PDA

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

Wyliefan
10-14-2013, 05:19 AM
I loved Eugene Onegin at the Met (I saw the encore screening). LOVED it. I'm very much an opera newbie, but so far this is my favorite opera.

So, a question for you aficionados -- which is the best recording to get? A lot of people online say this one (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000004162/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=05Q1TXTPFQDZSMGBS7Y6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1630083502&pf_rd_i=507846), but I'd like to get some more opinions before I pick one.

Spun Silver
10-15-2013, 12:06 AM
I love Onegin too. Although I have not seen the cast of the recording you linked, or heard the recording, Hvorostovsky and Shikoff are wonderful, wonderful singers and it looks worthy to me.

My own bias when it comes to Slavic music in particular is for native singers. The languages and their sounds are very foreign to singers from most other regions, who usually have to learn their lines phonetically. This limits their ability to meld words and music idiomatically. Even conductors who don't know the language intimately will be less idiomatic than native-born conductors. I noticed this especially in recordings and performances of the Czech composer Leos Janacek. That said, great singers and conductors can overcome the language barrier for me.

I have seen EO live many times but have only one copy, which I love. It is an old Soviet-era Bolshoi recording which I own in a curious LP set where the box lists one cast and an insert lists another. Thank heavens I remember enough of the Russian alphabet to figure out the names. Based on the fact that the box lists Galina Vishnevskaya and I KNOW the Tatiana I was listening to was not Vishnevskaya, I am pretty confident in saying it is the following recording, from 1948 according to Wikipedia, which amazingly enough, is still available, and on CD. The tenor singing Lensky, Ivan Kozlovsky, is a real marvel. By chance, a musician friend who adores opera called up while I was writing this. I mentioned Koslovsky and he started raving about how wonderful he is. I dont think he ever sang in the US and he is not well known here, but he pierces the heart. Alas, he seems to have been a "court singer" of Stalin's, but I am unable to hold that against him while listening to him sing.
www.amazon.com/Eugene-Onegin-Elena-Kruglikova/dp/B0000061DD/ref=sr_1_4?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1381777950&sr=1-4&keywords=eugene+onegin+opera+ivanov+kozlovsky
Here is a clip of Kozlovsky singing Lensky's aria a few years later. I doubt any non-Russian could pronounce the words as he does, and his musical artistry (if not his acting!) is sublime.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5hkwBgy294

reckless
10-15-2013, 02:23 AM
We are at intermission during Norma. After Radvanovsky's first scene, my mother said, "Unbelievable." When the curtain fell at intermission, she said, "That is the best voice I've ever heard."

BlueRidge
10-16-2013, 01:25 PM
That's fabulous that you and your mother got to see Radvanovsky in Norma, reckless. I am envious. She was fantastic last year in the WNO's Anna Bolena.

I'm off to see the WNO's La Forza Del Destino tonight. Quite a brutal review of it in the Post but I'm undaunted. I'm sure there will be enough to enjoy. http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/wnos-force-of-destiny-lets-down-vocal-standards-and-verdi/2013/10/13/77d4b9fc-3434-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html

reckless
10-16-2013, 02:30 PM
It really was a spectacular evening. My mom is still on a high from the production, calling it the best she has ever seen (and she has seen some great divas in her day). I'm about to fly home and I can't decide what the high point of the trip was, since we saw one great show or opera after another.

Wyliefan
10-16-2013, 03:12 PM
I'm off to see the WNO's La Forza Del Destino tonight. Quite a brutal review of it in the Post but I'm undaunted. I'm sure there will be enough to enjoy. http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/wnos-force-of-destiny-lets-down-vocal-standards-and-verdi/2013/10/13/77d4b9fc-3434-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html

That was brutal, all right. Please report back -- I'll be interested to see if you agree with the reviewer or not! :)

Oh, and Spun Silver, thanks very much!

Spun Silver
10-16-2013, 06:51 PM
That's fabulous that you and your mother got to see Radvanovsky in Norma, reckless. I am envious. She was fantastic last year in the WNO's Anna Bolena.

I'm off to see the WNO's La Forza Del Destino tonight. Quite a brutal review of it in the Post but I'm undaunted. I'm sure there will be enough to enjoy. http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/wnos-force-of-destiny-lets-down-vocal-standards-and-verdi/2013/10/13/77d4b9fc-3434-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html
I love Mark Delavan and think Voigt is over the hill (sorry to repeat myself on that) so personally I would go to Forza with positive expectations.

kwanfan1818
10-16-2013, 11:11 PM
Monday night's performance was broadcast on Sirius, and Radvanovsky sang beautifully.

"La Forza" is a wonderful opera. I wish I could be there to see it.

BlueRidge
10-17-2013, 02:41 PM
I saw La Forza del Destino about 30 years ago with my mother when the Met came to the Kennedy Center. Leona Mitchell was Leonora. We were so excited about this opera when we saw it. I got my mother a tape of highlights and she played it over and over. So it has a special personal thing for me.

I was a bit concerned that the WNO's updating of it to the present more or less might mean it wouldn't live up to my memory of it, but I have to say, it totally did! I was as excited about it as 30 years ago. I'll try to post some more detailed comments later, but right now, I just wish I could go to another performance!

Wyliefan
10-17-2013, 03:30 PM
Glad to hear it!

BlueRidge
10-18-2013, 12:49 AM
I didn't disagree with the Post's critic that there was some sub par singing. The tenor Giancarlo Monsalve left a lot to be desired and the singing of Ketevan Kemoklidze who was Preziosilla, a pretty important character, made no impression at all. I thought Mark Delavan was good, I think the Post's critic just threw him in the same boat with Monsalve unfairly.

I liked Adina Aaron as Leonora a lot. She did very well with the role and I liked her voice. There were several other singers who were quite good, Enrico Iori who sang Father Guardiano and Solomon Howard who is a young local favorite here in D.C.

I thought the first scene was less effective than the rest and I really think they should have stuck with beginning with the overture rather than putting it after the first scene but with the characters still on stage silently acting out the story. That part didn't work well at all. The best part was the fabulous red dress Leonora wore. (How opera is like figure skating, sometimes the costumes are the best part!)

I expected the contemporary setting to detract from the magic of the opera especially because I had seen a publicity photo with dancers and neon signs that reminded me too much of the Met's Las Vegas Rigoletto, but I was wrong about that. They could have done without the neon signs but otherwise the sets worked really well.

For me the most effective was the scene where Leonora goes to find sanctuary in the religious community. Aaron really shone in this part and the set was really effective, kind of a back alley with graffitti. And in the second half they really built the drama up to the final scene so that it had the great impact it should.

It could have been better in any numbers of way, especially the tenor, but I don't expect the Met when I go to the WNO and this was really a great effort.

Wyliefan
10-18-2013, 03:48 AM
Thanks for the very substantive review! We should hit the opera together sometime -- you could fill me in on all the things I'm missing as an opera newbie. :-)

SaSherka
11-14-2013, 12:19 AM
Time to bring up this thread again? :)
I am going to the Richard Tucker gala concert at Lincoln Center this Sunday http://lc.lincolncenter.org/shows/208554?show_date=2013-11-17%2018:30:00 and just learned that it will be broadcast on PBS on January 10 (check local listings)
http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwopera/article/Live-From-Lincoln-Center-Presents-Richard-Tucker-at-100-An-Opera-Celebration-Hosted-by-Audra-McDonald-110-20131112

I am also going to Richard Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten on Saturday night. Christine Goerke has been getting the highest praise and roars from the attendees and Peter Gelb mentioned in yesterday's NYT article that he plans to bring her back for all major Strauss & Wagner dramatic soprano roles.

skatesindreams
11-14-2013, 12:31 AM
I envy you!

kwanfan1818
11-22-2013, 04:13 AM
Just Tweeted (https://twitter.com/BrettPolegato/status/403714964072194048) by baritone Brett Polegato, who is about to sing Dr. Malatesto in "Don Pasquale":


1st time I've heard a SM have to page "3 whores to the stage, please. 3 whores to the stage." And they say opera is elitist!! @ManitobaOpera