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Thread: Current watching

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Default Current watching

    I thought I might start a companion thread to the Opera on DVD thread for what we are watching - in the same vein as current listening on the classical music forum. I feel a bit uncomfortable posting DVDs there because it isn't strictly listening.

    We could keep the Opera on DVD thread for proper reviews and just post short comments here.

    So here goes:



    Have watched this over the past few nights with my 7-year-old - it reminded me what an outstanding spectacle this is. We went up stairs singing the chicken dance from les Sauvages together.

    Once she was in bed watched these:




    A spectacle of a different variety, visually never a dull moment, the projections were relevant to the story and were stunning, especially in Rheingold, thought the singing was not that strong, Wotan particularly lacking gravitas. Loved the Walsungs in Walkure, sort of the Flintstones meets L'enfant sauvage. Walkure also wins my prize for having the most hideous costume for Brunnhilde ever - especially the one-nippled breastplate. If she's still wearing it in Siegfried I expect him to run screaming back to his step-daddy.

    I'm waiting for the next two Ring DVDs, so in the meantime watching Pagliacci on Met Player. I'm not familiar with the work but Domingo is great, both menacing and heart-breaking, and Stratas a feisty Nedda (if a touch shrill).

    My next puzzle is what to watch with my daughter next week. It's got to be engaging, with a comprehensible story and good melodies, but suitable for kids (so no Bondy Tosca then). So far she's also seen and enjoyed Giulio Cesare, Acis and Galatea, Hansel and Gretel, Magic flute. I'm thinking maybe the film of La Boheme, the Bartered bride or possibly even Carmen.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I thought I might start a companion thread to the Opera on DVD thread for what we are watching - in the same vein as current listening on the classical music forum. I feel a bit uncomfortable posting DVDs there because it isn't strictly listening.

    We could keep the Opera on DVD thread for proper reviews and just post short comments here.

    So here goes:



    Have watched this over the past few nights with my 7-year-old - it reminded me what an outstanding spectacle this is. We went up stairs singing the chicken dance from les Sauvages together.
    Not one I've seen but sounds like fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Once she was in bed watched these:




    A spectacle of a different variety, visually never a dull moment, the projections were relevant to the story and were stunning, especially in Rheingold, thought the singing was not that strong, Wotan particularly lacking gravitas. Loved the Walsungs in Walkure, sort of the Flintstones meets L'enfant sauvage. Walkure also wins my prize for having the most hideous costume for Brunnhilde ever - especially the one-nippled breastplate. If she's still wearing it in Siegfried I expect him to run screaming back to his step-daddy.

    I'm waiting for the next two Ring DVDs, so in the meantime watching Pagliacci on Met Player. I'm not familiar with the work but Domingo is great, both menacing and heart-breaking, and Stratas a feisty Nedda (if a touch shrill).
    My speed is awful. Average 500 - 750 kbps so subscribing to Met Player would be a waste of money.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    My next puzzle is what to watch with my daughter next week. It's got to be engaging, with a comprehensible story and good melodies, but suitable for kids (so no Bondy Tosca then). So far she's also seen and enjoyed Giulio Cesare, Acis and Galatea, Hansel and Gretel, Magic flute. I'm thinking maybe the film of La Boheme, the Bartered bride or possibly even Carmen.
    What about l'elisir d'amore? I've got Villazón's & it's lovely but the Pavarotti one is supposed to be good as well.
    Ann

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    What about l'elisir d'amore? I've got Villazón's & it's lovely but the Pavarotti one is supposed to be good as well.
    Oh of course, the Villazón one is great, and la Fille du regiment would be another. Doh.

    As for Met player, I know speeds are poor in NZ but it works here. You could always try the 7 day free trial and see how it goes - just make sure that you unsubscribe after 6 days as they are pretty fast off the blocks in terms of collecting your money.

    It's funny, but Pavarotti remains a mystery to me. I mean I can see he is a super fantastic singer who can really belt it out, but it leaves me cold. Even when he was at his peak I preferred Domingo or even Carreras, because at least they were making an effort to inhabit their roles. Pavarotti always sounds and looks the same to me, whatever he is singing. But I know he brought immense pleasure to many people, and I don't want to disrespect that.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post


    Have watched this over the past few nights with my 7-year-old - it reminded me what an outstanding spectacle this is. We went up stairs singing the chicken dance from les Sauvages together.
    I really want to see this, but I don't think I want to purchase it and it doesn't seem to be available for rental (via Netflix) yet. Maybe someday. I've seen excerpts on YouTube and I especially enjoy the "drummer." His flourishes of the drumstick or mallet and his mischievous facial expressions are fantastic. It makes me want to join in on the fun.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    As for Met player, I know speeds are poor in NZ but it works here. You could always try the 7 day free trial and see how it goes - just make sure that you unsubscribe after 6 days as they are pretty fast off the blocks in terms of collecting your money.
    Thanks for the tip - didn't know that. Will give it a go.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    It's funny, but Pavarotti remains a mystery to me. I mean I can see he is a super fantastic singer who can really belt it out, but it leaves me cold. Even when he was at his peak I preferred Domingo or even Carreras, because at least they were making an effort to inhabit their roles. Pavarotti always sounds and looks the same to me, whatever he is singing. But I know he brought immense pleasure to many people, and I don't want to disrespect that.
    Will discuss in the 'gorgeous baritones/tenors' thread.
    Ann

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Default Les indes galantes

    Quote Originally Posted by Weston View Post
    I really want to see this, but I don't think I want to purchase it and it doesn't seem to be available for rental (via Netflix) yet. Maybe someday. I've seen excerpts on YouTube and I especially enjoy the "drummer." His flourishes of the drumstick or mallet and his mischievous facial expressions are fantastic. It makes me want to join in on the fun.
    This is definitely on my top 10 list of opera DVDs - gorgeous music, a production which manages to be modern but faithful to the spirit of the court opera ballet, and loads of fun.
    Natalie

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    I've been watching some terrific opera performances on DVD lately,mainly from my local library.

    Carl Nielsen's comic masterpiece Maskarade from the Copenhagen opera conducted by Michael Schonwandt. A blast ! great fun . Funniest comic opera I've ever seen.

    Richard Strauss: Die Frau Ohne Schatten: Solti and the Vienna Phil. from the Salzburg festival, with Eva Marton,Cheryl Studer, Thomas Moser,Marjana Lipovsek, and Bryn Terfel.
    Sublime .

    Berlioz: Les Troyens: John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique on period instruments from the Theatre de Chatelet in Paris, with Susan Graham,Gregory Kunde,
    Maria Caterina Antonacci and Laurent Naouri(Mr. Natlie Dessay). Poweful and epic.

    Leos Janacek: From the House of the Dead: Pierre Boulez conducts the Mahler Chamber orchestra from the Aix-En-Provence festival and a largely Czech cast. Same production seen recently at the Met,but with Salonen conducting. Harrowing and unforgettable.

    Ferruccio Busoni : Doktor Faust. Philippe Jordan(son of the late Armin) and the Zurich opera, with Thomas Hampson and Gregory Kunde as Faust and Mephistopheles.
    Great performance of this enigmatic,esoteric and fascinating opera. Not for every opera lover, but an aquired taste.

    Massenet: Werther. Vienna State opera,Philippe Jordan conducting, with lucious Elina Garanca as Charlotte and smoldering Marcelo Alvarez. Production by Andrei Serban shifts the action from the 18th century to the 1950s, but no damage to the opera,unlike other ridiculous Eurotrash productions.

    All of these are eminently recommendable.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    What about l'elisir d'amore? I've got Villazón's & it's lovely but the Pavarotti one is supposed to be good as well.
    The Pavarotti/Battle one is vocally very good, but I easily prefer Villazon & Netrebko because the acting is much better.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    Carl Nielsen's comic masterpiece Maskarade from the Copenhagen opera conducted by Michael Schonwandt. A blast ! great fun . Funniest comic opera I've ever seen..
    After you recommended this on another thread I checked it out on Amazon. Many of the reviewers complained that the filming interfered with their enjoyment because the camera kept cutting back and forth between the orchestra and the performance. What did you think about this?

    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    Berlioz: Les Troyens: John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique on period instruments from the Theatre de Chatelet in Paris, with Susan Graham,Gregory Kunde, Maria Caterina Antonacci and Laurent Naouri(Mr. Natlie Dessay). Poweful and epic..
    This arrived in the post the other day - looking forward to it after enjoying the Damnation de Faust on Met Player and being totally swept up in the music and production. I then tried the Met Player Troyens but kept getting the giggles at Domingo's incredibly camp Greek Superman outfit (involving some very revealing tights) and thought I should try another production.

    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    Ferruccio Busoni : Doktor Faust. Philippe Jordan(son of the late Armin) and the Zurich opera, with Thomas Hampson and Gregory Kunde as Faust and Mephistopheles.
    Great performance of this enigmatic,esoteric and fascinating opera. Not for every opera lover, but an aquired taste..
    Is this an acquired taste because of the music? Or the production? (I know nothing about this opera).

    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    Massenet: Werther. Vienna State opera,Philippe Jordan conducting, with lucious Elina Garanca as Charlotte and smoldering Marcelo Alvarez. Production by Andrei Serban shifts the action from the 18th century to the 1950s, but no damage to the opera,unlike other ridiculous Eurotrash productions..
    I'm looking for a good version of Werther. I saw the Chatelet one with Sophie Koch and Jonas Kaufmann on Medici TV which was brilliant, I'd get on DVD if it was available but I don't even know if it is going to be released.
    Natalie

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    The Pavarotti/Battle one is vocally very good, but I easily prefer Villazon & Netrebko because the acting is much better.
    And don't you love the juggling? Showing that Nemorino isn't going to remain downtrodden forever.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    And don't you love the juggling? Showing that Nemorino isn't going to remain downtrodden forever.
    Yes, his enthusiasm always makes me regret that I can't sing myself. He's funny too.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    And don't you love the juggling? Showing that Nemorino isn't going to remain downtrodden forever.
    And how about that looooooong kiss at the end?
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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    In Maskarade, the frequent shots of the orchestra and conductor didn't really bother me.and it was interesting to see how the conductor was mouthing the words of the libretto.
    Busoni's Doktor Faust has really fascinating music, but it's definitely not easy listening.
    It's a strange and mysterious opera. The staging in Zurich was good and did no damage to the work.
    Try the DG recording with Fischer-Dieskau as Faust conducted by Ferdinand Leitner, or the more recent Erato version conducted by Kent Nagano. This will never be as popular as Gounod's Faust, but it's infinitely more interesting !

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgz View Post
    ... and a duet that everyone, no matter how stodgy, will find hilarious. I've successfully used Duo de la Mouche to get a friend of mine, who was convinced opera was stuffy and not for him, interested in exploring a bit more
    That is probably one of the funniest scenes in any production I've seen. It'll be a hard act to follow for your friend, but for Dessay in a full flight of Gallic humour and stomping about, there's always this.



    I'm revisiting it with my small daughter and she's loving it (you should have seen her face when Florez hit and held his last high C- even at her age she realised this was difficult).
    Natalie

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    I'm a little disappointed with this compared with the previous two. Lance Ryan looks the part of Siegfried but his singing is variable and he can't tear his eyes off the conductor.
    The "forest whispers" scene was lacking in magic - I would have thought that with all that technology they could have made something more natural and beautiful. But the gradual falling in love of Siegfreid and Brünnhilde was very moving, Siegfried's impetuous ardour contrasting well with Brünnhilde's inital reluctance to lose herself in love.

    For a complete contrast:



    A very funny production from Glyndebourne, with a lovely soprano (new to me) in Annick Massis. I know Viaggio a Reims pretty well and it's interesting to see how Rossini recycled the music, and in a different language too.
    Natalie

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