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Thread: Current watching

  1. #31
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Roméo et Juliette

    Oh dear, in act III, with people dying like flies all over the place, I kept getting distracted by Roberto’s REALLY tight trousers and seriously anachronistic heeled winkle pickers, which might be an indication that his singing and acting weren’t of the highest quality.

    But in Act IV, Anna kept me stuck to my seat, particularly in her wild imaginings about being locked in a tomb with her brother's corpse. Sent shivers down my spine, worth watching just for that.
    Natalie

  2. #32
    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Salome with Karita Mattilla on Met player. The production does nothing for me, but this is one of the few times that I couldn't care less about that because Mattilla is just sensational. I'm not impressed with her dance of the seven veils but other than that she must be one of the best Salome's ever.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

  3. #33
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    Salome with Karita Mattilla on Met player. The production does nothing for me, but this is one of the few times that I couldn't care less about that because Mattilla is just sensational. I'm not impressed with her dance of the seven veils but other than that she must be one of the best Salome's ever.
    That's good to know. I've been avoiding it because I don't always like Mattila's timbre but I'll give it a go.

    I watched La belle Helene in this version



    free on Classical TV. This Laurent Pelly production was such fun, particularly when Felicity Lott was on stage, that I'm tempted to buy the DVD to get a good quality copy.

    Also saw the ROH Simon Boccanegra that a friend put on DVD for me. I was most impressed with Domingo as Boccanegra - his voice sounded really good in that register and he made a most convincing Doge.
    Natalie

  4. #34
    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    That's good to know. I've been avoiding it because I don't always like Mattila's timbre but I'll give it a go.
    She isn't one of the names that come to mind when thinking about my favorite sopranos, but she has totally convinced me with her Salome. VERY good actress too. I also like her Leonora (Fidelio). She's the only one I've seen so far who made it plausible that she convinced the other characters in the opera that she was a boy. Yep - Karita's got what it takes, at least for these roles (I think so anyway ).
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

  5. #35
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    She isn't one of the names that come to mind when thinking about my favorite sopranos, but she has totally convinced me with her Salome. VERY good actress too. I also like her Leonora (Fidelio). She's the only one I've seen so far who made it plausible that she convinced the other characters in the opera that she was a boy. Yep - Karita's got what it takes, at least for these roles (I think so anyway ).
    Just watched the Salome - I agree, she was fantastic. Every word counts with her. Will try the Fidelio next, assuming it's still on Met Player tomorrow.
    Natalie

  6. #36
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    VERY good actress too. I also like her Leonora (Fidelio). She's the only one I've seen so far who made it plausible that she convinced the other characters in the opera that she was a boy. Yep - Karita's got what it takes, at least for these roles (I think so anyway ).
    Crickey, the Met Fidelio is amazing. I've got tears streaming down my face and my heart is beating hard after that finale.

    I see what you mean about Karita making a plausible boy and being a fantastic actress. I also really like Rene Pape as Rocco - a more three-dimentional portrayal than usual. The dialogue seemed really natural and it worked dramatically as well as musically.

    Ben Heppner didn't look particularly starving though.
    Natalie

  7. #37
    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Ben Heppner didn't look particularly starving though.
    Not exactly, no. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the Fidelio and Salome and that you're as impressed with Mattilla as I am. She's gone up in my estimation from "well, I suppose she's good" to "she's really special."
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

  8. #38
    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    La Sonnambula with Juan Diego Florez and Natalie Dessay on Met player. Fun belcanto opera from Bellini full of lovely tunes and the principals (especially Florez) are in great voice, but unfortunately the production is just silly. What we're supposed to be looking at is not the actual opera, but a rehearsal for La Sonnambula which goes on simultaneously with the love story which also happens to be a part of the opera they are rehearsing. Confusing? Problem is that it's never clear when they are just rehearsing and what is 'for real.' And the character of the count doesn't at all fit in with this concept. If you're not familiar with this opera you'll probably think, "where does this guy come from and what's he doing here?" In short, another modernized production that tries to be too smart for it's own good. Still worth it for the lovely music and the mostly great singing though, but not one I would pay money for to have on DVD.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

  9. #39
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    In short, another modernized production that tries to be too smart for its own good. Still worth it for the lovely music and the mostly great singing though, but not one I would pay money for to have on DVD.
    I think that production-wise, this is one of the most vacuous concepts anyone has ever come up with (narrowly beaten by the Rinaldo with Daniels). One minute Dessay is a hip Prada-toting diva, the next moment she's upset because her boyfirend has discovered her sleeping .... wait for it... in the rehearsal room. And no-one in the 21st century has ever heard of sleepwalking?! But it is wonderful when you just close your eyes....
    Natalie

  10. #40
    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    And no-one in the 21st century has ever heard of sleepwalking?!
    Exactly. I think it would be hard to come up with a more misguided production if you tried.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

  11. #41
    Senior Member Sebastien Melmoth's Avatar
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    Oh, mamma--saw the Met's December 31, 2009 Carmen with Elina Garanca and Roberto Alagna, directed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

    That's gotta be the h o t t e s t Carmen ever!

    Elina Garanca is Carmen!

    Alagna seemed to sing well, and was vigorously applauded after the Flower Song.

    The staging and dance were very nice as well.

    Fans should see this production!

  12. #42
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I have just watched Don Giovanni from Aix-en-Provence free on Arte TV and I really am none the wiser regarding what it was all about. This is a Don Giovanni more sinned against than sinning, Elvira is his ex-wife and Zerlina her daughter, Donna Anna a volatile nymphomaniac, Leporello an updated Bertie Wooster lookalike and the whole thing like some post-modern dysfunctional family soap. The playing and singing are excellent although Bo Skovus' voice a bit lightweight for the title role, but there are some quite moving moments among the mayhem and blatant contradictions.

    I must say I quite enjoy revisiting an old favourite from a radically different perspective - in fact more than seeing a faithful but predictable production.
    Natalie

  13. #43
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I must say I quite enjoy revisiting an old favourite from a radically different perspective - in fact more than seeing a faithful but predictable production.
    Like this Don Giovanni from Glyndebourne, free on Medici TV.



    Although Gerald Finley has a glorious voice, he really isn't convincing as a ruthless lady-killer, and by halfway though when my internet connection cut out I was bored by the production and rather irritated by Finley's insistence on rrrrrrolling everrrry rrrrrrr in the rrrrrrrrrecitative, probably in a misguided attempt to sound more Italian (he should have listened more carefully to Luca Pisaroni as Leporello, whose idiomatic delivery of his lines is the highlight of this production, better than his initial appearance in what looks like a set of someone's grandfather's aged underwear, bit of a wasted opportunity, that.)

    I don't think I'm going to bother to try and connect for the second act, I'd rather watch the Aix-en-Provence one again. It's still haunting me, partly because I'm trying to understand it and partly for some very striking moments - eg the Zerlina seduction scene, and the serenade (sung alone, clutching a bottle of whisky). One aspect I keep remembering is the inspired use of silences in the recitative, and the unexpected take on the lines: for example at the beginning, when the Don is usually blustering at Leporello for his impudence, in this case he was gently reproachful and long suffering.
    Natalie

  14. #44
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Yet more hospital-based Handel, with the King dying in his hopital bed and the queen committing suicide by lethal injection. It did make sense, but this version is let down by the thin hooty countertenor voice of the title role singer.



    La Fanciulla del West, with its rich melodic music, feisty heroine, and up-beat ending is rapidly becoming my favourite Puccini opera. This production serves it well, Daniela Dessi a little mature but quite moving, Fabio Armiliato very dashing, and Lucio Gallo suitably lecherous and ruthless. The rendition is beautifully idiomatic and the sets quite good, apart from the giant bones in the last act ??



    What fun this production of Ariadne auf Naxos is, a real pleasure to watch, beautifully up-dated and sung. Love that Sophie Koch.
    Natalie

  15. #45
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post




    What fun this production of Ariadne auf Naxos is, a real pleasure to watch, beautifully up-dated and sung. Love that Sophie Koch.
    I was just looking to see if there were any good DVD versions to buy, not many choices and youtubes of the Jessie Norman & Kathleen Battle version didn't get me too excited although it seems to be current favorite........

    The Bohm/DG "toga party" version seems too retro with a good chance of being a snooze (I may be wrong of course)

    Any comparisons or preferences among these three?


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