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Thread: Les Troyens on Saturday last (1/5)

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    Senior Member guythegreg's Avatar
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    Default Les Troyens on Saturday last (1/5)

    The odd thing was, I listened to the whole thing at the Performing Arts Library a few weeks ago, and wasn't really looking forward to the performance that much. I'm not really a Berlioz fan, or never have been before. In the recording, Vickers did not add to his wonderful reputation with me, although Verrett and Ludwig were pretty thrilling. But as soon as the music began in the theater, with some action behind it, it was as though someone flipped a switch in my head, and I sat there thinking: this music is gorgeous. I was really stunned.

    And you can say this for Dead in HD performances - thank you Natalie - for that one performance, everyone does their very best. Bryan Hymel sang like a star, I thought. Deborah Voigt a bit lacking in strength, but in tune and with power when she needed it. Susan Graham sang well. Everybody did, I thought.

    The ballet was awesome. This production is charged through and through with dance, and it was really moving. lol so to speak. I was a bit indignant that the choreographer wasn't even mentioned in the program. Dance was such a big part of it and contributed so much to the overall result. Especially the Laocoon dance, that was just top notch, I thought. Wow. Inspired choreography.

    And the central love scene, that starts as a quartet (I think), then becomes a septet, then a duet - wow. Everyone sang so well TOGETHER. That's so hard, when you're on stage and there are seventeen different things going on and you can hardly see the conductor. I like to say, rocket science is easy; comedy is easy; opera is hard. But it was great. Gosh it was amazing.

    So the verdict is in. I mean, this happens all the time, at the Met. True opera fans: sell the kids, dump the husband, move to New York. You'll never regret it.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guythegreg View Post
    The odd thing was, I listened to the whole thing at the Performing Arts Library a few weeks ago, and wasn't really looking forward to the performance that much. I'm not really a Berlioz fan, or never have been before. In the recording, Vickers did not add to his wonderful reputation with me, although Verrett and Ludwig were pretty thrilling. But as soon as the music began in the theater, with some action behind it, it was as though someone flipped a switch in my head, and I sat there thinking: this music is gorgeous. I was really stunned.

    And you can say this for Dead in HD performances - thank you Natalie - for that one performance, everyone does their very best. Bryan Hymel sang like a star, I thought. Deborah Voigt a bit lacking in strength, but in tune and with power when she needed it. Susan Graham sang well. Everybody did, I thought.

    The ballet was awesome. This production is charged through and through with dance, and it was really moving. lol so to speak. I was a bit indignant that the choreographer wasn't even mentioned in the program. Dance was such a big part of it and contributed so much to the overall result. Especially the Laocoon dance, that was just top notch, I thought. Wow. Inspired choreography.

    And the central love scene, that starts as a quartet (I think), then becomes a septet, then a duet - wow. Everyone sang so well TOGETHER. That's so hard, when you're on stage and there are seventeen different things going on and you can hardly see the conductor. I like to say, rocket science is easy; comedy is easy; opera is hard. But it was great. Gosh it was amazing.

    So the verdict is in. I mean, this happens all the time, at the Met. True opera fans: sell the kids, dump the husband, move to New York. You'll never regret it.
    What a wonderful WONDERFUL review!!! Welcome to the ranks of Les Troyens obsessives.
    Ann

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    What a treat to see a live production!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    I attended AMC Hoffman Theater in Alexandria, VA. If was packed. There were only a few empty seats in the front row.
    Last edited by arpeggio; Jan-08-2013 at 19:21.
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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I had the same experience as you - before going to see it live I listened about four or five times and was not that enthralled. But I was entranced during the whole live production and would cheerfully have sat through it again straight away.
    Last edited by mamascarlatti; Jan-08-2013 at 21:26.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Was it really 5 hours long? That's how long the live broadcast block was on my radio station.
    I did not listen to the whole thing, but I knew it was on.
    Our orchestra performed Royal Hunt and Storm this past fall, and I loved it.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    I'm jealous that you saw it. I was contemplating flying up to NYC just to see that performance. I want, once in my life, to see a live staging of Les Troyens!

    I've been known to make large trips just to see a performance of something. Hopefully it will be performed again later this year.

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novelette View Post
    I'm jealous that you saw it. I was contemplating flying up to NYC just to see that performance. I want, once in my life, to see a live staging of Les Troyens!

    I've been known to make large trips just to see a performance of something. Hopefully it will be performed again later this year.
    I travelled 18,000kms to see it in London. But that was a one-off.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    By the way encore rebroadcast for Les Troyens is:

    US encore: Wednesady, January 23rd 6:30pm local time.
    Canada encore: Saturday, March 9 12:00pm local time
    Last edited by arpeggio; Jan-09-2013 at 04:28.
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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I travelled 18,000kms to see it in London. But that was a one-off.
    Wonderful memories to treasure. One day maybe there'll be another opera somewhere in the world to justify such a trip (or a lottery win!)
    Ann

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Wonderful memories to treasure. One day maybe there'll be another opera somewhere in the world to justify such a trip (or a lottery win!)
    The lottery win would be more likely if I ever bought a ticket. But with those odds I'd be just as well off burning the money.
    Natalie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunasong View Post
    Was it really 5 hours long? That's how long the live broadcast block was on my radio station.
    I did not listen to the whole thing, but I knew it was on.
    Our orchestra performed Royal Hunt and Storm this past fall, and I loved it.
    Well, with a couple of half hour intermissions, I think it was - couldn't really say, though, as I was kind of in a daze when I left and didn't notice the time for quite some time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Novelette View Post
    I'm jealous that you saw it. I was contemplating flying up to NYC just to see that performance. I want, once in my life, to see a live staging of Les Troyens!

    I've been known to make large trips just to see a performance of something. Hopefully it will be performed again later this year.
    Oh I know what you mean. I travelled across the country to see Norma live at the Baltimore Opera's last production. Absolutely worth it.

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    I have never been really all that familiar with Berlioz's works, but symphonie fantastique has got to be along with beethoven's 5th as my 2 favorite symphonies. I had high expectations going in, and I was not dissapointed. I wouldn't call it my favorite opera, but there were scenes that were absolutely brilliant, and I walked out with a new desire to read the illiead and odyssy which i've never had had any reason to want to read before. I was also a bit puzzled by the commentators praise of the chorus without even a mention of the ballett. Susan Graham mentioned something about Gluck inspiring Berlioz's music, both in the interview saturday and 1 year and a half ago when she performed iphegenie en tauride. To be honest I don't see all that much similarity. Does anyone else?

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    The Odyssey is wonderful, a rip-roaring tale, but Les Troyens is directly based on Virgil's Aenead if you want to read the source material.
    Natalie

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    Quote Originally Posted by obwan View Post
    .Susan Graham mentioned something about Gluck inspiring Berlioz's music, both in the interview saturday and 1 year and a half ago when she performed iphegenie en tauride. To be honest I don't see all that much similarity. Does anyone else?
    I didn't hear the quote, but I wouldn't look for similarity in the music but in the intention of the composer. My impression is that Gluck was all about re-engaging with the audience, he felt opera had kind of lost its way, and when an opera grabs you with its first notes you can probably assume it was the composer's intention to do so. As this one did me. And so that's where I would see the result of Gluck's inspiring Berlioz.

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