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Thread: The Talk Classical Most Recommended Opera DVD's

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    Member Dster's Avatar
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    Default The Talk Classical Most Recommended Opera DVD's

    Going through the list, it strikes me that the recommended list was drawn up and voted by members of the Anna Netrebko Supporters Association . Any DVD with her in it got recommended and got voted as most recommended. I pick on two examples that is most glaring:

    The Most recommended La Triviata is the Netrebko and Villazon version which is a modern minimalist production. I can make allowance for the melting clock (miming Savador Dali?), but there was this strange fellow who follows Violetta around the stage. He has no speaking part. What was the director trying to show us? The priciples's singing is excellent, but we are not talking about CD here, but DVD. It got to have an important visual element in it to qualify as the most recommended. This production is spoiled by its poor visual effect. In my humble opinion, there are many others La Traviata DVDs that are far superior.

    The one that stands out like a sore thumb to my mind is the most recommended I Puritani. Unlike the most recommended La Traviata, the visual effect of this production is good. But it seems that the entire production was organised as an Anna Netrebko benefit show. When Arturo was making his entry to sing A te O cara, the camera was actually pointing at Elvira. And Eric Cutler's voice was so weak that he can hardly be heard (I believe that he was suffering from a bout of bronchitis and was replaced by Gregory Kunde afterwards). Surely if it is the most recommended, then one must take into consideration of all aspect of the production and not just focusing on one person. Arturo is as important to the story as Elvira. If Arturo is not up to standard, then it is cannot be the 'most recommended'.

    Just my two cents worth of thought.

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    Senior Member notreally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dster View Post
    but there was this strange fellow who follows Violetta around the stage. He has no speaking part. What was the director trying to show us?
    I thought he was supposed to represent death?

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    Here's the section of the voting thread where people give their justifications: Project: list of recommended DVD/blu-ray versions for our Top 100 operas

    I'll admit that I'm not taken with any of the top three vote getters (from the extracts I've seen) - I was thinking of getting the new Dessay production from Aix-en-Provence, although it's another modern staging
    Il conte di Essex

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    Senior Member MAuer's Avatar
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    At some point -- no doubt when the Most Recommended CDs project is complete and NotReally and TxIIxT have had a chance to recover -- I suspect the Most Recommended DVDs list will be updated. The forum has new members, and there have been new DVD releases since this list was compiled. Re: the camera angles in the Puritani video -- same thing happened on the DVD of the Zürich Opera's Tannhäuser (which I fortunately didn't purchase). Jonas Kaufmann (Walther von der Vogelweide) is singing, but the viewer gets to see an up-close shot of Peter Seiffert's (Tannhäuser's) sweating mug, instead.

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    Well, I have to agree with you, Dster. Although I voted on the project I'm not a fan of either that La Traviata or that Puritani, for the resons that you gave. I would be a good idea to update somet time, with new members voting.
    Natalie

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    Member Dster's Avatar
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    And the Anna Netreko 'Lucia' was voted most recommended . Then where does the like of Sutherland, Gruberova, Cabelle, Sills ... et al stands? A great Lucia must to be a great coloraturo soprano because the part was written for such a fach. No repect to the lady who is a great singing actress, but she does not belong to that rank.

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    Member Dster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    At some point -- no doubt when the Most Recommended CDs project is complete and NotReally and TxIIxT have had a chance to recover -- I suspect the Most Recommended DVDs list will be updated. The forum has new members, and there have been new DVD releases since this list was compiled. Re: the camera angles in the Puritani video -- same thing happened on the DVD of the Zürich Opera's Tannhäuser (which I fortunately didn't purchase). Jonas Kaufmann (Walther von der Vogelweide) is singing, but the viewer gets to see an up-close shot of Peter Seiffert's (Tannhäuser's) sweating mug, instead.
    I do not think we should reopen the list. In fact I think it should be done away with all together; replaced by recommendations from individual members in separate threads if one is enthusiastic about a particular work. It strikes me that the list is too subjective. In itself, there is nothing wrong with it. The unfortunate thing is that it carries the appellation "The Talk Classical Most Recommended List" which implies some official status. Someone who is new to a work and wants to know more about it might be mislead by the list and end up missing out on the more important production.

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    Member MattExcell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dster View Post
    I do not think we should reopen the list. In fact I think it should be done away with all together; replaced by recommendations from individual members in separate threads if one is enthusiastic about a particular work. It strikes me that the list is too subjective. In itself, there is nothing wrong with it. The unfortunate thing is that it carries the appellation "The Talk Classical Most Recommended List" which implies some official status. Someone who is new to a work and wants to know more about it might be mislead by the list and end up missing out on the more important production.
    I think it's still a useful resource, although the voting thread is the most vital resource as you can see the reasoning given behind votes and tailor your choice accordingly. In fairness, most of these "contentious" recommendations tend to be either poor selection of DVD's or large selection of imperfect DVD's. The CD's thread seems to have got it broadly right in my estimation.

    I completely agree with you on the Netrebko Lucia and Puritani. I would have totally gone with the Florez/Machaidze Puritani... gloomy staging be damned! Save your cash on the Lucia until someone does the right thing and releases a Dessay version.
    Il conte di Essex

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