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Thread: Opera Rara fans?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figleaf View Post
    They have released a couple of Meyerbeer operas I'm quite keen to hear- 'Il crociato in Egitto', 'Margherita d'Anjou', and finally 'L'esule di Granata' (which I'd never even heard of til today. It sounds a bit like a dessert )

    I haven't actually taken the plunge and bought any of them yet because I don't usually enjoy modern opera singing at all, and these recordings all date from the 1980s onwards. The desire to discover new and interesting repertoire is always at war with the part of me that wants to stay in a timewarp of Edwardian recordings, which are more notable for stylish singing than for diversity of repertoire, and complete recordings from that time are very few indeed. So until I find a way to square that circle, I probably won't be adding Opera Rara CDs to my collection.

    Has anyone heard their Meyerbeer? Any good?
    My stepdad owns a bunch of their Meyerbeer offerings and they are exceptional. The scholarship in the booklets are worth the price of admission. I really can recommend any of those without hesitation.

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    Senior Member Figleaf's Avatar
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    Thanks Albert! Sorry to have hijacked your thread!

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    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figleaf View Post
    Thanks Albert! Sorry to have hijacked your thread!
    Please hijack away! I really love Opera Rara and wish more people were into it.

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  6. #19
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    I would like to recommend this fine recording, by a relatively unknown composer, Giovanni Pacini (of course he is quite familiar to Bel Canto opera fans, but not so much for the average opera listener, I think).

    The opera is based on Victor Hugo's "Marie Tudor" and the libretto is by Leopoldo Tarantini. The plot is about Queen Mary's affair with Lord Talbot and how she is cheated, orders the death of the Scottish knight, only to repent at the last moment, but it's already too late, as Gualtiero Churchill, the Lord Chancellor, has already carried out the royal wish. In the action, a pair of other roles (Ernesto and Clotilde) appear, to provide further love interest.

    In his autobiography, Pacini recalled that the premiere, in Palermo (Pacini was Sicilian, incidentally), back in 1843, was very succesful, and he was required to salute 42 times. However, after just about ten years, "Maria" dissapeared from the stage, until it was rescued by Opera Rara. Recently, there were some performances in the Stadttheater of Gießen.

    The quality of the singing is quite high (please except the baritone singing the role of Ernesto here), and the opera itself, a small treasure of Italian Bel Canto.

    Listen to Bruce Ford singing "Quando assisa a me d'accanto": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX8pAZey-48

    Or the splendid last aria of Maria, "Ciel, quest'amara lagrima", sung by Nelly Miricioiu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EtOBVfz8kw

    The total duration of the piece is just about 3 hours, but they are 3 very pleasant hours indeed!!!.

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  8. #20
    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post



    I would like to recommend this fine recording, by a relatively unknown composer, Giovanni Pacini (of course he is quite familiar to Bel Canto opera fans, but not so much for the average opera listener, I think).

    The opera is based on Victor Hugo's "Marie Tudor" and the libretto is by Leopoldo Tarantini. The plot is about Queen Mary's affair with Lord Talbot and how she is cheated, orders the death of the Scottish knight, only to repent at the last moment, but it's already too late, as Gualtiero Churchill, the Lord Chancellor, has already carried out the royal wish. In the action, a pair of other roles (Ernesto and Clotilde) appear, to provide further love interest.

    In his autobiography, Pacini recalled that the premiere, in Palermo (Pacini was Sicilian, incidentally), back in 1843, was very succesful, and he was required to salute 42 times. However, after just about ten years, "Maria" dissapeared from the stage, until it was rescued by Opera Rara. Recently, there were some performances in the Stadttheater of Gießen.

    The quality of the singing is quite high (please except the baritone singing the role of Ernesto here), and the opera itself, a small treasure of Italian Bel Canto.

    Listen to Bruce Ford singing "Quando assisa a me d'accanto": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX8pAZey-48

    Or the splendid last aria of Maria, "Ciel, quest'amara lagrima", sung by Nelly Miricioiu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EtOBVfz8kw

    The total duration of the piece is just about 3 hours, but they are 3 very pleasant hours indeed!!!.
    Thanks for sharing us a wonderful review. I just encoded a copy of this opera and can't wait to experience it later on this year.

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  10. #21
    Senior Member Clayton's Avatar
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    I am a fan of the Opera Rara productions. They have brought us many works very good works otherwise not performed or too few other good performances recorded. Some of my favourites are the Donizetti Dom Sébastien, Roi de Portugal, Maria di Rohan and Belisario

    Don Sébastien, roi de Portugal - Opera Rara Mark Elder 2005, Vasselina Kasarova, Simon Keenlysi.jpg Maria di Rohan - Mark Elder, Opera Rara, Krassimira Stoyanova, Jose Bros, Christopher Purves.jpg

    Belsario - Mark Elder, Opera Rara, Nicola Alaimo, Joyce El-Khoury, Camilla Roberts, Russell Thom.jpg

    also I like the Offenbach Fantasio and Thomas' La Cour de Célimène

    Fantasio - Mark Elder 2013, Sarah Connolly, Brenda Rae, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.jpg La Cour de Célimène - Andrew Litton 2007, Opera Rara.jpg

    They are all very well presented productions with a very good accompanying book (it is so much more than just a booklet) with full libretto and essays and much other information. I have noticed that they can be higher priced in US than in Europe but I would still think they are very good cost performance.

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  12. #22
    Senior Member Azol's Avatar
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    So far I have purchased Meyerbeer's Crociatto, Dinorah and Margherita directly from the label and I was awestruck by the quality of the product, singing and the amount of the information available in enclosed booklets (each around 200+ pages). This also can explain the steep price for each boxset, but it's worth every penny. I plan to get soon at least Belisario and several Rossini recordings as well.

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