Opera

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Opera

Post  eddie on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:19 am

When I studied Drama at uni, my very first lecture described Opera as the highest of all performance art forms: a sumptious, overwhelming brew of spectacle, dance and music- or so I was told.

To this day, my knowledge of Opera consists precisely of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdTBml4oOZ8
Nessun Dorma- Pavarotti

I love it ( who wouldn't?) but if the Football World Cup hadn't been played in Italy in 1990, and if the BBC TV coverage of the tournament hadn't used this as its theme tune, my knowledge of Opera would be precisely Zero.

So...please explain...what am I missing?



Last edited by eddie on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:33 am

Stanisław Skrowaczewski (stating what was probably a minority among conductors) once said that most operas are not worth the work and expense required to stage a performance.

As exceptions, he named Beethoven (not known as an opera composer--he wrote one), Mozart, Tschaikowsky, and Gluck (on odd choice, since we was very early and now seems archaic).

The creators of opera understood that during the time of the ancient Greeks dramas were chanted or sung. The original idea of opera was to introduce "authentic performance practice" into Greek drama, but it quickly got off onto a different track.

I think we have to consider the fact that opera was created before the time of special effect films and sound amplification. It was a way of making a show spectacular with characters that were no larger than life and could only make as much noise as their voices would make, and with scenery that had to be set up indoors and could only be changed by guys coming onstage to lift it or roll it.

Opera was invented by Italians, who were known for spectacular stage productions. The texts of their plays from the late 16th to early 17th centuries are mostly long forgotten, but surviving drawings of the stage sets are spectacular.

English drama during the same period was the polar opposite--almost no scenery, but words by Shakespeare.


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:40 am

I tend to agree with Stanisław Skrowaczewski, and most of favorite music is chamber music--not opera. To my ear, the composers that wrote opera were at their best when they wrote for chamber groups.

But there are some operas that I put on my must-listen list:

Claudio Monteverdi -- L'Orfeo

Gluck -- Orfeo ed Euridice

Mozart -- Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute

Moussorgsky -- Boris Godunov

Gershwin -- Porgy and Bess


Last edited by pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Opera

Post  eddie on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:43 am

Thanks for the responses, Pinz.

Obviously, I need to do a lot more research.

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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:02 am

I was typing too fast and left off possibly the best. Skrowaczewski's list is notable for leaving off Verdi, Wagner, and most of the other composers that opera lovers are supposed to like.

pinhedz wrote:I tend to agree with Stanisław Skrowaczewski, and most of favorite music is chamber music--not opera. To my ear, the composers that wrote opera were at their best when they wrote for chamber groups.

But there are some operas that I put on my must-listen list:

Claudio Monteverdi -- L'Orfeo

Gluck -- Orfeo ed Euridice

Mozart -- Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute

Beethoven -- Fidelio

Moussorgsky -- Boris Godunov

Gershwin -- Porgy and Bess

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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:04 am


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:27 am

My favorite part of the opera starts at 3:15 here:


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:29 am

Christa Ludwig does here best to look dood-like, and obviously is determined to get the job done:


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:30 am

And, shur 'nuff, she got the job done:


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:35 am

And there's this--what's not to like?


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:41 am

In an older opera, Sportin' Life would have been called Mephisto or Beelzebub:


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:48 am




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Re: Opera

Post  Constance on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:14 pm

Tom loves opera and listens every night to something I've downloaded onto our iPod . We have a device that gives the iPod speakers.

For me, there's nothing finer than Puccini's Madame Butterfly.



This will melt your heart:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uut6X4E-Kgk

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Re: Opera

Post  eddie on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:23 am



This is a good site for Brecht-Weill's The Threepenny Opera, the only opera- apart from The Who's Tommy- I know pretty well:

http://threepennyopera.org/

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Re: Opera

Post  eddie on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:32 am

Pre-dating Tommy, here's The Who's mini-opera (operetta? scratch ) A Quick One...from The Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus, 1968:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTUG49Uj-s0&feature=related

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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:50 am

Disney has lately been given credit for depicting damsels that don't need a guy to come to their rescue--or who don't even need a guy (Frozen).

But Beethoven was the innovator in the chicks-with-guns genre (although the play was actually written by Goethe). Here we see Leonora coming to the rescue of her helpless love interest (lying on the floor--lower right):



pinhedz wrote:And, shur 'nuff, she got the job done:


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:33 am

Stalin banned this opera.   
I don't know how they staged this scene back in the 30s--but it just shocked the heck out of the pinhed.   Shocked  silent


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Re: Opera

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:56 pm


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Re: Opera

Post  pinhedz on Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:10 pm

eddie wrote:Pre-dating Tommy, here's The Who's mini-opera (operetta? scratch ) A Quick One...from The Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus, 1968:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTUG49Uj-s0&feature=related

I believe that broken link used to be this:


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Re: Opera

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:23 pm



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Re: Opera

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:00 pm




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Re: Opera

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:13 pm



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Re: Opera

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:31 pm





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Re: Opera

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