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The Opera thread - Page 3

post #31 of 52
Got back a couple hours ago from opening night at the Lyric. A few initial thoughts: Holy sh*t! We won some new subscriber contest and got free tickets. Our regular tickets are in the back of the first balcony. I assumed these would be in the same seats and the "contest" was just giving away seats that didn't sell out. Wrong! We were in the 10th row on the main floor. Wow. 1) James Morris sang well, not out of this world, but well, and really inhabits the role. He is a very good actor. 2) Deborah Voigt sang very well. She cut short a high note or two, but she was overall in very good voice, and better than I expected, given people's criticism of her voice post-surgery. Her acting was very good as well. She obviously moves around the stage a lot better than before the weight-loss, and she sold the performance very well, with some nuance. I've never seen her before, but I liked her as Tosca. It worked. 3) Vladimir Galouzine is an excellent singer, but I just have a hard time with his Russian tenor singing Cavaradossi. He was good, but overall, just didn't do it for me. I can see why people love the Zeffirelli production so much, and I can see why some folks were ready for it to be replaced. It is gorgeous, well thought-out, leaves nothing to the imagination. It puts everything on the table and as a result doesn't challenge the viewer at all. That's a fine approach. I don't know if it's my favorite. I guess I'll find that out as I see more productions. Overall, solid but not spectacular. Some high notes cut short, Galouzine left me a bit cold, but I enjoyed the performance and REALLY enjoyed the people-watching. Nothing like seeing people in tuxes (mostly good, surprisingly -- even a few tartan jackets and one kilt) and expensive gowns shoving their way to the buffet during intermission. B-/B. Very excited for the rest of the season.
post #32 of 52
I totally love this song from Porgy and Bess performed by Leontyne Price.


You can really feel the anguish in her voice ...brilliant performance.
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post #33 of 52
As I'm moving back to NYC in December (yay!), these are the operas I plan on seeing from the current Met season: Les Contes D'Hoffmann La Fille du Regiment Simon Boccenegra Stiffelio Il Trittico Turandot Atilla I'm looking forward to Muti's Atilla and La Fille du Regiment. I saw La Fille in 2008 with Dessay; she is much better suited for Marie than Lucia. I'll be interested to see how well Damrau can handle the role. I dig Puccini but have never been a huge fan of Tosca (though I can never get enough of Scarpia's Te Deum). All the fuss over Bondy's staging is overblown; I don't mind regietheatre so long as the singing is sound (but from what I've read in reviews even Maestro Levine wasn't so hot on opening night). As for Zeffirelli, I can take him or leave him. I don't need eyecandy to enjoy opera. His die-hard fans should be consoled by the fact that there are two other FZ productions of Puccini this season. Along with Traviata, that should be enough.
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantalaimon View Post
As I'm moving back to NYC in December (yay!), these are the operas I plan on seeing from the current Met season:

Les Contes D'Hoffmann
La Fille du Regiment
Simon Boccenegra
Stiffelio
Il Trittico
Turandot
Atilla


I'm looking forward to Muti's Atilla and La Fille du Regiment. I saw La Fille in 2008 with Dessay; she is much better suited for Marie than Lucia. I'll be interested to see how well Damrau can handle the role.

I dig Puccini but have never been a huge fan of Tosca (though I can never get enough of Scarpia's Te Deum). All the fuss over Bondy's staging is overblown; I don't mind regietheatre so long as the singing is sound (but from what I've read in reviews even Maestro Levine wasn't so hot on opening night). As for Zeffirelli, I can take him or leave him. I don't need eyecandy to enjoy opera. His die-hard fans should be consoled by the fact that there are two other FZ productions of Puccini this season. Along with Traviata, that should be enough.

Sounds like a good lineup. Racette in Trittico should be a ton of fun. There was a really nice writeup on her in this month's Opera News.
post #35 of 52
Finally managed to scrounge up tickets for Faust tomorrow night. For some reason, I didn't include it as part of my subscription, but I'm excited to see Beczala, who's been getting a ton of good press lately.
post #36 of 52
Just discovered Anna Netrebko....WOW
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by adambparker View Post
Finally managed to scrounge up tickets for Faust tomorrow night. For some reason, I didn't include it as part of my subscription, but I'm excited to see Beczala, who's been getting a ton of good press lately.


Some years ago, during a summer heat wave, the NYC Opera performed "Faust" and published an ad that read: "Feel like hell tonight? Come, see Faust!"
post #38 of 52
Anybody go to the opening night Tosca performance that got booed?
post #39 of 52
I went last week and didn't like it. Set design was perplexing. Act II set looked cheap, like Scarpia went shopping at Ikea, and there was no dinner table. Act III didn't make much spacial sense, with Cavaradossi just plopped in a random corner for his execution. The water looked terrible. Minor things, maybe, but they seemed to snowball with the silly directorial decisions that didn't fit. Act II opens with Scarpia getting a blowjob. When Tosca kills Scarpia she lays down on one of his couches and fans herself with the Marchesa's fan. Throughout, when there are reunions (Tosca and Cavaradossi in Acts II and III), the lovers barely react at all. In act III, Tosca baits Scarpia's henchmen, giving an action-movie kick on the stairs before her leap. She's so distraught that she's about to fling her self from the battlement, yet she takes the time to give them a double handed bring-it-on motion? Also Karita Mattila just can't act. She may be a fine singer--I don't have the world's most astute ear and to me she is a little shrill--but she flops around the stage like a marionette.
post #40 of 52
Has any among us experienced the Met's live HD simulcasts in movie theaters? I missed Tosca last week, but I'm considering Aida on the 24th.
post #41 of 52
I've never gone, but people seem to really like them. I get my Met fill with 6-8 live shows a year, plus the HD broadcasts on PBS. If I'm not mistaken, the PBS versions are the same thing they send out live to theaters, just taped.
post #42 of 52

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Edited by RSN125 - 3/5/12 at 2:08pm
post #43 of 52
Aida and Turandot (Nessun Dorma!) are good starters. Wiki them first though.
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSN125 View Post
I have never been to the Opera, but want to go this year. Which should be my first ?
What city are you in? What opera house(s) do you have access to? Just got back from Faust. Wow. Will post more details before the weekend, if I have time. EDIT: Ok, some reactions to Faust: Faust is a singer's opera and boy did they have singers last night! 1) Rene Pape (Mephistopheles) -- a known quantity at this point, but this is apparently only his second production of Faust onstage and he nailed it. Sam Ramey is the Mephistopheles of record in Chicago, and people seemed a little disappointed without him, but for my money, never having seen Ramey, Pape was superb. His range of vocal coloring, from commanding and Satanic to ironic and droll, was impressive, and he is a very good actor. 2) Ana-Maria Martinez (Marguerite, obviously) -- it took me a little while to warm up to her. She was onstage almost from the beginning of the village scene, following around Valentin adoringly, and she hammed it up a bit much for my taste, and I think it lessened a bit the dramatic impact of her first interaction with Faust. Nonetheless, she has a terrific voice, particularly well-suited to the coloratura of the Jewel Song. I felt like she ornamented a bit to much on the more lyrical passages (garden scene, e.g.), but that's a minor quibble. Her voice carried quite well in what is a very large house, and her acting and singing in the final two acts were quite good. 3) Piotr Beczala (Faust) -- absolutely stole the show. He was spectacular vocally. I mean really good. I'm young, haven't been to that many operas, but this was a really stunning performance. His voice was clear and beautiful. He went from bitter and angry to youthful and brash to lovestruck and lyrical to forlorn and despairing with ease and tossed off a few good high notes in the mix. If I could convince my wife, I'd go back next week just to hear him sing again. The staging was well though-out and clever. Faust's den in Act I was set up as a medieval coroner's office, with corpses under blankets (a couple supernumeraries brought in a fresh one during the musical intro to Faust's opening aria), and Mephistopheles rose up from under one of the blankets for an entertaining entrance. In the church scene in Act IV, there was a high pulpit onstage, and after monks milled about during Marguerite's aria, one of them ascended the pulpit and (surprise) turned out to be Mephistopheles. Nice touch. During the condemnation bit at the end of the scene, the large crucifix spun upside down. A bit gimmicky. There were actually a group of Catholic priests (maybe seminary students) in the audience last night -- I'm sure every single person in the house was wondering what they thought of this). There were a couple other non-traditional touches that I thought added overall to the production -- Marguerite is onstage silently quite a bit during the intro to the soldier's chorus, looking confused and a bit crazy; she re-enacts the murder of her child with a pillow at the beginning of the prison scene. Overall, much more interesting than Tosca and the singing was particularly good. Solid A.
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by adambparker View Post
What city are you in? What opera house(s) do you have access to?

Just got back from Faust. Wow. Will post more details before the weekend, if I have time.

 

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Edited by RSN125 - 3/5/12 at 2:07pm
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