Opera, anyone?

Unsling your guitar, pull up a chair, and strum us a chord or two. Come on in to discuss music.

Opera, anyone?

Postby LunaRaven » Mon Jul 19, 2004 6:09 am

I am the only person I have met or can remember meeting who adores Opera music? I absolutely love Luciano Pavarotti, he's the only person who seems to make me smile nowadays.
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Postby Dolengaerwen » Tue Jul 20, 2004 3:13 pm

I can't say I really love opera music, it's usually better after you listen to it a few times and get used to the melody. My family was able to go to some operas last fall/winter which was really cool. We saw several operas including Madame Butterfly and Samson et Delilah, but my favorite was Lucia de Lammermor. It was the most exciting because it had a murder and a mad scene. :D I also liked the music, of course.

But as far as sitting around at home and listening to music, I think I prefer classical music(or concert music, I believe is the more correct term). Although I do have some opera albums that I like to listen to.

~Dolengaerwen
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Postby Meril36 » Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:53 am

Let's see, what operas have I actually seen...

Aida (Didn't like it)
La Cenerentola (Thought it was mediocre)
La Boehm (Didn't like it)
The Tales of Hoffmann (I liked watching it because I'm very familiar with Hoffmann's stories, but the music didn't really grab me, except for Olympia's aria. What a note that lady hit! I expected to hear glass breaking.)
Le Nozze de Figaro (Eh. It was okay.)
Turandot (Loved it!)

I have Carmen and Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail on CD. Those two plus Turandot are my favorites.
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Postby Althestar » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:42 pm

Suenote, I was lookin through the posts and noticed your post about Mozart. It struck me as a type of presque-vous feeling when I came across it. I too am a LOTR fan but am also an avid Mozart student. Surely we should talk sometime? You a grl/guy. Id like to learn more. How can I contact ya?
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Re: Opera

Postby Iarwain~Ben-adar » Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:39 pm

suenote wrote:I performed the role of Pamina in The Magic Flute...
Pamina mein! O welch ein Glück!

I, too, enjoy opera and am particularly a fan of Herr Mozart.

One of my earliest opera experiences was watching Don Giovanni on TV (with subtitles) with my mom when I was a boy. We were both laughing our heads off during Leporello's famous catalog aria where, in an effort to dissuade Donna Elvira from persuing Giovanni, he enumerates the Don's many conquests: 640 in Italy, 231 in Germany, 100 in France, 91 in Turkey, and in Spain...1003! Whether they're commoners, noblewomen, fair, dark, plump, tall, petite, young, or old, he loves anything that wears a skirt. Of course, Donna Elvira is absolutely mortified to hear all this. Afterall, the Don had promised to marry her!

I've seen a number of operas in person, and have quite a few recordings. I sing a bit myself. I have a Bachelor's Degree of Music in Vocal Performance (I'm a lyric tenor). I'm not presently performing with any groups, but I sang in the chorus with the local opera company for a few years, and have done a few things with some former classmates who have a small community opera company.

Of all the tenors I've ever heard, I'd say my voice is most similar to Chris Merritt, although I never reached his degree of proficiency, of course. (He's a bel canto specialist who performs mostly Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, etc.)
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Postby Liana_Lemonflower » Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:22 pm

Aida (Didn't like it)

Meril36 you break my heart!!! Verdi is brilliant!!! oh to see that performed must be incredible! there are just scenes in there that are breath taking!! But I respect your opinion.....

I love opera, i am also a fan of Mozarts operas, Don Giovanni is my favorite of his, i have actually seen it three times......


I am a HUGE Wagner fan... I have always wanted to go to the Bayreuth Festival.......*sigh*


but I must say to listen to an opera and to see it are two totally different experiences and recording just dont seem to do operas justice!
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Postby Amphiaraus » Sat Aug 28, 2004 7:59 am

I've just discovered the wonders of opera on DVD. My two favorites so far are a performance of Wagner's "Meistersinger" from Berlin, and one of Monteverdi's "Return of Ulysses" from Aix-en-Provence.

I'd always thought I'd be underwhelmed by watching opera on a little screen, but the directors of these videos do an incredible job of bringing the performances to life in a way you could never experience sitting in the house, even in the best seat.

The Bayreuth Ring (Boulez/Chereau) is also spectacular!
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Postby Liana_Lemonflower » Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:27 pm

I have such a hard time finding performances on DVD that I like that I dont have to order via the internet. That and I can never find anything in my price range.....(think college student who has been in college too long.....) my goal before I graduate (or as a graduation gift) I have been trying to find Stravinsky Rite of Spring with the original ballet. Which isnt easy but I know they just did a remake of it but I cant find that DVD anyway....but that is Ballet not Opera..... :|
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Postby Tigerlily_Goldworthy » Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:52 pm

I'm pretty new to opera, but I really enjoy it... particularly the faces my friends make when I suggest it. :D

I'm sad to say that the only opera(s) I've seen are the four in the Ring Cycle. (I know, that was really dumb starting with Wagner, but I like his music.) I'm still trying to get transportation to the library to get some more, but I've been busy lately, so that's not working well. :P
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Postby Vanafacwen » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:01 am

I've been in a few opera productions, as a chorus member. In 1999 I was in Nabucco as a treble (playing a Hebrew slave, so I sang the wonderful Slaves Chorus), then Turandot the next year also a child. I can't remember which bit we sang though. Last year I was in the main chorus of The Magic Flute as an alto. All of the productions were brilliant fun to do, but the opera company has been having money troubles so we couldn't put one on this year, but hopefully it will continue.
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Postby Elwin_Halfelven » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:02 pm

Horay! People who like opera! I'm fairly new to it myself, since I only started taking interest in it in the last year or two. I'm majoring in Vocal Performance, and, gosh, I hope to be an opera singer someday!!!! And I will gosh darn it! (Sorry. This is only my second year and I'm in the chorus again... I'll get over it.) Yeah, so horay for opera singers! Has anyone heard of Doris Soffel? She's my latest obesession and I think she has a gorgeous voice! Oh, and I really like this CD I listened to of Ruth Ann Swenson. She's awesome!

Edit: Actually, I don't think I'm even in the chorus. I'll probably be involved somehow, though. We're doing Die Fledermaus. (The whole reason I didn't get cast is because the director likes to play favorites!)
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Postby Liana_Lemonflower » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:13 pm

Elwin_Halfelven, get used to the playing favorites, that is one of the many things that you have to deal with as a musician....it is not a fun part. Work your butt off and then you wont have to worry about it cause it will be obvious where you stand. But its still fun!

I personally dont get to perform in operas, unless I am in the orchestra. But I have never had the opportunity to do so. Hopefully once I get out of school I can hook up with an orchestra and be able to get some gigs.
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Postby Thewhitetree » Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:02 pm

I definetly enjoy opera (not Oprah) every now and then. I really can't stand metzo sopranos because their voices are way too high. I would say that Cecilia Bartley is more powerfull and emotional than Marilyn Horne though.

What I really enjoy is music lke that of Ivan Rebroff. If you guys ain't heard of him, then move your butts and find some of his music. Its really awesome.
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Postby Elwin_Halfelven » Sun Oct 17, 2004 4:04 pm

Um, :roll:, whitetree, mezzo sopranos are the one's with the lower range, actually. They can sing high, but they don't like to. Cecilia Bartoli (that is who you meant, yes?) is a mezzo. Sopranos sing high--that's me! Yea! Sorry, I don't know of Ivan Rebroff--what has he composed?

I've been checking out DVDs from the library in order to educate myself in this area. I watched La Boheme last weekend and La Traviata this weekend--I definately liked the latter better. They both had the same lead soprano, Teresa Stratus. I'm not particularly fond of her voice, or her method of singing, but at least she wasn't so pathetic as Violetta as she was as Mimi. Traviata was based off this french play that I can't remember the name of and so, apparently, was Moulin Rouge! So they all have the same plot. :lol: At least its a fairly good plot.
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Postby Thewhitetree » Sun Oct 17, 2004 4:48 pm

Cecilia Bartoli (that is who you meant, yes?)


Yes. I wrote it like it sounds. :)

You haven't heard of Ivan??!! He was well known for having the most potent voice in music. This is no joke, but Pavarotti couldn't match the notes that Ivan could hit. He could sing so low that it was virtually inaudible and then as high as a soprano. He sings "If I Were a Rich Man" in German and it is by far my favourite version of the song!
Ivan spoke fluently in over 6 languages and he rarly used a microphone because his voice was so powerfull! He was 6 feet and 7 or 8 inches and probably weighed over 400 pounds.

He didn't sing too much opera, he was better known for what they used to call 'pop'. He also sang "Lara's THeme" for Doctor Zivago.

Do you have a yahoo address? If you do email me at outwithit2020@yahoo.ca and I'll send you a couple of his songs so that you can hear what was once the most powerfull voice in the world. Or you can post your email here.
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Postby truehobbit » Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:20 pm

Ah, suenote, it warmed my heart to read your post!

I love opera, and Mozart is easily my favourite! :)

Iarwain! :)

What I think of when I hear Pamina, however, is "Ach ich fühl's, es ist verloren" :( Must be one of the most genuinely depressing tunes I know. Has me in tears every time.

Opera is best seen as a live performance, I think, but when you really love the music a recording is perfect. Modern performances often are very disrespectful towards the music.
There's a big opera house in my city, though it's been a bit on the decline in the past few years. I'm hoping it'll get better under a new management, though.
So, I used to go pretty often in the past, but not so much in recent years.

Hehe, Ivan Rebroff used to be really famous here (Germany) about twenty years ago. He did sing popular arias from operas, but more from musicals and folk-songs and the like.
He is a bass and Pavarotti is a tenor, so you can't really compare them.
I do suppose Rebroff could do a good falsetto, though.
The fact that he "rarely used a microphone" isn't really anything worth mentioning if you are talking about real singers. Of course everybody needs mikes in those mass-auditoriums you get today where there's no acoustics whatsoever, but as opposed to those untrained voices you find in popular singing, a real singer's voice carries in a theatre quite easily.

Cecilia Bartoli is one of best mezzos in a long time, IMO. She has her little mannerisms, but she brought a whole new quality to the mezzo pitch.

I seem to remember Doris Soffel's name, but on a quick look through my CDs couldn't find her anywhere. What recordings do you have, Elwin?

I've seen Teresa Stratas in a movie version of La Traviata on TV. True, her voice wasn't perfect, but on the whole I loved that version.

I like the younger Pavarotti, too. He was really great at the beginning of his career. But then not only is he rather old now, but I also find it a bit sad that he gave in to popularism and quick money and often exchanged art for pop-songs. :roll:

[/elitist rant] ;)
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Postby Thewhitetree » Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:16 pm

He is a bass and Pavarotti is a tenor, so you can't really compare them.


Sorry if it seemed that way, but I wasn't really comparing them. I was just pointing out the power of Rebroff's voice.
I didn't know that you live in Germany. If one lives in germany and has any inclination towards music then of course they'll know Rebroff!
I've seen many Rebroff concerts and own a few of them. He was such an interesting character.


Cecilia Bartoli is one of best mezzos in a long time, IMO. She has her little mannerisms
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Postby Thewhitetree » Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:23 pm

He is a bass and Pavarotti is a tenor, so you can't really compare them.


Sorry if it seemed that way, but I wasn't really comparing them. I was just pointing out the power of Rebroff's voice.
I didn't know that you live in Germany. If one lives in germany and has any inclination towards music then of course they'll know Rebroff!
I've seen many Rebroff concerts and own a few of them. He was such an interesting character.


Cecilia Bartoli is one of best mezzos in a long time, IMO. She has her little mannerisms


She definetly knows how to express herself on stage! The power in her voice plus the facial gestures are amazing! She can get across the feeling of pain to anyone watching even if they have no clue as to what she is saying. Truly a person who would be great in an opera!

I like the younger Pavarotti, too.

I loved his early version of Caruso. What power!!!

but I also find it a bit sad that he gave in to popularism and quick money and often exchanged art for pop-songs.


I don't think its sad. Are you refering to Pavarotti and Friends? I think that its great that he did not just stick to his own opera. Its great to have a wide field of music and a great imagination! His singing with Brian Adams, Celine Dion and others just showed his jolly side, one does not have to stick to his or her own music the whole time. Besides its not like he made a career out of it. Nor is it like he switched over to a Bocceli style of music either. Venturing in new areas of music is very applaudable.
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Postby truehobbit » Fri Oct 22, 2004 4:29 pm

Truly a person who would be great in an opera!

Although she is mainly a concert singer, she has also appeared in operas. Normally your career is one or the other, and when you're as famous as she is, appearing in a normal opera seems to be very much an exception. There are, however, some wonderful recordings of operas with her, not just Rossini, whose La Cenerentola made her famous, but older stuff, too - I have a recording of Händel's Rinaldo and one of Haydn's Orfeo.

Are you refering to Pavarotti and Friends?

Yes, that's the sort of thing I'm referring to.
I can imagine it's fun for him and it certainly makes him popular. Normally I'd say it's a good thing to not have borders between "serious" music and popular music.
If, for example, his singing with Brian Adams makes Adams's fans accept Belcanto as another form of singing rather than cringing at the, for them, unwonted style, that's a very good thing.

On the other hand, for Pavarotti this kind of performance must be easy money. I'm sure they pay a lot better than average opera, and the singing makes no demands on his skills worth mentioning. He might sing some showy notes, but there are just a few songs to sing which he has probably done hundreds of times, there's no role to fill a whole evening, no lengths of non-showy passages to remember, no thoughtful interpretation of thoughtful music to deliver.
That's why I think it's sad. To use a somewhat extreme analogy, I think it's like paying a high-class author a million dollars for writing greeting-cards.
Of course, Pavarotti is getting old, and if he can continue making money by doing easy stuff, that's nice for him. I'm not sure he hasn't made something like a second career out of it. But maybe you're right, and it's just that this part of his work gets more attention, while anything else he might be doing is overlooked. Could well be I just don't know about it.

Not sure what you mean about "his early version of Caruso". Is that a movie about Caruso or so?
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Postby Thewhitetree » Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:15 pm

Not sure what you mean about "his early version of Caruso". Is that a movie about Caruso or so?


I am refering to the famous Opera song about the Italians immigrating to America.

Qui dove il mare luccica,
e tira forte il vento
sulla vecchia terrazza
davanti al golfo di Surriento
uno uomo abbracia una ragazza
dopo che aveva pianto
poi si schiarisce la voce,
e ricomincia il canto

Te voglio bene assai
Ma tanto tanto bene sai
É una catena ormai
Che scioglie il sangue tinto vene sai...

Vide le luci in mezzo al mare,
penso alle notti là in America
ma erano solo le lampare
e la bianca scia di un'elica
senti il dolore nella musica,
e si alzo dal pianoforte
ma quando vide uscire
la luna da una nuvola,
gli sembro piu dolce anche la morte
guardò negli occhi la ragazza,
quegli occhi verdi come il mare
poi all'improvviso usci una lacrima
e lui credette di affogare

Te voglio bene assai
Ma tanto tanto bene sai
É una catena ormai
Che scioglie il sangue tinto vene sai

Potenza della lirica,
dove ogni dramma è un falso
che con un po' di trucco e con la mimica
puoi diventare un altro
ma due occhi che ti guardano,
cosi vicine e veri
ti fan scordare le parole,...
Confondono i pensieri
cosi diventa tutto piccolo,
anche le notti là in America
ti volti e vedi la tua vita,
dietro la scia di un'elica
ma si, è la vita che finisce,
e non ci penso poi tanto
anzi, si sentiva gia felice,
e ricomincio il suo canto

Te voglio bene assai
Ma tanto tanto bene sai
É una catena ormai
Che scioglie il sangue tinto vene sai


For me that one song defines opera. I like Bocceli's verson, but he just does not have the power that Pavarotti had when he sang it. Wow! It was wonderfull. When i hear Pavarotti's version, I stand as if in a trance and get lost in the music.
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Postby Alcina » Wed Nov 10, 2004 3:10 pm

Hello! Very much into opera, especially 18th Century Italian, 19th Century Italian, and 19th Century French.

Anyone else here like Handel's operas?
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:45 pm

Oh wonderful! A thread on opera :) A special 'hello' to truehobbit! Long-time-no-speak!

Alcina, I adore Handel's operas and oratorios! Among my favorites might be Amadigi, Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo, to name but a few. Teseo is also a good one, if for no other reason than Handel (for whatever reason) composed his Italian libretto within the framework of a french Tragedie Lyrique in 5 acts...However, I have to confess a special fondness for his earlier works before he left Rome for London. It was there he composed some of his secular and sacred cantatas and his great oratorio, La Resurrezioni. The latter has several wonderful viola da gamba solos in it! I highly recommend any of these (as you can see I am into early music)

However, my favorite operas are usually the 17th/18th century french tragedies by Lully, Campra, Gluck and especially Rameau! I am trying to collect all the recordings of Rameau's complete operas. I have 7 of them so far and have a long way to go. Plus, they tend to be rather expensive since they are usually box set CD's :( Then again, most operas are.

Anyone in here heard any of Rameau's works?
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Postby Thewhitetree » Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:47 pm

I know that Pavarotti is doing one last world tour. Does anyone know what cities he is going to?

I looked it up on the web but couldn't find anything. I know he's going to 40 cities, I sure hope Toronto is one of them... :)
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Postby venetia » Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:57 am

Hi all!!
I also like opera music, Mozart, Puccini, Handel are favourites. I find live perfomances are a bit like ballet, when it's not great, it can be yawn-worthy, when its' great, its spine-tingling. My favourite opera is the Marriage of Figaro.

I am a Pavorotti fan too, saw him on the 3 tenors tour a few years back, but my all time favourite singer is La Stupenda, Joan Sutherland, such a pure and powerful voice, when she sings the queen of the night aria, stand back! I saw her once when I was a kid, but don't remember much, and my little sister was lucky enough to get her autograph!

Hi TWT, I have heard CD's of Ivan Rebroff, yes I like his voice, my folks love this guy, he actually toured here (australia) last year, and they went, they loved it....

regards
Venetia :)
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Postby starlin » Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:36 am

I definitely know that I don't understand why people are so fascinated with La Traviata. There was a tradition here to show it on the 31st of December and I remember going to it once, but it was rather boring... Turandot is much more beautiful, as is Carmen, though I'm already sick of hearing some of the melodies for the 100th time - but when I saw it, Don Jose was that marvellous Lithuanian singer whom I absolutely adore.

Oh, and talking about Turandot, "Nincen dorme" (?? I don't remember the Italian title) aria is one of my favourites.

I haven't seen "Nabuko" (sp?) but the famous choir of the slaves scene is marvellous.

Yet the opera I'd really really like to see on stage is Glinka's "Ruslan and Lyudmila". When I was learning in the Arts HS, we analyzed it a little bit and I literally fell in love...
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Postby Thewhitetree » Sat Dec 18, 2004 8:37 pm

So no one knows about Pvarotti tickets???
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Operas to see

Postby sirnotincludedinthisstory » Sun Dec 19, 2004 6:55 am

Wow - to see the complete Ring Cycle. Adelaide just hosted an AUD$12 million production of 3 complete cycles, but I couldn't afford tickets for our 14 year old daughter who is a soprano to see even 1 show :cry:. Anyway, we make do with the likes of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado.
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Postby Maranwe-Ar-Feiniel » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:56 pm

Oooooo! Opera! sweet. I have never actually been to a live performance(unless G&S operettas count), and when I listen to the radio, I usually change the station, as I have no clue what is happening in the story, cause it is almost all french, italian, or german. As I only speak english... :P

But then I heard the Queen of the Night's aria from the Magic Flute on a radio program, and now i want to lean all I can about this beautiful style. I absolutely love high parts. I am a saprano, so I suppose i am biased...I have never had any actual voice training, but then like two days after that I was singing the descant for Joy To The World, and the trumpet player said that it sounded rather like that piece. And she started to sing it(kind of) and I sang it. Maybe not quite as high as it is written, but now I wish I could go into opera, as I think I actually might have the right range. But I probably won't be able to afford it... :cry:

Actually, I always think of Charlotte Church when I think of opera, but that is only because she is really the first experiance with opera. Then I found the arts channel.

Sir, Gilbert and Sulllivan is not so bad. She could not be seeing any live performances at all. That would be how it is with me.. :cry: [/i]
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Postby starlin » Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:13 am

The Queen of the Night's aria is truly impressive. Ok, it's blasphemy, but I am reminded of it when I hear that blue singer sing in the Fifth Element :roll:
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