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Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846] #2080260
05/10/13 10:22 AM
05/10/13 10:22 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 728
South Carolina, USA
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 728
South Carolina, USA
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.

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Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Palindrome] #2080429
05/10/13 04:45 PM
05/10/13 04:45 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 64
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Posts: 64
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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".

Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Palindrome] #2080445
05/10/13 05:22 PM
05/10/13 05:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,746
Vancouver, B.C.
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,746
Vancouver, B.C.
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.


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Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Cassiesmom] #2080488
05/10/13 07:30 PM
05/10/13 07:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,050
London
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Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,050
London
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.

Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846] #2080548
05/10/13 11:39 PM
05/10/13 11:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,919
Chicago, IL USA
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Chicago, IL USA
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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