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#1627 - 06/26/10 11:29 AM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yeah, thanks a lot, Barbara. All I'm hearing is "See, I told you we should go!"

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#1628 - 06/26/10 03:39 PM Re: Opera 2
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Serves you right. Serves us all right, for not going. But this sexy tenor stuff...Barbara, you've seen Alagna before. He was the José in this year's Carmen simulcast.

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#1629 - 06/26/10 07:04 PM Re: Opera 2
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Chris and Austin -- wise guys.

Rita -- Yes, I've seen Alagna quite a few times, and without ever thinking he was particularly sexy. I've even seen him as Romeo before, in that 45-minute version he made with Gheorghiu. But I've never seen him in such tight-fitting trousers before. He was lookin' good, both coming and going.

But it was more than just a cute tush; it was his whole demeanor. There were places in the performance where the guy absolutely radiated sexuality. The first meeting of R&J was one such. He made it clear that he wanted her so much it was killing him, but he was restraining himself, unwilling to force himself on her. So he kept approaching her with small steps, waiting for signs of encouragement. Much of the scene was shot over J's shoulder, so the audience could see him as she did. She watched all that intensity slowly moving closer to her -- how could she say no? I've never seen Netrebko look more beautiful, but Alagna was still the sexier of the two.

She has better hair, though.

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#1630 - 06/26/10 10:30 PM Re: Opera 2
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Here's the floating bed scene:

http://www.video4viet.com/watchvideo.html?id=4QAH_IpEG6o&title=Anna+Netrebko++Roberto+Alagna+%22va%2C+Je+T'ai+Pardonn%C3%A9%22+Romeo+Et+Juliette

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#1631 - 06/26/10 10:39 PM Re: Opera 2
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
There's an excellent DVD from the Royal Opera of Alagna in RomŽo et Juliette just as he was becoming famous -- it was one of the appearances that quickly made him so, in fact. He's younger and really poetically beautiful, visually and vocally. I like the whole production and particularly Charles Mackerras's conducting (but then he does everything well; I just saw him at Glyndebourne leading Cos“ brilliantly). It doesn't have the floating bed, though.

There are several French operas from that period that seem to have one coloratura display aria for the soprano, but the rest of her role is not of that character at all. Faust is another example, and so is LakmŽ. It must make them a challenge to cast -- really you want a singer with lyrical or dramatic qualities, but the one crucial showpiece can't be ignored.

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#1632 - 06/27/10 05:42 AM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


One of the fruits of my (and others') efforts to boost the operatic content in Wikipedia is the table of roles and (where available) the première cast in the articles on operas. The article on Roméo et Juliette
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rom%C3%A9o_et_Juliette gives Marie Caroline Miolan-Carvalho as the Juliette and, hey presto, you can follow the link to her article and discover that she was also the first Marguerite in Faust. In fact, Gounod wrote two other roles for her as well.

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#1633 - 07/06/10 05:48 PM Re: Opera 2
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Eugene Onegin simulcast tomorrow. I tried to go when it was first shown, but I couldn't get a ticket. This was during the first season of simulcasts, when there was only one theater in the area wired to receive transmission from the Met and so every opera sold out quickly. (Now we have eight theaters.) This is another opera I've seen only once, a Met tour production, and that was many, many years ago. What I remember most is a letter scene that goes on for twenty minutes...

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#1634 - 07/06/10 07:55 PM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


Actually, the letter scene takes all night (in theory, at least).

Other highlights: the opening, with Mme Larina and Filipyevna remembering their husbands; Olga's aria; what Onegin says to Tatyana when he's received her letter; the dance at Mme Larina's, with M. Triquet's little song in French; the Onegin/Lensky duel scene; the polonaise; Prince Gremin's aria; what Tatyana says to Onegin when SHE receives HIS letter; the subsequent carpet-chewing.

One of the great operas, IMNSHO. And the moral? "It's never the right time".

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#1635 - 07/07/10 07:22 AM Re: Opera 2
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I too think highly of Onegin. But it's tricky in performance, in my experience, because it has a few grand-opera trappings (mostly the two or three big group scenes, complete with formal dance numbers with big applause-grabbing endings) but is basically an intimate chamber drama, involving some rather subtle interactions and states of mind. If the dances come off too much as divertissement interludes for the audience, rather than part of the social life of these characters, it can throw off the scale of the piece.

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#1636 - 07/07/10 11:54 AM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


The dances move up the social scale as the opera goes on - first the peasants at the end of the harvest, then the country-dance for the gentry at Madame Larina's, then the grand ball in St Petersburg. Only the last feels a bit like a divertissement to me (especially if they repeat the schottische).

I meant to say that another tricky thing is that hardly any of the Tatyanas that I've seen or heard have been able to encompass both the romantic young girl and the older and wiser Princess - most could do one but weren't so convincing as the other.

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