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Thread: Unknown opera?

  1. #1
    wiz
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    Default Unknown opera?

    I was in a second-hand store a couple weeks ago and found an early 20th century Russian opera on vinyl called "Katerina" by a composer named "MM Arkas."

    The synopsis on the back of the LP (your standard 60s-style LP that also had a bio of the composer) revealed that he served in the army for most of his adult life, and wrote this, his only opera, over a span of 20 years while doing his service.

    I already had a bunch of LPs picked out, so this became part of my "B list" of things to check out when I got home. I searched online for quite a while, including every opera database I could find, and there is no mention of either the composer or the opera.

    Therefore I needed to rush back and pick up the record, since it was obviously so rare to the point that nobody has heard of it. But when I got back it was gone ! Some opera aficionado picked up just about every opera record in the stash.

    So ........... has anyone ever heard of this opera? Is it any good ?? What have I missed out on? Any insight would be much appreciated.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiz View Post
    Therefore I needed to rush back and pick up the record, since it was obviously so rare to the point that nobody has heard of it.



    Myköla Mykolaiovich Arkas, 1852-1909
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykola_Arkas
    http://www.chipublib.org/search/details/cn/652105

    Premiered in 1940; directed by Stalin favorite, tenor Ivan Kozlovsky. It is alternately listed as Ukrainian opera "Kateryna."
    Last edited by Lunasong; Sep-13-2012 at 17:00.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    wiz
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    Thanks for the quick response !

    Can you tell me much about the opera itself? Of course tastes are a relative thing, but .... is it any good, being his only opera and all?

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    No, except as noted in one of the links, it's based upon a poem by Taras Shevchenko. Here's a link to the poem.
    http://www.utoronto.ca/elul/English/...pnyk-trans.pdf
    and was performed as recently as April 2012 by Odessa National Opera.
    http://www.odessawalks.com/Blog/Odes...2-Program.html

    The time span between Arkas's death and the opera premiere is curious.

    If you can find the record, the liner notes would be invaluable to expanding Wiki's entry on this gentleman.
    Last edited by Lunasong; Sep-13-2012 at 17:13.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    wiz
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    Well, the record is long gone now. I'll have to keep my eyes open, but who knows if even more than a hundred copies were produced.

    Lesson learned - if it looks rare and it costs 2 bucks, buy it.
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    So, any cheap rarity is worth our bucks? I have an enormous amount of "cheap" or less rarities that cannot justify, in any way, the reason of the relevant recording.

    Principe

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    Super Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Maybe it's that, for two bucks, you can take a chance and hear what it sounds like, without risking too much.
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    Natalie

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiz View Post
    Well, the record is long gone now. I'll have to keep my eyes open, but who knows if even more than a hundred copies were produced.

    Lesson learned - if it looks rare and it costs 2 bucks, buy it.
    There are many copies of Arkas' Katerina around! Here is one I have which one can have for about $3.00 new:
    Ukranian opera CD
    (Ozon.ru is a very reputable online bookstore, a bit like Amazon.com for Russia--I worked for/with them back around 2000. )

    The Ukranian Opera also performed this work this past April.

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    Quote Originally Posted by principe View Post
    So, any cheap rarity is worth our bucks? I have an enormous amount of "cheap" or less rarities that cannot justify, in any way, the reason of the relevant recording.

    Principe
    For some people, it can be worth the potential of finding new music they enjoy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    For some people, it can be worth the potential of finding new music they enjoy.
    While I have never found a rare recording that I would want in a brick-and-mortar store, I have found extraordinarily rare recordings online, for example, on eBay.

    I think I should create a thread to discuss rare operas like the Salvador Dali opera I bought off of eBay a few years ago
    Last edited by tyroneslothrop; Nov-28-2012 at 16:16.
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