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Thread: First thread of the Opera In-Depth Project: La Traviata

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Default First thread of the Opera In-Depth Project: La Traviata

    If you don't know what this is about, read this thread:

    The Opera In-Depth Project

    Even if you haven't signed up over there, do feel free to participate.

    We need to distribute tasks.

    I volunteer to do a preliminary analysis of the musical structure of La Traviata, although I won't be able to do it as well as a learned musician. But I do have things to say, and I'll welcome the input of our musician members on it, to deepen, correct, or add to what I'll say.

    schicolgh has volunteered to analyze the approach that different sopranos historically took to the role of Violetta.

    As a fluent speaker of Italian, I hope that mamascarlatti will have something to say about the poetry and the language in the libretto.

    Didn't Il_Penseroso say that he'd like to talk about source materials? La Dame aux Camelias is up for grabs. Or wasn't Il_Penseroso? I'm getting a little confused.

    I believe Aksel would address biographical aspects, but I may be mixing him up with someone else.

    In any case, folks, do sign up for different tasks in order to post mini-essays on fundamental aspects of this major masterpiece.

    My rudimentary (my not being a musician) analysis of the musical structure will be coming at some point between tonight and the end of this coming weekend.

    Let's get to the task, folks, and let's make of Talk Classical Opera Forum a quasi-academic reference for the in-depth analysis of important operas!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    I think we should also prepare a review of the discography, I can incorporate it into my post(s) on the historical and present day Violettas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Didn't Il_Penseroso say that he'd like to talk about source materials? La Dame aux Camelias is up for grabs. Or wasn't Il_Penseroso? I'm getting a little confused.
    I volunteered for this, but if Il_Penseroso already has dibs on it than no worries
    -Ian

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    As a fluent speaker of Italian, I hope that mamascarlatti will have something to say about the poetry and the language in the libretto.
    Sounds like a wonderful and rich project and I'll enjoy reading the results, but I've got two big study/development projects on for work already and this would be too much of the same - as I said in another thread, opera is my selfish relaxation and I don't want any more "musts" in my life.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    I'm still interested in looking at production history--that is, focusing not on singers or conductors, but on directors and designers. It may turn out that the bulk of this study will focus on the last few decades, when directors have taken more interpretive license.

    I know that Alma wanted to reserve this sort of discussion for the final stage of the project. Presumably, then, my essay would be the last contribution, which is all right with me if that fits in with the overall plan.

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    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I believe Aksel would address biographical aspects, but I may be mixing him up with someone else.
    Sure. I even have a day off work tomorrow (yay for ingrown toenail operations!), so I'll have some extra time to devote to this.

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgz View Post
    I volunteered for this, but if Il_Penseroso already has dibs on it than no worries
    No, maybe it was you. Like I said, I'm confused. But if there is more than one member addressing one aspect, the more the better, the two of them will collaborate and exchange views.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Folks, I see this as a brainstorm, chaotic creative moment.

    We don't need to proceed in order. amfortas, if you want to address productions right away, feel free.
    Rather than a Wikipedia-like, opera-guide like entry, I'm interested in spontaneous insights, interesting observations, in any order. Let's enjoy La Traviata and have lots of fun!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    I hope we have a fairly liberal timeframe on this; I'll need to read through my copy of La Dame aux Camelias again and also leaf through The Idiot as there's an interesting story about the popularity of that novel in Russia.
    -Ian

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Sounds like a wonderful and rich project and I'll enjoy reading the results, but I've got two big study/development projects on for work already and this would be too much of the same - as I said in another thread, opera is my selfish relaxation and I don't want any more "musts" in my life.
    Come on, Nat, it's not any obligation. We'd just love to have your comments on the libretto. I may try, but I suspect your Italian is a lot better than mine. You know, can you tell us about some especially poetic moments in the libretto, choice of words, layers of meaning? It's for fun, honey. We need you..
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    @rgz

    Sure. As much time as you want. For this project, as the name indicates, I'm interested in quality over quantity. I want to know how good and deep an analysis we can collectively produce, and good quality mini-essays need reflection and meditation.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    Sure. I even have a day off work tomorrow (yay for ingrown toenail operations!), so I'll have some extra time to devote to this.
    Me too! I'm off work tomorrow and I don't even have an ingrown toenail operation!!!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    Sure. I even have a day off work tomorrow (yay for ingrown toenail operations!), so I'll have some extra time to devote to this.
    The excuses some people make to skive off work
    Ann

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    I'm not sure what/how I might be able to add. There are fellow members who have kindly signed up to do various tasks as far as La Traviata is concerned. Anything anybody might think I can do, please suggest. I would like to say though, that I have relatively broader experience with Baroque and Classical operas, and so would like to do more when we come to analyse examples from those periods. Nonetheless, I have listened to complete operas from Claudio Monteverdi to Kaija Saariaho. Glad to be part of this "club".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Come on, Nat, it's not any obligation. We'd just love to have your comments on the libretto. I may try, but I suspect your Italian is a lot better than mine. You know, can you tell us about some especially poetic moments in the libretto, choice of words, layers of meaning? It's for fun, honey. We need you..
    I will assist Mamma if you like - Italian is my second language after all (although not now so much, just for singing really) - su con la vita

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