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Thread: Opera trips

  1. #121
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavaradossi View Post
    And a few photos:

    The cozy confines of Box 8, Level 3:
    Attachment 10096

    Attachment 10097

    Act I bows:
    Attachment 10098
    These pics bring back the sweet memories from Boheme a month ago ! I would really feel bad if I had to walk out on a performance to catch the train. Opening night at La Scala is quite an event, did you notice anything about that ?

    This pic of the box says everything. So there are 5 people in this box That is cosy, you were lucky to share with petite ladies ! The only thing you can see clearly is the opposite boxes, perhaps that's exactly what people want: to be seen :-)

    Nice and clear review. It must have been a wonderfull trip. So far my trips have been limited to just one city, but who knows.

  2. #122
    Senior Member Cavaradossi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    These pics bring back the sweet memories from Boheme a month ago ! I would really feel bad if I had to walk out on a performance to catch the train. Opening night at La Scala is quite an event, did you notice anything about that ?

    This pic of the box says everything. So there are 5 people in this box That is cosy, you were lucky to share with petite ladies ! The only thing you can see clearly is the opposite boxes, perhaps that's exactly what people want: to be seen :-)

    Nice and clear review. It must have been a wonderfull trip. So far my trips have been limited to just one city, but who knows.
    Well I don't think I could have left before the final act of Boheme, but well ...Rigoletto after the Act III quartet gets kind of perfunctory. In any case I had to remind myself it was a bonus at the end of my trip, not the main purpose. Being in Europe, I suppose it's much easier for you to hit a single city - just like I would do with New York. But given the length and cost of flights from the US, I figured I'd make the best of it.

    I'd categorize the opening night crowd as nicely dressed, but not over the top. There were some fabuously dressed types and some less fabulous ones as well. Not much different than the mid-run, second-cast Turandot I attended last year. And to be clear, this was just the opening night of the run (a revival production at that), not of the season.

    I was a bit worried how the box would work out, but I'm glad to get the new perspective on the house (I was on the platea last year). I was lucky to be in the "corner" of the horseshoe too... at least it was angled toward the stage, unlike the side boxes which face into the auditorium. As you can see I still had an intimate view of the stage, the same distance as a 10th row seat - with perhaps a better view of the glorious and expansive sets from above.
    Last edited by Cavaradossi; Nov-21-2012 at 18:31.

  3. #123
    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    I love reading about other people's opera trips so thank you Cavaradossi for all your interesting reviews, it must have one heck of a trip! I've especially loved reading about La Scala. I did the museum & the shop when I went to Italy in 2010 but didn't see an opera & it's something I really want to do.
    Ann

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroneslothrop View Post
    I just found out I will be in Moscow next week so I am planning on catching the following performances of Iolanta and Prince Igor there with my wife.

    Prince Igor
    Venue: New Opera Theater, Moscow
    Date: 21 November 2012
    Conductor: Evgeny Samoilov
    Conductor: Vasily Valitov
    Composer: Alexander Borodin
    Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of the "New Opera" Theatre
    Premiere of this production: 16 April 2011
    Premiere of Borodin's Prince Igor at the Kolobov Novaya Opera of Moscow on April 16 and 19, 2011 under the aegis of the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad and the Year of the Theatre
    Music Director and Conductor: Evgeny Samoilov
    Stage Director: Yuri Alexandrov
    Set and Costume Designer: Vyacheslav Okunev
    Choirmasters: Natalya Popovich, Marina Vasilkova, Victor Kuturaev
    Prince Igor, The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow, Moscow, Russia, 21 November 2012

    Igor Svyatoslavich, Prince of Novgorod-Seversky: Sergey Artamonov
    Yaroslavna, his wife by his second marriage: Galina Badikovsaya
    Vladimir Igorevich, Igor's son from his first marriage: Georgy Vasiliev
    Vladimir Yaroslavich, Prince of Galich, brother of Princess Yaroslavna: Evgeny Stavinsky
    Konchak, Polovtsian khan: Oleg Didenko
    Konchakovna, daughter of Khan Konchak: Alexandra Saulskaya-Shulyatieva
    Ovlur, a Christian Polovtsian: Yaroslav Abaimov
    Skula, a gudok-player: Maksim Kuzmin-Karavayev
    Yeroshka, a gudok-player: Veniamin Egorov
    Yaroslavna's nurse: Svetlana Skripkina
    A Polovtsian maiden: Elisaveta Soina

    Conductor: Evgeny Samoilov
    Production: Yury Alexandrov

    The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow is a 700-seat opera theater and repertory company focused on classical opera and ballet. Utilizing a large staff of in-house, repertory company soloists for all principal roles, it offers an extensive, year-around program of opera, operetta, and ballet, both Russian and Western, with different operas and ballets on different nights of the week. The company was started in 1991, but the opera house was only built in 1997. I was last there in 1999, when the building was almost new.

    Our tickets from the center of the orchestra stalls, had a face value of 1,200 Rubles (approx. $38.50)--however, purchased from on online ticketing agency, they were about $100 each.

    This production of Prince Igor was 19 months old, having premiered in April 2011. The opera house has surtitling facilities, but surtitling was not used for this opera, since presumably, the opera was in Russian and most of the audience were Russian.

    I found the production of Prince Igor to be passable--as usual, it was the four-act edition as finished by Rimsky-Korsakov and Aleksandr Glazunov. It was as might be expected from a second-tier European repertory company--which is to say, nothing spectacular. Mise-en-scène was adequate, but not distinctive. The soloists were all adequate with the exception of Oleg Didenko, who might have been having a off night. The relatively small size of the auditorium lent an intimate feel to the performance. As a 1,200 Rouble evening, I'm sure the usual Moscow audience found it a welcome relief from the usual weekday evening television :-)

    One of the interesting aspects of Russian opera audiences is their age--the audience in the auditorium (which was about 80% full) was around 35 years in average age, with plenty of children in attendance--or near-children. The young lady of about 18 in the next seat was completely glued to her iPhone during the entire performance, for example! In the US, I rarely see children at the opera, as the typical opera-goers I see are already past the age where they would have young children. This is probably unfortunate, because children in the US are not brought up knowing opera, as they are in Russia. Growing up in Europe, my wife, who I would not characterize as an opera-goer, became personally acquainted with most of the major International operas, long before I ever started bringing her to the opera. Going to the opera is something that young people can do in Russia, and not feel like they are uncool.

    Next are some photos of the auditorium of the opera house from the orchestra stalls.

    EDITED: My wife wanted me to point out that she disagrees and thinks the average age in the auditorium was LESS than 35 years, perhaps as low as 25 years old. However, I think there were audience members who dragged the average up to 35
    Last edited by tyroneslothrop; Nov-22-2012 at 14:23.

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  6. #125
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    Photos of the auditorium of The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow, Moscow, Russia, 21 November 2012
    Novaya Opera Theater - stage.jpgNovaya Opera Theater - pit.jpgNovaya Opera Theater - back.jpgNovaya Opera Theater - balconies.jpgNovaya Opera Theater - orchestra stall seating.jpg

    (strangely enough, the photo uploader in this forum managed to flip two of my photos upside-down! )
    Last edited by tyroneslothrop; Nov-22-2012 at 06:01.

  7. #126
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavaradossi View Post
    Sounds like it! Looking forward more than ever to my evening there two weeks from tonight.

    (And Netrebko's Mimi in Chicago in March.)
    So how was boheme in Chicago ?

  8. #127
    Senior Member Cavaradossi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    So how was boheme in Chicago ?
    Here's a link to my review. I guess since I am a Chicago native, it didn't really qualify as "opera trip" thread material for me.

    Chicago Lyric Opera La Boheme

  9. #128
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavaradossi View Post
    Here's a link to my review. I guess since I am a Chicago native, it didn't really qualify as "opera trip" thread material for me.

    Chicago Lyric Opera La Boheme
    Ok, I see :-) Well I was also interested to compare our Boheme experiences since we both would hear La Bellissima as Mimi, but unfortunately you couldn't make it !

  10. #129
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Just returned from my trip to Prague. Even thought the weather was terrible (lots of rain, cold...) I had a very nice time there. Prague has a very rich cultural history and it is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites (among for example Rome, St. Petersburg). If you walk the streets it's like travelling back in time several hundreds of years. The city has a very good public transportation system and the airport is very near to the city, 25 minutes by taxi. There are many villas that used to be owned by aristocrat families, many of them supporters of the arts. If you like museums, you are in the right place. One of these villas had an exposition of Beethoven manustripts.

    Of course I was there for an opera, Don Giovanni, which premiered there in 1787, in the Estates Theatre, the same theatre I went to ! It has recently been renovated and looks great. It has a very special atmosphere, probably because it is all very small and there are almost no modern elements, except from the lighting. The performance was completely sold out, and I got a very good seat.

    The production is very modern, the singing was adequate, all were on the same level. The chorus was unbalanced and the weakest link. The orchestra played well, a small group with a fortepiano. (I don't like harsichords, so I was happy about that). Don Giovanni is performed almost throughout the year I guess, sometimes twice a day (like last Saturday). Dispite of that, it all looks fresh, and everyone is passionate, without a hint of routine. The production cuts the final sextet, which I was not too happy about. This is something you don't see often. I know there are speculations that in the Vienna version the final sextet was also cut, but there is no solid proof. I expected, because of the unique situation, that we would have seen the Prague version.

    Many comic elements made me laugh out loud. Leperello an Zerlina are very funny on stage. But lots of the production I just didn't like, I'm sure the director has his/her philosophy, but frankly I couldn't care less. For example, the catalog aria needs a book or a list, period. Can't do it without it. Commendatore keeps appearing on stage, what is that all about.

    I made a curtain call picture:
    IMG_0999.jpg
    From left to right: Commendatore, Ottavio, Anna, Giovanni, Giovanni as a young boy, Elvira, Conductor, Leporello, Zerlina, Mesetto.

    I brought some friends as an introduction for them to opera. They enjoyed it very much, I think the comic elements of this production won them over. They never expected to have such a good time. When we left, I asked if they could whistle one of the tunes, and I got a perfect 'Non più andrai' ! Mission accomplished.

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  12. #130
    Senior Member guythegreg's Avatar
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    Wow, great review. And great memories for you, eh?

  13. #131
    Senior Member deggial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    Don Giovanni is performed almost throughout the year I guess, sometimes twice a day (like last Saturday).
    puts Les Mis to shame! great curtain call pic

  14. #132
    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dongiovanni View Post
    Just returned from my trip to Prague...


    Great review DG!! Prague is definitely on my 'to do' list. Even more so now after reading your description, I love small houses. Great pic.

    And well done for being a successful opera missionary!!
    Ann

  15. #133
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    In Prague there is classical music all over the place. Three opera houses (!) and many concert
    halls.

    Here are some pictures I took inside the theatre:
    IMG_0981.jpgIMG_0982.jpg

    Surtitles are projected in English and Czech.

    And the playbill of Don Giovanni:
    Playbill.jpg

    I had to get up early to catch the plane, so I got a chance to take these pictures, just after sunrise. Normally these spots are swarmed with tourists.
    IMG_0678Cr.jpgIMG_0684Cr.jpg
    This is taken frome the Charles Bridge.
    Last edited by Dongiovanni; May-26-2013 at 20:35.

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  17. #134
    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Excellent photos DG!

    What's your next trip?
    Ann

  18. #135
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Excellent photos DG!

    What's your next trip?
    Thanks, taking pictures is also a hobby of mine :-)

    Almost sure it's going to be Nozze di Figaro at the ROH in September this year.

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