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Thread: Opera CD Cover Images You Don't Like (and why)

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Default Opera CD Cover Images You Don't Like (and why)

    This one was put me off. Before I knew what the opera was about I would see TC members post listening to this and I had this image of a shotgun wedding, so did not pursue this opera for a long time. Now it is among my favorite operas. Yet, I purchased half a dozen other recordings, including a different Janowitz recording, of it before this one, which frankly, I would not have purchased but that it was at my local music store on sale used.

    Now I think it is one of my favorite Der Freischutz sets, this and the one with Behrens. But I still have reservations about the cover image. It is a cool image, but it seems to me they were not using shotguns in the opera but rifles. So, it is a total misrepresentation.

    Last edited by SixFootScowl; Jan-17-2018 at 01:06.
    “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent look guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the mind of the masses.”
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    Ok, here is another one. This cover image is not even of Maria Stuarda, but of a someone not even associated with this opera. They must have had a trainee do the cover for this one.


    Conductor Richard Bonynge - 1971(LI)
    Orchestra - San Francisco Opera
    Chorus - San Francisco Opera
    Maria - Joan Sutherland
    Elisabeta - Huguette Tourangeau
    Leicester - Stuart Burrows
    Talbot - Cornelius Opthof
    Anna - Ariel Bybee
    Cecil - Ara Berberian



    There are two other Maria Stuardas with Sutherland and Toruangeau. This one is better sound:

    Conductor Richard Bonynge - 1975(STU)
    Orchestra - Teatro Comunale di Bologna
    Chorus - Teatro Comunale di Bologna
    Maria - Joan Sutherland
    Elisabeta - Huguette Tourangeau
    Leicester - Luciano Pavarotti
    Talbot - Roger Soyer
    Anna - Margreta Elkins
    Cecil - James Morris



    This one I have not heard, nor do I know if it can even be purchased on disk:

    Conductor Richard Bonynge - 1977(LI)
    Orchestra - Omroeporkest
    Chorus - Nederlands Operakoor
    Maria - Joan Sutherland
    Elisabeta - Huguette Tourangeau
    Leicester - Vittorio Terranova
    Talbot - John Bröcheler
    Anna - Tine van Grootel
    Cecil - Glen Cunningham
    “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent look guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the mind of the masses.”
    --Malcolm X

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    Senior Member Taplow's Avatar
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    Arleen Auger looks like a character from Star Trek: TOS.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    This one was put me off. Before I knew what the opera was about I would see TC members post listening to this and I had this image of a shotgun wedding, so did not pursue this opera for a long time. Now it is among my favorite operas. Yet, I purchased half a dozen other recordings, including a different Janowitz recording, of it before this one, which frankly, I would not have purchased but that it was at my local music store on sale used.

    Now I think it is one of my favorite Der Freischutz sets, this and the one with Behrens. But I still have reservations about the cover image. It is a cool image, but it seems to me they were not using shotguns in the opera but rifles. So, it is a total misrepresentation.

    I never thought of this as a shotgun?

    You are right that a shotgun doesn't make any sense, but neither does a rifle (fortunately we don't see any rifling). This is the 1640s in rural Bohemia in a rather traditional society. I find it difficult to believe that they'd be using true rifles (which really weren't common until the 1800s).

    Now the double-barrel part, that I can see being a point of confusion. There were some double-barrel guns in the 1640s, but, again, they were not widespread. They were used for hunting - which would make sense for the villagers in the story - but I also suspect they would not be favored by marksmen (two barrels makes it a heavier gun, and each would aim slightly differently).

    But I guess the double-barrel gun never really bothered me since this opera is not a naturalistic story about the minutiae of weaponry? This is a Faustian fantasy story and there are almost no details about guns.

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    I never warmed to this series, ugly Betty material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    I never warmed to this series, ugly Betty material.
    I agree, there are some wonderful recordings in that series (that Elektra in particular is greatly underrated).

    N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    This one was put me off. Before I knew what the opera was about I would see TC members post listening to this and I had this image of a shotgun wedding, so did not pursue this opera for a long time. Now it is among my favorite operas. Yet, I purchased half a dozen other recordings, including a different Janowitz recording, of it before this one, which frankly, I would not have purchased but that it was at my local music store on sale used.

    Now I think it is one of my favorite Der Freischutz sets, this and the one with Behrens. But I still have reservations about the cover image. It is a cool image, but it seems to me they were not using shotguns in the opera but rifles. So, it is a total misrepresentation.

    I first heard this recording on the radio and fell in love with it straight away (it was my introduction to Janowitz and a huge part of the reason why I am a fan of hers).

    It was one of the first opera sets I bought on CD and I didn't really think about the cover as the writing and the names of the wonderful cast always drew my eyes away from the image. Now you've forced me to reassess the image in the cold light of day I have to say I don't like it and agree with you. I find it really difficult to pick a front cover image I don't like, I will say that possibly my favourite packing is the EMI Callas edition with the black and blue sets. Whilst not perfect there is a timeless elegance about them.

    Callas.jpg

    N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    I never warmed to this series, ugly Betty material.
    Eva Marton is my kryptonite when it comes to opera singers. Really can't stand her.

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    This is a classic in terms of bad covers. Very uninviting to pick up.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    This is a classic in terms of bad covers. Very uninviting to pick up.

    It does make one wonder what drugs Herod must have been on!

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    This whole series by Sony is just plain ugly. Feverish color palette, dirty-looking font and background... And what are these - bloodstains?!? Terrible and highly unprofessional.

    Last edited by Azol; Jan-20-2018 at 11:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    This whole series by Sony is just plain ugly. Feverish color palette, dirty-looking font and background... And what are these - bloodstains?!? Terrible and highly unprofessional.


    And all of a certain they are all opera houses

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    This whole series by Sony is just plain ugly. Feverish color palette, dirty-looking font and background... And what are these - bloodstains?!? Terrible and highly unprofessional.

    I wasn't that keen when they first came out, but now I have got used to them I think they have an attractive and simple design.

    N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    This whole series by Sony is just plain ugly. Feverish color palette, dirty-looking font and background... And what are these - bloodstains?!? Terrible and highly unprofessional.

    The only benefit to these ugly designs is that hopefully they will go for cheap on the used market, but I sometimes will pay a bit more for a nicer cover editions of the opera.
    “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent look guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the mind of the masses.”
    --Malcolm X

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    I was trying to think why I disliked some cd covers more than others. For me, it is less to do with the images used - although these can be a bit generic and stagey if there was no corresponding production and they are faked up in a studio e.g.
    Puccini Tosca - Te Kanawa Solti.JPG
    Bizet Carmen - Norman Ozawa.JPG

    However, a problem I have with these examples and others are when image and text combine to make a singer or conductor seem much more important than the rest of the cast and even the composer. For instance, this example where absolutely everyone gets less attention than the tenor
    Bizet Carmen - Domashenko Chung.JPG
    Or this less obvious example where Pavarotti's name has crept up the billing not only above the rest of the cast but also the composer
    Giordano Andrea Chenier - Pavarotti Chailly.JPG

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