Opera Suggestions, II

kwanfan1818

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Tonight was the Listen Live stream of the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard's "Champion." During intermission, instead of an Opera Quiz, William Berger asked the audience to write to him with suggestions on which sports person should be the subject of the opera.

When he revealed the answers, he started by saying that a bunch of people suggested Tonya Harding. It's too bad DaPonte isn't alive to write the libretto for that one.
 

eusebius

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Tonight was the Listen Live stream of the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard's "Champion." During intermission, instead of an Opera Quiz, William Berger asked the audience to write to him with suggestions on which sports person should be the subject of the opera.

When he revealed the answers, he started by saying that a bunch of people suggested Tonya Harding. It's too bad DaPonte isn't alive to write the libretto for that one.
Hahahaha!!! Which opera character most resembles Tonya? I can’t even think of a good example. Actually maybe a Weill/Brecht type of character like Pirate Jenny? This would be such a fun show.

I remember back when I was in grad school someone put together a baroque pastiche opera called “The Loves of Wayne Gretzky” depicting his scandalous romance with Mario Lemieux. That might also be a good approach to this subject 😆
 

kwanfan1818

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He really is, and he does a lot, if not all, of his self-produced videos with his wife, who's a filmmaker.

All I have to do is picture the night table with the empty beer cans and the half-eaten slice of pizza and his ringing cell phone with the caller ID "Frau" from The Ring video they did with Jamie Barton and a few others during the early days of the pandemic to start laughing uncontrollably.
 

eusebius

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He really is, and he does a lot, if not all, of his self-produced videos with his wife, who's a filmmaker.

All I have to do is picture the night table with the empty beer cans and the half-eaten slice of pizza and his ringing cell phone with the caller ID "Frau" from The Ring video they did with Jamie Barton and a few others during the early days of the pandemic to start laughing uncontrollably.
That was pure genius. Freia texts them in the middle "Do you know anything about these two super tall bros that just showed up?!" :rofl:
 

alexikeguchi

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I just returned from HGO's production of Salome, and it was absolutely fantastic. Ryan McKinny was as expected an outstanding Jokanaan, and Karita Mattila continued to show great acting as she graduated from the role of Salome to Herodias. I apparently missed the memo that Amanda Majeski was replaced by Laura Wilde, whom I had not heard of before but is now unforgettable. She has a huge soprano voice that is nevertheless capable of great subtlety, and her acting skills were completely up to the material. The orchestra was also excellent. I am very happy to be moving here in a couple months and look forward to enjoying many more performances.
 

kwanfan1818

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I'm listening to the Met Opera Listen Live broadcast of the opening night of the new production of Die Zauberflote, and conductor Nathalie Stutzmann, who also conducted the recent new production of Don Giovanni, had her interview aired during intermission.

If I wasn't already a fangirl after listening to Don Giovanni, I am a major fangirl now :swoon:
 
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kwanfan1818

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The Don Giovanni Live in HD was today. Peter Freaking Mattei.

Federica Lombardi is Arakawa-Zagitova-Cohen gorgeous. And what a voice! All three women were terrific: Lombardi, Ana Maria Martinez, and Ying Fang, who sang a wonderful pre-pandemic Adina in L'elisir in Vancouver.

Adam Plachetka was dead on, vocally and dramatically, as this production's Leporello. He could have been in a Sopranos episode.

George Jellinek once did an episode of The Vocal Scene where he explained and then gave examples of a bunch of vocal techniques, and in Il mio tesoro, Ben Bliss demonstrated at least seven of them. Everything he sang was jaw-dropping. <3 <3 <3.

Aleksander Tsumbalyuk was astonishing as the Commendatore. That voice, and I love that van Hove had him be the only one who could cause Don Giovanni physical pain.

I needed smelling salts after Mattei sang that little medieval-sounding ornament in the serenade. There is no doubt that his Don Giovanni could fill the book.

The orchestra was so live! Brava to Stutzmann. She even put a shout-out to her parents and friends watching in the middle of one of her answers. I really miss it when the singers being interviewed at intermission aren't asked to give a shout out to their home places (or if they've asked not to if not asked...)

What was that thing they did to the sleeves of the lovely Erin Morley's host schmata? She's singing Pamina, not Papagena. Gorgeous deep pink color, though.

I want the DVD yesterday.
 

Wyliefan

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I was listening on the radio, and yes, it was beautifully done! Ben Bliss is superb, and I'm rapidly becoming a Ying Fang uber after hearing her in Idomeneo and now in this. But the cast was strong across the board. And the orchestra was stupendous.
 
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eusebius

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The Don Giovanni Live in HD was today. Peter Freaking Mattei.

Federica Lombardi is Arakawa-Zagitova-Cohen gorgeous. And what a voice! All three women were terrific: Lombardi, Ana Maria Martinez, and Ying Fang, who sang a wonderful pre-pandemic Adina in L'elisir in Vancouver.

Adam Plachetka was dead on, vocally and dramatically, as this production's Leporello. He could have been in a Sopranos episode.

George Jellinek once did an episode of The Vocal Scene where he explained and then gave examples of a bunch of vocal techniques, and in Il mio tesoro, Ben Bliss demonstrated at least seven of them. Everything he sang was jaw-dropping. <3 <3 <3.

Aleksander Tsumbalyuk was astonishing as the Commendatore. That voice, and I love that van Hove had him be the only one who could cause Don Giovanni physical pain.

I needed smelling salts after Mattei sang that little medieval-sounding ornament in the serenade. There is no doubt that his Don Giovanni could fill the book.

The orchestra was so live! Brava to Stutzmann. She even put a shout-out to her parents and friends watching in the middle of one of her answers. I really miss it when the singers being interviewed at intermission aren't asked to give a shout out to their home places (or if they've asked not to if not asked...)

What was that thing they did to the sleeves of the lovely Erin Morley's host schmata? She's singing Pamina, not Papagena. Gorgeous deep pink color, though.

I want the DVD yesterday.
Peter Freaking Mattei indeed. Will be buying this dvd for sure. Did you watch his Winterreise on YouTube? Holy crap. 🤯
 

canbelto

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I went to the new production of Magic Flute and did not like the new production:
 

alexikeguchi

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From Ryan McKinny:
He is just an awesome personality. I hope I'm not entering stalker territory, but I now have a subscription to HGO (driving to Houston for my permanent move today) and will be seeing him as Amfortas for the second time. Once I get my call schedule for my new job, I am also going to get tickets for Dead Man Walking at the Met.
 

kwanfan1818

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The Met Opera opens its season tomorrow night with Jake Heggie's "Dead Man Walking," with Joyce DiDonato as Sister Helen Prejean, Ryan McKinney as Joe De Rocher, Latonia Moore as Sister Rose, and Susan Graham, Sister Helen at the opera's 2000 premiere, as Mrs. De Rocher.

It's streaming live for free from the Met website. There's a bit of kerfuffle about the start time, which is listed as 6:30pm EDT in the calendar and on the Listen Live schedule, with the broadcasts usually starting five minutes before the printed curtain time. The Sirius XM schedule has the start at 6pm, but if I remember correctly from other years, on opening night, the commentators started early and talked for 30 minutes. So who knows.

https://www.metopera.org/season/radio/free-live-audio-streams/

They're also airing the Verdi Requiem on Wednesday at 6:55pm EDT.
 

alexikeguchi

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The Met Opera opens its season tomorrow night with Jake Heggie's "Dead Man Walking," with Joyce DiDonato as Sister Helen Prejean, Ryan McKinney as Joe De Rocher, Latonia Moore as Sister Rose, and Susan Graham, Sister Helen at the opera's 2000 premiere, as Mrs. De Rocher.

It's streaming live for free from the Met website. There's a bit of kerfuffle about the start time, which is listed as 6:30pm EDT in the calendar and on the Listen Live schedule, with the broadcasts usually starting five minutes before the printed curtain time. The Sirius XM schedule has the start at 6pm, but if I remember correctly from other years, on opening night, the commentators started early and talked for 30 minutes. So who knows.

https://www.metopera.org/season/radio/free-live-audio-streams/

They're also airing the Verdi Requiem on Wednesday at 6:55pm EDT.
I'll be there live on 9/30!
I'm very happy with my lineup for 2023-24. On 10/22, I'll be back in Houston to attend the world premiere of Intelligence with Jamie Barton, Janai Brugger, and J'Nai Bridges. In February, my lineup is Madama Butterfly with Ailyn Perez and Parsifal with Ryan McKinny as Amfortas and Christine Goerke as Kundry.
 

BlueRidge

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I'll be there live on 9/30!
I'm very happy with my lineup for 2023-24. On 10/22, I'll be back in Houston to attend the world premiere of Intelligence with Jamie Barton, Janai Brugger, and J'Nai Bridges. In February, my lineup is Madama Butterfly with Ailyn Perez and Parsifal with Ryan McKinny as Amfortas and Christine Goerke as Kundry.
That's fabulous!

So far I have tickets for the Washington Concert Opera: Rossini with Angela Meade, Lawrence Brownlee, David Portillo, and Ginger Costa-Jackson and La Rondine with Ailyn Perez.

Also ticket for Live in HD Florencia of the Amazons with Ailyn Perez
 

alexikeguchi

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Well, that was fantastic. I don't know that I would rush out to buy a recording of this opera, but I really appreciated how elements of gospel and blues were incorporated. The spare staging and lighting were just perfect, and the incorporation of video including from two men with hand-held cameras on stage amplified the effect. In particular, the portrayal of the execution scene was shocking, and you could have heard a pin drop in the theater. The lead roles (Sister Helen, Joseph, Mrs. De Rocher, and Sister Rose) were all well sung and well performed. The central relationship was portrayed with intense emotion by Joyce DiDonato and Ryan McKinny. I have run out of superlatives for these two, but I just want to add that the physicality that McKinny brings to roles like this sets him apart; Act 2 opens with him doing pushups, and it was impressive how he could go from that to singing without catching his breath or breaking character.
 

alexikeguchi

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I just attended Intelligence at Houston Grand, and it surpassed expectations. The story is great and well dramatized, and it felt so cool to see the second performance ever. I loved the choice to use the dance troupe Urban Bush Women as a chorus; their movements added so much depth and texture. The lead singers were in fabulous form, and this is my favorite Jamie Barton performance so far. She really seemed inspired by the material and the chance for a female to be the protagonist and have strong relationships with other women. I also loved how the relationship between Janai Brugger's and J'Nai Bridges's characters was written and performed. I hope other companies include this opera in their repertoire because it is intensely moving and innovative.
 

kwanfan1818

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"Interstate," an opera film created for Minnesota Opera's Helio Arts program is available on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVbTq1cpnpk

Music is by Kamala Sankaram. The two singer-librettists are Kathleen Kelly and Jennifer Cresswell. It was a McKinny family affair: Tonya McKinny directed it, Helio Arts and Ryan McKinny produced and filmed it, and one of their children played the non-speaking acting role of one of the protagonists as a teenager.
 

alexikeguchi

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Well, I spent about eight out of the past 48 hours at the opera. Friday night was the Concert of Arias, the finals of HGO's competition for young singers. About half were still undergraduates, and the winner Jazmine Saunders is completing her Masters at Juilliard. This afternoon, I was back for Parsifal. I was previously impressed with Ryan McKinny as Amfortas and Elena Pankratova as Kundry at Bayreuth, and they did not disappoint at HGO. Russell Thomas was excellent in the title role, and there really wasn't a weak link in the cast. The orchestra, with Eun Sun Kim guest conducting, was outstanding. Overall, HGO's production under John Caird's direction was fairly traditional with the focus on the performances, which I appreciated in comparison to the somewhat distracting choices at Bayreuth. The final scene had maximum emotional impact, and I got completely choked up at one small touch conveying the resurrection of the swan killed in the first act. I know many posters on this board avoid Texas on principle, but for any opera lovers, y'all need to come down here!
 

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