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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBS Go Blue View Post
    On a side note, I find this music video of Anna Netrebko singing the Song to the Moon from Dvorak's Rusalka highly entertaining, although you might not want your kids to see it, agal.
    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.
    Last edited by skaternum; 10-04-2009 at 03:39 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    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.

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    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.

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    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.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    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.

    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!!!
    Last edited by twinsissv; 10-05-2009 at 08:16 PM.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBS Go Blue View Post
    On a side note, I find this music video of Anna Netrebko singing the Song to the Moon from Dvorak's Rusalka highly entertaining, although you might not want your kids to see it, agal.
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    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, 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.

    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.
    Last edited by reckless; 10-05-2009 at 07:21 AM.

  8. #28
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    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 !

  9. #29
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    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.
    Last edited by BlueRidge; 10-05-2009 at 06:00 PM.
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  10. #30
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    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??

    I just could never say no to Carmen.
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    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.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
    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.

  13. #33
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    yeah when I saw it many years ago, the young man was played by Frederica Von Stade
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  14. #34
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    i don't think nebtrenko has anything on zachary stains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Village Idiot View Post
    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.

    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.
    Last edited by Fergus; 10-05-2009 at 07:50 PM.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
    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.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Fergus; 10-05-2009 at 08:42 PM.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    O.M.G.
    Wow!!! That would have ticket subscriptions sold out years in advance and the patrons swinging from the chandeliers!!! NOBODY falling asleep during that performance.

    Gives a whole new meaning to the man-in-the-moon!!!
    Last edited by twinsissv; 10-05-2009 at 11:54 PM.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
    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.
    I was at the opening night of Salome at the Met last fall and Mattila was AMAZING. Naked, and AMAZING.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    yeah when I saw it many years ago, the young man was played by Frederica Von Stade
    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.

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