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#1749 - 02/16/11 10:39 PM Re: Opera 3
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Just back from Cav and Pag....in a movie theater (smallest in the complex) with an audience of about 8...all there on comps I think.

Production from La Scala made me appreciate the Met live telecasts even more. The singers were fine (none I was familiar with) and the the music was well sung, but the sound quality was poor and the staging was both odd and erratic.

Daniel Harding was the conductor (suspect Andrew is familiar with him!) He did well by the music, but the staging was awful.
http://super-conductor.blogspot.com/2011/01/opera-telecast-review-pag-before-cav.html
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#1750 - 02/26/11 03:44 PM Re: Opera 3
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Domingo must have been the draw, because the auditorium at Virginia Western for Iphigenie en Tauride was almost full. Both Domingo and Graham were singing with bad colds (so the pre curtain announcer said) and carried on. Paul Groves is new to me, but I liked him a lot.

I wish I could say I liked Gluck...
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#1751 - 02/26/11 04:51 PM Re: Opera 3
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Well, I can say I do. Domingo looked sick, really sick. It must have taken a tremendous effort of will to perform as well as he did. The man is 70, after all; he shouldn't push himself like that. Graham was a marvel, with high notes that seemed to float...and she was sick too! Like Kay, I was much taken with Paul Groves.

Hated the staging, even while admitting Iphigénie must be extremely difficult to stage. The choices made to fill in the static parts were questionable at best, ludicrous at worst. Costumes were drab. Not enough was made of the deus ex machina. Acting was old-style hammy.

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#1752 - 02/26/11 08:42 PM Re: Opera 3
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Leaving Agamemnon and Clytemnestra on stage like pieces of scenery didn't seem quite right to me.

And yes, Domingo looked very tired. All the references in the text to his youth (and hers,but that wasn't quite as bad) were ludicrous!
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#1753 - 02/26/11 08:46 PM Re: Opera 3
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
> Not enough was made of the deus ex machina

Yeah,they kind of acted like they were used to have goddesses drop in from nowhere...
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#1754 - 02/27/11 05:40 AM Re: Opera 3
Anonymous
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I like Gluck a lot, and this Iphigénie is my #2 after Orfeo & Euridice (the other Iphigénie is good, too - most of its arias are quite short but it has a very nice overture). This one is, or ought to be, very dramatic.

I saw Susan Graham in the title-role at Covent Garden a couple of years ago, with Paul Groves excellent as Pylade and Simon Keenlyside chewing the scenery as Oreste. Good production, with quite a lot of dancers. I listened to Act 1 on the radio last night, and thought that Domingo sounded rather frayed.

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#1755 - 02/27/11 11:51 AM Re: Opera 3
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
Domingo sang the tenor version, didn't he? I thought the French version was baritone and the German was tenor. I don't know this music at all, but in that beautiful duet toward the end that Oreste and Pylade sang (arguing about which one of them should die), every time they harmonized, Domingo took the lower vocal line. Was the tenor version written that way? Or was a little switch made to accommodate Domingo's illness?

I agree about the staging; it was terrible. And I am so tired of the Met's monochrome sets. The acting could be called "failed stylized"...someone would strike a pose and hold it forever. So many times Susan Graham would stagger across the stage and collapse against a wall, where she'd stand heaving heavily until her next cue. Well, she had to do something during those long stretches when she had nothing to do. But surely the director could have come up with something better than "Go over there and heave, girl!" Still, even sick, she sounded better than I've ever heard her before. And, even sick, Domingo came through, but he did let a healthy Paul Groves steal a couple of scenes from him.

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#1756 - 02/28/11 03:48 PM Re: Opera 3
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
I was wondering about Domingo taking the lower part in that duet too. Since the role was originally written for baritone in French and Gluck tweaked it into tenor for the German version, maybe he just left as much of the baritone version untouched that fell within the tenor range. That's just a guess, though.

Just learned that this Saturday a Covent Garden version of Carmen is being shown at my usual opera movie theater...in 3D! At 3D prices, not opera prices.
http://www.carmen3d.com/?gclid=CKSViJfnq6cCFRtqgwodtmJDAw

It's being shown at other dates in other local theaters, so it's not scheduled like the Met's performances (because it's not live). Tony Hall, the Royal Opera CEO, said he got the idea to do Carmen in 3D when he took his daughter to see Avatar.

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#1757 - 03/01/11 04:40 PM Re: Opera 3
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
So something good came out of Avatar after all? But why Carmen instead of one of the spectacle operas like The Tales of Hoffmann?

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#1758 - 03/01/11 06:58 PM Re: Opera 3
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Possibly because they had two good-looking singers for the leads (Christine Rice and Bryan Hymel).



More likely because this production was a roaring success in London. "Aggressively sexual" was one critic's phrase.

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