AerospaceFan
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Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:01 pm

Not to seem fey or anything like that, but what do people think of opera?

I've always liked Mozart's The Magic Flute, but only by his music, and not from having truly understood its libretto, let alone a production of same.

PBS is soon to show The Magic Flute as performed at The Met, and I look forward to seeking it. It appears to be possibly a postmodernistic interpretation.

Thank you in advance for your comments.
What's fair is fair.
 
adopim88
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:03 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
PBS is soon to show The Magic Flute as performed at The Met

Aww! I've been wanting to see that performed! Too bad I don't get cable...  Sad
Early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:10 pm

I saw this advertised on KCET, which is a powerful broadcast station here in Los Angeles. It is therefore received free of charge over the airwaves as well as being carried on digital and analog cable, and probably on satellite. I very much enjoy KCET, by the way, which is a very prestigious station.

Perhaps you could check with your local PBS affiliate? I believe that they are all broadcast television outlets.

"KCET: Infinitely More."  Smile
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:19 pm

This one is my favorite.







Mark
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:26 pm

Not what I had in mind, exactly....
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MD-90
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:38 pm

Opera is my musical crack. Btw, I just saw die Zauberflöte last fall at the University of Alabama. It was a nice production.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:41 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 5):
Opera is my musical crack. Btw, I just saw die Zauberflöte last fall at the University of Alabama. It was a nice production.

Mozart rocks. I used to have to play some of his works as an obligation, but now I just enjoy his music. Pure genius.
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adopim88
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:07 pm

[quote=AerospaceFan,reply=6]Mozart rocks.quote]
I agree. But I do also like Beethoven, Haydn, Bach, Brahms, and Chopin.
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Mir
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:15 pm

Ok, little self-gloss time:

Back when I was a young lad, I had the opportunity to sing in a few operas (including the Magic Flute) as part of the children's chorus at the Met. Absolutely amazing experience, and so I've become a fan. Mozart is nice, but as far as I'm concerned, you can't beat Puccini, followed closely by Wagner (would be on top if he had less moments of "wow, they've been singing for as long as I can remember, can something plot-related happen now?")

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
PBS is soon to show The Magic Flute as performed at The Met, and I look forward to seeking it. It appears to be possibly a postmodernistic interpretation.

It was designed by Julie Taymor, same person who did The Lion King for Broadway. 'Nuff said. I wasn't a fan of the costumes before this new production came out, but now I see that I had it pretty good, relatively speaking.

And I hope that PBS will broadcast the full-length, German version. I don't want to sound snobbish, but I do think that cutting it down and putting it in English is something that a company like the Met should not be doing.

-Mir
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:22 pm

Beethoven, Haydn, Bach, Brahms, and Chopin are great. I also enjoy the works of Handel and Tchaikovsky.

Among the most bombastic of composers would be Wagner, whose "Ride of the Valkyries" readers might remember from Apocalypse Now. His Der Ring Der Nibelungen is said to be magnificent, although I've never seen it. His operas are so grand as to lend themselves to the descriptor, "Wagnerian".

Speaking more generally of classical music overall:

Some favorite works of mine: The Planets, by Gustav Holst, and particularly "Mars, Bringer of War"; The Barber of Seville, by Giacchino Rossini; and The Four Seasons, by Antonio Vivaldi. These are also very popular among the repertoire of classical music.

Beethoven's piano sonatas are favorites of mine, including, for example, his "Pathetique". Needless to say, his symphonies are magnificent.

Mozart's Requiem never ceases to move me.

I often like to revisit Bach's Brandenburg Concertos as well as his Goldberg Variations. Both of these have special meaning to me because I played them endlessly in the background while studying philosophy; they helped me concentrate.

Good memories.  

[Edited once for spelling.]

[Edited 2007-01-23 07:23:56]
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:31 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
you can't beat Puccini

I'm a bit familiar with Madama Butterfly -- but that's not saying much, since who isn't, really? -- and clearly Puccini had an ear for the musical phrase.

Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
'Nuff said. I wasn't a fan of the costumes before this new production came out, but now I see that I had it pretty good, relatively speaking.

Yes, it did seem rather Lion Kingish to me from a brief glimpse of the commercial that I saw for The Magic Flute on PBS. Speaking of which, The Lion King ran in L.A. a couple of years ago, but I wasn't really in a mood to see it. I heard that it was good.

Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
And I hope that PBS will broadcast the full-length, German version.

Sadly, I don't speak German. But I take your meaning; presenting it in its original language would serve to convey authenticity.
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adopim88
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:38 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):
Handel and Tchaikovsky



Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):
Wagner

Also very good ones. I like Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 5... particularly the 3rd movement.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):
The Four Seasons, by Antonio Vivaldi

 yes 
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Mir
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:38 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
I'm a bit familiar with Madama Butterfly -- but that's not saying much, since who isn't, really? -- and clearly Puccini had an ear for the musical phrase.

Give Tosca a try.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
Sadly, I don't speak German.

I don't either. That's why there are subtitles. Not only does keeping it in German maintain authenticity, it means that you don't have to screw around with the text to make it fit into the music. I went to a production of Magic Flute at New York City Opera once that had been put into English, and god was it awful - not only did they screw the text around to make it fit into the music, they screwed it around some more to make it rhyme. I know the opera really well, so even though I don't speak German I understand what's going on at any particular moment, and some of the stuff just didn't match up.

-Mir
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:54 am

Adopim, thanks for your reply. Further, who can forget The Nutcracker? Many of the Russian composers specialized in lush and moving music with a strong point of view that I enjoy. The French late romanticist, Claude Debussy, is also a perennial favorite, with evocative offerings such as La Mer.

Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf was nothing if not cinematic in a way with which modern audiences can readily identify.

Mir, thank you for that suggestion. I will look into it.

Regarding language, I could see myself appreciating the use of subtitles or supertitles, which I believe has been provided in some presentations.
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jafa39
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:39 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Not to seem fey or anything like that, but what do people think of opera?

I like a bit of Opera, I used to get free tickets to the ENO and saw heaps of really good stuff.

But not that keen on Wagner.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
postmodernistic interpretation

Hmmmmm, gimme the classical approach any day.
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
Confuscius
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:49 am

Great rock operas...

Tommy & Jesus Christ Superstar



Ain't I a stinker?
 
ZRH
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:52 am

I am a big fan of the Italian operas. From Verdi, Bellini and Donizetti. "I Puritani" by Bellini is probably the most beautiful.
 
adopim88
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:48 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 13):
Further, who can forget The Nutcracker

:D I figured that would be a given since you seem to know your music quite well  Smile


Thinking about all this great music has given me the chills.... I think I need to go watch West Side Story... haha
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Magyarorszag
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:51 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):
The Planets, by Gustav Holst

Of course. Last August, I've bought the latest recording if it by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle "à la baguette". That's a very good version I must say. The Planets

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):
Needless to say, his symphonies are magnificent.

Please, don't say "needless". It's never too much for his symphonies...  wink  I know exactly what to listen to when I need some "spiritual energy".

Quoting Adopim88 (Reply 11):
I like Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 5... particularly the 3rd movement.

His last three symphonies are just wonderful. I've heard the 5th in a concert and was uplifted by it.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
and clearly Puccini had an ear for the musical phrase.

You can say that again!

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
Give Tosca a try.

Good advise. There's of course the famous prayer of Tosca, but in the first act, the duo between her and Mario is such a gem.

Quoting ZRH (Reply 16):
"I Puritani" by Bellini is probably the most beautiful.

How about Norma ?

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):
Among the most bombastic of composers would be Wagner

Have you ever heard Bruckner symphonies ? Although they may be hard to listen to at first, the 4th and 7th are such great pieces of music. Last year, I've had the chance to listen to the 7th two times in one week through internet once live from Berlin and the second live from the Proms in London. What a great moment of music and internal journey. Simon Rattle says about the 7th that: "It's like building a cathedral together!"

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 13):
Many of the Russian composers specialized in lush and moving music with a strong point of view that I enjoy.

I like Russian music very much. Have you ever heard "Leningrad" ?

While listening to ABC Classic FM, I've discoverd Ferdinand Ries and these piano concertos. More gems on the list.

Cheers.
 
turbo7x7
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:53 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
I've always liked Mozart's The Magic Flute, but only by his music, and not from having truly understood its libretto, let alone a production of same.

PBS is soon to show The Magic Flute as performed at The Met, and I look forward to seeking it. It appears to be possibly a postmodernistic interpretation.

I saw the new production of Die Zauberflote recently at the Met. Julie Taymor's production is definitely "for the masses," but I enjoyed it alot, and I got the sense most of the house did also. Call me a plebe but I thought it had great sets, great puppetry, and a humorous Papageno. Very kid friendly (probably not young kids, but 4th grade and up can handle it).

The Met has a shortened English language version of this production which probably brings the appeal down to the first-grade level, maybe even younger. If they were smart, they would put the production on tour. I bet if properly cross-promoted, it would make a killing.

I missed the new Madame Butterfly which was the hottest ticket in town. Hopefully, next year I'll be able to catch it.

The new prodution of Barber of Seville also made waves and I will buy a ticket for that soon. Angela Gheorghiu is coming to town for Simon Boccanegra and I have tickets and a date lined up for that one.

Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
Mozart is nice, but as far as I'm concerned, you can't beat Puccini, followed closely by Wagner

Tosca is a great opera for newbies. Short and a lot of action, with a score that almost punches you in the gut. The Zefirreli production here at the Met is impressive. I was in Rome last year and I was amazed how much the Castel Sant'Angelo and the church of Sant'Andrea look like the real thing, which nowadays are tourist attractions!  Smile

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Not to seem fey or anything like that, but what do people think of opera?

Not at all, it can be a great way to impress your date.  Smile

Besides the safeties of Carmen and La Boheme, a few other good date possibilities are Verdi's Rigoletto or La Traviata. As mentioned already, the other two Puccini biggies, Tosca and Butterfly.

There's one more I'd like to mention: Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci. A double bill also known as "Cav/Pag"

You might be vaguely familiar with Pagliacci, it has that famous aria with the crying clown. They were created just a few years apart and they are the "one hit wonders" of Italian opera.
 
turbo7x7
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:22 pm

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 3):
This one is my favorite.

LMAO, I almost didn't notice this!

Yeah, I can dig the low-brow stuff too.  Smile Don't know who made this but actually, it's genius how they use so many Broadway and opera cliches in the process of "spoofing" Springer. Is this still in London? I'll be there in Feb. and I would certainly get tickets! Big grin If not, they should bring it to New York, it'll definitely do well here, though not with the Mary Poppins/Lion King crowd!  Wink
 
ZRH
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:37 pm

Quoting Magyarorszag (Reply 18):
How about Norma ?

Norma is beautiful too, but I prefer Puritani. It is a matter of taste of course.
 
pelican
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:41 pm

I love Verdi La Traviata and Aida for example are great.
I'm really lucky living in the Berlin area with three big opera houses.
And because I'm under 30 I can get tickets for 10€. You can't beat that. So for young opera fans there is probably no better place than Berlin! I can't wait for next month when they play the whole Ring of Wagner. I want to see (or listen?) at least "The Valkyrie".
Last week I saw Orff's Carmina Burana which was great, too.

Quoting Turbo7x7 (Reply 19):
Very kid friendly (probably not young kids, but 4th grade and up can handle it).

The Zauberflöte is really a beginners opera suitable for kids, nonetheless it's beautiful. The aria "Der Hoelle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" is one of the best ever written or the duet of Papagena and Papageno "Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Papagena" lovely!

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
Sadly, I don't speak German. But I take your meaning; presenting it in its original language would serve to convey authenticity.

I don't speak Italian but nonetheless I was disappointed to see a German "Cosi fan tutte". I don't mind whether I understand everything or not - to be honest most stories aren't really demanding - I go to operas because of the music and to a lesser extend because of the show.


pelican

[Edited 2007-01-24 13:51:17]
 
Kieron747
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:45 pm

My favourite opera has always been the Magic Flute. I've seen it several times (the best time in London) and once saw a contemporary remake on an X-files theme. All very good.

As mentioned above, I like Carman and Madame Butterfly but you've probably all seen them already.

On a simlar vein, try listening top 'St Matthew's Passion' by Bach. It's beautiful work, especially a piece called 'Have Pity, Lord, On Me' If I remember the translation correctly... You'll never hear a more haunting choral string piece ever.

Also, try Offenbach - Les contes d'Hoffmann it is excellent.

Kieron747
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KaiGywer
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:13 pm

Quoting Adopim88 (Reply 7):
But I do also like Beethoven

You just like Speed over Beethoven on DDR  Wink
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:12 pm

For all the rest of you opera lovers, please join us at the Detroit Opera House for the world premiere of "Cyrano"!

October 2007.

http://www.motopera.org/cyrano.html



http://www.motopera.org/home.html

[Edited 2007-01-24 15:15:12]
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Mir
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:53 am

Quoting Magyarorszag (Reply 18):
There's of course the famous prayer of Tosca, but in the first act, the duo between her and Mario is such a gem.

I'm a fan of the third act, myself.

Quoting Turbo7x7 (Reply 19):
The Zefirreli production here at the Met is impressive.

All Zefirreli productions kick ass. If you thought Tosca was nice, check out his Turandot.  Wow!

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
EasternSon
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:19 am

Go check out my high school friend James at:

www.jamesvalenti.com

He's incredibly talented. He won an amatuer competition at the Met, and has been traveling in Europe performing La Boheme and La Triviada for a number of years.

Let me know if you like what you hear.
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac
 
Magyarorszag
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:50 am

Quoting ZRH (Reply 21):
It is a matter of taste of course.

Of course.
 
speedbird747BA
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:38 am

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 5):
Zauberflöte last fall at the University of Alabama

I know that UofA is a pratty good school and all, its just funny to see those things in the same sentence!!!

Cheers,
Kyle
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adopim88
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RE: Great Opera: What Are Your Thoughts?

Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 24):
You just like Speed over Beethoven on DDR

Well it is based on Beethoven's "Für Elise" Big grin Nothing wrong with that. Big grin
Early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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