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#2079515 - 05/08/13 09:16 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Damon]  
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Old Man Offline
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by Damon
Only in the form of piano transcriptions.


Aww you're missing out man! laugh


Not really, although maybe if I listened over and over, it might start to smell like a pile of my dirty socks. laugh

ha I think you've been sneaking peeks at some other thread. laugh

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#2079535 - 05/08/13 10:20 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]  
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I like opera, but not that kind of opera devotee. My sister loves opera so much. I like the bel canto opera :- Bellini, Donizetti and opera by Verdi. But Wagner... not my cup of tea.
Not only my sister's influence that inspired me to the world of opera, but also the various transcription by Liszt and Thalberg.

#2079589 - 05/09/13 12:45 AM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Vid]  
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Originally Posted by Vid
It does make it an easier experience to watch opera on DVD or the occasional PBS broadcast.

Since I'm not fluent in whatever language the opera is written in I can at least follow what's going on with English subtitles (regardless of how bad and sometimes humorous the translations can be). I would be pretty lost just listening to the music.


Did you know that live operas are usually performed with are called "supertitles", which are like subtitles except they are displayed on a screen next to or above the stage? I did, however, go to a performance of Wagner's 4.5+ hour Tristan und Isolde last summer in Austria where there were none. I could read the synopsis during the intermissions and hope I remembered enough of it during the next act to figure out what was going on onstage.

#2079710 - 05/09/13 08:07 AM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]  
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I'm not particularly attracted to opera - there's singing, you know.

But, considering that, I've actually been to quite a few, mostly modern, and really enjoyed some. Loved Penderecki's Devils of Loudon, Berio's Opera, Stravinsky's Rake, Adams' Doctor Atomic. And, given that company, it surprises me that I really loved a production of Massenet's Werther I once saw. On the other hand, I saw Rossini's William Tell and it seemed to last for months - I thought it would never end.

Some opera on film/video I've liked very much are Adams' Death of Klinghoffer, Szymanowski's King Roger, Verdi's Falstaff, and Bergman's version of The Magic Flute.

A weird thing about opera for me is that I often can't remember the music very well afterwards, not in the way I remember concert music. There are too many distractions, I guess.


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#2079778 - 05/09/13 10:24 AM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]  
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As a youngster I didn't care for opera but I think that was because of too much vibrato [ usually by women.] As I have musically grown I realize that the melodies in opera are probably the most beautiful music ever written.

rada

#2079786 - 05/09/13 10:34 AM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: rada]  
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You'll be pleased to know that the wobbly sopranos of old are rather passé these days - even in Wagner......

Opera-goers today like to hear women singing all the right notes, not approximations wink .


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2079856 - 05/09/13 02:03 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis
You'll be pleased to know that the wobbly sopranos of old are rather passé these days - even in Wagner......

Opera-goers today like to hear women singing all the right notes, not approximations wink .


I think it should be mentioned that this is somewhat of a return to the style of Wagner's time even if singers still sing too loudly and not enough like they would Schubert songs (probably because orchestras play too loudly, not being hidden under the floor like in Bayreuth).

#2080021 - 05/09/13 08:39 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Medium Heights]  
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Originally Posted by Medium Heights
A little. There are some passages hidden in Wagner for example which it would be pity for one to not know. I may not be musical enough to deeply enjoy most of classical music or any music, but I can tell the difference between unique music and something that's merely beautiful, and it is the former I'm interested in and find passages of in places like Don Giovanni (Mozart) and Wagner operas.

Wagner especially is a genius of unique moments, even if his operas are difficult to listen to from beginning to end for me personally.


"Wagner is a composer who has beautiful moments but awful quarter hours."
--Gioachino Rossini

And, while we're quoting Rossini:

"One can't judge Wagner's opera Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don't intend to hear it a second time."

I've put off opera until my old age, and now that I'm old, have started attending the Lyric, here in Chicago. Toward the end of Rigoletto, when Gilda decides to sacrifice herself to save the Duke who has deflowered and then abandoned her, I had a brilliant revelation: "THESE PEOPLE ARE ALL CRAZY!" They sure do sing well, though.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
#2080108 - 05/10/13 01:33 AM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis
[

Ah, you need to get into the groove......just wallow (and gasp in horror, and then weep) in that 'shabby little shocker', Tosca....... grin


I LOVE Tosca!!!

You can watch the whole Royal Opera House production w/ Bryn Terfel, Jonas Kauffman, and Angel Gheorghiu on You tube. (excellent quality recording).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xXJyfe2qxo&list=FLAkr0qEE9cU4qrLZpQfNEMg

I do enjoy opera but it's it's a rare treat to attend a performance due to the expense, so I try to catch the performances on PBS, or, like this version of Tosca, on the internet.

Puccini is my favorite, but I enjoy a number of others composers as well. I find that opera provides a lot of beautiful music, not just singing.

Although, I usually have to be in just the right mood to listen to opera.

Regards,
c.




#2080251 - 05/10/13 10:06 AM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]  
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I wish I could listen to more opera, I have accompanied, and vocalists either pick something "hip and cool" jazz or broadway, or opera. I have a few blu rays of opera, Mozart and Wagner, but here in central Indiana not much opportunity to see variety.

#2080260 - 05/10/13 10:22 AM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]  
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I'm with Bruce. I love opera. My tastes range from Mozart through some Wagner. I have trouble embracing the Ring, as I often feel like the singers are getting in the way of some terrific orchestral writing.

I did come to opera rather late, when I was around 16 or so. I knew the Barber of Seville, but I didn't really know any of the "big" operas. I found a set of LPs mispriced at a record store and they sold them to me for $7.00. A bargain. It was the Sutherland/Pavarotti/Milnes recording of Rigoletto. Well, I was hooked.

I've accompanied many singers over the years, and I've played for operatic rehearsals. It's a lot of fun.

#2080429 - 05/10/13 04:45 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Palindrome]  
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Originally Posted by Palindrome
Originally Posted by Medium Heights
A little. There are some passages hidden in Wagner for example which it would be pity for one to not know. I may not be musical enough to deeply enjoy most of classical music or any music, but I can tell the difference between unique music and something that's merely beautiful, and it is the former I'm interested in and find passages of in places like Don Giovanni (Mozart) and Wagner operas.

Wagner especially is a genius of unique moments, even if his operas are difficult to listen to from beginning to end for me personally.


"Wagner is a composer who has beautiful moments but awful quarter hours."
--Gioachino Rossini

And, while we're quoting Rossini:

"One can't judge Wagner's opera Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don't intend to hear it a second time."


I wonder though, did Rossini ever listen to anything newer than Lohengrin? Most of all, I wonder whether he ever listened to Tristan und Isolde. While I personally don't enjoy listening to whole acts, Donald Francis Tovey said the third act of Tristan was, as a whole, of "overwhelming tragic power".

Also, he said the prelude to Parsifal (~15 minutes) was "one of the clearest examples of the sublime in music since Beethoven".

#2080445 - 05/10/13 05:22 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Palindrome]  
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Originally Posted by Palindrome
Toward the end of Rigoletto, when Gilda decides to sacrifice herself to save the Duke who has deflowered and then abandoned her, I had a brilliant revelation: "THESE PEOPLE ARE ALL CRAZY!" They sure do sing well, though.


That is very true. A lot of operatic librettos have ridiculously melodramatic plots. It takes great music and performances to make it come all together into something that is watchable.


Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D
#2080488 - 05/10/13 07:30 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Cassiesmom]  
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Originally Posted by Cassiesmom
Originally Posted by bennevis
[

Ah, you need to get into the groove......just wallow (and gasp in horror, and then weep) in that 'shabby little shocker', Tosca....... grin


I LOVE Tosca!!!

You can watch the whole Royal Opera House production w/ Bryn Terfel, Jonas Kauffman, and Angel Gheorghiu on You tube. (excellent quality recording).

I saw this performance live at Covent Garden. It was pretty stunning. But it was so well acted and so powerful that I found it very hard to bear. I don't think I would want to put myself through that again in the near future.

My difficulty with Puccini stems perhaps from the undeserved tragic fates that befall his heroines; while this of course applies to heroines of all eras, Puccini's verismo style, and the "real life" nature of the plots, give these tragedies an unrelieved bleakness. It's undoubtedly powerful, but I don't enjoy misery where there seems nothing positive one can take from it.

The only Puccini opera that I really love is La Fanciulla del West. It has a sense of community that is very touching, and an optimism that seems unique in Puccini.

#2080548 - 05/10/13 11:39 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]  
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There is a Tosca story I cannot resist telling. It seems that in one production, the prima donna was terribly abusive to the stagehands. So, for the final performance, instead of a huge pile of featherbeds on which to throw herself, she was met with a trampoline. Perhaps apocryphal, but amusing.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
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