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Thread: The next opera you're going to see

  1. #1861
    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    My only night in Munich is the 9th! Alas.
    A pity. Hopefully one day we'll coincide. TC opera meetups seem to be disappearing, perhaps because operagoers are in such a minority on our forum.

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    Member sharkeysnight's Avatar
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    Seeing David Alden's production of Otello here at the COC tomorrow, which has a pretty rad cast - excited to hear Russell Thomas, Gerald Finley, and Tamara Wilson. Taking my husband to his first opera, hopefully this one won't be too much for him but I don't think he'd go for La Boheme. I've heard nothing but terrific things about this production, though, so with any luck it should hold his attention.

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    Not opera, but tonight I am hearing Deborah Voigt! She is singing songs by Zemlinsky, Grieg, Mahler, Cole Porter, and Lerner/Loewe.

    More opera-related is tomorrow's concert with the San Francisco Symphony: Marek Janowski is conducting (instrumental) music from Tristan und Isolde and Tannhäuser in the second half of the program; the first half includes pieces by Mendelssohn and Bruch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkeysnight View Post
    Seeing David Alden's production of Otello here at the COC tomorrow, which has a pretty rad cast - excited to hear Russell Thomas, Gerald Finley, and Tamara Wilson. Taking my husband to his first opera, hopefully this one won't be too much for him but I don't think he'd go for La Boheme. I've heard nothing but terrific things about this production, though, so with any luck it should hold his attention.
    I'm going to this one tomorrow too. Studying up some on the work, which I haven't seen before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    Not opera, but tonight I am hearing Deborah Voigt! She is singing songs by Zemlinsky, Grieg, Mahler, Cole Porter, and Lerner/Loewe.
    Oh my. I didn't hear the Mahler or the Cole Porter because I did not stay for the second half. Alas. Hopefully tonight is better!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkeysnight View Post
    Seeing David Alden's production of Otello here at the COC tomorrow, which has a pretty rad cast - excited to hear Russell Thomas, Gerald Finley, and Tamara Wilson . . . I've heard nothing but terrific things about this production,
    . . .
    Last night's Otello was terrific. Excellent voices and chemistry from Russell Thomas (Othello) and Tamara Wilson (Desdemona) in the Act 1 duet. Tamara's Willow Song in Act 4 was remarkable! Thomas captured both Othello's finer emotions and his anger. Finley was in fine voice and had remarkable stage presence, playing an Iago that dripped of evil. My first time attending Otello and I was stunned at how great Verdi's choruses and orchestral composition are (conducted last night by Johannes Debus).
    Last edited by Roger Knox; May-04-2019 at 17:29.

  11. #1867
    Member sharkeysnight's Avatar
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    Agreed, a terrific production! We were sat in the back of the orchestra and it was still very impactful, though the onstage fire was a little annoying to look at while wearing glasses. I was really impressed by the lighting, which sounds like a backhanded compliment but the use of silhouettes was extremely clever, creating a secondary shadow play that commented on the shifting grounds of the characters. There was one particularly good moment where Iago was standing against the wall as Otello raged - standing in the giant shadow of the monster he'd created - and in other places characters were often standing against the huge shadows of others. I've never seen that done before and it was smart and memorable.

    Musically it was flawless. Even my husband, who was squirming towards the end, said it sounded note-perfect. All the performers were tasked with singing while lying down - Finley in particular sounded amazing as he crawled on his stomach to the edge of the stage during his piece about evil (that must've been a really striking piece of direction for people sitting front and center). Seconding the Willow Song, and Tamara's overall handle on her character - my heart broke a little in act three when she stopped and turned at the door and sang, "Oh, this is one of your jokes" or whatever it is she says. Three huge voices filling three huge characters.

    I might have to warm up more to the piece itself, I have to admit to feeling about the same towards it as I do towards the other Verdis I've seen - admirable but not gripping - though the dexterity of Verdi's writing for the orchestra is really stunning here. There are so many details to pore over. Something I'd be curious to read about is the relation of the accompaniment to the singers, because sometimes it almost seemed like the relation between whose melody the orchestra was supporting had a thematic element. It may have been coincidence, but at times it almost seemed to suggest that the plot was essentially pre-ordained, as if, musically, the opera is Iago's.

    One great moment that will stick with me: we were sitting at the back of the orchestra section, so faces weren't too sharp, but at the very end Iago, sitting in half-shadow, turns to look out at the audience as the light fades and it seemed almost like he was grinning and looking directly in our direction. It was extremely eerie.

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  13. #1868
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    I was in the fifth circle in a central seat near the front, and it was fine. A singer in my choir said this morning that Gerald Finley is now considered a great artist both in opera and in recital. For me your comments about Iago ring true. There is foretelling in the plot, libretto, and music. I think in this production Iago comes across as a force, aware of what's going to happen. The orchestra in late Verdi has more of a "voice" because of Wagner's example, though the music doesn't sound like Wagner's.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; May-05-2019 at 22:33.

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    I was in the fifth circle in a central seat near the front, and it was fine. A singer in my choir said this morning that Gerald Finley is now considered a great artist both in opera and in recital. For me your comments about Iago ring true. There is foretelling in the plot, libretto, and music. I think in this production Iago comes across as a force, aware of what's going to happen. The orchestra in late Verdi has more of a "voice" because of Wagner's example, though the music doesn't sound like Wagner's.
    Surely Wagner (had he been alive) might have had some grudging respect for this work.

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    30652828383_d39ed10c92_z.jpg

    Marriage of Figaro, at Covent Garden, for my 18th birthday! Simon Keenlyside as Count Almaviva, Julia Kleiter as the Countess, Christian Gerhaher as Figaro, Joelle Harvey as Susanna, and Kangmin Justin Kim.

    LE-NOZZE-DI-FIGARO-BC20120208947-PRODUCTION-IMAGE-C-ROH-2012-BILL-COOPER.jpg

    Then, in August, I'm going to see Don Giovanni in Prague, at the Estates Theatre, where it was first performed in 1787.

    Estates.jpg

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    Got a few planned:
    - June: Der fliegende Holländer in Stuttgart (horrible production but Lundgren as Holländer is worth it) & Traviata in Munich with Domingo as Giorgio (will be my first time hearing his baritone) & Tristan in Berlin (Schager as Tristan is just incredible)
    - July: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Munich
    - August: Lohengrin in Bayreuth (looking very much forward to Netrebko's Elsa)

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Sunday 26th May (that's today!) I have Der Fleigende Hollander in Ulm, Germany. No idea of cast and production. I'm only there because it's en-route between Munich (where I've been staying) and Memmingen airport, where I take a flight the following day. Hopefully Ulm and its opera offer will delight. I've enjoyed operas, and the general experience in provincial German cities before, so I'm hopeful.

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    I'm currently in Thailand, but when I get back San Francisco Opera's summer season starts.

    My first is the final dress rehearsal for Orlando. The opening night of Carmen. Next up is the FDR and opening night of Rusalka. This is the one I'm most excited for as the cast includes Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Brandon Jovanovich, and Jamie Barton.

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  23. #1874
    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Next for me... a very familiar opera in a country with the newest of names North Macedonia.

    28th May
    Skopje, North Macedonia
    La Traviata

    then a two hour train ride, quite scenic apparently

    29th May
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Un Ballo in Maschera

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    I was at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden yesterday for an afternoon performance of Tosca.

    Very enjoyable.

    The reviews have been on a 3 star to 5 star range.

    This was one of the better ones:

    https://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2019/0...atre-review-2/

    Another one here:

    https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london...-a4158731.html
    Last edited by Hiawatha; Jun-05-2019 at 23:36.

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