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Wednesday
Jan132016

OperaNow! #247: Hey...S#@tbird!

NYCO will finally rise from the ashes as NYCO...Mope from Harvard fills culture "article" with quotes...Lyric Opera Chicago launches Chicago Voices program...Anna Netrebko weds again in style...Shasta College hires pantomime bear for Bartered Bride...Guns cheapen Lucia's death in Eugene.

The final installment of La Sonnambula on Oliver's Corner: Amina, the Sleep-Cuddler.

This week features Michael, The OC and Doug Dodson.

Reader Comments (7)

Wow, if you go to Leah Partridge's web site, you can see the conclusion of the Eugene Opera Lucia. Striking, shocking, it gave an immediacy I don't often get from bel canto operas, but it's not gratuitous. It's fully in keeping with the plot of the opera.

I don't get the objection. Forced marriage, murder, madness, suicide, are all great, but guns are bad?

January 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArthur

This is not really a new thing. In some mad scenes the characters do commit suicide and it's in the libretto. In recent years I have even seen some productions that end with Lucrezia Borgia stabbing herself. I just think that a gunshot is a major distraction to the singing and the music.

January 16, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterzach

I think that people should cool off when it comes to the Otello without blackface issue. Cool off and think about La Donna del Lago. If we can suspend disbelief and accept Lawrence Brownlee as the King of Scotland in La Donna del Lago, we should be able to accept any white tenor as Otello without blackface.

January 17, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterzach

I like the Bartered Bride, and it seems to be about as popular as Werther and Suor Angelica in terms of performances. I had this bit stuck in my head for about 6 months after I first heard it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ9EwwhXg-c

With regard to the shitbird article, I just wanted to point out that this section:

"Contemporary scholars agree [excellent weasel words there!] that opera was a popular art form in the United States until the mid-to late-19th century. After that time, social elites “classified” opera through practices like preventing English translations, building extravagant opera houses, and instituting lavish dress codes."

is almost complete nonsense, as any basic reading about the subject would tell you. There's a great explanation of the "popular art form" myth here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/comments/20i0qi/im_sorry_to_tell_everyone_this_but_back_in_the/

I like the Beverly Sills clip. I think you're absolutely right about her "making sense" of the phrase.

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMenuet alla Zoppa

Hey gang, I'm pretty sure this has been answered by now, but none the less. There is a man in a bear costume in the plot of the Bartered Bride (often teased as the Battered Broad). The man in the bear costume also has a stutter, he is comic relief essentially. It's actually a pretty fun show.

January 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Not exactly sure why, but this was one of the best episodes as of late. Just the right mix of humour, venting, great music etc. BTW, speaking of music - are you aware that in most of the clips, there are gaps of silence? Some technical glitch I guess.
I agree that ridiculous "elitist" article was mostly tripe, but I think Oliver was trying to make a short list of points from the article that actually might have had some weight had they been expressed in a better way - but poor OC was kind of dismissed and he never got to make his points!
Love that you revived "guess the singer" but sad you gave the answers right away - I know, not everyone wants to wait for the next podcast to hear the answers. I got three of them right away - but not Fleming - I actually kind of liked her Bel Canto CD - many didn't!
Chicago Lyric Voices announcement: this to me was the most interesting discussion. While it's a laudable project I really question what opera companies hope to accomplish with this sort of thing - is it mainly for good PR; to appear more connected to their communities etc.? Nothing wrong with that at all - very altruistic - but it seems not to have a lot to do with opera. The point seems to be well, all these genres include singing, isn't that great, it's all (sort of) connected. What will it do to promote operatic singing? I just get nervous when an opera company starts presenting jazz, rap, pop, rock etc. etc. - it's very difficult I think to get audiences from those groups to really buy into opera. But agreed on Patricia Racette's forays into pop/jazz/cabaret rep. She really is quite fantastic - the idiom comes naturally to her, and she really connects with that music. Would love to hear her in a cabaret setting someday!

January 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGianmarco

Gianmarco:

It was some issue with the clips themselves.

February 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterMichael Rice

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