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#1557 - 02/06/10 04:18 PM Re: Opera 2
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I'm still under the Boccanegra spell; will post later.

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#1558 - 02/07/10 02:39 PM Re: Opera 2
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
It did leave a buzz, didn't it? It was glorious. Why is this opera not performed more? It's easy to see why Domingo wanted to sing that role. It took me about two minutes to get used to those baritone notes coming out of Domingo's mouth...then it seemed the most natural thing in the world. The music was great, the singing was great, the production was great. Anybody who did not see this, go to the Encore showing. GO.

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#1559 - 02/07/10 03:50 PM Re: Opera 2
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I'm still feeling the buzz. What Chris said -- GO.

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#1560 - 02/07/10 08:43 PM Re: Opera 2
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Yes, absolutely GO. The only thing I knew from this opera was "Il lacerato spirito", and that only because of Ezio Pinza's recording. So it was virtually a brand new Verdi opera for me, and I found the music dramatic and satisfying, with a few snatches of exciting choral music tossed in at just the right places. Not a single aria for the title character, yet Domingo soared over the entire opera like some divine presence leading everyone else to their fates. It was wonderful. And for once I don't have a single nit to pick with the production; it was beautiful. The stage looked like a series of Renaissance paintings. I think my favorite scene was the one in which Boccanegra forced Paolo to pronounce a curse on Amelia's kidnapper (who was Paolo himself). How much did Boccanegra know? Did the other Council members also suspect? Oh, that was good theater!

But Boito's libretto has its usual improbabilities. One I found hard to wink at came in the scene in which Boccanegra told Paolo he could not marry Amelia. When Paolo wanted to know why not, Boccanegra answered with an imperious "I wish it!" Now, if he'd just said "She's not a Grimaldi. She's an orphan they took in," then the story would have ended happily. Paolo only wanted the Grimaldi money and might even feel grateful to Boccanegra for keeping him from making a bad mistake.

Does anyone know if there's an opera with a longer death scene than Boccanegra's? His even spans a change of setting.

Was Renée Fleming's backstage interview with Domingo part of the radio broadcast? He answered a few questions that have been raised here, such as NO, he is not going to sing Iago. And he hasn't really switched away from tenor to baritone; he's still singing tenor roles. He expressed an interest in Heldentenor roles (he's already singing Parsifal). But there is another baritone role he wants to do, and that's Athanaël in Thaïs. The man doesn't seem aware he's 69 years old.




[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 02-08-2010).]

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#1561 - 02/08/10 01:09 PM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'll GO, I'll GO!

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#1562 - 02/08/10 07:43 PM Re: Opera 2
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
So will I. Wow.

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#1563 - 02/09/10 05:27 AM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


This is in my top five Verdi operas, and I'm sorry that I wasn't sufficiently organised to go and see the simulcast. I've seen it quite a few times on stage, at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne and elsewhere. One or two comments on Barbara's post:

"Not a single aria for the title character"? Hmm! What about his "Plebe! Patrizi! Popolo!" in the Council Chamber scene? That's as much of an aria as, say Iago's Credo or Falstaff's "Tutto nel mondo è burla". The ending ("E vo' gridando 'pace', e vo' gridando amor", with the chorus and other soloists coming in with a Big Tune) is one of a number of emotional moments, for me at least. Others are the postlude to "Il lacerato spirito" (I was amazed that the Met audience didn't interrupt it with applause - kudos to the director), the scene where Boccanegra discovers that Amelia is his long-lost daughter, his reminiscence of his seafaring life ("Il mare, il mare" to the accompaniment of the sounds of the sea in the orchestra) when he's beginning to feel the effects of the poison, and the opera's ending.

I agree about the the scene in which Boccanegra told Paolo he could not marry Amelia. However, I doubt if this is Boito's fault - the libretto was written by Piave about 25 years before Boito got his hands on it, and the opera premiered in 1857, after La Traviata and before Un Ballo in Maschera. Boito wrote the whole of the Council Chamber scene, and the music for it is as good as anything in Otello or Falstaff (the revised version premiered in 1881, after Aida) but elsewhere there was only some retouching and rearranging and not a lot of new music, as I understand it.

I heard the broadcast on the radio. Domingo sounded fine (and very Domingoesque), but I had some problems with other singers - the tenor was off-pitch initially and you could drive a coach and horses through James Morris's wobble (though Ramey or Plishka these days would have been worse!). But listening on the radio isn't at all the same as seeing it in the theatre (or cinema), so don't let me put anyone off.

They're doing this at Covent Garden soon, with Domingo, but they've upped the prices to a level that even I am reluctant to pay, and a trip to London and overnight stay isn't cheap either. (However, I'm doing exactly that, at a much lower cost, to see Prokofiev's The Gambler next Monday.)

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#1564 - 02/09/10 08:49 AM Re: Opera 2
Lorna Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
What intrigued me was that the opera is the story of a good man who won over two of his three enemies. How often do you see that on an opera stage?

The New York Times has an article saying that when Domingo auditioned for the Mexican opera at age 18, he did so as a baritone. Okay, so he's a tenor/baritone. Why not?

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#1565 - 02/09/10 12:51 PM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


His debut was in 1957 at age 16, in a baritone role in a zarzuela. His first important tenor role was Alfredo in La Traviata in 1961 - still only 20 years old, and he'd been singing smaller tenor roles since 1959. So the upwards (as it were) trajectory isn't anything like Vinay's.

Of course, while singing tenor roles, he made a recording in 1992 of the baritone role of Figaro in The Barber of Seville.

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#1566 - 02/09/10 06:21 PM Re: Opera 2
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
If you've got the range, you've got the range....And didn't Callas sing a few mezzo roles...I seem to remember a Carmen or two.
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