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Thread: Less known operatic gems...

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    Senior Member tgtr0660's Avatar
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    Default Less known operatic gems...

    Do you know any operas that aren't in the same level of popularity of, say, Verdi's Otello or Mozart's last great ones but that you have found to love and even categorize as minor (or major) masterpieces? This could include very unknown operas or those that fall just slightly off the regular radar....

    My current example: Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots. French Grand Opera at its grandest. The story is a little weak, the libretto in general tends to drag on points of lesser interest, but the music at moments is quite great, and I'm not referring to bombastic choruses but also to beautiful arias and episodes of lyricism. I'm not sure if others share this feeling. For me it is a flawed masterpiece (a trip to the editting room would've fixed it a lot). Other examples?

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    Senior Member LordBlackudder's Avatar
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    Senior Member Badinerie's Avatar
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    Manuel de Falla - La vida breve.

    An hour of real Spanish Opera. A long time ago I was in the Shop at the ENO's Coliseum and there as a box of 78's on the counter. One had Victoria de los Angeles singing Vivan los que rien. I already liked her so I bought it took it home and played it and fell in love immediately.You know that thing when you just stare at the record with your mouth open? It took me a few years to find the complete Opera. But I did!

    I found this on Youtube The beginning is missed off ( Rats!) but you'll get the gist of it. there are a few other versions on youtube.

    Last edited by Badinerie; May-09-2012 at 08:27.
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    Super Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    My personal favourite lesser known gems:

    Britten - Billy Budd and Albert Herring
    Rimsky Korsakov -The Tsar's Bride
    Tchaikovsky- Pique Dame, Mazeppa and Iolanta
    Mozart - Il Re Pastore and Die Entfuhrung aus Dem Serail
    Vivaldi - Montezuma and Ercole sul Termodonte
    Handel - Ariodante, Semele and Tamerlano
    Monteverdi - Il Ritorno D'Ulisse in Patria
    Massenet - Le Cid
    Cherubini - Medea
    Charpentier - Louise
    Prokofiev - War and Peace
    Janacek - Cunning little Vixen
    Gounod- Mireille
    Arne - Ataxerxes
    Szymanowsky - Krol Roger
    Torroba - Luisa Fernanda (OK, it's a zarzuela, but I love it to bits)
    Weber- Oberon
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    Natalie

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Alexander von Zemlinsky:

    Eine florentinische Tragodie - from 1916 (after the Oscar Wilde story).
    Der Zwerg - from 1921 (Wilde again - from his story 'The Birthday of the Infanta').
    Der Koenig Kandaules - his last opera from 1935 (after Andre Gide). Orchestration remained incomplete as he had to make arrangements to emigrate from Austria.

    All three are high on both quality and melodrama but it seems that of his contemporaries only Richard Strauss could get away with writing operas cut from a similar cloth and be (mainly) successful.
    Last edited by elgars ghost; May-09-2012 at 15:18.

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    Senior Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I don't know if La Clemenza di Tito would be considered among Mozart's "great" operas, but I love it!

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    The first to spring to mind is Pelleas et Melisande; but from Monteverdi's Orfeo to Vaughn Williams' Sir John in Love their numbers are Legion.
    Rob

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    Senior Member poconoron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    I don't know if La Clemenza di Tito would be considered among Mozart's "great" operas, but I love it!
    Ditto on that!

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    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Aarre Merikanto's JUHA
    LA NOCHE TRISTE by Jean Prodromides
    George Enescu's OEDIPE
    Paavo Heininen's THE DAMASK DRUM
    Karl-Birger Blomdahl's ANIARA
    Karol Szymanowski's KING ROGER
    Luigi Dallapiccola's ULISSE
    Richard Rodney Bennett's THE MINES OF SULPHUR
    Erik Bergman's THE SINGING TREE
    Wolfgang Rihm's DIE EROBERUNG VON MEXICO

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    Wagner - Der Ring Des Nibelungen

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    Ligeti - Grand Macabre (ha ha ha composerofavantgarde doesn't get to be the guy to write this!)

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    Super Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanGesamtkunstwerk View Post
    Ligeti - Grand Macabre (ha ha ha composerofavantgarde doesn't get to be the guy to write this!)
    Yup, and I pinched Albert Herring, which is not fair as it was CoAG who got me enthusiastic about it.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Stargazer's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed Schubert's Fierrabras. I never see much attention being paid to it but I thought it was as good as just about anything else I've seen.

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    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
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    I plan to listen to/watch Salome this morning. Richard Strauss. Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Malfitano, Terfel, Silja and Riegel. Oh, and Robert Gambill. Conducted by Christoph van Dohnanyi.
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    Super Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moira View Post
    I plan to listen to/watch Salome this morning. Richard Strauss. Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Malfitano, Terfel, Silja and Riegel. Oh, and Robert Gambill. Conducted by Christoph van Dohnanyi.
    Terfel is fantastic in this.
    Natalie

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