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Culture Forum

  1. 15 Aug '12 11:26
    I would have included Lucia di Lammermoor, but the lsit says England and not UK.

    http://www.wqxr.org/?sf5506883=1#!/blogs/operavore/2012/aug/08/top-10-operas-set-england/
  2. 16 Aug '12 11:34
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    I would have included Lucia di Lammermoor, but the lsit says England and not UK.

    http://www.wqxr.org/?sf5506883=1#!/blogs/operavore/2012/aug/08/top-10-operas-set-england/
    I'm not a great opera fan, but the only opera I've seen live was, in fact, set in England: Verdi's Falstaff. I can't say how it measures up to the rest of his œuvre, let alone how that particular performance of it measured up to other performances, but I was at least amused.

    Richard
  3. 17 Aug '12 00:12
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    I'm not a great opera fan, but the only opera I've seen live was, in fact, set in England: Verdi's Falstaff. I can't say how it measures up to the rest of his œuvre, let alone how that particular performance of it measured up to other performances, but I was at least amused.

    Richard
    Verdi's only comedy is a unique masterpiece and one of three where the librettist was Arrigo Boito, a genius of literature and also an opera composer in his own right. Boito's libretto for Othello is a masterpiece in and of itself. Othello is Verdi's supreme masterwork, but Falstaff is also pretty wonderful. Never dwell on how what you heard measures up with other performances or other operas. Operas should be enjoyed for what they are, supremely difficult works where theatre and music meet under the loving presentation of wonderful singers! If you ever have a chance try and catch La Traviata or Bellini's Norma. And of course Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, or Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Opera has such vast repertoire that once you get hooked you'll want explore even the obscure composers like Caldara and so many others. I am glad you enjoyed Falstaff.
  4. 18 Aug '12 13:25
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    Never dwell on how what you heard measures up with other performances or other operas. Operas should be enjoyed for what they are, supremely difficult works where theatre and music meet under the loving presentation of wonderful singers!
    Ah, well, that's one of the problems I usually have with opera: the singers try too hard for my tastes. All this coloratura... I much prefer a good mass or cantata. It must be said that this problem tends to be less in comedic opera than in dramatic ones - they're more out to amuse and less to impress.

    If you ever have a chance try and catch La Traviata or Bellini's Norma. And of course Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, or Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.

    Ah, well, Purcell... yes, if that one comes to town I will certainly go.

    I am glad you enjoyed Falstaff.

    Funny thing, I'm not even normally a fan of Shakespeare's comedy, either. I think it's because this was not his usual comedy of errors and more a comedy of manners - I enjoyed The Taming of the Shrew (as a play, not an opera) as well.

    Richard
  5. 18 Aug '12 13:58 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    Ah, well, that's one of the problems I usually have with opera: the singers try too hard for my tastes. All this coloratura... I much prefer a good mass or cantata. It must be said that this problem tends to be less in comedic opera than in dramatic ones - they're more out to amuse and less to impress.

    [quote]If you ever have a chance try and catch L manners - I enjoyed The Taming of the Shrew (as a play, not an opera) as well.

    Richard
    Then forget all my rec's except for Purcell. You and Wagner argued the same thing. Singers trying too hard and strove for the realization of sprechtsingen, a more talkie, intimate form of singing, but even had to create new voices such as the Heldentenor. Back to Verdi, his Requiem is a masterpiece of incredible proportion. You would also enjoy Brahms' Requiem. Haydn's Creation is awesome in breadth and cleverly written. But then few works compare to Faure's Requiem. Mendelssohn's Elijah is incredible indeed. Szenen aus Goethes Faust, Schumann is highly unusual and interesting. Beethoven Missa Solemnis. But back to Caldara. His Stabat Mater was way ahead of its time and stunningly beautiful: YouTube
  6. 21 Aug '12 12:31
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    His Stabat Mater was way ahead of its time and stunningly beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F4Ji6kGqos
    You know, I've never heard any of his stuff? And I'm a baroque fan! He's definitely going on my list. Thank you.

    Richard
  7. 22 Aug '12 13:28
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    You know, I've never heard any of his stuff? And I'm a baroque fan! He's definitely going on my list. Thank you.

    Richard
    You are most welcome. The repertoire is so vast it is impossible to not overlook some real jewels! I also recommend Boccherini's Stabat Mater for solo voice.
  8. 26 Aug '12 04:35
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    I would have included Lucia di Lammermoor, but the lsit says England and not UK.

    http://www.wqxr.org/?sf5506883=1#!/blogs/operavore/2012/aug/08/top-10-operas-set-england/
    Er... No Peter Grimes?
  9. 27 Aug '12 04:14
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Er... No Peter Grimes?
    Peter Grimes, if you remember, takes place in a mythical or made up English village, whereas the other operas are actual places, hence it was excluded from the list. No one argues the merits of a wonderful opera such as Peter Grimes. The topic of where operas are set is an endless source of argument and a wonderful one indeed. Some take place nowhere at all like Mozart's "Il Sogno di Scipione" almost rendered unstageable because of it since it only takes place in Scipio's mind. A small NYC opera company finally solved this conundrum in a recent staging. Some, despite specific place/location clearly indicated in the opera make no sense once you see the actual locale. I love Tosca. I made a pilgrimage to St. Andrea de LaValle on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II to see the beautiful church where the opera opens. Then I went to Castel Sant'Angelo where the opera ends. Tosca leaps to her death in the Tiber in the final scene from the large turret of the castle. She would have established a world record for a lengthy leap since it is quite a few hundred feet away! Poetic license indeed!