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Here are some you should try : Dvorak : The Devil & Kate . Smetana: Dalibor . Janacek : Jenufa . Katya Kabanova. The Makropoulos Case . The Cunning Little Vixen . From the House of the Dead . The Excursions of Mr. Broucek . Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tsar's Bride . The Snow Maiden. May Night . Mlada . Sadko. The Tale of the Tsar Saltan . Kashchei the Immortal . The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh . The Golden Cockerel . Tchaikovsky : Mazeppa .The Maid of Orleans . Iolanta . Richard Strauss : Intermezzo . The Egyptian Helena . Daphne . Die Schweigsame frau ( the silent woman ) . Feuersnot . Friedenstag ( day of peace ) . Die Liebe Der Danae ( the love of Danae ).
Hans Pfitzner : Palestrina . Hindemith : Cardillac . Mathis der Maler . Ernest Chausson : Le Roi Arthus ) king Arthur ) . Emmanuel Chabrier : L'Etoile ( the star) . Humperdinck : Konigskinder ( the royal children ) . Gheorghe Enescu : Oedipe ( Oedipus ) . Albert Roussel : Padmavati . Rachmaninov : Aleko. The Miserly Knight . Francesca Da Rimini . Riccardo Zandonai : Francesca Da Rimini . Howard Hanson : Merry Mount . Britten : Gloriana . Karol Szymanowski : King Roger . Stanislaw Moniuszko : Halka . Weber : Oberon . Euryanthe .
Schumann : Genoveva . Johann Strauss Jr : Der Zigeunerbaron ( the Gypsy baron ) . Ralph Vaughan Williams : The Pilgrim's Progress .
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Here are some you should try : Dvorak : The Devil & Kate . Smetana: Dalibor . Janacek : Jenufa . Katya Kabanova. The Makropoulos Case . The Cunning Little Vixen . From the House of the Dead . The Excursions of Mr. Broucek . Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tsar's Bride . The Snow Maiden. May Night . Mlada . Sadko. The Tale of the Tsar Saltan . Kashchei the Immortal . The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh . The Golden Cockerel . Tchaikovsky : Mazeppa .The Maid of Orleans . Iolanta . Richard Strauss : Intermezzo . The Egyptian Helena . Daphne . Die Schweigsame frau ( the silent woman ) . Feuersnot . Friedenstag ( day of peace ) . Die Liebe Der Danae ( the love of Danae ).
Hans Pfitzner : Palestrina . Hindemith : Cardillac . Mathis der Maler . Ernest Chausson : Le Roi Arthus ) king Arthur ) . Emmanuel Chabrier : L'Etoile ( the star) . Humperdinck : Konigskinder ( the royal children ) . Gheorghe Enescu : Oedipe ( Oedipus ) . Albert Roussel : Padmavati . Rachmaninov : Aleko. The Miserly Knight . Francesca Da Rimini . Riccardo Zandonai : Francesca Da Rimini . Howard Hanson : Merry Mount . Britten : Gloriana . Karol Szymanowski : King Roger . Stanislaw Moniuszko : Halka . Weber : Oberon . Euryanthe .
Schumann : Genoveva . Johann Strauss Jr : Der Zigeunerbaron ( the Gypsy baron ) . Ralph Vaughan Williams : The Pilgrim's Progress .
Hi. Thanks, but some of these look a little too ''ambitious'' for me at the moment. I'm still missing a lot of the 19th century Italian rep (pre-Verdi), for example, but Halka and Francesca Da Rimini have intrigued me. I'll need a far more basic list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Hi

What are the top 10 operas you would recommend to someone wanting to return to basics and rediscover opera all over again? I'll look through your list and see what I don't own already. Please specify good DVDs and/or Blu rays.
 

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There are many. First, old recordings:
1) Siepi, Cerquetti, Barbieri, Lo Forese, Bastianini.
2) Ghiaurov, Tebaldi, Bumbry, Bergonzi, Fischer-Diskau, Talvela. Conducted by Solti.
3) Siepi, Regal, Bjorling, Barbieri, Merill, Hines. Conducted by Stiedry. All without Fontainebleau act. I don't know which to advise, such a cast is unaffordable nowadays.
On video there are productions from 1970-s from Choregies d'Orange with Caballe, Estes, Bumbry, Aragall, relatively modern from ROH with Furlanetto, Poplavskaya, Villazon, Ganassi, Keenlyside, La Scala - Furlanetto, Cedolins, Zajick, Neal and Salzburg - Salminen, Kaufmann, Harteros, Semenchuk. Last one is longest ever, in five akts. I've seen it live in La Scala with Furlanetto, Stoyanova, Semenchuk and Meli. So, there are shows for every taste.
Which opera was this about ?
 

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Even if this is another period, if you haven't yet, try Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, it's one of my favorite operas and my favorite under 1 hour.
And try Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, another short gem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Even if this is another period, if you haven't yet, try Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, it's one of my favorite operas and my favorite under 1 hour.
And try Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, another short gem.
OK, thanks. Can you please recommend 5 more popular,(perhaps ''populist" even), operas on DVD and/or Blu ray? Check out my list so that you can create a suitable series of recommendations. You'll notice that I don't really ''go'' for German opera except those included.
 

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I think you have the "basics" from the fields you are most interested in, i.e. roughly Mozart through early 1900s and no Weber, Wagner, Strauss pretty well covered. Except maybe Norma, Smetana's "Bartered Bride" and one of Rimsky's and I think you already got recommendations for them (I couldn't add anything here):
So I think the most plausible thing would be to try stuff outside this time frame or German 19th century.
 

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Try Donizetti's Don Pasquale. Also Flotow's Martha, Mascagni's L'amico Fritz, and Bellini's La Sonnambula.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Can anyone please recommend DVDs or Blu rays of a top 10 list of popular operas (intermediate level, no Wagner or atonality)? Some of what has been recommended seems a bit too advanced at the moment.

Looking forward to reading your recommendations.

Louis Solomons
 

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Can anyone please recommend DVDs or Blu rays of a top 10 list of popular operas (intermediate level, no Wagner or atonality)? Some of what has been recommended seems a bit too advanced at the moment.

Looking forward to reading your recommendations.

Louis Solomons
I don't watch that many DVDs or BluRays, but there are a few that I have really enjoyed.
1. Act II of Tosca with Callas and Gobbi from Covent Garden in 1964. It's in black and white and it's a cime that they never filmed the whole thing, but this is a superb example of what opera should be but rarely is.
2. Norma from Orange with Caballé, Vickers and Veasey. A fairly traditional production with stunning singing.
3. Der Rosenkavalier - the movie with Schwarzkopf, Jurinac and Rothenberger and Karajan conducting. Though a film, it is a film of a stage production.
4. La Bohème - Australian Opera production staged by Baz Luhrmann. The 1950s setting works really well. The singers may not have glamorous voices like Freni or Pavarotti, but they are all believably young and great actors.
5. La Traviata - Zeffirelli movie with Stratas and Domingo. There are cuts admittedly, but not so ruinously as in Zeffirelli's Otello. Stratas is unforgettably moving in the title role. I forgive her her vocal inadequacies for the truth of her portrayal.
6. La Traviata - La Scala, Milan production with Tiziana Fabbricini and Robert Alagna and conducted by Riccardo Muti. Hard to find, but a superb example of a traditional stage production. Gheorghiu, in the Covent Garden production is as affecting as Fabbricini and vocally more secure, but I don't much like Lopardo and Nucci and Muti is a far better bet in Verdi than Solti. The Muti might be hard to find, though.
7. La Cenerentola - Ponnelle film with Von Stade in a role she might have been born to sing. Magical.
8. Salome - the movie with Stratas as a more than usually believable teenage princess.
9. Otello - Zeffirelli production from the Met with Vickers, Scotto and MacNeil under Levine. There are actually quite a few good versions on DVD, and this one might be quite hard to get hold of. There are also a couple of good ones with Domingo. I like the Covent Garden production with Te Kanawa and Leiferkus.
10. Roméo et Juliette - from Covent Garden with Alagna and Leontina Vaduva. This is the performance that catapulted Alagna to stardom. I saw it on stage and it was one of my most memorable nights in the theatre.

If you don't mind opera in English, then the English National Opera prodcution of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda is well worth your attention. Janet Baker is superb as Mary and Rosalind Plowright matches her as Elizabeth, the great confrontation scene is absolutely thrilling.

My priorities for watching opera are slightly different from when I'm just listening, particularly on video when you also get close-ups of the performers. Some of the singers in the productions above would not be my first choice for an audio only recording, but, seen as well as heard, are very convincing.

My second rung would include the Zeffirelli movie of Pagliacci (Domingo and Stratas), the aforementioned Otello from Covent Garden with Domingo and Te Kanawa and the Covent Garden Traviata with Gheorghiu, Der Rosenkavalier conducted by Kleiber with Gwyneth Jones, Brigitte Fassbaender and Lucia Popp, the Joseph Losey movie of Don Giovanni and a production of le Nozze di Figaro from Glyndebourne, which starred Kiri Te Kanwa, Ileana Cotrubas and Frederica Von Stade all on the threshhold of their international careers.
 
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