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  1. #461
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    I saw the Washington Opera's Tristan & Isolde last night. Originally, Deborah Voight was to be Isolde but she withdrew a week before the run began. Apparently this was because she decided she is not right for the role. She was replaced by Iréne Theorin, who seemed to me to do quite well. I also liked the tenor Ian Storey.

    I have not previously been to a Wagner opera either live or Live in HD. Although it was hard for me to put my finger on why, I did not like it. I think it was just that I found it incredibly ponderous.

    Henceforth, I will leave Wagner to the Wagner lovers.

    ETA: The production has been getting rave reviews such as this one. I can't disagree with any of the review. I just didn't enjoy it. http://dctheatrescene.com/2013/09/17/tristan-isolde/
    Last edited by BlueRidge; 09-19-2013 at 04:59 PM.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  2. #462

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    I have not previously been to a Wagner opera either live or Live in HD. Although it was hard for me to put my finger on why, I did not like it. I think it was just that I found it incredibly ponderous.

    Henceforth, I will leave Wagner to the Wagner lovers.
    I'm jealous that you figured it out after one production. It took me a lot more than that before I finally concluded I can live just fine if I never see another Wagnerian opera.

    Ponderous is a great term for it. (Repetitive is another.)

  3. #463
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    Tristan is unusual among Wagner's operas. I don't put it in the same bucket as any of the rest. Lohengrin and Parsifal are very beautiful, and The Ring has a ton to think about.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  4. #464
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    My friend bought ticket to this year's T&I just to hear Deborah Voight and he was exceedingly disappointed (to put it mildly) when she withdrew.

    T&I is Wagner's paean to romance one way it might have annoyed BR is that the romantic music builds and builds in each act but is never resolved until the Liebestodt when it FINALLY is allowed to climax. So the opera only climaxes when lover boy is toast; this is consistent with his view that women are debilitating to real men.

    I sat through Parsifal with James Levine conducting on Hitler's BD. It was the longest night of my life. I didn't even clap when it finally ended, I just bolted and swore to never sit through it again. However, I also declared I would never sit through Salome or Zauberflaute again, and I did, so it is conceivable that I may somehow be dragged into Parsifal, but I will never subject myself to Levine conducting Wagner again. His interpretation of Wagner is like Richard Burton's Shakespeare--excruciatingly ponderous.

    When the Berlin Opera brought the Ring Cycle to DC I hocked my socks to sit in the 2nd row center orchestra for all four operas. I took the week off work so my concentration and enjoyment would not be disturbed by the mundane. I am no longer the Wagnerian uber that I used to be, I have matured to install Puccini as my favorite composer.

    JMHO
    Boi Bumba!!!

  5. #465
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    Quote Originally Posted by BYTCH View Post
    My friend bought ticket to this year's T&I just to hear Deborah Voight and he was exceedingly disappointed (to put it mildly) when she withdrew.
    that's too bad, because Irene Theorin is a great singer, just coming off a Ring in Italy. (She was the Brunnhilde in the Copenhagen Ring, which is on DVD, my desert island Ring.)

    Quote Originally Posted by BYTCH View Post
    T&I is Wagner's paean to romance one way it might have annoyed BR is that the romantic music builds and builds in each act but is never resolved until the Liebestodt when it FINALLY is allowed to climax.
    Five freaking hours later, by adding one note to resolve the pervasive chord.

    Quote Originally Posted by BYTCH View Post
    So the opera only climaxes when lover boy is toast; this is consistent with his view that women are debilitating to real men.
    Really. In the Ring, the only non-victim woman who isn't an airhead (coughRheinmaidenscough), Fricka, loses the guy. The rest suffer and suffer and suffer, and their suffering is fetishized.

    Quote Originally Posted by BYTCH View Post
    I sat through Parsifal with James Levine conducting on Hitler's BD. It was the longest night of my life.
    Levine's "Parsifal" is as long as other conductors' Ring.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  6. #466
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    I'm quite fine with the romance not reaching its climax. In general romance doesn't do a lot for me. Especially when its just a byproduct of drugs. It was all the overblown blathering about death that really put me over the edge. The program notes mentioned that Wagner was enthralled with Schopenhauer when he wrote the opera and that definitely came through. And that's not a good thing.

    I have no intention of ever setting foot in Parsifal but I still might someday try the Ring Cycle. I'll probably be sorry. IIRC, the Washington Opera is doing a ring in 2016.

    Now I am looking forward very excitedly to the next WNO production, La Forza Del Destino.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  7. #467
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    Wagner wrote the text of the Ring in reverse order before he wrote the music in performance order for the first 2 2/3 operas of the Ring, and then took a decade+ hiatus during which he wrote "Tristan" and " Die Meistersinger." When he came back to the Ring, he had new musical ideas and had changed his views on Schopenhauer. It made it dicey for him, because the Ring ends with the end of the world, and he kept changing and second-guessing it in his stage notes for the big orchestral ending.

    I love La Forza. Have a great time!
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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    Busting into the opera thread to share this new thread I just started (I'm a manager for opera singers): http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...r-online-votes!

    Thanks, carry on!
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

  9. #469

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    Handel is my favorite opera composer and I'm sick and tired of the cuts that usually get made in performances. Wagner should get equal treatment; for years I've wanted a bumper sticker that proclaims "Cuts for Wagner".

    (Actually, I do think Wagner does get cut, but who the hell can tell. Everything just goes on and on.)

  10. #470
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    Big Wagner fan here, but it did not come instantly. i walked out of my first Parsifal - I thought the flower maidens were like a toilet paper commercial. Now it is my favorite opera. You need a great conductor and at least one great singer - that makes a huge difference - and you need to surrender to Wagner's elongated sense of time - and you need to follow the connection between words and music at least sometimes. If you can do all that, chances are you will find him one of the greatest and most unique of composers. JMO, of course.

    Deborah Voigt is way over the hill. I saw her Isolde a year or two ago - very underwhelming. Same for her Brunnhilde. Your friend didnt miss much.

  11. #471
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    I was reading about the DC T&I on Opera-L, and there was a discussion about a standard cut that was taken in this performance: there's about 10 minutes and 16-pages of the Act II scene between Tristan and Isolde, and the cut is the discussion about day, which, in the score precedes the discussion of night that leads into the big love duet. Consensus is that it was a common cut until a few decades ago, except at Bayreuth.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  12. #472
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    I went to see the Washington Concert Opera performing Verdi's I masnadieri last night. Now this I loved! It was a really enjoyable performance, especially the soprano Lisette Oropesa. I got the cheapest ticket so was in the last row but because it is a relatively small venue, I felt like I was sitting in a box compared to my 2nd tier seat at the WNO. So fun!
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  13. #473

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    It's The Metropolitan Opera SEASON OPENING! Who's ready for some Tchaikovsky at 6:30pm? (intermissions approx. 7:50 pm & 9:03 pm)
    Live streaming of EUGENE ONEGIN begins at 6:15pm EST here: http://www.metoperafamily.org/stream.aspx or on SiriusXM http://www.siriusxm.com/metropolitanopera
    More about the opening night: http://www.metoperafamily.org/metope...eningnight2013

    Preview clips:
    Anna Netrebko: Letter Scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d56MMagyMXs
    Piotr Beczala: Lenski's Aria (Kuda, kuda?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG5zK7GBXwQ
    Mariusz Kwiecien: Onegin's Aria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccGKhjEOEuE


  14. #474

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    I'm seeing the encore broadcast of the Live in HD Eugene Onegin (the following Wednesday). I had hoped to go to the live one, but my friend can't make it on Saturday. Still looking forward to it!
    Last edited by Wyliefan; 09-23-2013 at 09:16 PM.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  15. #475
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    I'm ready for some Tchaikovsky at 6:30 p.m. and I'm highly annoyed that I won't be home until probably 6:45! But I'll be listening after that. And I'll be going with my Father to the Oct. 5 Live in HD.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  16. #476

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    I think I just saw the world's worst Carmen. Well, maybe there are worse high school and college productions, but the LA Opera production I saw tonight was the least sexy and most tepid production I've ever seen. Patricia Bardon had zero stage presence and, as my friend said, "all the sex appeal of an Eastern European softball coach."

    The only high point was seeing Pretty Yende in her debut here. I'm really looking forward to seeing her in the future.

  17. #477
    KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!
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    Renee Fleming singing the Top 10 list on Letterman:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPZc6RT2wlY

  18. #478
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    Twitter:

    New York Times Arts ‏@nytimesarts 1h
    New York City Opera Announces It Will Close http://nyti.ms/16Ubu85

  19. #479
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    That is so sad.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  20. #480
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    From a nostalgia point of view, it's sad -- I grew up seeing the company, but once the Met got over itself and started to hire away the best from NYCO -- a way-past-her-prime Sills, Neblett, Ramey, etc. -- and Sills took over the Met and the money followed, NYCO was doomed. Domingo was an early exception to Rudolf Bing's recalcitrance, and there was a type of anti-Met/support-American-singers sentiment along with affordable prices that created loyalty among its audiences that survived the move to Lincoln Center for a while. Like NYCB, NYCO performed originally in NYC-owned City Center, a much less ritzy and a smaller venue.

    When Lincoln Center was built, the New York State Theater was envisioned to be a musical theater venue, but NYCB's Lincoln Kirstein pulled out the stops and got his friend, then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller, to change that to a joint NYCB and NYCO venue. State Theater was known as "The House Balanchine Built" and the acoustics were mediocre at best. They later toyed with the acoustics at Balanchine's behest, not because of the opera. The location didn't hurt the ballet: NYCB's chief rival, American Ballet Theatre, performed after the NYCB season on the same stage, and there was the '70's dance boom. (ABT didn't move to the Met until later.). NYCO had to compete with the Met night after night. They also had to sell a lot more tickets in the bigger theater, although the sight line were 1000x better than at City Center, while trying to keep the prices down.

    NYCO had always done new(ish) American opera when the Met was loathe to do so. They also did some operettas, like Romberg's "New Moon" and Gilbert and Sullivan. They started to do earlier works, like Handel, to distinguish themselves from the Met, and they made the disastrous decision to hire Gerard Mortier and let him call shots before showing up, and then he never did, highly predictable because they said "yes" to his big plans, but gave him no budget to realize them, but in my opinion, the only way the company could have survived was to move into a smaller theater in a different part of town. They proposed this, and they wanted to move into a new theater to be built as part of or close to the 9/11 rebuild. I don't remember the exact politics, but Lincoln Center had the legal ability to block it. (I'm not sure if the Met was behind it, to avoid their highly-sought younger target audience from migrating downtown, or if that would have caused the NY Phil, which has suffered the disaster of Avery Fisher Hall, to revolt, or both.)

    As it turned out, NYCO left Lincoln Center anyway and became an itinerant company and is on the ropes, while NYCB expanded its season to the Fall, ABT performs their Fall season there instead of at City Center, San Francisco Ballet will guest for two weeks, etc. What a NYCO bankruptcy will do is no different from what happened to the airlines and car companies: the pension and benefits obligations and debts will disappear, and, likely, there will be some ambitious people with money who will be willing to become automatic big fish in a big pond who will resurrect the company on some level.

    ETA: I just saw this:
    Did AIDS Kill NYCO?

    The "Traviata" the author writes about was a fantastic production.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 10-01-2013 at 06:55 PM.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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