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?
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.
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
Arne - Ataxerxes
Szymanowsky - Krol Roger
Torroba - Luisa Fernanda (OK, it's a zarzuela, but I love it to bits)
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.
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