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#6187 - 12/02/12 07:00 PM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Kay]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Did no one go to La Clemenza di Tito? Very few here did; the theater was two-thirds empty. We had a bad storm at the time, and the driving was scary -- but it was worth it. I didn't care for Kate Lindsey as Annio, but everything else was just grand. Sumptuous production, and Garanca was wonderful, as usual.

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#6190 - 12/02/12 07:29 PM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Rita]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Unfortunately I had to attend a funeral Saturday afternoon, so I couldn't make it. It's an opera I am not at all familiar with, and I would have loved to have seen it. And I think the broadcasts start next week end.
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#6193 - 12/03/12 09:22 PM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Kay]
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
I was traveling and had to miss it, but my wife loved it. She's an even bigger Garanca fan than I am, but she liked everything else as well.

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#6198 - 12/04/12 07:12 PM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Christopher]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
The first year these simulcasts were available, they came with a polite plea for donations, pointing out that ticket sales covered less than a fourth of the Met's expenses. Then in the third or fourth year, they were saying ticket sales counted for less than a third of the opera's annual budget. Now they're saying less than half. Slowly but surely...

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#6201 - 12/05/12 11:01 AM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Rita]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
I keep looking for a "like" button...that is good to know.
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#6203 - 12/05/12 08:05 PM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Kay]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
I saw it, and I loved it too. Garanca's coloratura always sounds so effortless, I'm impressed all over again every time I hear her. The only thing I didn't care for was her costume, which was ill-fitting and unflattering...a very minor matter in a very good production.

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#6210 - 12/08/12 04:29 PM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Rita]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
As usual I found the production (Ballo) a little flaky at times, but the singers were great...I am totally in love with Dmitri Hvorostovsky...wish I could pronounce his name!
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#6211 - 12/08/12 06:17 PM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Rita]
Andrew Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 425
Loc: York, England
I heard most of tonight's Ballo. Radvanovsky had too much fluttery vibrato for me most of the time. Alvarez was good, Hvorostovsky was good in parts, the conductor was rather brisk but calmed down eventually. Then I had to interrupt the opera to watch Part 7 of The Killing #3...

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#6212 - 12/09/12 12:45 AM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Andrew]
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
This production was booed on its opening night. It's the kind of production I've been griping about for the past few years, the kind that changes the place and/or time of the story for no reason other than to give the director and designer a chance to show off. Empty minimalist sets, heavy-handed symbolism, etc. Besides, "updating" always shows a lack of confidence in the opera to succeed on its own without the addition of way-out gimmickry. That's sad.

Having said that, I now have to eat my words, because I liked this production. I liked it a lot. The scene in the first act where they're all getting ready to go off to Ulrica's den was staged like a vaudeville routine. From that unexpected bit of whimsy clear through to the choreographed reflections in the mirrored walls of the ballroom -- it was all good. The uncluttered sets, the constantly changing stage picture...I thought it was beautiful.

Now I'm going to have to contradict myself again; there was one thing that seemed to me to be a mistake. The painting of the fall of Icarus was used as a stage curtain, a ceiling, a backdrop -- it appeared in some form in almost every scene. To make sure we got the point, Oscar was wearing wings at the masked ball. Late in the opera the conspirators sing that Gustavo is going to fall from Heaven to Hell, and I guess that's all that was needed to make the Icarus connection. But Icarus fell because he soared too high (a lesson in hubris). As far as I could tell, Gustavo did no soaring at all. In fact, he was pretty much headed in the other direction all along. He was reckless, he ignored advice and warnings, he'd killed one conspirator's brother and took another conspirator's castle for himself, he actively pursued his best friend's wife. No soaring there. Gustavo is no Icarus.

Alvarez was a wonderful surprise; it seemed to me he had much more variety in his singing than the last time I heard him. (He even did some acting this time!) I thought all the singing was good, both principals and chorus. Except for Icarus, I can't fault this production and to hell with the boo-birds.

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#6215 - 12/09/12 12:31 PM Re: Opera 5 [Re: Rita]
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Glad I was not the only one who found the Icarus bit confusing...part of the flakiness I mentioned in my original post.

It was nice to note in the "previews" that next week's Aida is apparently going to be set in, of all places, ancient EGYPT. I've seen one production that was done in modern dress (with soldiers riding toy tanks in the triumphal scene).
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