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Thread: How about operetta?

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    Default How about operetta?

    I am new on this forum. I tried to read as many threads/posts as I could in a short time.

    I found that we are totally overloaded with snobs, who declare music with human voice a joke. Entertainment, but not art form, they say. They are too 'educated' to realize that NO musical instrument, no matter how expertly played measures up to the beauty of a well-trained, God-given human singing voice, male or female.

    Opera gets a little bit of reprieve and recognition, but I have a feeling that OPERETTA would be demeaned, besmirched and degraded by these self-same cultural supremacists that seem to dominate this forum. Yet, while I can whistle, doodle and/or sing beautiful melodies from my favorite operettas, they would be hard pressed to reproduce three subsequent notes from their instrumental favorites.

    I have an eclectic taste in classical music. I love the works of Mozart, be they opera (have seen all of them) or instrumental. Beethoven, ditto. Being a Hungarian-born citizen, give me Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly, Ligeti and Erkel (most of you probably don't even know that Placido Domingo treasures singing Erkel's operas) anytime.

    Also, being Hungarian-born, it pains me that NOBODY here appreciates operetta.

    Safe bet, from what I've seen here, that nobody knows (or too snobbish to admit) about Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar, Emerich Kalman or Jeno Huszka. Or Offenbach or Gilbert and Sullivan.

    Is operetta not classical enough? Or is it just that nobody knows or wants to know about operetta?

    If the latter is the case, pity.

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, larifari!

    I'm actually a bit of an operetta buff myself. Not an "expert" in the field, but I like operetta a lot. In contrast to my mother, who hates it, she's into the more heavy stuff (opera, esp. of the Italian variety).

    I like the Viennese guys, I don't know Jeno Huszka but I had a cd including some of Paul Abraham's hits & they were very memorable, this was the short-lived genre of jazz operetta. Another one similar to that was The White Horse Inn, a sweet concoction compiled by Ralph Benatzky and Robert Stolz. It's pure shmaltz, syrupy and pastiche, but I love it!!! I'm not that familiar with guys like Offenbach or G & S, but I do have one zarzuela (Spanish operetta) by a guy called Barbieri titled El barberillo de Lavapiés.

    Anyway, since you've given me the opportunity, HERE is the abovementioned Paul Abraham conducting his own music from the operetta Die Blume von Hawaii. Some vocalising from a barbershop quartet here, pretty good use of a smallish orchestra & some solos, eg. from the pianist (added to that, some interesting photos of pre-war Berlin, before it was blown to smithereens). & HERE is a more recent rendition of a song from Abraham's Bal a Savoyban.

    & regarding your accusations of snobbishness, I think that's not generally true of this forum, as far as I know. Granted, there aren't many fans of lighter music here, but that doesn't mean people are "snobs." I've been a member of another forum which could be described as more like that, which I left, and I can tell you that on that forum there is even scant discussion of opera, let alone operetta. Most members there are superglued to instrumental repertoire, esp. the orchestral...
    Last edited by Sid James; Sep-06-2011 at 00:49.
    Genuine ersatz classical listener since 1981.

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    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larifari View Post
    I am new on this forum. I tried to read as many threads/posts as I could in a short time.

    I found that we are totally overloaded with snobs, who declare music with human voice a joke. Entertainment, but not art form, they say. They are too 'educated' to realize that NO musical instrument, no matter how expertly played measures up to the beauty of a well-trained, God-given human singing voice, male or female.

    Opera gets a little bit of reprieve and recognition, but I have a feeling that OPERETTA would be demeaned, besmirched and degraded by these self-same cultural supremacists that seem to dominate this forum. Yet, while I can whistle, doodle and/or sing beautiful melodies from my favorite operettas, they would be hard pressed to reproduce three subsequent notes from their instrumental favorites.

    I have an eclectic taste in classical music. I love the works of Mozart, be they opera (have seen all of them) or instrumental. Beethoven, ditto. Being a Hungarian-born citizen, give me Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly, Ligeti and Erkel (most of you probably don't even know that Placido Domingo treasures singing Erkel's operas) anytime.

    Also, being Hungarian-born, it pains me that NOBODY here appreciates operetta.

    Safe bet, from what I've seen here, that nobody knows (or too snobbish to admit) about Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar, Emerich Kalman or Jeno Huszka. Or Offenbach or Gilbert and Sullivan.

    Is operetta not classical enough? Or is it just that nobody knows or wants to know about operetta?

    If the latter is the case, pity.
    Just because someone isn't a huge fan of Operetta doesn't mean they are a snob about it.

    There's a big difference between: "I've listened to some Operetta and don't much care for it" and "Operetta is a low art form that shouldn't even be taken seriously as music" and I think the general feeling of the people on this forum leans more toward the former than the latter. People around here are much more snobbish about contemporary music.

    Anyway, that being said, I haven't listened to much operetta myself, but I do adore Bernstein's "Candide"
    Last edited by violadude; Sep-06-2011 at 00:51.

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larifari View Post
    I am new on this forum. I tried to read as many threads/posts as I could in a short time.

    I found that we are totally overloaded with snobs, who declare music with human voice a joke. Entertainment, but not art form, they say. They are too 'educated' to realize that NO musical instrument, no matter how expertly played measures up to the beauty of a well-trained, God-given human singing voice, male or female.

    Opera gets a little bit of reprieve and recognition, but I have a feeling that OPERETTA would be demeaned, besmirched and degraded by these self-same cultural supremacists that seem to dominate this forum. Yet, while I can whistle, doodle and/or sing beautiful melodies from my favorite operettas, they would be hard pressed to reproduce three subsequent notes from their instrumental favorites.

    I have an eclectic taste in classical music. I love the works of Mozart, be they opera (have seen all of them) or instrumental. Beethoven, ditto. Being a Hungarian-born citizen, give me Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly, Ligeti and Erkel (most of you probably don't even know that Placido Domingo treasures singing Erkel's operas) anytime.

    Also, being Hungarian-born, it pains me that NOBODY here appreciates operetta.

    Safe bet, from what I've seen here, that nobody knows (or too snobbish to admit) about Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar, Emerich Kalman or Jeno Huszka. Or Offenbach or Gilbert and Sullivan.

    Is operetta not classical enough? Or is it just that nobody knows or wants to know about operetta?

    If the latter is the case, pity.
    I sincerely hope this is tongue-in-cheek, larifari, because here we struggle to treat other members nicely.
    I haven't seen the snobs you're talking about, and I don't see any lack of respect for vocal classical music either.
    Better proof, we have a thrilling Opera subforum which congregates a very large percentage of our members.

    We have discussed operettas several times in that subforum.

    Just recently (I mean, this weekend) I personally published two reviews of operettas - Auber's Fra Diavolo, and von Suppé's Boccaccio.
    We have a thread in which we talked about the best operettas. Here is a list of some works that were considered:

    These three were considered to be hors concours:
    Johan Strauss II - Die Fledermaus
    Lehár - Die Lustige Witwe
    Offenbach - Orphée aux Enfers

    These others were quoted, and listed alphabetically:

    Auber - Haydée ou Le Secret
    Auber - Fra Diavolo
    Bernstein - Candide
    Chabrier - L'Étoile
    Gilbert & Sullivan - H.M.S. Pinafore
    Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado
    Gilbert & Sullivan - The Pirates of Penzance
    Hahn - Ciboulette
    Herbert - Naughty Marietta
    Kálmán - Die Csárdásfürstin
    Lehár - Das Land des Lächelns
    Lehár - Der Graf von Luxemburg
    Lehár - Zigeunerliebe
    Messager - Monsieur Beaucaire
    Messager - Véronique
    Millöcker - Der arme Jonathan
    Millöcker - Der Bettelstudent
    Millöcker - Gasparone
    Millöcker - Gräfin Dubarry
    Offenbach - La Belle Hélène
    Offenbach - La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein
    Offenbach - La Vie Parisienne
    Offenbach - La Périchole
    Offenbach - Barbe-Bleue
    Romberg - The Student Prince
    Straus, Oscar - Der tapfere Soldat
    Strauss (Johann Strauss II) - Der Zigeunerbaron
    Strauss (Johann Strauss II) - Simplicius
    Suppé - Boccaccio
    Suppé - Die schöne Galathee
    Suppé - Fatinitza
    Suppé - Leichte Kavallerie
    Zeller - Der Vogelhändler

    There is a thread called Operettas on DVD and Blu-ray, with about 10 reviews.
    There is a thread for Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, with a poll.
    There is a thread for Offenbach.

    So, no, we haven't been ignoring operettas. It's a matter of knowing where to look.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by Almaviva; Sep-06-2011 at 01:32.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Welcome to this snobbish, awesome forum! I have no idea what link is between being Hungarian and our loving or not of operetta. You may even come from Mars, loving a music genre is just a matter of taste. Not liking something does not turn you into a snob.
    I can't say I am big operetta fan, but I deeply love Offenbach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I sincerely hope this is tongue-in-cheek, larifari, because here we struggle to treat other members nicely.
    I haven't seen the snobs you're talking about, and I don't see any lack of respect for vocal classical music either.
    Better proof, we have a thrilling Opera subforum which congregates a very large percentage of our members.

    We have discussed operettas several times in that subforum.

    Just recently (I mean, this weekend) I personally published two reviews of operettas - Auber's Fra Diavolo, and von Suppé's Boccaccio.
    We have a thread in which we talked about the best operettas. Here is a list of some works that were considered:

    These three were considered to be hors concours:
    Johan Strauss II - Die Fledermaus
    Lehár - Die Lustige Witwe
    Offenbach - Orphée aux Enfers

    These others were quoted, and listed alphabetically:

    Auber - Haydée ou Le Secret
    Auber - Fra Diavolo
    Bernstein - Candide
    Chabrier - L'Étoile
    Gilbert & Sullivan - H.M.S. Pinafore
    Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado
    Gilbert & Sullivan - The Pirates of Penzance
    Hahn - Ciboulette
    Herbert - Naughty Marietta
    Kálmán - Die Csárdásfürstin
    Lehár - Das Land des Lächelns
    Lehár - Der Graf von Luxemburg
    Lehár - Zigeunerliebe
    Messager - Monsieur Beaucaire
    Messager - Véronique
    Millöcker - Der arme Jonathan
    Millöcker - Der Bettelstudent
    Millöcker - Gasparone
    Millöcker - Gräfin Dubarry
    Offenbach - La Belle Hélène
    Offenbach - La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein
    Offenbach - La Vie Parisienne
    Offenbach - La Périchole
    Offenbach - Barbe-Bleue
    Romberg - The Student Prince
    Straus, Oscar - Der tapfere Soldat
    Strauss (Johann Strauss II) - Der Zigeunerbaron
    Strauss (Johann Strauss II) - Simplicius
    Suppé - Boccaccio
    Suppé - Die schöne Galathee
    Suppé - Fatinitza
    Suppé - Leichte Kavallerie
    Zeller - Der Vogelhändler

    There is a thread called Operettas on DVD and Blu-ray, with about 10 reviews.
    There is a thread for Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, with a poll.
    There is a thread for Offenbach.

    So, no, we haven't been ignoring operettas. It's a matter of knowing where to look.

    Welcome to the forum.
    If I have spoken hastily, I apologize. The amount of posts is nothing less than overwhelming, and if I did not know where to look, again, I plead ignorance.

    I did read one post which outright declared that opera was not an art form and regrettably that set me off on the wrong track. That statement WAS snobbish, and I do not apologize for calling it snobbish.

    In the thread which asked for the 25 favorite composers, I saw not a single one that had anything to do with operetta. I even asked about Strauss. Is Johann Strauss unworthy of mention?

    Having said that, I think that this forum is excellent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrina View Post
    Welcome to this snobbish, awesome forum! I have no idea what link is between being Hungarian and our loving or not of operetta. You may even come from Mars, loving a music genre is just a matter of taste. Not liking something does not turn you into a snob.
    I can't say I am big operetta fan, but I deeply love Offenbach.
    Sabrina, operetta, as an art form has been declared DEAD. And as one who grew up with the melodies of the greatest composers of operetta, I felt sad, hearing that.

    Then, I found "youtube".

    Operetta is NOT dead as long as there is a country called Hungary.

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    Welcome to the forum.

    In my few months here I haven't seen much of this anti-opera/operetta "music with human voice a joke" snobbery you speak of. We do, however, now have this awesome and shameless display of reverse snobbery to refer back to, thank you.

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larifari View Post
    Sabrina, operetta, as an art form has been declared DEAD...
    Don't know about that, it's certainly a thing of the past in terms of not many (or any?) operettas being composed today, however stage musicals (a similar genre, like the little sister of operetta) are still going strong. & of course, things like The Merry Widow have been performed all over the world, by amateurs and professionals alike, since it first saw the light of day in about 1905. If I remember correctly, it was one of the first works of it's kind to be fully recorded back in the days of 48 RPM discs, which must have been an enormous undertaking. In those days say before 1945, it was a living art, but now it is kind of a museum piece as you say, connected to nostalgia rather than talking to issues of the present. But I still think it has it's place in the scheme of things today, eg. some labels - like Naxos & cpo - have unearthed long neglected operettas and put them on record for the first time. So as a "new" thing, it's dead, but in terms of it being revived, that is happening as we speak...
    Genuine ersatz classical listener since 1981.

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid James View Post
    Don't know about that, it's certainly a thing of the past in terms of not many (or any?) operettas being composed today, however stage musicals (a similar genre, like the little sister of operetta) are still going strong. & of course, things like The Merry Widow have been performed all over the world, by amateurs and professionals alike, since it first saw the light of day in about 1905. If I remember correctly, it was one of the first works of it's kind to be fully recorded back in the days of 48 RPM discs, which must have been an enormous undertaking. In those days say before 1945, it was a living art, but now it is kind of a museum piece as you say, connected to nostalgia rather than talking to issues of the present. But I still think it has it's place in the scheme of things today, eg. some labels - like Naxos & cpo - have unearthed long neglected operettas and put them on record for the first time. So as a "new" thing, it's dead, but in terms of it being revived, that is happening as we speak...
    Agreed, and there are new releases of operetta on DVD.
    "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 larifari View Post
    Sabrina, operetta, as an art form has been declared DEAD. And as one who grew up with the melodies of the greatest composers of operetta, I felt sad, hearing that.

    Then, I found "youtube".

    Operetta is NOT dead as long as there is a country called Hungary.
    I have no idea who declared operetta dead. I was unaware, and I recently bought some Offenbach DVDs/CDs. I know operetta is linked to Germany-Austria.
    A few (many) years ago I was in Germany with my choir, and I attended an operetta, but I don't remember which one. It was so sugary sweet, that our whole big group of people left during the brake. After that, I shut myself off, and I tried to avoid operetta. It was a mistake, as not all operetta is necessarily bad.
    I know quite well some popular arias from Strauss or Lehar. I am sure I can sing/whistle/yell more than 3 notes, from my favorite operas/operettas to the horror of my family. Only my parrot seems to love my tunes.

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    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    Folks who declare operatta or even opera for that matter as "dead"; well, I don' think they are much alive to music anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by larifari View Post
    If I have spoken hastily, I apologize. The amount of posts is nothing less than overwhelming, and if I did not know where to look, again, I plead ignorance.

    I did read one post which outright declared that opera was not an art form and regrettably that set me off on the wrong track. That statement WAS snobbish, and I do not apologize for calling it snobbish.

    In the thread which asked for the 25 favorite composers, I saw not a single one that had anything to do with operetta. I even asked about Strauss. Is Johann Strauss unworthy of mention?

    Having said that, I think that this forum is excellent.
    Yes, larifari, you did speak hastily. As a moderator, I flirted with the idea of issuing an infraction to your account (when they accumulate they result in a ban) and posting a rebuke of the sort of "buddy, if this is the tone of voice you're planning to employ here since your first few contributions, it is unlikely that your account will be surviving for too long in this so-called snobbish place." Because, see, our Terms of Service call for an infraction when a member offends another member, and you kind of collectively attacked the membership corps of Talk Classical as a whole. Like Couchie said, while accusing us all - people you barely know - of being snobs, your post was actually quite snobbish itself.

    But then I though, oh what the heck, the guy is new here, maybe he just started on the wrong foot and he hasn't realized yet that this is a civil place where, unlike in other Internet venues, this kind of tone is not tolerated.

    So, my tolerance paid off, because you have immediately changed your tone and apologized. Apologies accepted, just try to not do it again, OK?

    Enjoy our forum, I'm glad that you find it excellent. We try hard to make it so, and one of the reasons why it is excellent is because we don't allow ad-homs and personal offenses. Trolls and generally rude people don't survive long here.

    So, whenever someone issues an *opinion* that doesn't agree with your own, please don't attack the *person* of the member by saying that the member is a snob or whatever. Please rather estate your disagreement with the members' *opinion* and the reasons for your disagreement, in a civil manner. If anyone is less than civil to you, let the moderation team know about it, but don't fight back. With these simple rules, you'll live long and prosper, here.

    Now, *because* we do have a very active Opera forum (it is the third most popular subforum here, with over 24,000 posts), you won't be likely to find too many references to opera, operetta, and opera composers in the other areas, precisely because opera fans tend to gather in the subforum. Since there is no accounting for taste, if a member who posts predominantly in non-operatic subfora finds that opera is not an art form, that person is entitled to his/her opinion, and that's exactly why that person does not frequent the opera forum. You may disagree to your heart's satisfaction, but please do it with civility and respect to your fellow member. But I wouldn't even waste your time if I were you. If you find yourself among people who don't share your interest, the best policy is to leave quietly and go find your group. You're not likely to find in the opera forum people who think that opera is not an art form.

    Welcome again, and we're glad to have someone interested in operettas. Post your reviews, make your recommendations, do it all in the right venues, and I'm sure your contributions will be appreciated.

    Take care,

    Alma.
    "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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    As a matter of fact, I'll move this thread to the Opera forum, and will leave a redirect so that when larifari logs in again, he can find it - or she, I don't know if this new member is a he or a she.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I sometimes wonder whether appreciation for operetta might be linked in with the culture in which one developed one's sense of humour. For example I grew up in France, with English parents, so I appreciate Offenbach and Gilbert and Sullivan but find things like the Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus rather ponderous. Any thoughts?
    Natalie

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