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Topic Options
#1979279 - 10/27/12 12:47 PM La Traviata et nous
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2509
Loc: France
Just back from the movies. "La Traviata et nous", La Traviata and us, films the preparation of a new production of La Traviata at the Aix-en-Provence festival.

This film is great. Absolutely wonderful. If you have the opportunity to see it, don't miss it.

Great for kids, I took mine and some of their friends.

Long Live Verdi !

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#1979304 - 10/27/12 01:59 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: landorrano]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2509
Loc: France
the trailer ...


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#1979321 - 10/27/12 03:21 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: landorrano]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18623
Loc: Victoria, BC
What does the film show about the new production? Is this another attempt to "up-date" Verdi by setting the story in Franco's Spain or in a 20th century Siberian coal mine?

I hope not.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1979348 - 10/27/12 05:06 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: BruceD]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2509
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: BruceD
What does the film show about the new production? Is this another attempt to "up-date" Verdi by setting the story in Franco's Spain or in a 20th century Siberian coal mine?

I hope not.

Regards,


The music is original, and the arias. The film deals entirely with questions of interpretation, musical and dramatical, as the singers take possession of their roles under the direction of the ... the director. It is highly interesting in this respect, and very moving. One might consider it a close study of the score.

I won't try to reassure you about the decor, which doesn't resemble 19th century Paris, but I don't think that there is any attempt to make a statement in this respect. It is the opera of Verdi that has sole importance.

I sincerely hope that you see this film, Bruce, althemoreso because you can follow the French discussions with ease. I would be astonished to learn that you dislike it: music at the highest level. It is a rare occasion to côtoyer, to mingle with artists as they work. That is nothing to sniff at.

And don't forget a handkerchief.

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#1979420 - 10/27/12 07:38 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: landorrano]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9018
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: landorrano

I would be astonished to learn that you dislike it: music at the highest level. It is a rare occasion to côtoyer, to mingle with artists as they work. That is nothing to sniff at.

I am very curious to see this, and thanks, landorrano, for bringing this to my attention!

If I personally prefer the Germans -Weber, Wagner, Strauss- there is a lot about Verdi I love, though I tend to go for the post-Traviata operas (beginning with Les vêpres siciliennes). Verdi seems to have reached a mastery at that point which only deepened with Don Carlos and Otello.

Then of course we might mention the 'Requiem' as perhaps his greatest opera. And to bring this back to relevancy, Verdi was reportedly a very accomplished pianist. I have read that he wrote some piano concertos before his first opera (Oberto), but they seem to have vanished.
_________________________
Jason

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#1979642 - 10/28/12 11:52 AM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: argerichfan]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2509
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

If I personally prefer the Germans -Weber, Wagner, Strauss-


Yeah,yeah, I know! Seriously, when I started the thread I said to myself that Jason was going jump in to talk about some German composer or other ... !!!

Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Then of course we might mention the 'Requiem'


Idem!

Seriously, though, thanks for piping in.

To tell you the truth, over the last couple of years I have had the occasion to study in an increasingly close fashion works by the Italian and French composers and I am becoming more and more enthusiast. Today I consider their genius to be equal to that of the German composers, and their work to be no less important. As much as the idea of the body of music without, for example, Wagner seems impoverished, so seems the idea of losing Verdi, Bizet, Massenet, Puccini ...

But you know, when Violetta sings "Amami Alfredo" there is something Wagnerian.



Edited by landorrano (10/28/12 11:59 AM)

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#1979652 - 10/28/12 12:21 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: landorrano]
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 777
Loc: South Carolina
Hey, thanks for posting. This is definitely now on my "must see" list!
_________________________
Piano performance and instruction (former college music professor).

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#1979787 - 10/28/12 06:48 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: Gerard12]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2509
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Gerard12
Hey, thanks for posting. This is definitely now on my "must see" list!


thumb

I take the opportunity to add: the male voices are striking. Everybody in the cinema was commenting afterwards about Ludovic Tézier, the bass who sings Germont the elder. When he enters and his voice is heard for the first time, the effect is very strong.

With the young tenor Charles Castronovo, it is quite similar. He is present on the screen for quite a while, observing Natalie Dessay as she undertakes to enter into her role, and when he finally begins to sing Alfredo it is simply mind-boggling and takes everything to a higher level.

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#1979835 - 10/28/12 08:34 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: landorrano]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9018
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: landorrano

To tell you the truth, over the last couple of years I have had the occasion to study in an increasingly close fashion works by the Italian and French composers and I am becoming more and more enthusiast. Today I consider their genius to be equal to that of the German composers, and their work to be no less important.

Very much. There is something so wonderfully sunny and ultimately profound about the master Verdi. Even his darkest opera Simon Boccanegra feels so free of that Germanic heavy hand. And we do remember that Germany's luxury liner Imperator from 1912 was top heavy, rolled sickeningly, and was structurally deficient. (When the Brits took it over after WWI and renamed it Berengaria, that was just the beginning of the problems. I can talk another hour about this.)

As far as the French, well truth to tell, they were never in the same league as the Germans or Italians when it came to opera. Meyerbeer was a fabulous success in his time, but it is difficult now to understand what the fuss was about. Massenet wrote a steady stream of hits -and made a lot of money- but who would rate them in the same league as Puccini or Strauss? Even Werther is a bit of a stretch, if only because the story line -a very romantic man dying for love- is a hard sell these days. I experienced unrequited love in college, but it never occurred to me to kill myself.

Then Debussy came along with Pelléas et Mélisande, an opera that was never meant to be any kind of 'hit' -and Debussy fully understood and expected that- but of the two productions I have seen, it strikes me more as a connoisseur's opera, much like Strauss's Capriccio.

No, the French came into their own as composers for the organ. Franck, Vierne, Widor, Dupré, Langlais and Messiaen. They all wrote prolifically outside of organ music, but they will live by their organ works.
_________________________
Jason

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#1979889 - 10/28/12 11:17 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: argerichfan]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 611
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: landorrano

To tell you the truth, over the last couple of years I have had the occasion to study in an increasingly close fashion works by the Italian and French composers and I am becoming more and more enthusiast. Today I consider their genius to be equal to that of the German composers, and their work to be no less important.

As far as the French, well truth to tell, they were never in the same league as the Germans or Italians when it came to opera. Meyerbeer was a fabulous success in his time, but it is difficult now to understand what the fuss was about. Massenet wrote a steady stream of hits -and made a lot of money- but who would rate them in the same league as Puccini or Strauss? Even Werther is a bit of a stretch, if only because the story line -a very romantic man dying for love- is a hard sell these days. I experienced unrequited love in college, but it never occurred to me to kill myself.


Berlioz wrote a great one: Les troyens. I don't know the score very well, but many consider it to be his masterpiece and I recall someone (can't remember who) of authority who claimed it was as great an achievement as Wagner's Ring, or something along those lines, and W.J. Turner declared it the "greatest opera ever written."

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#1980280 - 10/29/12 09:05 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: pianojosh23]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9018
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Berlioz wrote a great one: Les troyens. I don't know the score very well, but many consider it to be his masterpiece and I recall someone (can't remember who) of authority who claimed it was as great an achievement as Wagner's Ring, or something along those lines, and W.J. Turner declared it the "greatest opera ever written."

Hmmm... spot on... how could I forget that. It is one of several operas that, some day, I intend to see. Thanks for reminding me of the oversight.

Did Liszt know it, I wonder?
_________________________
Jason

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#1980298 - 10/29/12 09:47 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: landorrano]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
Some other great French operas:

Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saens)
Romeo and Juliet (Gounod)
Lakmé (Delibes)

and, of course, Carmen! (Bizet)

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#1980303 - 10/29/12 09:52 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: argerichfan]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Then of course we might mention the 'Requiem' as perhaps his greatest opera.


While the Requiem does have some operatic flavour, it's not an opera.

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#1980318 - 10/29/12 10:18 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: LadyChen]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18623
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: LadyChen
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Then of course we might mention the 'Requiem' as perhaps his greatest opera.


While the Requiem does have some operatic flavour, it's not an opera.


Of course we know it's not an opera, and no one knows that more than our well-informed agerichfan. Evidently in his mind as in most of ours the word "opera" was in quotes (understood) indicating a free use of the word; quotes, or as the British like to call them "inverted commas"!
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1980342 - 10/29/12 11:08 PM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: landorrano]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
Well, I thought it seemed a bit weird coming from argerichfan smile. I guess I take things too literally .. damn this lack of visual cues!

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#1980380 - 10/30/12 01:21 AM Re: La Traviata et nous [Re: argerichfan]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 611
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Did Liszt know it, I wonder?


I don't know, but it seems unlikely. Not only do I not recall reading that he did, but Berlioz had great trouble staging the work in his life, and it was premiered (with cuts) in Paris when Liszt had retired to Rome. Liszt also didn't write any transcriptions or fantasies on the work, and knowing Liszt you'd think he would have if Berlioz was struggling with it. Then again it is entirely possible - Liszt being always up to date with the current trends, and after its Premiere (and Berlioz' death) it had quite a few repeat performances (all in France I believe), again with cuts, (if Liszt did know it, maybe he only did after it was premiered and didn't bother to write anything to help it because it was somewhat successful for a little while) before falling into oblivion for some time.


Edited by pianojosh23 (10/30/12 01:29 AM)

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