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Any opera lovers out there?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by skateboy, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I know lots of you know I'm a professional violinist and that I also work as a manager for opera singers. Once a year I present my singers in concert in New York City: we had our most recent performance a couple of weeks ago.

    So I posted a bunch of YouTube links of the concert. It's the first time I've had to be producer, stage director and piano accompanist (it's my second instrument) all at the same time! (Not jumping to do that again--it was pretty exhausting.)

    We did scenes from Tosca (Puccini), Werther (Massenet), Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) and La Boheme (Puccini). Plus a "Nessun dorma" farce for the men and Victor Herbert's "The Prima Donna Song" for the ladies. For anyone who is interested, here are the links (I put them all up, so people might pick and choose--certainly not expecting anyone to watch all of them!):

    From Werther:




    From Tosca:





    From Hansel and Gretel:



    From La Boheme:



    The Nessun dorma farce:


    and the Prima Donna Song:

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  2. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  3. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    A title that asks if there are any opera lovers out there and I immediately think of skatingfan5. :cool:

    Thank you for the links! That is some remarkable talent you have there. I was especially impressed with tenor Young-Ha Kim. :)
  4. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    Opera lover here...my mum is a classically trained singer, so I grew up listening to Joan Sutherland and Renata Tebaldi...

    Thanks for the links! I'll have to switch computers before I listen though...
  5. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    Another lover here. Thanks for posting; I'll listen when I have some time.
  6. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Thank YOU, pollyanna, especially for the comment about Young-Ha Kim. I've always thought he was terrific, but it his been a struggle getting him work. I've sent him to countless auditions and he always sings great, but he almost never gets hired and I just can't figure out why. Plus, he's the nicest guy you could ever meet.

    So strange, all of the other singers are going gangbusters except for him. Frustrating, because I think he's one of the most talented and such a hard worker. It's gotten so bad for him that he's moving back to Korea after several years in New York City (he has a wife and two kids). So I'm trying to find him opportunities there. Frankly, I think he's better than a lot of tenors I hear getting jobs in regional opera houses these days... (not that I'm biased or anything! :))
  7. twinsissv

    twinsissv Well-Known Member

    Opera? Absolutely! Love classical music and ballet as well! Been listening to good music all of my life. Thanks, Mom! :drama::violin::violin::violin:
  8. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Add me to the list of opera lovers here!

    I also was very impressed with Young-Ha Kim.
    It's so sad to hear that he's had trouble finding work, here.
    He's better than many tenors who are more well known., IMO.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  9. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Please let us know the next time you have a concert! I would love to attend. :)
  10. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I will share your comments with him, I know he will appreciate it.
  11. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    Very underinformed on opera and a lapsed violinist here (just ask nashvilledancer; we tried flute/violin duets together last year and it was laughable).

    Enjoyed the Nessun Dorma shtick. Saw that there was a bass-baritone in the video notes and was all "huh??" Plus, it always amazes me when these enormous voices come out of such petite bodies (Young-Ha Kim).
  12. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the supportive comments, everyone! (Special thanks to those of you who subscribed to my YouTube channel.)
  13. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    You're welcome, and I can't blame you for being stumped. His voice is so rich. I hope he finds the work he deserves in Korea, but it's a darn shame NY is letting him go.
  14. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

    Another opera lover here. Thank you! :)
  15. SaSherka

    SaSherka Well-Known Member

  16. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    Love and respect opera, but I have a hard time sitting through a whole one. My brother is a chorus member for the Atlanta Opera and has been for many years, and I am very proud of him. I think because I am a ballet person, I am drawn to the overtures, ballet music if any, and arias, but I can't seem to sit still through a whole classical-length opera. That's a reflection on me-not opera! Any suggestions? It's like-I think I'm an Episcopalian because during our service we get to get up and down a lot!:lol: Of course before I go, I always study the story and history, so I am prepared and not just going in blind....maybe I'm just too hyper. And at my age, that's pretty scary! I don't even drink coffee.

    But I am not being disrespectful. I am in awe of anyone who can sing or play an instrument with that degree of artistry.
  17. LadyNit

    LadyNit moving right along

    My suggestion to you, which assumes that your opera company provides supratitles:

    STOP reading the story before seeing the opera. Let the singing, acting, and staging tell the story to you in real time. If you like what you saw and heard, THEN go read some more about the history of the work. This strategy always works for me. (Of course my opera companion always teases me as we settle into our seats by saying, "You know they die in the end, right?" :p )

    ETA: Respect to your brother. :respec: One of the best things about an opera is listening to the chorus. We have a wonderful one in Seattle and I lurrrve operas where they are featured prominently. (Fidelio gives me chills.)
  18. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    Yep, we have supratitles. Thanks for your suggestions and your kudos to little bro. I'll keep working on it.:)
  19. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmm, I haven't had a problem with that... have you tried going into full screen?
  20. pingu

    pingu Well-Known Member

    To all the opera lovers: on October 1st there will be a skating show at the Arena di Verona. Check out the italian skating/skaters thread for more infos ;)
  21. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the links skateboy, I really enjoyed those. :)

    His voice is so beutiful, so rich!

    Just my very humble opinion: I wonder if his acting is part of the problem. After watching both parts of the first act duet from Tosca, it looked like his lack of acting skills could worry people if he is being auditioned for an opera. This is not at all the case with your other singers IMHO.

    Besides, when he sings such a benchmark part like Cavaradossi, there is the danger of everyone having not one, but several beloved versions engraved in their mind. So the nitpicking is worse than for more ordinary parts. For instance, I feel that this "romanza" should be sung more like a romance, i.e. with more feeling, more tenderness. Especially where the lyrics demand it such as "l'ardente amante mia". Also, starting from "Ah! Il mio solo pensier sei tu.." - that part can send a thrill down your spine when it is sung with passion and here it almost sounds like he is bashing Tosca for distracting him.

    I really hope this doesn't sound rude as this is really nitpicking. He is a wonderful tenor and such rich voices are so rare!
  22. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member


    Not at all, thank you Asli! You may be right. I don't think he's a "bad" actor, but he is definitely reserved. When I just listen to the singing, I hear more emotion than when I am watching.

    Young-Ha is so shy and that is a bit of a deterrent, I believe. When I was directing these Tosca scenes (and since it was a concert, we had just about an hour for staging), when he is supposed to kiss Tosca at the end of the duet, he would give her a peck on the cheek like he was kissing his grandmother! It wasn't until the actual performance that he actually gave her a full-phledged kiss!

    The other thing that may be a problem is his size. He's not super short, but so slim. Many of the leading ladies are not petite. This may be a problem. There are a number of Korean singers in opera, so I don't think that is the issue.

    Thanks again for your observations.
  23. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    You have a point, but personally I didn't even think about the size issue. If there were many other tenors with his voice quality and technique, maybe a choice could be made according to size, but as it is, his other qualities more than compensate for that. Surely the costume designer could find a solution. IMO the reservedness that you mention is more important.

    Does Angela Kolkhidashvili sing mainly dramatic roles? Despite the big volume of her voice, she sounds more like lirico-leggero to me. Maybe it's youtube though.
  24. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Angela sings lirico-spinto roles. The dramatic roles are a bit much for her at this point--Tosca seems to be one of those roles that's now sung by everything from full lyric sopranos to dramatics. She's kind of in between. She's good at some of the Verdi roles (Trovatore) and selected Puccini, as well as some Mozart (Countess in Figaro). And she's GREAT in oratorio.