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Monday
Oct062014

OperaNow! #223: That's Classy Protesting Right There

Rome Opera shitcans orchestra and chorus...Netrebko moving on to Norma after Macbeth triumph...Apparently, The Met's production of Death of Klinghoffer will silence the Jews...The rumors of opera's death have greatly exagerated.

This week in Oliver's Corner: part one of Strauss's  Elektra -Girls just wanna have fun! 

PLus OPERABUSTERS and Guess Who Died?

This week features Michael, The OC and Jenny Rivera.

Reader Comments (7)

Is the Opera Buster Piotr Beczala? I'm probably way off. Also, criticisms to come, don't worry. I just wanted to get that guess in.
October 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTimothy
I enjoyed the "chamber opera" feeling to the show this week :D

But I should point out - Michael - there's no picture to click on, which makes it a little tricky to find the podcast... Could you put a link in the text in future? It just makes things a bit more obvious.

Oliver - with regard to Don Giovanni - maybe it's just because there have been so many scandals, court cases and revelations in the UK over the last couple of years now, but I think showing the title character groping people makes sense. I mean, the catalogue aria lists thousands of "seductions". Are we really supposed to find a man who employs a servant to keep a record of his sexual activities likeable? *Can* we find him likeable? *Should* we? Even by the standards of the 18th century, he's a threatening and despicable figure.

Encouraged by the controversy, and by this podcast, I finally got around to listening to Klinghoffer, so that I could make my own mind up about it. Frankly I'm amazed that anyone could even *detect* anything untoward in it, given the fragmentary narrative and the opaque libretto. The idea that it "rationalises terrorism and Jew-hatred" is frankly risible.

Thank you for introducing me to the term "-inas and -ettas" - it makes a lot of sense now I've heard it.

I really liked Jenny's article(s). Keep up the good work on that front!

I'm glad to see Elektra getting the Oliver's Corner treatment. I like the way you approach it, as if it were Handel or Mozart or something, in terms of roles, duets and solos. This is completely opposite to the way I think about it, but because of that, I found it illuminating. This article might help you understand how some people can just "walk into Wozzeck" :

http://www.roh.org.uk/news/opera-for-newcomers-to-choose-a-crowd-pleasing-classic-or-visceral-drama

I actually took a first-time opera-goer to see Wozzeck, and they enjoyed it. AND it was a Regie-type production! I think Mozart or Handel can be just as confusing and alienating to the uninitiated - perhaps even more so than something like Strauss or Berg. In 18th century music, there are so many conventions that we take for granted, so many subtleties and devices specific to the eras in which they were composed - from a modern perspective, it can often seem like a completely different emotional world. Bel canto is even worse for this, because so often there's a complete disconnect between the drama and the music - sad moments, dramatic moments, angry moments, it doesn't matter, everything is cherry and major and nice!

Also, I *love* Gerhard Stolze as Aegisth.

My guess for operabusters is.... Sergei Lemeshev. (Boy who cried wolf = Peter and the wolf, Sergei Prokofiev. Lemeshev sounds like "Lemme shave"...?)
October 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMenuet alla Zoppa
Oh also I went to see Joyce in Alcina this week. It was good. Alice Coote was also in it and was also good.
October 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMenuet alla Zoppa
Menuet alla Zoppa: What do you mean there is no picture?
October 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterMichael Rice
Michael - the protestor picture is working now. It wasn't loading before. But it's fine now.
October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMenuet alla Zoppa
A little late but wanted to try and guess the Chrysothem-i. Since you spoke about her, and she was a leading Chrysothemis, I'm going to say Deborah Voigt was the first one (though to me it didn't sound like her); the second I'm almost certain is Cheryl Studer...the third I have no idea. You said they were all American but I can't even think of another major American singer who would have recorded the role, unless this is a live clip? I don't, I'll take a complete guess and say Jeanine Altmeyer?
Thanks for bringing Jenny's articles to our attention - wouldn't have known about them otherwise. She is so right to point out these success stories. I think the opera world is in a huge transition phase and the indie companies are part of it. There is a hunger for opera out there, but it kind of feels like a lot of that is directed to experiencing things close up in smaller venues. My question with all of this activity is always the same though...will there be enough funding to keep them going...and is everyone getting paid, or at least paid enough to continue once the initial enthusiastic phase is passed?
October 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergianmarco
Bravo to Oliver for his first installment of Elektra. Intelligent commentary and insight. A suggestion: please reveal the singers after the clips instead of posting them later. Looking forward to parts two and three.
October 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Wells

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