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Thread: About those four...

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Question About those four...

    I am not an opera buff, pretty much an opera avoider in fact; but there are four of them that I have on CD - and listen to repeatedly over time.

    Mozart - The Magic Flute

    Berlioz - Les Troyens

    Massenet - Don Quichote

    Stravinsky - Œdipus Rex

    I'm not at all certain whether video will be a plus or a minus, but I'm wondering if I can get recommendations for DVDs from you folks.

    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    For The Magic Flute, there is no better version than the 2004 Covent Garden production with Diana Damrau as Queen of the Night. One can easily argue that hers is the definitive interpretation of our generation.
    -Ian

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I like the version mentioned by rgz too. Simon Keenlyside is a very strong "everyman" Papageno in this production.



    For Les Troyens I am happy with this version:



    It has a clean modern look and Graham and Antonacci are wonderful. I started to watch the Met one, much more "traditional" in look, but got the giggles at Domingo's dress and never got any further, but the cast is pretty stellar so I might revisit it one day.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    My two cents - agree with mamascarlatti but haven't seen the 'Domingo in a dress' version so I couldn't comment on that version.

    Not seen either Don Quichote or Œdipus Rex.
    Ann

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    For a more traditional staging than the one suggested by Natalie it's worth considering this one. It all depends on what you're looking for.




    And a nice alternative for the Magic Flute is this one. The production is magical and it brings out the more amusing aspects of the opera while the one recommended by Natalie is more gloomy. Both are very good and again it all depends on what you're looking for. This one is sung in English which doesn't bother me, but not everyone may feel the same way about that.

    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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    I suggest you choose jhar26's recommendation of the Troyens instead of one by mamascarlatti only if you're really after traditional staging. In Gardiner's there are couple of things that can annoy traditionalists but the singer cast as a whole is far superior than in Levine's. But the latter isn't that bad either.

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    Senior Member Herkku's Avatar
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    I wouldn't part with either of those Les Troyens!

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    For a more traditional staging than the one suggested by Natalie it's worth considering this one. It all depends on what you're looking for.




    And a nice alternative for the Magic Flute is this one. The production is magical and it brings out the more amusing aspects of the opera while the one recommended by Natalie is more gloomy. Both are very good and again it all depends on what you're looking for. This one is sung in English which doesn't bother me, but not everyone may feel the same way about that.


    Add to these the Julie Taymor production (also did Flute above) of Oedipus Rex by Stravinsky, a hybrid work that is hard to classify, visuals are amazing (see link below)



    Oedipus Rex


    For Don Quixote can I persuade you to try the Minkus Ballet version featuring Baryshnikov at his prime, there is an excellent DVD version available, no singing but music and dancing are fab



    Don Quixote Ballet
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Dec-22-2010 at 16:47.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post

    For Don Quixote can I persuade you to try the Minkus Ballet version featuring Baryshnikov at his prime, there is an excellent DVD version available, no singing but music and dancing are fab.
    I am way too much a rube to be watching a ballet. The women are OK for a few minutes, but the swooping men I can't handle.

    I've got good clues for the other three operas though. Thanks folks.

    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Forgive me for proselytizing. but I can't resist. If you like Magic Flute enough to consider getting a DVD, could we also persuade you to give Le Nozze di Figaro a whirl? It is really the most perfect opera written, utterly compelling music, and a fine exploration of human sentiment.

    You could do this at no cost except time by subscribing for free to Met Player for 7 days (be sure to unsbscribe well within the time).

    There you will find a charming production with a fine cast.

    While you are subscribed you can also check out the traditional Les Troyens and the English language Magic Flute.
    Natalie

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Forgive me for proselytizing. but I can't resist. If you like Magic Flute enough to consider getting a DVD, could we also persuade you to give Le Nozze di Figaro a whirl? It is really the most perfect opera written, utterly compelling music, and a fine exploration of human sentiment..
    I am too old and feebleminded to do a '7 day trial - morphing into pay' thing.

    But an opinion on another of his operas, i.e. Idomeneo, could be useful. I was looking through my music collection an hour or so ago, and discovered a Videocassette set of Idomeneo still sealed in cellophane. I must have bought it and then lost courage.

    This is the 1974 Glyndebourne production, starring Richard Lewis and Josephine Barstow, conducted by Sir John Pritchard.

    Is this safe to 'attend', or will it perhaps turn me away from opera for yet another decade? I may not have another decade to spare.

    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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