Swithin

Opera!

95 posts in this topic

Swithin--

 

I came across this and it looks very interesting to me.

 

FYI-- I have collected operatic recordings for a number of years.

 

And I have to tell you that I went to the recital of a soprano at the Chicago Opera House who was greater than your Joan Sutherland-- Leontyne Price.

 

Did you ever get a chance to hear her sing? She was God's gift to Verdi.

 

Her recording of Carmen with Franco Corelli is my favorite.

 

Yes -- I love Price. Different sort of voice to Sutherland. I did see Price on stage in Manon Lescaut and, I think, Don Giovanni. Sutherland I've seen in Esclarmonde, Tales of Hoffmann, and others. Love her recording of Les Huguenots.

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Swithin-- my favorite aria for Leontyne Price in the Verdi repertoire was

La Forza del Destino--Pace, Pace Mio Dio-- her traumatic response to her tragic situation. Next to Callas, Price would have been my favorite for acting

within an aria.

 

I mentioned Corelli in relationship to the RCA Carmen recording with Price.

 

I believe he died in 2003. He was my favorite tenor, aside from Pavarotti.

I lived in Chicago when Pavarotti was at the opera house there, but I never got a chance to see Corelli on stage.

 

What was your opinion of Corelli? Was he really as temperamental as rumor had it?

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Swithin-- my favorite aria for Leontyne Price in the Verdi repertoire was

La Forza del Destino--Pace, Pace Mio Dio-- her traumatic response to her tragic situation. Next to Callas, Price would have been my favorite for acting

within an aria.

 

I mentioned Corelli in relationship to the RCA Carmen recording with Price.

 

I believe he died in 2003. He was my favorite tenor, aside from Pavarotti.

I lived in Chicago when Pavarotti was at the opera house there, but I never got a chance to see Corelli on stage.

 

What was your opinion of Corelli? Was he really as temperamental as rumor had it?

 

I'm afraid I know nothing about Franco Corelli personally or professionally. I think I've heard him on recordings.

 

I've heard Price's lovely rendition of "Pace..." but never saw her do it live. I did see Martina Arroyo perform the role at the Met -- she was excellent.

 

Speaking of Forza, I saw a production of Forza (The Force of Destiny, they called it) at the English National Opera in London in November. I love the opera and loved that production! It's coming to the Met in a year or two where it probably won't be a big hit -- it's very controversial. Well sung in English by a wonderful cast. Here are a couple of reviews:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/nov/10/the-force-of-destiny-review-eno-english-national-opera-verdi-bieito

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opera/what-to-see/the-force-of-destiny-eno-review/

 

14560.jpg?fit=600%2C400

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I'm afraid I know nothing about Franco Corelli personally or professionally. I think I've heard him on recordings.

 

I've heard Price's lovely rendition of "Pace..." but never saw her do it live. I did see Martina Arroyo perform the role at the Met -- she was excellent.

 

Speaking of Forza, I saw a production of Forza (The Force of Destiny, they called it) at the English National Opera in London in November. I love the opera and loved that production! It's coming to the Met in a year or two where it probably won't be a big hit -- it's very controversial. Well sung in English by a wonderful cast. Here are a couple of reviews:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/nov/10/the-force-of-destiny-review-eno-english-national-opera-verdi-bieito

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opera/what-to-see/the-force-of-destiny-eno-review/

 

14560.jpg?fit=600%2C400

In college I had to read the original romantic play that La Forza was based on in Spanish--La Fuerza del Sino.

 

I must not be up to speed--why is La Forza del Destino controversial?

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In college I had to read the original romantic play that La Forza was based on in Spanish--La Fuerza del Sino.

 

I must not be up to speed--why is La Forza del Destino controversial?

 

It's not the opera, really -- it's the ENO's production. It takes liberties. It's a co-production with the Met and the Toronto Opera. I have a $10 bet with a friend who says they will never do Forza in English at the Met. But the adapted libretto is an important part of the production. 

 

Here's a bit about the controversial director, Calixto Bieito:

 

"Some of Mr. Bieito’s early productions gained notoriety in the opera world, including a sexually graphic 2004 production of Mozart’s “Abduction From the Seraglio” in Berlin, and a production of Verdi’s “Masked Ball” in Barcelona that set one scene in a grimy men’s room. 

 

Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said he expected that the new Bieito production of “Forza” would “stimulate audiences, not shock them.”

“I think he’s one of the most brilliant directors around in terms of narrative storytelling and visual presentation,” Mr. Gelb said, adding that the work would be set in the Spanish Civil War period."

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Swithin-- they do it in English in Kansas City!

 

If it's in English, I wouldn't even pay $10 for it.

 

But I imagine they're desperate, in this day and age, just to get people into those seats; so a sensational director like this one might just do the trick.

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I've been wanting to post on Fedora (1898) wherein Umberto Giordano (1867-1948) employs a concert pianist as part of the cast and in a very interesting way. In Act II, a reception is going on and one of the guests is a friend of a minor character (a lady) who promises that young Lazinski will play for the group. What's interesting is the piano in the background takes over for the orchestra in accompanying the action. This is probably unique in opera. A tense scene ensues between the principals, a baritone and a soprano, where they don't really sing, not even recitative, rather a sort of taut whisper that soon reaches a climax. The baritone exits hurriedly amid a great flourish from the pianist. The soprano suddenly breaks out in full voice and and brings the burst of voice and piano to a fiery end with a wave of her fan as if the conductor. Wonderfully inventive. A great coup.

 

I wanted to find this eight-minute sequence and offer it here but unfortunately I couldn't find what I want on youtube. I wanted the copy of what I have on DVD, a late Metropolitan Opera production, that features Placido Domingo and an aging Mirella Freni. Sometimes older singers appear with a tacit plea for indulgence from the audience, no matter she is so beloved that just seeing her is enough. But she sang brilliantly anyway. Domingo likewise.

 

In lieu of the missing eight minutes, here is a shorter offering, the famous aria "Amor Ti Vieta" ("Love Forbids You") sung by Domingo as he declares his love for Mirella, from from the same DVD I have. This is very short at just under two minutes and is sung often at recitals, especially as encores.

 

 

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I've been wanting to post on Fedora (1898) wherein Umberto Giordano (1867-1948) employs a concert pianist as part of the cast and in a very interesting way. In Act II, a reception is going on and one of the guests is a friend of a minor character (a lady) who promises that young Lazinski will play for the group. What's interesting is the piano in the background takes over for the orchestra in accompanying the action. This is probably unique in opera. A tense scene ensues between the principals, a baritone and a soprano, where they don't really sing, not even recitative, rather a sort of taut whisper that soon reaches a climax. The baritone exits hurriedly amid a great flourish from the pianist. The soprano suddenly breaks out in full voice and and brings the burst of voice and piano to a fiery end with a wave of her fan as if the conductor. Wonderfully inventive. A great coup.

 

I wanted to find this eight-minute sequence and offer it here but unfortunately I couldn't find what I want on youtube. I wanted the copy of what I have on DVD, a late Metropolitan Opera production, that features Placido Domingo and an aging Mirella Freni. Sometimes older singers appear with a tacit plea for indulgence from the audience, no matter she is so beloved that just seeing her is enough. But she sang brilliantly anyway. Domingo likewise.

 

In lieu of the missing eight minutes, here is a shorter offering, the famous aria "Amor Ti Vieta" ("Love Forbids You") sung by Domingo as he declares his love for Mirella, from from the same DVD I have. This is very short at just under two minutes and is sung often at recitals, especially as encores.

 

 

Looking at the clip again Placido looks down at her after the aria, she looks up at him. They stay that way while the applause is going. This may be a little touchy-feely but if only he had very slowly lowered his head to her and very gently kissed her on the cheek. That would have been EXTRAORDINARY!! She was looking at him with those pretty eyes fluttering. Expecially if she had not seen it coming, because that move has never (I'm sure) been done. The look on her face would have been priceless. I wish Rod Serling would come back and put me in a Twilght Zone episode so I could see that.

 

Swithin, this production is ongoing and has been used before, that little round couch. If you perchance know the director of the next production would you consider suggesting this, I'm serious. You've been around and probably have the clout to gain an audience. Or perhaps you might not like the idea? Mirella is so sweet sitting there.

 

See, sometime cranky laffite can get really whatever this is. Opera is so powerful.

 

I hope a few people have watched and listened. (sigh)

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In Act II of Madama Butterfly by Puccini, Cho Cho san (Butterfly) sings the famous aria Un bel di vedremo. She has been waiting for her "husband" a Naval Officer for three years and she expresses her faith that he will return to her. Un bel di, one fine day --- one fine day she hopes she will indeed see his ship on the horizon. Sung by the Romanian soprano Raina Kabaivanska from a 1983 live production at the Arena di Verona, the largest outside venue in the world (I think) I love the choreography she has at the end of the aria, a nifty addendum to this great moment of opera.

 

you may have to suffer a 30-second commercial

 

it's worth it, it's worth it

 

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=A0SO8xijWD1YIRMAfJ9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEybDcxY3A1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE5MTBfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Madame+Butterfly+Raina&fr=tightropetb#id=6&vid=268247ddf46f1ed250a634508b881d83&action=view

 

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The irony of this title "No One Sleeps" from Puccini's Turandot--

 

The last time I heard it they were carrying Pavorotti's casket out of the church, as his voice boomed forth over the sky. If only we could all go out with Puccini.

 

The last irony is that Turandot was Puccini's last opera-- which he never finished.

 

Mais oui, the ending of the opera is ironic too. LOL

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Two beautiful arias by Meyerbeer, one from Les Huguenots, one from L'Africaine. The latter aria was used to great effect by Clifford Odets in his play Awake and Sing!.

 

 

 

 

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One of my fave renditions of O Paradis is the following. Sung to an appreciative audience.

 

 

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This clip is not from opera but no matter, it does involve the delicately beautiful, coloratura voice of Kathleen Battle. She could have given us the high C at the end but she chose not to. Although I respect her decision I still admit to a certain disappointment, after all that what we want our here in spectator land. I forgive her because she is in charge of her voice and also because I love her. :wub:

 

Edited by laffite
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8 hours ago, laffite said:


This clip is not from opera but no matter, it does involve the delicately beautiful, coloratura voice of Kathleen Battle. She could have given us the high C at the end but she chose not to. Although I respect her decision I still admit to a certain disappointment, after all that what we want our here in spectator land. I forgive her because she is in charge of her voice and also because I love her. :wub:

 

Very nice! :) Here is an aria from Adams' Death of Klinghoffer.

 

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I have always loved this but have never seen the opera:

 

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1 hour ago, Thenryb said:

I have always loved this but have never seen the opera:

 

One of the great male duets. It was used in the film Gallipoli.

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14 hours ago, Thenryb said:

I have always loved this but have never seen the opera:

 

Bizet was a really great composer. Most of his operas are worth listening to.

 

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On 7/26/2014 at 3:44 AM, laffite said:

 

Hi Swithin

 

According to Wiki, she was 101 on July 22, a great way to kickoff the thread. Sorry to say, I don't know her but I read a little and will do some listening on youtube. Nice video, good to see these folks in such an informal setting.

 

I hope the Met can avert the strike. The repercussions are severe. The opera company in my own yard, The San Diego Opera, barely avoided extinction in weeks past and will continue for at least another year with an abbreviated season, three operas instead of five. My sister has become an avid opera fan in just the last few months and I was sad that the loss of the opera company might have deprived her a chance of seeing an opera in a major setting. But now that it is on again, I have gleefully responded (despite the hit on the pocketbook) with season tickets for the both of us. She is very excited. We have La Boheme, Don Giovanni, and Nixon in China coming up after the first of the year. This last was debuted by the Houston Opera and was televised (therefore there may be a DVD) some years ago, I remember liking it although I'm not especially crazy about 'modern' operas (But I like A Streetcar Named Desire by Andre Previn, I think there is DVD with Renee Fleming).

 

Thanks for the news and vid on Licia, I'll check her out at the library, see if they have anything. I have the iPod Classic, 160GB of capacity, mostly classical with some Jazz, but lots of opera too, including complete operas. So I'm looking forward to possibly adding a little Licia to the mix. Thanks for the thread. Vive l'Opera !!!!

==

 

.

As I mentioned in another thread Nixon in China is one of my favorite modern operas as well. James Maddalena has actually sung at my school's theatre before and performed some of his vocal feats.

 

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On 7/28/2014 at 3:50 AM, laffite said:

It might amuse those who don't know much about opera that The Girl of the Golden West is the ultimate spaghetti Western. An Italian opera that has the Old West as a setting. Yup, there they are on stage, but instead of saying "I reckon this ... " or "this town ain't big enough for the both of us ..." they're singing opera in the traditional Italian grand style (high-falutin cowboys, to say the least.) Yes, it's a little jarring at first, there is the obvious in-congruence, but one gets through it without too much suspension of disbelief. It has one famous tenor aria and a really gripping scene (to my mind) but overall, alas, not one of my favorites, despite being composed by one of the most recognizably great names of opera composers, Giacomo Puccini.

 

 

 

 

 

==

John Adams recently composed an opera based on the same book as Puccini's masterwork. The opera debuted at the San Francisco Opera last December.

 

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On 12/8/2014 at 10:35 PM, misswonderly3 said:

ps: One of the operas this season is "The Merry Widow". I understand they're showing it on a double bill with "Shadow of a Doubt".

Yeah, the Met performs Die Lustige Witwe every year and for good reason (the music is sehr gut :) ).

 

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On 1/31/2015 at 6:52 AM, TikiSoo said:

I love catching the Saturday Met stream on my local PBS radio station when I work at home.

 

What did you think of the TV broadcast of the new version of Wagner's Ring? I understand many were upset with the crazy moving sets, but I found it a very inventive update adding to the fantasy of the story. (it kind of reminded me of the "update" of Richard III in The Goodbye Girl-some people just like things "traditional")

 

I just heard an interview with a soprano on "Q" who is going to play Brunhilda next year and she said something to the effect, "Everyone knows the music...the spear & magic helmet" I choked on my coffee!

Yeah, we in the business call that "regietheater" and it's heavily looked down upon. ;) 

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On 1/18/2017 at 7:09 PM, Swithin said:

Two beautiful arias by Meyerbeer, one from Les Huguenots, one from L'Africaine. The latter aria was used to great effect by Clifford Odets in his play Awake and Sing!.

 

 

 

 

 

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