Opera Suggestions

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

  1. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    We went to see Turandot, and it was just spectacular :cool:. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

    We'll go see one more production, but haven't been able to decide which one.

    Do post how you liked Tales of Hoffmann missBella--I'm curious to hear your thoughts.
  2. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    My favorites:

    Tosca
    Die Fledermaus (it's very funny)
    Madama Butterfly
    Carmen
  3. BYTCH

    BYTCH Celebrating Prancer's Specialness

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    I'm glad so glad you loved Turandot , Puccini is my favorite and Turandot is my favorite of all his operas. I only wish he had lived long enough to do a final aria. Did they dim the lights at the point where Puccini's composition ended?

    My first operas were 2 one acts that our grade school class went to: L'Enfant Et Les Sortileges and Gianni Schicchi I didn't understand the first one, this was before surtitles, so we had no idea what was going on. But I still remember how much I loved Gianni Schicchi all the greedy relatives, and him leaving himself all the money at the end. It's a terrific opera for children.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
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  4. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    The next Met HD production is Der Rosenkavalier, with Renee Fleming. I saw her in recital last week and have never heard her sing better. I'm thinking of getting tickets for that performance.
  5. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    I didn't notice, sad to say. We were taken by the majesty of the production and missed the finer details of things.

    For two days afterward we would sing Nessum Dorma at the top of our lungs--much to the chagrin of others :shuffle:. Great fun.

    Der Rosenkavalier is one of the operas we were thinking of seeing, but I don't know how the music would compare with Puccini. With Fleming performing, however, perhaps it would be worth it regardless.
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Der Rosenkavalier is a bit more modern than Turandot, but it is one of Richard Strauss's lushest scores that occasionally turns dissonant in places. It's not one of the more strident ones, like Elektra or Salome. It is, though, one of the longer operas at an estimated 4'45".

    One of the most beautiful scenes in the opera, maybe all of opera, is the Act II Presentation of the Rose, and Susan Graham, singing Octavian, should be superb in it.

    The Carmen that follows is going to be in modern dress.
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  7. BYTCH

    BYTCH Celebrating Prancer's Specialness

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    I thoroughly enjoyed Rosenkavelier , and don't remember it as being that long, which speaks volumes. Whether the children would enjoy it I dunno, they didn't like Aida which has some of the most glorious music in the repertoire, so it's hard to tell. It would depend on why they didn't like it, and how long their attention spans are.

    The trouser role will be confusing--at least it's always been a puzzle to me how that convention came about. I'm sure that trouser roles are all about the music, but I have trouble getting past the characters and plot. Romeo being sung by a woman, even as wonderful as Tatiana Troyanos, still makes me shake my head. I've always wondered if they should be sung by contra-tenors.
  8. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Well, at least one counter-tenor, Brian Asawa, made it known that he desired the role of Cherubino, but I don't think anything came of it. There are, however, lots of roles that are sung by both counter-tenors and mezzo - both Sesto and Caesar in Julio Cesare, for instance.
  9. jollibee

    jollibee New Member

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    Sure! :)

    In short, I loved it. And in fact, it was such a surprise that it has become my favorite (of the season), so far!

    When I went in to the show, I thought it was going to be a dark, weird and creeepy drama, because to me, that's what the Met's preview's made it look like. In the beginning of the season, (and based on the synopsis) I almost skipped buying a ticket for it because I thought the story would be weird, too heavy, or psychological but boy, am I glad I didn't! It was not what I expected, it was easy to follow, nice and intellectual with amazing music.


    As long as you don't expect a Turandot or Aida-like showstopping spectacle, you will love this one, too.


    Visually, at times it felt like a Tim Burton-esque, (Alice in Wonderland) movie because there were some awesome magical, kooky characters, and costumes... and then there was the mesmerizing part of Kathleen Kim as a doll.

    She had to act and sing like a doll, and for me, just seeing this, made it worth the price. For teens, or someone relatively new to the opera, this will be a memorable highlight for a long time.

    I found the music, extremely accessible for hearing it for the first time --- in a way, it was more 'modern' by operatic standards and was very, very catchy. Apart from the aria in my last post, I wasn't familiar with any of the melodies but twice I almost forgot that I was in public and wanted to sing-along out loud. :lol: (During "klich-klach" and Olympia, the doll's song). And for hours and hours, they were stuck in my head.


    Overall, it's a drama (but then again, which opera isn't??) with comedy, dances and a 3-4 minute PG scene.



    Is Rosenkavelier really that long? Good to know, for I shall have to sneak in some food. I didn't buy anything at the intermissions of Aida and I almost passed out by the end. :p
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  10. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

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    So that endless yowling was you; I thought the neighbor's cat got stuck on our roof again. :lol:
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  11. SaSherka

    SaSherka New Member

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    My current favorite version of the Barcarolle is the one with Elina Garanca and Anna Netrebko.


    ITA, the music was gorgeous and the ~4 hours flew by fast! I still wonder if Netrebko could've sang the role of Giulietta, as Gubanova didn't impress me much, and I was in the house for this performance. Kathleen Kim stole the show, but it's easy to do with such a winning aria. She clearly got the most enthusiastic applause during the performance. Ms. Netrebko (Antonia/Stella) and Mr. Calleja (Hoffmann) got the well-deserved biggest curtain call applause.
    Great description! Tim Burton-esque it sure was :) I understand it is hard to stage Hoffmann, but I liked this production, although for me the action was sometimes too slow for the main characters, or too fast and all over the place for the dancers. It seems the staging at times took over the music, but I don't know how this looked on the Live in HD transmission. I want to catch an encore and also see the production with the originally announced E. Garanca as the Muse, R. Villazon as Hoffmann and R. Pape as the villains (yeah, I'll keep dreaming =D)

    All in all, it was a good outing and I got a picture with Anna Netrebko =D
    Can't wait for the Carmen in a week, but hope I am not building up too many expectations. Although after seeing the live transmission of Carmen from La Scala, I am ready for a more traditional Carmen...
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  12. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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  13. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    I just heard the season premiere of the new production of "Carmen" on Sirius radio. Elina Garanca sounded great; her voice was very rich. Roberto Alagna was all :drama: as Don Jose. I can't imagine him doing the broadcast interview like his cover (and Don Jose after Alagna) Brandon Jovanovich and saying "You betcha!". Mariuz :grope: Kwiecien :kickass: as Escamillo. Montreal Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin kept the pace :gallopin1.

    According to director Richard Eyre, known for his Shakespeare productions and as director of "Iris", "Notes on a Scandal", and "The Other Man", the setting is the Spanish Civil War period. There is one intermission, for those going to the HD broadcast.

    The production was originally created for Angela Gheorghiu and her husband Alagna, but they split :skandal publicly, and she gets the last two performances next spring with :swoon: Jonas Kaufmann. (When Gheorghiu pulled out of the opening an all performances with her husband, Alina Garanca moved from Nicklausse in "The Tales of Hoffman" to "Carmen".) It pays to be a :glamor:, torn between Kwiecien and Kaufmann.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  14. piano18

    piano18 New Member

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    Go see La bohème


    mmm luscious!
  15. SaSherka

    SaSherka New Member

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    I was at the premiere and I highly recommend this to anyone thinking of going to the Live in HD on Jan 16th. It was a traditional production with clever staging and sets (nothing of that bullcrap from La Scala (ok, Kauffman was dreamy there :)) that was broadcast in theatres on Dec 7).

    I want to add to kwanfan's review that Barbara Frittoli sang the role of Micaela like I've never heard before (and Carmen is my favorite opera).

    Elina Garanca sounded fine, but
    she's a bit of an uninvolved Carmen on stage

    I still keep my fingers crossed for the Gheorghiu and Kauffmann version in April-May :swoon:

    Fabulous production! Go see it! <3
  16. RedRover

    RedRover New Member

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    I have tickets to see Carmen at the Met in February. I cannot wait! My first time ever at the Met:cool:
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  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Have a wonderful time, RedRover!

    If you get there early enough, you can visit not only the gift shop, but also the galleries downstairs, with portraits of the great singers who've sung at the Met.

    One of the my favorite moments in all of the arts, which they don't film on most HD broadcasts -- they opt for the stage manager calling the maestro to the pit -- is when the mini-chandeliers rise just as the lights start to dim. I get chills just thinking about it.
  18. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Just for music alone, and not the “story line” or “stage production grandeur”, my favorites (besides Carmen and Don Giovanni) are “Il Trovatore” and “L’elisire d’amore”, and the only few I can listen to from start to end without skipping portions and enjoy the music alone without the “visual”.
  19. piano18

    piano18 New Member

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    Back a few years ago I saw a production of 'Filumena". lol. A purely Albertan production.
  20. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Ok who saw Der Rosenkavalier yesterday? Whatcha think, knowledgeable folks? :cool:

    Were there sound problems everywhere or was that our theater?
  21. Habs

    Habs Well-Known Member

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    Hubby and I thought it was great! Susan Graham and Renee Fleming were spectacular. :)

    No sound problems in our theatre.
  22. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Gorgeous Renee in her gorgeous costumes! ... and there was music too ;)

    My parents were kind of obsessed with why Strauss wrote the boy role for a woman, I think maybe they didn't like that. I get a total kick out of it myself.. :shuffle:
  23. ebayj

    ebayj New Member

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    I'm so thrilled! Turandot is overflowing with pageantry and lush gorgeous sounds. Let me know what you decide to see next.
  24. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Yowza, the Carmen HD was fabulous!

    Am totally in love with Barbara Frittoli :swoon:
  25. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    If your parents still want to know...

    R. Strauss did not write the music for the role of Octavian with a female singer in mind, or any gender in mind.

    Until the 19th century “gender” of opera singers was never an issue, the “voice" was.

    Only towards the end of 19th century the rules were introduced that women should sing women’s and men should sing men’s parts.

    Before it was all about “type of voice” which suites best the character.

    In the 17th century young castrati often sang the female parts, and later in the 18th century young girls sang boys/men parts.

    The character of Octavian is a teen-age boy, and the part was written with “boy-soprano” or “countertenor” voice in mind to highlight the age difference between the two middle-aged principal characters Baron Ochs (bass) & Marshallin (soprano), and the young boy Octavian.

    "Boy-soprano" or "Countertenor" in men is VERY hard to find.

    Since there was no “boy-soprano/countertenors” to sing the Octavian part, the decision was made to make it a “mezzo-soprano” and to cast a female singer.

    The very same situation as why the male character Cherubino in sang by a woman in the Le Nozze di Figaro.

    It had nothing to do with any social trends or statements. It was all about which “singing body”, regardless of gender, can sing in a proper type of voice.
  26. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    "Der Rosenkavalier" was written in 1909-10 and premiered in 1911.
  27. jollibee

    jollibee New Member

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    Due to these Met's broadcasts, I want to increase my opera cd collection, however there are so many cds to choose from. I have a few "best of... cds" like Puccini, Pavarotti, Callas etc. albums, but I would like to get some cds that are the complete operas but I don't know which versions are the best.


    Could you, please, recommend for me some of your favorite albums? And, also recommend some singer's specific albums, that are a must-hear?


    Thank you, in advance!!
  28. poths

    poths Well-Known Member

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    The Magic Flute for children.
  29. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Run, run, run to get Concerto Koln/Rene Jacobs' recording of Handel's Giulio Cesare with Jennifer Larmore, Barbara Schlick, Bernarda Fink and others.
  30. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    I was just sent this link and had to share. What would you do if you were at the market and an a opera broke out?