Where not only fat ladies sing (the JC opera fan club)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Obi Anne, Jun 12, 2002.

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  1. ObiWan_Forced_Me Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 1
    I love Verdi. [face_love]
    Even if you aren't an opera fan, who hasn't heard at least one song from one of his numerous operas in a T.V. or radio commercial on anything from pizza to airlines?

    Some of the one's I've heard on T.V.(also some of my favorites):
    *Rigoletto's, "La Donna e Mobile"
    *Il Trovatore's "Vedi, le foscho notturne"(Anvil Chorus)
    *La Traviata's, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici"(Drinking Song)
    *Nabucco's, "Va pensiero"(Prisoners' Chorus)
    *Aida's, "Gloria ali'Egitto"(Triumphal Chorus)

    Also, I believe they come under the heading of light opera or "operettas", but I'm also extremely partial to Gilbert & Sullivan's humorusly entertaining: The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, and The Mikado.
  2. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    I have no problem talking about operettas here.

    Verdi is really nice, I must say that Nabucco is one of my favourite operas, it's powerful and the intrigue is very good too. And I've been lucky when I saw it in Dalhalla, the place I've mentioned earlier, the singer who did Nabucco was remarkable, he such a charisma on stage and his voice was magic.
  3. Lessa Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2002
    star 1
    If we're talking about "real" opera, then I love Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and "Don Giovanni." Mozart is good because, for some reason, his operas have plot. Whereas with Verdi, it's just some lady standing up there singing for half and hour.

    But I'm ecessively partial to operas in languages I can understand, which pretty much limits me to Gilbert & Sullivan. While I like the "Big 3" (H.M.S. Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, the Mikado) as much as anybody, I've developed a likeing for "Iolanthe" lately.

    I love the huge arena in Verona. I never actually got see an opera there, but they leave pieces of the set out in the street, so people would be walking along and suddenly see this giant knight, along with a pile of props, lying out in the plaza. These tourists would come by and take pictures and try to figure out what the "statue" was commemorating... :D :D
  4. JediBeowulf Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2001
    star 3
    Hey all!

    Some of my favorites:

    Verdi's "Aida"
    Bizet's "Carmen"
    Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and "Marriage of Figarro"
    Wagner's "Lohengrin" and "Tristan and Isolde"

    Well, I must admit that I have only become an Opera-lover quite recently. One reason is that in all actuality, I am a "symphonist" or "orchestralist", meaning that my mind thinks in and with instruments. This may be due in part to my being a composer. Because of this, in that past I never really gave opera/voice that much of a chance. In fact, I am ashamed to admit that I was somewhat prejudiced against opera for quite awhile.

    Then multiple factors unhinged me to start thinking differently.

    First, upon entering University, I started to play in ensembles where I was put into situations where we accompanied operas or operettas. After being exposed to this *new* aspect of music (new for me), I started to warm up to voice-music quite considerably. Some of my first performances included Mozart's "Marriage of Figarro", Sondheim's "A Little Night Music", Scenes from Bizet's "Carmen", and "Iolanthe" by Gilbert & Sullivan, just to name a few. I particularly enjoyed works by Gilbert & Sullivan, mostly for the signature staccatto-ness and memorable melodies that accompanied many of their works. After all this, I was hooked, and have been ever since. While I consider myself an amateur in this arena in music, I am fervently working to correct my previous (and wrong) judgments about opera.

    The second thing that changed my mind about opera was not surprisingly, a girl. At the onset of my "Opera Awakening" when I was performing in these various venues, there was a singer that particularly caught my attention. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, and she had the most amazing voice. I guess you can say that she entranced me much like the fabled sirens. What occured next was inevitable. Naturally, I wanted to be well-versed in opera lore and knowledge to impress this girl when I talked to her, so I immersed myself totally into opera. Thankfully (and luckily) I actually started to "dig" opera along the way.

    At any rate, I am finding myself more and more attracted to "opera/voice chicks" at my school. I suppose I am only following the age old trend, in which composers have always become enthralled by and pursued singers (see Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Mahler, etc etc etc). I don't know what it is about vocal-performance girls now, but I find myself increasingly unable to escape the grasps of these fine maidens, especially Sopranos. It seems as if my future is sealed. :)

    Wow...2 long posts about music in one night! I guess that happens when you write about something you are passionate about.
  5. Neimhaille Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    Don't dismiss the Aussie Opera compans before you actually see their rep:) Seriously, Aussie and Kiwi performers are known to be right up there in terms of quality. The big bucks may not be there, but the productions are first rate.

    Obi Anne, would it be Mikael Samuelson as .. Papageno on that televised performance? I'ma big fan of Phantom of the Opera, and last year I travelled to Europe to see it in three countries.. and then stayed with a friend in Sweden. Mikael was the Phantom in the Swedish production, and my friend showed me a lot of his other work that she had taped. ne of them was him singing in The Magic Flute:)

    That happens to be one of my favs too. And I *love* singing the Queen of the Night's Revenge aria.

    I'm really not sure why sopranos get such a bad rap. Voices are actually a lot softer than masculine vocies, I think it really is simply the high notes. Think about sirens and all those alarms signals we hear. they're all pitched at high levels so maybe there's some of that in not liking soppies:)

    My heros tend to be soppies with a wide range: Maria Callas- the woman *used* her voice, Anna Moffo, Lucia Popp and then there's my male hero Anthony Warlow. His voice is so rich and powerful but he weilds it with a deft touch. His voice alone can carry an entire production (the Jekyll & Hyde album). COmedic timing is impecable too, a consumate performer.

    As to operas.. Magic Flute, though technically a Singspiel (with a good deal of unsung passages) Faust (Anges pur, anges radieux!), Carmen, Tosca.... and then those G&S, Pirates, Mikado....:)
  6. Pigalek Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 5
    My aaaaaallllll time favorite opera is the Mikado 10 years since i first understood half the jokes and it still makes me laugh :)


    When i was a kid i loved the frenh opera carmen but i think that was cos it enabled me to sing in french ;)
  7. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    No, it wasn't Mikael Samuelsson in the Magic Flute, it was Håkan Hagegård, the tv version is from the early 70's.

    I also really like Lucia Popp, I have a CD with her as Queen of the Night, and she sings it all so beautiful, really a soft voice, but still with a lot of power in it.
  8. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    I love all of Mozart's operas - but that's probably just because I love Mozart, period. Unlike the romantic-era operas of Wagner and others, Mozart's didn't have to be self-consciously theatrical and evocative, because they were so innately powerful. Don Giovanni is one of my favorites. I refer many people who think that classical music is always "boring" to that opera. I find it to be one of the most terrifying things imaginable.

    I almost never get to see operas live (too much $$$ !), but I watch a lot of broadcasts on TV and video.
  9. nashira Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2002
    star 4
    I love Wagner's Ring Cycle. I think that there is an appeal in the "lite motifs" that he uses throughout to signify events/characters/etc.

    Unfortunately, I've never made it to any live performances.
  10. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    I like the Ring too, I've seen the Rhinegold and a shortened version (all 4 in one evening). Sometimes I feel that maybe Wagner uses too many leitmotifs, you have to know them all before going to the performance, but there are some really strong melodies in there.

    Did you hear about Placido Domingo's statement that if Wagner lived today he would let George Lucas direct the Ring, and that the San Francisco opera has hired ILM to help out with their next Ring cycle?
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