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Thread: What acts to skip at the opera

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    Default What acts to skip at the opera

    Pressed for time at the opera? Sick of sitting for five hours in a crowded seat? The book Skeletons from the Opera Closet suggests skipping the following acts:


    1. Acts I and II of Fidelio by LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN, Acts I and II: No dramatist Ludwig was.
    2. Acts I, II and III of "La Verismo" (Cavalleria rusticana, I Pagliacci and Il tabarro) by PIETRO MASCAGNI, RUGGERO LEONCAVALLO and GIACOMO PUCCINI: Three short operas tell the same story of a lovely woman, her suspicious husband and her secret admirer.
    3. Act II of Siegfried by RICHARD WAGNER: Too many beasts indeed!
    4. Every act of everything by JULES MASSENET: in short, the title character dies. Hérodiade should be titled Salomé, though.
    5. Act III of La forza del destino by GIUSEPPE VERDI: Everybody who's sick of what's been going on, raise your hands.
    6. Act I of the original 5-act version of Don Carlos by GIUSEPPE VERDI: the act is summarized in Act II.
    7. Act III of Parsifal by RICHARD WAGNER: How slow does it go without Klingsor, bro?
    8. Act III of Der Rosenkavalier by RICHARD STRAUSS: How slow does it go with Baron Ochs up front, bro?


    Which acts do you suggest skipping?
    Last edited by AlanPalgut; Jul-08-2012 at 20:40.

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Act III of Parsifal by RICHARD WAGNER: How slow does it go without Klingsor, bro?

    what the ****

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    Member Dakota's Avatar
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    Well, it is not a complete act but I always considered the end bits of Don Giovanni superfluous. After Giovanni is dragged down the hell, the other characters burst in and sing a bit of "well, now that HE is gone we can get on with our lives". I can fill those parts in from my imagination so would rather see the opera end with that hellish blast of fire, brimstone and music.

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    Senior Member ComposerOfAvantGarde's Avatar
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    Skip Bellini's operas. I don't see the point of having them around.
    It's the greed of huge companies and huge organizations which control life in a kind of a brutal way ... It's gotten worse and worse, somehow, because physical science has given us more and more terrible deadly weapons, and the human spirit has been destroyed in so many cases, so what's the use of having the most powerful country in the world if we have killed the soul.
    ~Hovhaness

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    Skip Bellini's operas. I don't see the point of having them around.
    Well, I had no chance to study Bellini's operas so carefully. Maybe I'll change my mind later but at the time ... no Bellini and also no Donizetti for me.
    Last edited by Il_Penseroso; Jul-09-2012 at 07:58.
    Il y a de grandes flaques de sang sur le monde/ Où s'en va-t-il tout ce sang répandu (Chanson dans le sang - Jacques Prévert)

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Penderecki Die Teufel von Loudon and Paradise Lost

    Messiaen Saint François d'Assise

    Can't bear these operas even for one act !
    Il y a de grandes flaques de sang sur le monde/ Où s'en va-t-il tout ce sang répandu (Chanson dans le sang - Jacques Prévert)

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    Senior Member ComposerOfAvantGarde's Avatar
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    All Bel Canto operas seem extremely cliché
    It's the greed of huge companies and huge organizations which control life in a kind of a brutal way ... It's gotten worse and worse, somehow, because physical science has given us more and more terrible deadly weapons, and the human spirit has been destroyed in so many cases, so what's the use of having the most powerful country in the world if we have killed the soul.
    ~Hovhaness

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    All Bel Canto operas seem extremely cliché
    I concur. You may pick up just a few dramatic scenes like Madness in Lucia di Lammermoor and ignore the rest.
    Last edited by Il_Penseroso; Jul-09-2012 at 18:24.
    Il y a de grandes flaques de sang sur le monde/ Où s'en va-t-il tout ce sang répandu (Chanson dans le sang - Jacques Prévert)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    Skip Bellini's operas. I don't see the point of having them around.
    ...Except Norma.
    guythegreg likes this.

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    Senior Member powerbooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPalgut View Post
    ...Except Norma.

    Right on! Exactly what I wanted to pointed out!
    guythegreg likes this.

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    Senior Member ComposerOfAvantGarde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPalgut View Post
    ...Except Norma.
    Okay I think I need to see Norma before I give a proper opinion.
    guythegreg likes this.
    It's the greed of huge companies and huge organizations which control life in a kind of a brutal way ... It's gotten worse and worse, somehow, because physical science has given us more and more terrible deadly weapons, and the human spirit has been destroyed in so many cases, so what's the use of having the most powerful country in the world if we have killed the soul.
    ~Hovhaness

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    Senior Member eorrific's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPalgut View Post
    [*]Act I of the original 5-act version of Don Carlos by GIUSEPPE VERDI: the act is summarized in Act II.
    Ah, yes. Might as well skip every act of every opera since all of them are summarized in Wikipedia.
    samurai, Moira and guythegreg like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    Okay I think I need to see Norma before I give a proper opinion.
    You are lucky because there are a few good DVD available:

    I like this one a lot, even though the production looks a little bit childish.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bellini-Norma/...ef=pd_cp_mov_1

    71A0P9Kx-9L._AA1219_.jpg

    This one has the supreme soprano singing at the high notes at age well over 50. Very impressive:

    http://www.amazon.com/Bellini-Norma-.../dp/B000JJSRMU

    51y3KfTYzAL.jpg

    And, of course, there is the classic Australian production form the famous couple. But I personally do not get warm on that version, and the video looks fussy and outdated.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Skip Bellini's operas. I don't see the point of having them around.

    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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    Member Dakota's Avatar
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    Oh, I quite enjoyed La Sonnambula and am looking forward to hearing I Puritani and Norma. Call me callow, but I think there is a place for simple loveliness.

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