Opera Suggestions

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by agalisgv, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. SaSherka

    SaSherka New Member

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    Just realized I never posted about my last weekend trip! I generally liked Las Vegas Rigoletto, but I was bored at times in house. This is why I love HDs - you get close ups, so you are not bored by lack of action on stage (or being too far from it). Curious to see the HD encore as poor Željko Lučić's Rigoletto seemed a poor fit for Las Vegas. Sadly, he sounded OK, but not better and possibly worse than Damrau/Beczala/Kocán - not good for a title role!
    Not sure I was buying Sinatra-styled Beczala as the Duke-womanizer, but he was totally believable in his duet with Gilda :swoon:
    Also curious where the cameras were in the 3rd act when Maddalena seduces the Duke. There was some hot action going on on the couch =) (And I still can't forgive the camerawork in Les Troyens for robbing us of major Dido & Aeneas (i.e. Graham/Hymel) smooching ;)

    YES and not just looked - SOUNDED fantastic!
    And Yes. Loved that little pole-swinging Pole moment ;)

    Not all of us live in NYC :angryfire Ehh...

    PS. I did see Parsifal on Monday. Musically, couldn't have asked for a better introduction. Need to read the production notes and prepare better for the HD.
  2. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Living vicariously through your :swoon:, emason :cheer2:
  3. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    The Met has announced the 2013-14 season:

    2013-14-Season-Announcement/

    The Live in HD lineup:

    2013-14-Live-in-HD/

    Live in HD:
    Eugene Onegin – Tchaikovsky - October 5, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET New Production

    Cast: Mariusz Kwiecien (Eugene Onegin), Anna Netrebko (Tatiana), Oksana Volkova (Olga), Piotr Beczala (Lenski), Alexei Tanovitsky (Gremin)

    The Nose – Shostakovich - October 26, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET

    Cast: Paulo Szot (Kovalyov), Andrey Popov (Police Inspector), Alexander Lewis (The Nose)

    Tosca – Puccini - November 9, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET

    Cast: Patricia Racette (Tosca), Roberto Alagna (Cavaradossi), George Gagnidze (Scarpia), John Del Carlo (Sacristan)

    Falstaff – Giuseppe Verdi – December 14, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ET New Production

    Cast: Ambrogio Maestri (Falstaff), Lisette Oropesa (Nannetta), Angela Meade (Alice Ford), Stephanie Blythe (Mistress Quickly), Jennifer Johnson Cano (Meg Page), Paolo Fanale (Fenton), Franco Vassallo (Ford)

    Rusalka - Dvořák – February 8, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET

    Cast: Renée Fleming (Rusalka), Emily Magee (Foreign Princess), Dolora Zajick (Ježibaba), Piotr Beczala (Prince), John Relyea (Water Sprite)

    Prince Igor – Alexander Borodin – March 1, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. ET New Production

    Cast: Ildar Abdrazakov (Prince Igor Svyatoslavich), Oksana Dyka (Yaroslavna), Anita Rachvelishvili (Konchakovna), Sergey Semishkur (Vladimir Igorevich), Mikhail Petrenko (Prince Galitsky), Štefan Kocán (Khan Konchak)

    Werther – Jules Massenet – March 15, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET New Production

    Cast: Jonas Kaufmann (Werther), Lisette Oropesa (Sophie), Elīna Garanča (Charlotte), David Bižić (Albert), Jonathan Summers (Le Bailli)

    La Bohème - Puccini – April 5, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET

    Cast: Anita Hartig (Mimì), Susanna Phillips (Musetta), Vittorio Grigolo (Rodolfo), Massimo Cavalletti (Marcello), Patrick Carfizzi (Schaunard), Oren Gradus (Colline), Donald Maxwell (Benoit/Alcindoro)

    Così fan tutte - Mozart – April 26, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET

    Cast: Susanna Phillips (Fiordiligi), Isabel Leonard (Dorabella), Danielle de Niese (Despina), Matthew Polenzani (Ferrando), Rodion Pogossov (Guglielmo), Maurizio Muraro (Don Alfonso)

    La Cenerentola - Rossini – May 10, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ET

    Cast: Joyce DiDonato (Angelina), Juan Diego Flórez (Don Ramiro), Pietro Spagnoli (Dandini), Alessandro Corbelli (Don Magnifico), Luca Pisaroni (Alidoro)
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  4. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Thank you for posting the HD schedule, BlueRidge :cheer2:

    I'm most looking forward to "Eugene Onegin," "Falstaff," "Werther," and "La Cenerentola."

    I'm spoiled out her with Seattle Opera's "La Boheme," a great production directed by Tomer Zhulun and sung by two splendid casts. Patrick Carfizzi will rock Schaunard in the Met's version.
  5. IoanaC

    IoanaC Active Member

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    Met's next season will be fabulous. There's not one HD production that I'm not looking forward to. Those four you mentioned are my favourite picks as well, Kwanfan1818.:) Plus, I'm incredibly happy for (my compatriot) Anita Hartig's Met debut in La Boheme, what a great opportunity for her!
  6. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I wish they would have swapped out the Tosca for something else but I'm looking forward to the rest, especially Eugene Onegin, Rusalka, and Prince Igor. I'm not all that big on the opera itself but I cannot wait to see Elina Garanca in Werther.

    I just wish I could see a bunch of the others that are not going Live in HD!
  7. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Every year they leave out a few operas I would kill to see on the series. This year it's "Two Boys" -- it would be on the schedule if Domingo was in it -- "Wozzeck", and the Radvanovsky "Norma." Even then, that means no Hvorostovsky "Rigoletto," Brownlee "I Puritani," or Damrau "La Sonnambula." If they were going to repeat something, it at least could have been "La Sonnambula," instead of "Tosca," or if they were going to feature Racette, it could have been in "Andrea Chenier," not "Tosca," even if the tenor has more arias.

    From a box office point of view, I'm very surprised they skipped "Die Fledermaus."
  8. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Saw Parsifal last night. Agree with SaSherka about it musically. Cast was amazing, chorus its usual fabulous self, etc. I'll keep my thoughts on the production to myself; I'll be charitable and say it was just not to my taste.
  9. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Did anyone go to the Met gift shop today to get CD's signed by Jonas Kaufmann :grope:?
  10. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Not I, sorry. Into the corner for me.
  11. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    I wonder how many body parts he was asked to sign.
  12. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I saw two Washington Opera productions in the past two weeks.

    The first was Norma with Angela Meade. I was pretty impressed with her. The audience went pretty wild for her. The duets with Meade and Dolora Zajick were really great. The Washington Post's critic had dissed the production but I liked it.

    I didn't think their Manon Lescaut was too good. It seemed pasted together and some of the singers could barely be heard over the orchestra. They went for too obvious camp in the second act it was :blah: The best part was the death scene. That was where Patricia Racette really reached her best and I thought the tenor quite decent.

    I just got my subscription for next year. We get Deb Voigt in Tristan & Isolde so I get to give Wagner a try live. I'm excited about La Forza Del Destino, though I don't know the singers. We also have Moby Dick, Magic Flute, and L'Elisir D'Amore. Plus I got an extra optional ticket for a concert performance of the NSO of Der Rosenkavalier with Renee Fleming! Wheeee!
  13. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    Update from LA.

    Last night, I saw The Flying Dutchman. I think I just need to give up and admit that I will never like Wagner and just find someone to buy my subscription seats when Wagner is on the schedule. Two-and-a-half hours with no intermission, styling that seemed to mix steampunk and Star Wars, and intentionally turgid staging made the first two acts feel like they lasted four hours. The final scenes were an improvement, and I liked the soprano, Elisabete Matos, but I think I can pass -- or take a long break from Wagner.

    Thursday night, I'm seeing La Cerentola for the first time. That should be a lot of fun.

    I don't think I posted the LA Opera's 2013-14 season -- Carmen, Falstaff, The Magic Flute, Billy Budd, Lucia di Lammermoor, Thais, and Einstein on the Beach. I could do without another production of Carmen, but it's been years since we have had Falstaff and Lucia, and I've never seen Thais. We also have concerts by Audra McDonald and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. I'm not going to see Hvorostovsky, since he did a recital last year, but it's been a few years since I've seen Audra McDonald.
  14. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    BlueRidge: if you can see Diana Damrau's upcoming concert, you wont regret it.

    Meade sang "Casta Diva" as one of her arias for the 2007 Met Council Auditions.

    Orchestras can be worse to the singers in Puccini than they are in Wagner, sadly.

    I didn't love Ian Storey's Siegfried in "Gotterdammerung," but his Tristan might be better. The Kurvenal is James Rutherford, who was one of two singers who won the Seattle Opera Wagner Competition in 2006, but he also won the Orchestra and Audience Prizes.

    It has some of Verdi's best music. The singer I recognize is Amber Wagner, one of the Leonoras, who was in the same class of Met Council Audition winners as Angela Meade.

    I saw it in Dallas, and I loved it, especially the first act. I think Jake Heggie was trying to make a political statement about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at the end, and he and the librettist forced it. If it's the same production, the design team did a great job with projections. Stephen Costello was the original Greenhorn, and Talise Trevigne the original Pip.

    You're in for a treat: the Jun Kanako designs are beautiful. This slide show doesn't do them justice, but will give you a taste:
    http://sfopera.com/Season-Tickets/2011-2012-Season/The-Magic-Flute.aspx

    Una furtiva lagrime... But YuNa Kim does not appear in the opera.

    Have a great time!
  15. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Thanks for the information, Kwanfan1818. I thought about getting a ticket to the Diana Damrau concert but I'm kind of tapped out of funds, and its hard for me to get to events on week nights.

    On the night I was at Manon Lescaut, Dmitri Hvorostovsky was giving a recital in the Concert Hall. At the intermission I kind of wished I could sneak in there!
  16. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Oh, Hvoro :swoon:

    He was so good that George Jellinek, who almost never featured young artists on his show "The Vocal Scene" devoted a whole show to a tape of an early recital.
  17. IoanaC

    IoanaC Active Member

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  18. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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  19. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    But also :lol:. He'll rebound.
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  20. BYTCH

    BYTCH Well-Known Member

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    I got a last minute ticket and got to see Norma. I've never seen it before, and enjoyed it; both the sopranos were excellent, their duet in act II was exquisite. The tenor did his best, but meh. The sets were "interesting", they kinda worked, in that they didn't get in the way, but they were certainly minimal and didn't add anything much to the story. I was in front on the left side; with the raked stage, I couldn't see what was in that big circle on the other side of the stage, where so much of the action took place.

    I love those sets and costumes for the SFO Magic Flute!! Thank you for the link.
  21. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    There are advantages to being in the second tier. I get a clear view of the whole stage. :rollin:
  22. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Anyone got tickets for the HD broadcast of the Met's new Giulio Cesare? Last night was opening night and its siren call was too hard for me to resist; this is spite of the fact that I already have a ticket to see it in house on the 30th. IMHO Alice Coote is the best trouser mezzo out there at the moment; she inhabits every character totally and no two are the same. Her Sesto in this production is nothing like her Sesto in the previous version, and both are sensational. She absolutely hit it out of the park last night.
  23. IoanaC

    IoanaC Active Member

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    I'll be watching it in HD on the 27th and I can't wait. How did Natalie Dessay sound? I saw the live broadcast of "Tales of Hoffmann" from Liceu a few weeks ago on Mezzo and she was excellent - hopefully last season's disastruous experience with "Traviata" is behind her.
    Can't wait to hear Alice Coote too. I wasn't really familiar with her before watching some clips from the "Cendrillon" production with Joyce DiDonato (which I hope to be able to see in Barcelona next January). Loved her, vocally and acting-wise. I'm sure she's going to kill "Svegliatevi nel core".:)
    I would have much preferred Sarah Connoly as Cesare instead of David Daniels, but...

    Is it the same David McVicar production from Glyndebourne, or a modified version?
  24. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    I'll be at the HD: it's one I've most been looking forward to.

    You're very fortunate to have this production in DC. I think it played or will play in five cities total.

    Oh, yes.
  25. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Have to agree with all those who wish for Sarah C. It's time for the Met to get another Caesar; I've only seen Jennifer Larmore or David Daniels in the role. I want to see/hear a really good mezzo in the role.

    I thought Dessay was great, but I really am in as much no teknik about opera as I am about skating. This is the Glyndebourne production; how much of it the Met has or hasn't modified I don't know. I saw it 5 years ago when Chicago Lyric did it and this is pretty much what I remembered. You can tell the difference between DeNiese (Chicago Cleopatra and also Glyndebourne I think) and Dessay though; DeNiese is a true trained dancer whereas Dessay is more mimicking (sp?) dancing. However, vocally, I thought Dessay was great. I'm very prejudiced about this production though; I loved it from the first second of it in Chicago and loved it last night. I'm really interested to hear what everyone else thinks after all of you have seen it.

    I just sent a friend off to BAM to see if there are any HD tickets left even though the broadcast is only 3 days before I see it again. Can you tell that this is my favorite opera?
  26. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Did you get to see Sills and Treigle? I did once, but both were announced as with whatever flu was strangling NYC at the time, and while Sills was pretty fine, Treigle wasn't :(
  27. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I've got my ticket for the Live in HD!
  28. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    No, she blushes in reply. I never saw Sills in anything, never mind Treigle. I am actually somewhat tone deaf and came to opera very late by way of ballet. At about my 25th Swan Lake or so I had a moment of epiphany - gee, the orchestra sounds slow and awful tonight; I've heard this sound so much better. It was then I knew my ear had gotten better and I could venture into the world of opera. My mother's first cousin was a world-famous bass-baritone; he got all the musical talent in the family. My mother and I got none.


    ETA: I just read the Times review and I owe Dessay an apology; apparently she did train as a dancer when she was younger.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  29. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    I saw it at Glyndebourne and loved it. I thought DeNiese was fabulous. Hope it translates to the stage of Met's size ( but it did very well in Chicago, so it should)
    Dessay is one of my very favorite singers- actresses... I wish I could see it.
  30. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    I thought DeNiese was fabulous also. I butted into a conversation between an usher and a standing room only regular to offer my 2 cents worth the other night. The usher was very vocal on the subject of DeNiese; cannot stand her and only thinks she got where she is today because of her pretty face. Not my opinion at all, although I did not like DeNiese in either The Marriage of Figaro or The Enchanted Island. I did, however, absolutely love her as Cleopatra.
  31. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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  32. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine went last night and her word for DeNiese was STUPENDOUS. Said she dominated the opera in every way possible.
  33. IoanaC

    IoanaC Active Member

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    I read the news on Twitter yesterday. Well, I kind of agree with the comments to that article: I have a hard time believing De Niese just stepped in after 6 years, like a walk in the park, into the role and the choreography. I'm glad it turned out well, but I think she had been prepared to replace Dessay in case of illness. I doubt Peter Gelb would have taken such a risk otherwise.
    I had checked the Met's website a few days ago and actually wondered if Natalie Dessay would be able to sustain so many performances (10-12?). Her voice sounds better, but it's still strained. Such a pity...:(
  34. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    It actually isn't that uncommon for replacements to be called in for key roles like that without rehearsing with the cast and orchestra. Angela Meade's big break in 2008 came when she stepped in for Sondra Radvanovsky in singing Elvira in Ernani at the Met. She was the cover for the role and had never rehearsed it at the Met. Recently, at the LA Opera, the lead soprano in The Flying Dutchman became ill shortly on opening night. The decision to replace her with her understudy came 12 minutes before curtain. The understudy had observed rehearsals and knew the score, but had never done a walk-through on the stage. (She also had never even been fitted for a wig, which was extremely noticeable in what was a very stylized production.)

    Also, performers often come into productions mid-way through a run. For instance, in the same Flying Dutchman, the performer playing Erik became ill after the second performance, was replaced by the understudy for the third and fourth performances, and a third performer was brought in for the final two performances. I very seriously doubt that third performer would have done anything other than a very brief run-through of some orchestrations with the conductor, because there would have been no time to do so with the orchestra and cast. The orchestra shows up before the performance, warms up, and is out the door before the final bows are taken. And the cost of an additonal rehearsal is prohibitive if you would have to pay 40 musicians an extra couple of hours. Instead, operas bring in performers who already know the roles and can be expected to pick up simple staging on the fly.
  35. IoanaC

    IoanaC Active Member

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    Of course I'm aware of that. I might be absolutely wrong, but I just have a feeling the MET wouldn't have taken a risk like that. Not only wasn't De Niese the official understudy, but she hasn't sung the role in a while. Back in December, when Bryan Hymel replaced Giordani in "Les Troyens", basically over night, they had to call Susan Graham and the rest of the cast on Christmas Eve to rehearse, even if Hymel had recently sung the role of Aeneas in London. Just like Giulio Cesare, that was a complex production too.
    Again, I might be completely wrong... Anyway, I'm glad De Niese rose to the challenge and the result was excellent.
  36. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    I wonder about the rest of the run. Will Dessay sing on Friday, and, if not, then who?

    I heard Alagna's first ever Met Cavaradossi a season or two ago when I forget who pulled out ill on the day of the performance. Gelb's story was that he tracked down Alagna in a cab on the way to lunch in Little Italy, but one does wonder.
  37. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    I mentioned that she hadn't had a rehearsal because in the article too which I linked, there was a photo/screen capture of her tweet:

    Fear. Jumping head first into a running show without rehearsing w/ cast or orch. #iMustBeCrrrrrazy! May the gods be w me. & the force too​
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  38. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    If she had been in rehearsal, wouldn't there be an awful lot of people who could call this out?
  39. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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  40. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    "It's an art, not a sport."