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OperaNow! #257: Patinkin & Gunn!

10 years later, The Met's HD broadcasts...Edinburgh Festival offers refunds for Cosi before the show opens...Everyone wants to be in Mozart in the Jungle...Patinkin & Gunn...Anton Coppola going strong at 99.

Plus OPERABUSTERS! and Guess Who Died? And listen through to the end for a special interview...

This week features Michael, The OC, Doug Dodson, Mike Mayes and old school, host Kevin Kees.

Reader Comments (3)

Good for Coppola, great conductor. I sang chorus in a few productions he conducted - Cav/Pag; Rigoletto, Suor Angelica (yes, there is a male chorus in that one, for the last... what... twenty bars or so? and they still expect you sit through sitzprobe). He wanted to try out his re-orchestration for the end of Act 2 of Boheme on us - the parade - but the G.M. said no, we're sticking to Puccini. Coppola was so disappointed. He's also short, hard to see over the lip of the stage if you're anywhere north of center stage; you have to watch for the baton to appear over the horizon. But he's a great, great conductor, always brings out the best.

August 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdave

If you do nothing else between now and your next podcast, read and share the Amazon customer reviews for the book titled, 'Penetrating Wagner's Ring" by John Louis Digaetani.

August 11, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdave

As episode 260 approaches, we are racing here to catch up; we're on #257 tonight.

Why Albanians for Cosi, you ask? Let's agree that daPonte and Mozart did not pick their subjects randomly or accidentally. These were two young, intelligent members of the servant class, but educated servants; smart-asses who recognized each other's talents, and both of them often in trouble after not watching their tongues or being a little too outspoken or inappropriate at times. They were the South Park writers of their day.

In the 18th C, Albania was the westernmost edge of the Ottoman Empire, the long-standing rival, enemy, annoying neighbor to the Hapsburg/Austrian Empire. To the Viennese public, the Ottoman's were a source of intrigue, suspicion and curiosity. Hence, "Seraglio," the Turkish March (Mozart's and Beethoven's both), the odd inclusion of the triangle and the military march in the Ninth Symphony, the chorus of dervishes in "The Ruins of Athens," etc.

In the 1780s Albania was trying to establish more autonomy for itself, if not full independence from Turkey and the Ottomans. In 1785, thinking they could possibly play a game of divide and conquer, Vienna sent emissaries to Albania, offering to support Albania's efforts to separate from Turkey. But Austria had mis-judged the "blood is thicker than water" aspect of Albania's centuries-old relations with Turkey; Albania rejected the Viennese offer of support by returning the emissaries' severed heads to Austria.

With that nastiness as a recent event (1785) in Vienna, for Mozart / daPonte in 1789 to have Ferrando and Guglielmo called away to war so suddenly (and against whom? we are not told), it would be legitimate for the two sisters to worry that their fiancees might not return. But for them to be immediately approached by a pair of Albanians... to find them attractive, let alone be seduced by them... goes beyond silly farce, it's scandalous and offensive, it borders on treason. It would be like having a pair of Valley Girls dating a pair of al Quaeda militarists the minute their boyfriends are shipped off to fight in Iraq. (Dorabella: "What's the harm in it, it's just for fun." Despina: "I say, go for it, you might not get another chance." Fiordiligi: "I don't know, I just don't feel right about this somehow..." Don Alfonso: "I told you so, that's what all women are like.")

Farce? Yes.
Funny? ehhhh....
Offensive? Probably.
In bad taste? Definitely.

What's not in bad taste, though, is having Jackson sing Figaro for us! More please.

September 2, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdave

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