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Fergus
10-05-2009, 07:15 PM
I agree with BlueRidge that Der Rosenkavalier probably isn't the best for newbies. The music is absolutely gorgeous, but it isn't effervescent, frothy, semi-slapstick comedy like Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus. It's a more contemplative, cerebral semi-sex comedy.

For example, the Overture is basically the musical portrayal of two people having really slammin' sex. Then the curtain rises and there's an older lady and a young man in bed together enjoying their post-coital afterglow.

And the young man is played by a woman. ;) So its rather tongue-in-cheek on many levels.

The Village Idiot
10-05-2009, 07:19 PM
It's a more contemplative, cerebral semi-sex comedy.

For example, the Overture is basically the musical portrayal of two people having really slammin' sex. Then the curtain rises and there's an older lady and a boy in bed together enjoying their post-coital afterglow.

And the boy is played by a woman. ;) So its rather tongue-in-cheek on many levels. Were you trying to convince us NOT to see it? Because that is perhaps the best ad for Der Rosenkavalier ever. In fact, I kinda want to go get tix now.

BlueRidge
10-05-2009, 07:19 PM
yeah when I saw it many years ago, the young man was played by Frederica Von Stade :swoon:

ncskatefan
10-05-2009, 07:26 PM
i don't think nebtrenko has anything on zachary stains.

Fergus
10-05-2009, 07:37 PM
Were you trying to convince us NOT to see it? Because that is perhaps the best ad for Der Rosenkavalier ever. In fact, I kinda want to go get tix now.

Oh you should totally get tix, Susan Graham makes a rather dashing boy when she's in drag. And Fleming is the perfect cougar. :D

But for teens? They might find it a bit tedious (unless they grew up in Imperial Vienna). I'm sure many teen boys wouldn't have minded seeing Mattila's Salome, when she stripped to the buff for the Dance of the Seven Veils (though Maria Ewing beat her to it by a couple decades).

Then again, some boys (like young yours truly) enjoyed the shirtless sailors of Billy Budd.

reckless
10-05-2009, 08:18 PM
But for teens? They might find it a bit tedious (unless they grew up in Imperial Vienna). I'm sure many teen boys wouldn't have minded seeing Mattila's Salome, when she stripped to the buff for the Dance of the Seven Veils (though Maria Ewing beat her to it by a couple decades).[/I]
I think the Met cut the nudity when they did the live broadcast of Salome.

I find it hard to picture teens being that excited about seeing Mattila naked, since she is 49. However, I saw her two years ago in an absolutely extraordinary production of Janacek's Jenufa . I actually think that production would have been a great introduction to opera for newbies (provided they were old enough to handle the subject matter). What I loved about it is that it relied on extraordinary acting and told a more insular story than many operas, which disproves a lot of people's views that opera consists of silly (and skeletal) stories with nice music and a lot of spectacle (and sopranos who take 20 minutes to die of consumption while somehow managing to find the breath between hacking coughs to belt out spellbinding arias ;)).

Sigh, another production I wish the LA Opera had filmed for DVD that year instead of the awful Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

Fergus
10-05-2009, 08:34 PM
I find it hard to picture teens being that excited about seeing Mattila naked, since she is 49.

I didn't see the production, which was indeed edited for broadcast, but friends of mine said she looked fantastic....and most importantly sang the crap out of it. :)

My favorite Mattila moment @ the Met, however, was Fidelio. Sainted Mother of Kristen Flagstad, she was AMAZING. :swoon:

twinsissv
10-05-2009, 08:35 PM
O.M.G. :eek:

:lol: Wow!!! That would have ticket subscriptions sold out years in advance and the patrons swinging from the chandeliers!!! :rofl: NOBODY falling asleep during that performance. :watch:

Gives a whole new meaning to the man-in-the-moon!!!

Habs
10-05-2009, 08:50 PM
I didn't see the production, which was indeed edited for broadcast, but friends of mine said she looked fantastic....and most importantly sang the crap out of it. :)

My favorite Mattila moment @ the Met, however, was Fidelio. Sainted Mother of Kristen Flagstad, she was AMAZING. :swoon:

I was at the opening night of Salome at the Met last fall and Mattila was AMAZING. Naked, and AMAZING.

skatingfan5
10-05-2009, 08:50 PM
yeah when I saw it many years ago, the young man was played by Frederica Von Stade :swoon:She definitely was/is great in "trouser roles" -- her voice is still wonderful -- she performed at the Jerry Hadley tribute concert here several years ago. Lots of great singing that night and not a few tears.

To the question as to which of the Met's operas would be the best for a novice and/or children, it's hard to say, but I'd be inclined to choose Aida, Turandot, Carmen, or Hoffman. Aida has spectacle aplenty, plus gorgeous music -- it's not an operatic warhorse for nothing. Carmen has music, costumes, love, bandits, bull fighters, and murder. Years ago I saw a local production of Hoffman (they had to "import" a tenor for the lead), and it was very entertaining (not boring), and "Turandot" can be riveting as well.

I don't know that "Simon Boccanegra" would be the best, despite being Verdi and having Domingo (in a baritone role -- which is how he started out decades ago). I'm still waiting for him to make an appearance locally -- rumor had it that he might be here in a couple years with a zarzuela performance. Still regretting not getting to one of his performances at the Met about 15-16 years ago when I was visiting family in New Jersey. :(

Fergus
10-05-2009, 09:53 PM
I was at the opening night of Salome at the Met last fall and Mattila was AMAZING. Naked, and AMAZING.

That is 100% groovy, especially opening night!

Let's spread the Mattila-love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv2h7M0uXV0

Mattila and Thomas Hampson (:swoon:!) in Strauss' Arabella, from 2002. The staging is ridiculous (but really, what can you do when the climax of the whole show is literally a drink of water?), but the singing is just divine!

reckless
10-05-2009, 11:01 PM
That is 100% groovy, especially opening night!

Let's spread the Mattila-love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv2h7M0uXV0

Mattila and Thomas Hampson (:swoon:!) in Strauss' Arabella, from 2002. The staging is ridiculous (but really, what can you do when the climax of the whole show is literally a drink of water?), but the singing is just divine!
LOL. Fair enough. Here are some snippets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el3ec-3qqeo) from the Jenufa production I mentioned. The opening scene is Eva Urbanova as Kotelnicka, but Mattila begins right around the one-minute mark.

SaSherka
10-10-2009, 08:40 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.
...

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?


1. Five hours is a long time for anything, but there are two 20-30(?) minute intermissions.

2. Here's a glimpse into the future seasons at the Met:
http://balconybox.blogspot.com/2008/06/met-futures-page.html



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 Carmen 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.

ITA! I think my introduction to Carmen actually started with this Plisetskaya ballet when I was a kid, followed by listening to Carmen Suite on a vinyl record and finally making it to Kirov Opera to see the real thing.

Can't go wrong with Carmen! Plus, Garanča and Alagna are in Carmen at the Covent Garden now, so they'll be well rehearsed together by the time they cross the ocean for the Met run.
This blogger has a ton of the ROH production photos (http://aroundtheworldwithirina.blogspot.com/2009/10/carmen-royal-opera-house-roberto-alagna.html)


yeah when I saw it many years ago, the young man was played by Frederica Von Stade :swoon:
She made an appearance here last week for a recital with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa :swoon:

agalisgv, I second the recommendation to check out DVDs at your local library or Netflix. If your children liked La Cenerentola, I think they would love the Dessay/Florez version of La Fille du Regiment (http://www.amazon.com/Gaetano-Donizetti-regiment-Corbelli-Campanella/dp/B0013V33DG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1255159689&sr=8-1) or another Rossini's gem - Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Quintuple
10-10-2009, 09:27 AM
Whoa, lots to say here.

1.

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: ;)

a. Hilarious. b. OK, I kid you not. I was in a dive bar in Goleta, CA on a Tuesday night for karaoke. There was "Sitting Man" who was so tall he had to sit every time he sang on stage, and when he did, it was always "Rio". And there was a developmentally disabled Asian lady in a Christmas sweatshirt and big octagonal glasses sitting with a person watching over her. So right after Sitting Man finishes "Rio", the Asian lady gets up and hands a CD to the DJ. The video comes up, she starts singing. It's the Dvorak aria. The full thing. In Czech. And she totally sang it. I think at the end Sitting Man screamed, "Daaaaaaaaaaamn, lady!"

2. Ooh, Simon Boccanegra really annoyed and bored me. I think I still have the point of view of what would be engaging for kids. Funny story though, the way I got to see it. One day my friend called me and said, "Hey, can you meet me at the opera house in an hour-and-a-half? My boss can't go and he gave me his tickets. They might be good seats, so, wear a tie." I wore a suit. Errr, turned out I was in a box seat next to Nancy Pelosi's for the opening night gala of the SF Opera. I didn't have time to look it up! And I even have a tux! I felt nervous even entering coz I saw all these ladies in crazy ball gowns. Apparently we really entertained our box-mates though.

3. Maybe the production value is great, but I wouldn't say the rest of the operas on the list are super kid-friendly. Of course, Carmen is great and easy to understand. Hmm. I definitely think kids would be into The Magic Flute (but like with any Mozart opera, I say cut it short at the end of the third act).

If you could get your hands on this DVD, The Little Prince (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/shows/littleprince/index.html) would be perfect. It premiered here two years ago - I wish I attended!

If you don't mind dark matter for the kids, I really, really liked the Berlin Opera's production of Verdi's Macbeth (http://www.amazon.com/Verdi-Macbeth-Sinopoli-Zampieri-Deutsche/dp/B00005ABW0), and I saw it as a young teen. Really loved it. But I love Macbeth in general. I imagine Hamlet might be a bit too ... I dunno, long and dry? Depends on the production.

Again, very dark, but if you could find a good production of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluebeard%27s_Castle) ... it's one act, so great for shorter attention spans, and in the tradition of the original "Red Riding Hood" and "The Little Mermaid", it's a classic tale that's really fascinating and gruesome.

kwanfan1818
10-10-2009, 09:43 AM
What is controversial about this Tosca production? Was it Tosca in the nude? :P
No, but from the descriptions I've read in reviews, Scarpia gropes the Madonna at the end of the first act, because Tosca makes him forget G-d, and at the beginning of the second, at least one of the three prostitutes that are all over him mimes fellatio.

But I suspect a lot of the boos were because it replaced the very lavish Zeffirelli production.