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#29814 - 10/19/14 05:58 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Christopher]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
I thought Figaro's Nozze was an absolute delight. The updated setting (the 1930s) wasn't intrusive, the turntable set was great, and everybody sounded wonderful. (Well, almost everybody. I didn't care much for Amanda Majeski's voice (the Countess) -- which most likely is a perfectly good voice, but I probably haven't got Eleanor Steber out of my head yet. The "Dove sono" didn't sound quite there.)

Ildar Abdrazakov was a new name, face, and voice to me, but what a Figaro he made! Beautiful singer and a good comic actor to boot. The acting was broad, but it fit in with the nonsensical plot. Isabel Leonard made a charming Cherubino; she's singing Rosina in Barber next month. The best thing about this production was that everyone was having fun, singers and audience alike. Definitely thumbs up.

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#29816 - 10/20/14 01:54 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Lorna]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I've been enjoying Ildar Abdrazakov for some years now, watching his gradual and well-deserved rise to the top. I saw him as Escamillo at the Met, some years back and in 2006 made the trip to DC with some students to see L'Italiana in Algeri at the Washington National Opera. He was a splendid Mustafá (much more real singing than one often gets in the Rossini comic bass roles), his wife Olga Borodina a wonderfully grand and spirited Isabella (the Italian Woman of the title), and a young tenor, on the verge of hitting the big time, Juan DIego Florez (both hilarious and meltingly sung). All three were so satisfying, that was one of my best nights at the opera.

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#29819 - 10/20/14 09:03 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Lorna]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
I think I remember you posting something about that at the time...and Barbara's summary of Saturday's matinee is spot on...fun, fun, fun. Nozze plays well in any time period, I think...I've seen it done in everything from fairly contemporary (well, I guess this was too) to Victorian to the actual time period...the music is just so wonderful...
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#29820 - 10/20/14 09:04 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Lorna]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Hated to see Jimmy Levine confined to a wheelchair but it didn't seem to affect his conducting.
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#29821 - 10/20/14 09:08 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Lorna]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
And I still remember Te Kanawa in a televised performance years ago as sort of setting the standard for Countesses...
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#29822 - 10/20/14 09:18 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Lorna]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IugFH6PxeMQ

Dame Kiri but I am not sure of the date....FYI there appears to be a complete version from 1976
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#29823 - 10/21/14 02:03 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Lorna]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
That's the 1973 video of the Glyndebourne stage production directed by Sir Peter Hall (a GREAT opera director in addition to all his fine Shakespearean credits). It's my own first choice, with Te Kanawa, Ileana Cotrubas, and Frederica von Stade in the summer when she burst upon Europe (after a season or two singing small roles at the Met) and enchanted everyone.

There's also a film directed by Ponnelle; that may be the 1976 one you mention. I find it not as successful: poorly lip-synced or else sung in voice-over (which to my mind never works in opera) though there are some intriguing casting elements.

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#29870 - 11/01/14 09:00 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Lorna]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
As Carmens go, this one was well done. When I was a mere child (ok, I was in college) I got to see Rise Stevens live on stage in New Orleans. That woman set the mark for Carmen. I really liked the young soprano who did Michaela. Jose not so much.
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#29939 - 11/23/14 07:31 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Kay]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Yes, there was a time when anyone said "Carmen" -- everyone thought "Risë Stevens". I also saw her once in the role, in Cincinnati. Kay, what did you think of Rachvelishvili?

Well, I got to see less than half of Barbiere. Shortly after "La Calunnia" there was a monster power outage -- it knocked out blocks. Imagine sixteen movie auditoriums emptying their audiences all at the same time, everyone standing in line to get a rain ticket. The drive home was bumper to bumper, made more tedious by the fact that most of the traffic lights weren't working -- eight lanes of traffic taking turns crossing the intersections. And that was my Day at the Opera.

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#29943 - 11/23/14 10:52 PM Re: Opera 9 [Re: Lorna]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Sounds totally awful frown

A double dose of opera yesterday and I can barely remember Carmen! Greatly enjoyed the simulcast of Barbiere although the theatre where it was shown was freezing cold. Dashed back for some dinner and went to a local live performance of Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio. Wish they hadn't tried to update it to Chicago gangland (WHY do all the opera companies seem obsessed with these time shifts!) but the singers were competent and the acting was ok.
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