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Thread: Contemporary opera

  1. #46
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    I am a fan of Judith Weir though I have not seen any of her operas. I would really like to find a way to see Armida.

    The excerpts from A Night of Chinese Opera were quite interesting; thanks for posting!

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  3. #47
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    My favorite piece from the opera is this beautiful "Aria with Rising Floodwaters": http://www.goear.com/listen/2e236cc/ari-weir

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    Richard Danielpour is an American composer that premiered back in 2005 his opera Margaret Garner. The opera itself was received with mixed reviews, but the libretto was written by Toni Morrison herself, and the material was used before on her Pulitzer Prize winner, Beloved.



    In youtube, there is available a documentary on the making of the opera:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iucJs9lh_fk

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    Helmut Lachenmann is a German composer, that has always been considered as one of the foremost avant-garde composers of our times. Lachenmann will be eighty years old soon, so he is no longer, however, the enfant terrible he once was. In fact, he recently commented that in his younger days, he felt himself as to be alone in an island, but lately he considers to be in Ibiza, during the summer season.

    He only wrote one opera, but a quite interesting one, Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, an impressive work, in which the listener is not having a single moment of respite. There is a CD published:




    And we have the opportunity to watch the whole opera, in a concert version in Madrid, with a good orchestra (they spend a lot of time rehearsing) and good singers, with Lachenmann himself narrating, in the link below:

    http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/l...enmann/293054/

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    Senior Member SilverSurfer's Avatar
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    Thank you, schigolch, for your posts; there is a previous Kairos recording, BTW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanb View Post
    Funny, I'm just recently discovering Philippe Manoury... Have any of his other operas besides the 60th Parallel been recorded?
    I don't think so. I saw K. live when it was staged at the Opera de Paris, it was okay, nothing speial. Poul Ruders' opera is much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by nathanb View Post
    I've heard bits and pieces of Chin's setting of Alice In Wonderland, but it needs a recording asap!
    A DVD does exist. The masterpiece Bliss needs a recording, or better, a DVD of the Hamburg production.
    Last edited by Kilgore Trout; Feb-23-2015 at 16:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverSurfer View Post
    Thank you, schigolch, for your posts; there is a previous Kairos recording, BTW.



    Indeed.

    I prefer a little bit more the ECM, that presents the revised version, and with a more impacting electronics, in my view. The ECM it's available in youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma-ROiDJN5M

    And a fragment of the opera staged:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE-733Ai8DA
    Last edited by schigolch; Feb-23-2015 at 21:00. Reason: mistype

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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post
    Helmut Lachenmann is a German composer, that has always been considered as one of the foremost avant-garde composers of our times. Lachenmann will be eighty years old soon, so he is no longer, however, the enfant terrible he once was. In fact, he recently commented that in his younger days, he felt himself as to be alone in an island, but lately he considers to be in Ibiza, during the summer season.

    He only wrote one opera, but a quite interesting one, Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, an impressive work, in which the listener is not having a single moment of respite. There is a CD published:




    And we have the opportunity to watch the whole opera, in a concert version in Madrid, with a good orchestra (they spend a lot of time rehearsing) and good singers, with Lachenmann himself narrating, in the link below:

    http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/l...enmann/293054/
    I am totally new to this composer. I just checked out his Streichquartette on Spotify and was totally blown away. Thanks for another great discovery!

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  14. #54
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    I think Kaija Saariaho's L'amour de loin is known and loved for quite a few TC members, and I do share this feeling.




    However, I'm not so sure about the rest of her operatic works: Adriana Mater, La Passion de Simone and Émilie. (there is a very interesting documentary on the making of Adriana Mater here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJHAnRUZens. And La Passion de Simone can be heard complete in youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsdTvcFhNOw)


    Though I like well the three of them, it's Émilie, premiered in Lyon a few years ago, that it's my favorite alongside L'amour. The libretto is again by Amin Maalouf, as usual, and the opera is based on the life of the Marquise Émilie du Châtelet, a mistress of Voltaire, and one of the first women to acquire a solid reputation as a scientist.


    The great Finnish soprano Karita Mattila sang Émilie:



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    Saariaho being one of my favorite living composers (that's not too old and grey just yet...), I've been anticipating the release of a recording of either Emilie or Adriana Mater...

    A bit of a tease, Ondine's latest album includes the Emilie Suite...

    PS: Already mentioned here, I just bought Sciarrino's Macbeth

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    Hector Parra is a young Spanish composer, that for most of his career had been working at IRCAM, in Paris.


    As many other composers today, Parra tries to find new musical possibilities, by investigating the physical reality of sound. Arguably, his most daring composition so far is Hypermusic Prologue, a "projective opera in seven planes", that has been staged in Paris and Barcelona (at Liceu, I was attending one of the performances).



    The plot is really weird. It's about the possible existence of extra dimensions in the Universe, and is based on some theories from Harvard's Physics professor, Lisa Randall, as explained in her book "Warped Passages".


    The staging was directed by Paul Desveaux, with some funny computer tricks included and two vocal soloists: soprano Charlotte Ellett and baritone James Bobby.


    It was really an interesting experience, and worth a hearing.


    Here we can watch Lisa Randall explaining the opera from her point of view:



    And also the opera itself, complete in youtube:


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    Hello, schigolch, I also attended one of the performances of that opera (at the "foyer" of Liceu, just in case some TC posters think that contemporary operas are usually staged at the main auditorium...), and like Parra's music.
    In fact, I liked the music of that opera, but I found the libretto impossible to follow nor understand..., as the love story.
    BTW, have you already seen "The público"?

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    Well, I think the Foyer is ok for an opera like Hypermusic Prologue. Other contemporary operas like "Gaudí" were staged in the main hall.

    About the libretto... I'm not sure there is really 'a story', much less 'a love story' inside. All this stuff was pretty conceptual; the couple of protagonists, almost an excuse, in my view. Have you listened to Lisa Randall, or have you read "Warped Passages"?. I do think the opera is quite sucessful in merging this world of Theoretical Physics with music,.. with opera.

    I had a small issue, and couldn't attend the opening performance of "El Público" yesterday, I have bought new tickets for March.

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    I agree the Foyer was perfect, I only tried not to give the impression that Liceu is so contemporary...
    I read about Randall's work just for the opera, and "an excuse" seems a good definition for the couple.
    El Público has a good review today on... ABC

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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post


    About Kafka's operatic adaptations, of which there are a few, there is one by Sciarrino himself!. It's 'La porta della legge':

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFnFao0NDng

    Perhaps the more famous operatic adaptation is Glass's 'In the Penal Colony':

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSMpgvf1owE
    Glass' latest opera is again based on a Kafka novel -- The Trial (2014).

    Like In the Penal Colony, it's a chamber opera (or 'pocket' opera as Glass calls them).

    The Trial is Philip Glass's second 'pocket' opera based on the writings of Franz Kafka, and his first work created specifically for Music Theatre Wales, in celebration of the company's 25th birthday. Glass has a long relationship with the company, describing them as 'wonderful to work with… they seem to like these "odd" pieces of mine, and they do them very well. I think of my pocket operas as neutron bombs – small, but packing a terrific punch'.

    Glass has won worldwide acclaim for his operas, which include Satyagraha and Einstein on the Beach. Music Theatre Wales gave a sell-out tour in 2010 of Glass's previous Kafka opera, In the Penal Colony, a work of blistering intensity and dark claustrophobia.
    Hopefully a recording release won't be too far off.

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