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#4511 - 01/22/12 08:55 AM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Kay]
Lorna Offline
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Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I loved it, I absolutely LOVED it! I loved the singing, I loved the production, I loved the fact that Neptune was cranky and forgetful. Most of all I loved Joyce di Donato...what a performance! I felt a little sorry for Caliban at the end. Everyone else was rewarded, but not him. (In this production, he was played like a big dumb teenager, ugly as sin.) Yes, indeed, this opera was fun.

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#4517 - 01/22/12 06:48 PM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Lorna]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Yes, it's a feel-good opera, isn't it? The celebratory nature of the work is contagious; you can't help but join in the fun. Even the sad parts can't detract from that. Joyce DiDonato is a true wonder; what she can do with her voice is amazing. The decision to take Shakespeare's casual mention of Sycorax and turn her into a leading character was well justified. I was also quite taken with mezzo Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia; I don't remember ever hearing her before.

Two things I would take issue with. One is Danielle deNiese's performance as Ariel. She overacted terribly, even for this kind of make-believe opera. She had a lot of good stage business, though, and that helped. But she had to yell her top notes, and she has a habit of swallowing the last note or two of a musical phrase. I don't know whether she ran out of breath or whether she was lagging a half-beat behind the orchestra or if that's just her singing style -- whichever, it grated on me. Through no fault of her own, DeNiese wore the only jarring costume in the production. Ariel is a sprite, not some overornamented gilded Buddha. Grumble.

The other thing I'd take issue with is the original parts of the libretto. One example: "If it's consoling, it will be rolling over hill and field..." Urg.

Originally Posted By: Andrew
Depends what you mean by recent, Barbara. In 1991, Paul Griffiths put together a whole lot of Mozart arias, some written for other composers' works, some just concert arias, some substitute arias in his own operas in a (rather boring) commedia dell'arte plot. It was called The Jewel Box:
Yes, I'd call that recent. I vaguely remember reading something about a "Mozart Project", but I didn't realize it had resulted in a completed opera. Boring plot, huh? Have you seen a performance?

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#4518 - 01/22/12 07:06 PM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Barbara]
Andrew Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 425
Loc: York, England
Originally Posted By: Barbara
Originally Posted By: Andrew
Depends what you mean by recent, Barbara. In 1991, Paul Griffiths put together a whole lot of Mozart arias, some written for other composers' works, some just concert arias, some substitute arias in his own operas in a (rather boring) commedia dell'arte plot. It was called The Jewel Box:
Yes, I'd call that recent. I vaguely remember reading something about a "Mozart Project", but I didn't realize it had resulted in a completed opera. Boring plot, huh? Have you seen a performance?

Yes, I saw it at the Leeds Grand Theatre. Lots of nice music, but I just gave up trying to follow the uninteresting plot.

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#4524 - 01/24/12 10:15 AM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Barbara]
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558



Danielle De Niese as Ariel

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#4528 - 01/24/12 02:05 PM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Christopher]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Oh my.

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#4533 - 01/26/12 03:22 PM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
I've been trying to find a pic of Daniel Evans as Ariel in the Old Vic production with Jacobi I saw in London nearly 10 years ago...can't...but fact is Ariel is NOT a girl...somewhere in the interviews a reference was made to "Tinker Bell" and that is SOOOOOOOOOO wrong.
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#4541 - 01/27/12 12:59 PM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Kay]
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
If Danielle De Niese had two more arms, she'd look like the Hindu goddess Shiva. I didn't see The Enchanted Island, but the role of Ariel must have been written for soprano in keeping with the Baroque style. If the opera had been written in the late 17th or early 18th century, the role probably would have been written for castrato or haute-contre. And since castrato roles were later sung by women, it's in keeping with tradition to make Ariel a breeches role.

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#4543 - 01/27/12 02:56 PM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
But there were TWO countertenors in the cast! Both singing male roles. Prospero and Ferdinand.
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#4544 - 01/27/12 03:05 PM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Barbara]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Which reminds me, since the Met now has a good counter tenor, might they think of reviving Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream (in which he wrote the role of Oberon for the great Alfred Deller)
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#4547 - 01/28/12 12:59 AM Re: Opera 4 [Re: Kay]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
I think that's the point, Kay. With two countertenors in the cast, making Ariel another when the role can be sung by a woman would be overkill. Besides, can you see David Daniels playing a sprite? Hmm?

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