Opera Fans In The FL?

Discussion in 'Radio' started by Chas, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. NicknNora

    NicknNora A-List Customer

    Messages:
    353
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I remember listening to my mother's 78 record of Mario Lanza singing Vesti La Giubba. I played that record over and over and over. I was hooked after that. I'm still a sucker for tenors.
     
  2. Ethan Bentley

    Ethan Bentley One Too Many

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    Location:
    The New Forest, Hampshire, UK
  3. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Die Zauberfloten

    I saw it. The production is by Julie Taymor, who designed Broadway's Lion King (as I'm sure you know). It's fantastic! Enjoy!
     
  4. NicknNora

    NicknNora A-List Customer

    Messages:
    353
    Location:
    Kentucky
    The movie The Great Caruso is on Turner right now (today is the anniversary of his untimely death at the age of 38 on October 7, 1959).

    [YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/h4l4yFZlorg&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/h4l4yFZlorg&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

    I found this piece describing Lanza's influence on future singers on Wiki:

     
  5. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,127
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    Fourth generation opera lover, here.

    Kirsten Flagstad was my godmother. My father was an avid collector of Golden Age (that is pre-1908) vocal recordings and all sorts of theatrical memorabilia. He often contributed to Aida's column in the late (and much lamented) "Hobbies" magazine.

    For a real hot, try to find a copy of Maria Galvany singing "Der Hölle Rache" (the Queen of the Night's aira form Mozart's "Zauberflote").
     
  6. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Four generations here, also. My great grandparents started with seats in the Family Circle (the highest cheapest seats in the house) at the old Met in 1906. I have a collection of 270 Met programs (not the whole thing, just the cast, neatly clipped out) dating from Feb 1906 thru 1954, that were collected by the various family members who attended. My mother got a large tome "The Golden Horseshoe", a history of the Metropolitan Opera, and taped the relevant programs into the appropriate pages. There are about 8 for Aida alone, spanning that whole time. We were able to get a couple of autographs for the book, including Marilyn Horne.
    I may be going to Rosenkavalier this Tuesday (we'll see . . .)
    Gotta love opera!
     
  7. tuppence

    tuppence Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Hellbourne Australia
    For some reason, I like, Jan Kiepura. Apparently his wife Martha Eggbert(sp) is still alive and living in America.
     
  8. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    You're both very lucky - the fanship is rarely hereditary these days.
     
  9. Vanessa

    Vanessa One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,055
    Location:
    SoCal
    Denyce Graves as Carmen...there will never be another in the role for me.
     
  10. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    7,412
    Location:
    METROPOLIS OF EUROPA
    Absolutely.

    Yes.
     
  11. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Carmen story

    That reminds me of an experience I had back in the summer of 1973, as I recall. I was making posters and supering and just hanging around backstage at the Chautauqua Opera that summer. I supered in their production of Carmen. In the first act I was a soldier, and Fresquita and Mercedes danced around me in the second act, and in the last act I was a toreador, in a really cool costume.
    Anyway, the mezzo who had been hired for the two performances lost her voice the second night. By sheer chance a lady named Dorothy Krebill happened to be in Chautauqua because her husband was participating in a conference. She was a very experienced and talented singer with the New York City Opera at the time.
    Well, on about 5 hours notice she walked through the staging in the afternoon, and sang that evening. It was electrifying. She's a rather petite lady, and really looked the part. Plus she was a terrific natural actress.
    During the climactic final scene, where Don Jose stabs Carmen (oops! spoiler!) everybody in the company was crowded around the wings, with heads stacked up behind the curtain, watching the scene as if was happening for the first time. At the moment he stabbed her, we all gasped in shock. What a moment!
    I'll never forget it.
     
  12. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,495
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I love opera, but I am quite the amateur when it comes to knowledge about it. We have a nice (but short) opera season here in Hawaii, three operas in February to March. My wife and I try and see them all each season.

    I'm kind of plebeian when it comes to my opera tastes, I like people running around, falling in love, jumping into bed, multiple people singing at the same time, a duel or sword flight, and maybe some or most of the cast dying at the end.... So I have a preference for Mozart, and then Puccini and other Italian 19th century opera.
    I'm not a fan of Wagner or some of Verdi's stuff (too much "Spear and Magic helmet" stiffness for me...).
     
  13. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    I think for most people Wagner is very much an acquired taste. But it's well worth it. What I originally did was to listen to Met broadcasts, so that I could ramble around the house when I got antsy. After a few performances, I sort of calibrated my attention span to cope with the loooong drawn out parts.
    A good place to start might be The Flying Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer). It's the first opera Wagner wrote in "Wagnerian style". It's not intolerably long, but still has that great Wagnerian uumph.
    Tristan und Isolde is a lot of work, but worth it.
    Then there's the Ring Cycle. Attempt it piecemeal, and you'll enjoy it. It's 19 hours in total, so take your time.
    Likewise Lohengren and Tannhauser are long but full of electrifying music.
    You don't necessarily need to buy some of the thematic material. I was once with a friend at the Met, much more knowledgeable on opera than I. During one of the loud and boistrous scenes in Tannhauser he leaned over to me and loudly whispered "Wanton, odious crap!", referring to the rather fascistic content of the aria. But the music was magnificent.
    Finally there's Parsifal. There's a wonderful/terrible film made of it in 1982. Full of bizarre Nazi imagery and snow globes, but musically well done. 5 hours. But if you can get yourself ready to listen to something that takes a LONG time to develop, it's magnificent.
    There have been a lot of weird modern symbolic yada yada interpretations of Wagner. For me, I like to stay traditional. It's hard enough work just to understand what's going on in the plot, without extraneaous symbolic stuff.
    And try to imagine that 300 pound leading ladies (not really always the case by any means) as young impassioned teenagers. Most operas are about teenagers, but only a 40 year old has the physical strength to do the singing. Suspend your disbelief and use a lot imagination.
    One last thought. If you want to get the most concise and accurate summation of Wagner's Ring Cycle, get a copy of Anna Russell's explanation, on LP. She was an operatic equivalent of Victor Borge. She was brliiant and hilarious. And every word she says about the subject is precisely accurate, and totally hilarious.
     
  14. That imagery is more along the lines of two SHIPS that pass in the night in physicality.
     
  15. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    I have a version (taped off the air) of Tristan from the Met a few years ago with Ben Heppner as Tristan, and Jane Eaglen as Isolde. Absolutely stupendous singing, but both leads are GIGANTIC. You just have to grin and bear it. But SO worthwhile.
    He also did it with Deborah Voigt recently. She is pretty big too, but really cute, so it was a lot more visually enjoyable.
     
  16. Vanessa

    Vanessa One Too Many

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    1,055
    Location:
    SoCal
    So worth it.
     
  17. Chas

    Chas One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,715
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I saw "Das Rhinegold" at the Met back in March, and while there were a few slow moments, I have to say that it was quite the experience.

    This is from the production I saw.
    [YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/BAb0_ovLvlM&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/BAb0_ovLvlM&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]
     
  18. Lillemor

    Lillemor One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,137
    Location:
    Denmark
    Though I regularly do youtube searches on opera to learn more about the genre which I'm growing fond of, I wouldn't call myself a fan. I'm not very well informed on the genre so I can't tell good from bad but I can of course have a general opinion about whether I like a piece or like someone's voice but I can't tell if they were particularly good on *that* recording or on *that* evening of X performance.

    I saw the name Diana Damrau on here and I recognize that name along with names such as Caruso and Jussi Bjorling and I like Bjorling on Nessun Dorma the way I've heard it on youtube but of course youtube quality probably doesn't do most of these performers fair justice.

    So far in my 'Opera' playlist I have Mario Del Monaco, Enrico Caruso, Sumi Jo, Diana Damrau, Jussi Bjorling, Franco Corelli, and I had some American lady but lost her. This thread has helped me expand my exposure to opera because I now have more names to search for. Thanks!
     
  19. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,495
    Location:
    Hawaii
    We watched a performance of "The Dialogue of the Carmalites" in English tonight. Probably the only opera we've ever left part of the way through. What really made it difficult for me is that this particular adaptation was in English. I really do not like to have opera in English, I really want to enjoy the music and not the words. I can make exceptions for comic opera which is a different experience, but with dramatic opera I find that having in plain English makes it too close to a parody of opera, like the old Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, "Spear and Magic Helmet!".
    [video]http://www.toonjet.com/cartoon/44/LooneyTunes/Whats-Opera-Doc/[/video]



    I tend to follow ol' Red's feelings from Shawshank Redemption:
    [video=youtube;Bjqmg_7J53s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bjqmg_7J53s[/video]
     
  20. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,544
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Wow, a mezzo just happened to be in town, and that mezzo just happened to be Dorothy Krebill. Unbelievable. Great story. Of course, with the lurch you were in, you probably would have settled for an ordinary run of the mill soprano.
     

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