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#1507 - 11/09/09 08:35 PM Re: Opera 2
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
The day the board vanished was the day after I saw Tosca, but I still want to get my two cents in. That production roundly deserved the booing it got. Drab, ugly sets; dumb stage directions that all but ignored the music; costuming better suited to a comic opera than to a tragedy. The second-act set was downright offensive. Scarpia's quarters are supposed to be ornate, luxurious -- the reflection of a man who denies himself nothing. This one looked like a bus station. The only real color in the set was a pair of red sofas. So what color dress does Tosca wear in that act? Yep. Clashing red, at that.

Hated the production...but I loved the performance! Three powerhouse singers, all in perfect control -- I thought they were fantastic. George Gagnidze (Scarpia) was new to me, but he was singing on the same level as Mattila and Alvarez. They made a perfect vocal triangle. I'm soooo glad I went.

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#1508 - 11/10/09 06:20 AM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


Was there booing in the cinema where you saw Tosca, Barbara? Of course, the only time one gets to boo the production team is when they potter in on a first night (I'm usually surprised at how scruffy they usually are, not that I go to many first nights) and when they aren't there, the booing can, of course, be misinterpreted.

On "brava" (or indeed, "bravi") I tend to feel that it's "Look at me, I know a word of Italian that you don't know!" so I would never use it. But in Gianni Schicchi, Schicchi sarcastically sings "Brava, la vecchia, brava" (and a lot of extra abuse) when Zita tells him to get lost. How does that differ from "Brava, Madame Mattila" or whoever?

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#1509 - 11/10/09 12:38 PM Re: Opera 2
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Re: Booing the production team....I am sure I posted here, some years back, about the Salzburg "Aida" that including Amneris using the dancers for target practice and a triumphal parade of men in combat fatigues riding kiddy car sized tanks.

It was beautifully sung and at the final curtain several of the singers got standing ovations...then the production people were led onstage and you never heard such catcalls, stamping of feet and whathaveyou from the largely European audience. I think some of them even threw things.
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#1510 - 11/11/09 09:54 AM Re: Opera 2
Pete Offline


Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 5177
Loc: Newport News, Virginia, USA
There's no point in booing at a motion picture. No one responsible for what you are booing is there to hear it. Exception is probably the big premiere where everyone turn out, and that probably has a hand picked audience who would never express displeasure at all.
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#1511 - 11/13/09 07:45 PM Re: Opera 2
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I don't in fact shout "brav-"anything. It's not my style. But hypothetically, I can see two ways to look at it.

(1) "Bravo" as a word adopted into the English language, which therefore remains uninflected under all circumstances. (This is how I generally handle Italian musical terms in musical life: "tempos" not tempi, etc.)

(2) If one prefers to maintain the distinction of the endings, then my point of view would be that I am indeed applauding the singer, thanking them for work that I enjoyed. (The singing is already over, but the singer is standing there before me.) With this would go bravo, brava, bravi, according to circumstances.

As I suggested, I go with (1). Being too ostentatiously foreign seems pretentious to me (admitting that this is a matter of taste). I feel the same way about pointedly pronouncing foreign names "authentically" (over-rolled R's, French vowels, all the stuff that Richard Wilbur called "nasal and uvular agonies") in the middle of an English sentence.

[This message has been edited by Jon (edited 11-24-2009).]

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#1512 - 11/14/09 07:04 AM Re: Opera 2
Pete Offline


Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 5177
Loc: Newport News, Virginia, USA
Do the Italians actually cry "Brava!" for female artists?
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#1513 - 11/14/09 09:50 AM Re: Opera 2
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
They do.

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#1514 - 11/14/09 12:03 PM Re: Opera 2
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew:
Was there booing in the cinema where you saw Tosca, Barbara?
No, I was referring to the first-night booing. I have heard spontaneous applause on occasion, until people realize what they're doing.

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#1515 - 11/24/09 10:32 AM Re: Opera 2
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Why I can't see the telecasts without driving 3 hours:
http://www.roanoke.com/extra/arts//wb/227073
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#1516 - 11/30/09 07:17 AM Re: Opera 2
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I got to the Met on Saturday (thanks to a university bus trip) and saw that wonderful Il Trittico production. Stephanie Blythe did all 3 mezzo roles again, and this time Patricia Racette did the 3 big soprano roles, most impressively. And Alessandro Corbelli was back for Schicchi. A marvelous experience.

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