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Thread: Baroque opera performances

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    Senior Member Stargazer's Avatar
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    Default Baroque opera performances

    Operas from the Baroque era are really the only ones I listen to. All of my favorites are from that general time period. I would really like to see some of them performed live, but none of the opera places seem to perform them. I have looked at all of the operas in about 7 adjoining states, but every single one of them has the exact same things being performed. I think that all 10 of them was performing "carmen" and "turandot".

    Are baroque operas still performed regularly at all? How can I find performances for them? I really find it hard to find live performances of Baroque music in general...usually if I do it's from a really small non-professional group of 3-5 players.

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    You should know that baroque (or renaissance or classical) operas are often performed in different, smaller theatres than the repertoire from XIXth century and onwards. There are venues that specialize in such repertoire and hold the instrumental ensambles suited for HIP performances rather than modern symphonic orchestras. Look for such places instead of just checking season schedule of the big opera houses.

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    We went to some by the English Touring Opera - HIP orchestra and all - they performed in a range of venues. Did a quick Google and the US is hardly mentioned - most of the stuff is European. There was one post from Denver in about 2011.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Baroque Opera needs fairly specialized singing talent to be done right. That gets expensive (not to mention it is much easier to fill the house with Carmen or Tosca). Luckily there are many DVDs of excellent Baroque Opera performances. Cds can be a good source also, especially if it is a park and bark staging.

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    Don't know which part of the USA are you living in. Those are the Baroque Operas scheduled there, according to Oparabase. Not a big deal, certainly:

    2 May 2014 4 May 2014 2 Boston(Handel) Samson Concert performance
    15 May 2014 18 May 2014 4 Boston(Handel) Acis and Galatea
    Concert performance


    17 Jul 2014 27 Jul 2014 5 Cincinnati
    La Calisto


    28 Mar 2014 30 Mar 2014 2 Milwaukee(FO) Julius Caesar




    26 Mar 2014 29 Mar 2014 4 New York(MSM) La Doriclea


    14 Feb 2014 16 Feb 2014 2 Omaha Agrippina

    21 Mar 2014 23 Mar 2014 2 Roanoke Julius Caesar
    Last edited by schigolch; Dec-30-2013 at 23:08.

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    It's not the same as live opera,, but there are some quite nice DVDs as well.

    For a completely baroque experience in a fully operational baroque theatre:



    Searing and harrowing, some wonderful singing:



    A beautiful spectacle with exuberant singing, acting and dancing:



    Though with the latter I'd get the Rameau box set as they are all worth seeing
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    Ah, Giulio Cesare. In Milwaukee....., and in Roanoke....
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post
    Don't know which part of the USA are you living in. Those are the Baroque Operas scheduled there, according to Oparabase. Not a big deal, certainly:

    2 May 2014 4 May 2014 2 Boston(Handel) Samson Concert performance
    15 May 2014 18 May 2014 4 Boston(Handel) Acis and Galatea
    Concert performance


    17 Jul 2014 27 Jul 2014 5 Cincinnati
    La Calisto


    28 Mar 2014 30 Mar 2014 2 Milwaukee(FO) Julius Caesar




    26 Mar 2014 29 Mar 2014 4 New York(MSM) La Doriclea


    14 Feb 2014 16 Feb 2014 2 Omaha Agrippina

    21 Mar 2014 23 Mar 2014 2 Roanoke Julius Caesar
    Wow, thank you for this!! I will have to look into that site. Are there any similar sites for classical in general, that list all performances? It's possible that I could go to one of the New York performances, with a little luck and planning.

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    Senior Member deggial's Avatar
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    you should book a Baroque opera holiday

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    Quote Originally Posted by deggial View Post
    you should book a Baroque opera holiday
    That would be like a dream come true. A few more years of work, a few more dollars, and a lot more vacation time...and maybe, just maybe...

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    Not sure if Chicago is in your 7 state radius, but there are a few options here. I haven't been, but Haymarket Opera specializes in the baroque and gets great reviews. Lately, Lyric Opera gives us one Handel production a year, though this year we get Clemenza di Tito instead. Chicago Opera Theater had a long history of presenting at least one Baroque work a year - most recently a Medea trilogy over three seasons - but sadly their new general director doesn't seem interested in maintaining that tradition. Music of the Baroque is probably Chicago's top presenter of baroque music in general. And Handel Week in Oak Park puts on a concert version of a Handel Opera or cantata every year.

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    Baroque opera gets performed in NYC fairly frequently. In fact La descente d'Orphée aux Enfers is not only being put on by Gotham Chamber Opera as noted above but also as part of the NYC-branch of the Boston Early Music Festival (with La Courrone de Fleurs) on March 17 & 18.

    In August I got to see Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, missed Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria in December and Gotham Chamber Opera is doing Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda on a double bill in February (as noted on the schedule above). In November the Julliard School did Handel's Radamisto and Operamission is doing Agrippina in a few weeks. NYCO was scheduled to do JC Bach's Endimione in February but they have folded. This feels typical for a season here; last season had more Charpentier, Handel, some Cavalli and a few others, I believe.

    I believe all of these have been/are going to be staged performances though not all of them are professional/major companies.

    Parterre Box has a good upcoming calender listing opera and related performances/events in the NYC metro area.

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    For example, looking at that calender if you came to NYC in late February you could see live baroque music on consecutive nights at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Venice Baroque Orchestra on the 25th and then on the 26th (or 27th) Gotham Chamber Opera's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (paired with a world premiere).

    Similarly in March you could see a program from the One World Symphony (the 16th) that includes Handel, Purcell and JC Bach (and several newer pieces), and then on the 17th or 18th see Boston Early Music Fest's La descente d'Orphée aux Enfers by Charpentier. You would even have a few options to see the baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island at the Met Opera (though personally I would not recommend it).

    These odd clusters keeps going but I'll stop! Good luck finding something that works for you!

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    Here's where I spend every January. Malta (south of Italy). A whole month of baroque concerts and opera. Sorry it's such a long way, but if you can afford the air fare the concerts and accommodation don't cost very much.

    http://www.vallettabaroquefestival.com.mt/

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