are going to that on Saturday.

Just to add, I saw Turandot on tv once and it was a pretty good spectacular, but my mother doesn't like it at all. OTOH, Maria Guleghina is starring in it and I saw in the HD broadcast of MacBeth two seasons ago that she was in and she is very dramatic and engaging.

10-05-2009, 07:12 PM
As mentioned before, the old warhorses are your safest bets.

Even if Carmen is minimalistic, you still get to hear the gorgeous gorgeous music of Bizet. And hopefully some decent singing too. ;)

I will tell you this much: the ballet Carment Suite was done in a modern style, very minimalistic decorations and choreography and how much does this rock?? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ2diL6Sjcs)

I just could never say no to Carmen.