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  1. #1

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    The Influence Of Opera On Figure Skating

    The fact that figure skaters have constructed programs around many of the great opera's just goes to highlight the enormous influence that opera has had on the sport. Moreover, I think that those who have choreographed and executed the programs have done a very good job of bringing out the essence of each opera. Here are some links to some of the opera's and various figure skating programs that they have inspired, so that you can judge for yourself:-

    1. La Boheme (Giacomo Puccini)

    Original Opera - La Boheme (Musetta's Waltz Song)

    Meryl Davis & Charlie White - 2010/11 Short Dance (2011 World Championships)

    Patrick Chan - La Boheme - 2012/13 Free Program (Rostelecom Cup 2012)

    2. Carmen (Georges Bizet)

    Original Opera - Carmen (Habanera)

    Katarina Witt - 1987/88 Free Program (1988 Olympics)

    Sasha Cohen - 2001/02 Free Program (2002 Olympics)

    Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir - 2012/13 Free Dance (Skate Canada 2012)

    3. The Marriage of Figaro (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

    Original Opera - The Marriage of Figaro (Overture)

    Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov - 1987/88 Free Program (1988 Olympics)

    4. La Traviata (Giuseppe Verdi)

    Original Opera - La Traviata

    Irina Slutskaya - 2002/03 Free Program (2003 European Championships)

    Stéphane Lambiel - 2009/10 Free Program (2010 European Championships)

    5. Madama Butterfly (Giacomo Puccini)

    Original Opera - Madama Butterfly

    Shizuka Arakawa - 2004/05 Short Program (2004 NHK Trophy)

    6. The Barber of Seville (Gioacchino Rossini)

    Original Opera - The Barber of Seville (Figaro's Aria (Largo al factotum))

    Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov - 1988/89 Short Program (1989 World Championships)

    7. Tosca (Giacomo Puccini)

    Original Opera - Tosca

    Michelle Kwan - 2003/04 Long Program (U.S. Nationals 2004)

    Evgeni Plushenko - 2005/06 Short Program (2006 Olympics)

    8. Turandot (Giacomo Puccini)

    Original Opera - Turandot (Aria: Nessun dorma)

    Shizuka Arakawa - 2003/04 & 2005/06 Long Program (2006 Olympics)

    Shen Xue & Zhao Hongbo - 2001/02 & 2002/03 Long Program (2003 World Championships)

    9. Gianni Schicchi (Il trittico) (Giacomo Puccini)

    Original Opera - Gianni Schicchi (Aria: O mio babbino caro)

    Kristi Yamaguchi - 1996 World Professional Championships - Artistic Program (O mio babbino caro)


    So, what are your favourite opera inspired figure skating programs? Please, if you can, provide YouTube links to them
    Last edited by Maofan7; 12-02-2012 at 04:11 AM.

  2. #2

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    I will have to look for yt later, since I have to go out, but off the top of my head here are some more programs and some more operas:

    Meditation from the opera Thais: Berezhnaya-Sikharulidze (2002 Oly), Gordeev-Grinkov (1991 Pro), Oksana Baiul (Ex)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4S7c9s56A4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKJYhweun0A
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6_0VlvmVh8

    I Pagliacci- Gordeeva-Grinkov (pro)- not my most favorite G&G program though.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-a8pJ7zjhA

    Bechke & Petrov skated to a Verdi opera for an exhibition, but I can't remember which one.

    La Traviata: Viktor Petrenko 94 Oly LP
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzkJxwZ_OXY

    Madama Butterfly: Kristi Yamaguchi (pro)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNB_sx39FXE

    Tosca: Yagudin (2000 worlds), Petrenko (Pro), Irina Slutskaya (2001-2002 season), Navka-Kostomarov (2005 worlds)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfKnryb76ZM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-2YJ0wlQwQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y118zXrE9IQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNNrm8MYC7E


    Turandot: Boitano (Nessun Dorma-exhibition), Yukina Ota (Junior)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmWYoVxm_rc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg-rHQkUP6I

    Carmen: Plushenko (2002 Oly LP), Krylova-Ovssianikov (98 FD), Petrenko 1992 Oly SP, Navka-Kostomarov 2006 Oly FD
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhIiisXRBys
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cphQkdw4fmw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KGCNGsKxmE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxAcG1_Pfd8

    Alexei Urmanov skated to Rigoletto (SP) and Barber of Seville (LP) at the 94 Olympics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j8Imb-AIhA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5XlmJ2QGeA
    Last edited by Vash01; 12-02-2012 at 06:54 PM.

  3. #3
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    Great thread!

    Kazakova & Dmitriev skated to music from the opera La Traviata for their first season together

    Of course Carmen is an extremely popular choice as well. Besides the ones mentioned, Bestiamanova & Bukin, NavKos, Debi Thomas and Viktor Petrenko

    N&K performed Tosca for the 2004-2005 season.

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    Thanks Maofan7. That's a great collection, and it allows us to watch them again side by side.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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    Talking of Pagliacci:

    Janet Lynn - 1972 olympic LP (first 2 mins) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS581_gagjM
    Kavaguti/Smirnov - 2008/09 LP http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9lV_rQfa3I
    And of course:
    Dai's this season's LP

    I like the subtle use of the music (ie not the best known part of the opera) in Lynn's programme
    I really like Dai's LP this season. I hope he will nail it at GPF.
    The use of music in K/S's LP is also interesting. Effective patchwork to incorporate different pieces/moods from the opera.
    I have not seen G/G's before. My first impression - considering the costumes they are not reflecting the characters in the opera (in the opera there is a lot of strife & conflict, but what do they want to portray?).

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    Lambiel skating to Rigoletto:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AqL5YZrcsg

    I wish he was competing right now.

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    marvellous!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Lambiel skating to Rigoletto:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AqL5YZrcsg

    I wish he was competing right now.
    marvellous!

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    La Traviata
    Anna Cappellini / Luca Lanotte http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaPARqRfSf8

  11. #11
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    The fact that figure skaters have constructed programs around many of the great opera's
    Actually, figure skaters have rarely constructed programs around an opera, they mostly just skate to music from operas, usually only the overtures due to the need to avoid vocals. For example, most Carmen's were not really skated to a recording of the opera Carmen but to Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy. I think the all-time worst example was probably Yagudin's Tosca, where short snippets of music were used repeatedly. Just as my ears were ready for the next bars of the score, the music would cut to something else or back to the same phrase just used. Really annoying.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan M View Post
    Actually, figure skaters have rarely constructed programs around an opera, they mostly just skate to music from operas, usually only the overtures due to the need to avoid vocals. For example, most Carmen's were not really skated to a recording of the opera Carmen but to Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy.
    That's the way it should be. The skaters are meant to interpret the music, not play a role in the opera. The overtures offer the best music choice for a skater. I would hate it if they started using vocals from the opera (after the new rules allow vocals) and started making it an ice theater by playing scenes from the opera.

    Sometimes we see a skater playing a role in (for example) a movie, but it's because there is a wider choice of music there. Sometimes they are able to make it work, but to me musical interpretation is more important than playing a character from an opera or movie or a play.

    Regarding Yagudin's music cut, I was not looking for him to play a role in Tosca; I liked what he did to interpret the music through his skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Regarding Yagudin's music cut, I was not looking for him to play a role in Tosca; I liked what he did to interpret the music through his skating.
    I wasn't looking for him to act out the opera either, just to use some decent sections of the music, instead of repeating the same 8 bars over and over again. Whoever cut the music for that program just massacred it.

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    Krylova & Ovsiannikov 1999 OD: La Traviata http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n2iIrWR5sA
    Kostner & Lambiel duet at Opera On Ice 2012: Romeo & Juliette..just pure delight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqEC6OLkmJ4
    Last edited by shine; 12-03-2012 at 01:23 AM.

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    I know Kwan was able to sell it, but man, Morosov got free money from her by just giving her Yagudin's old program (music cuts and choreography and all).

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    Of course, Witt, Boitano and Orser did an hour-long (HBO special USA) or hour and a half (theatrical release in Germany) skating special to Carmen. Don't know that this is all of it, but it's all on Youtube and here are a few links:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFep6bm8JdA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf8BDja7ryk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGv97batpz4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RoMxFsGACM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRWLWCgvmA0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX1lhU_X0TY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxxMfqJf61A
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1F_rOTUIK4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMDPWeQBKBo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9osfabDWgjo

    Boitano also did a program to Cavalleria Rusticana

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    Tristan und Isolde (Richard Wagner)

    Original Opera - Tristan und Isolde (Aria: Liebestod)

    Jamie Salé & David Pelletier - 2000/01 Long Program (2001 World Championships)

    Salome (Richard Strauss)

    Original Opera - Salome (Dance of the Seven Veils)

    Michelle Kwan - 1995/96 Long Program (1996 World Championships) (Part of which came from the Strauss Opera, with the rest coming from Miklós Rózsa's score from the film King of Kings (1961), which starred Brigid Bazlen as Salome)
    Last edited by Maofan7; 12-04-2012 at 12:31 AM.

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    I can't believe I forgot Salome, and I can't believe I forgot Die Fledermaus. Many skaters have skated to this, but my favorite is Gordeeva-Grinkov's 1989 worlds LP. It was pure perfection. I will post the yt later.

    Others who skated to Die Fledermaus: Shishkova-Naumov, Davis & White, Jenny Kirk, Todd Eldredge. . I am sure I am forgetting some. I liked S&N and D&W's programs, but not as much as G&G's.

  20. #20

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    Yuna also skated to DF but didn't have one clean skate Her Meditation de Thais gala in Vancouver.

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