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#2079250 - 05/08/13 11:45 AM Do you listen to opera?
BWV 846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 103
Loc: Silver Spring, Maryland
I presume that most people on this bulletin board listen to a lot of classical music. Do you also listen to opera/attend operas? If so, do you find that you like works from the same time periods for opera and for other music?

I generally prefer Baroque and Classical Music to Romantic/Modern music, and my preferences are similar for opera (My tie for favorite opera: Magic Flute and Marriage of Figaro).

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#2079254 - 05/08/13 11:54 AM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Yes. Mostly period performances- Lully, Cherubini, Handel, Purcell, Mozart (My wife is a classical singer doing these gigs, so I go and love them).

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#2079267 - 05/08/13 12:08 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3787
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: BWV 846
I generally prefer Baroque and Classical Music to Romantic/Modern music, and my preferences are similar for opera (My tie for favorite opera: Magic Flute and Marriage of Figaro).

Yes, those are incredible works. The last scene of Figaro has some of my favorite musical moments of any composer.

There are also a lot of great post-Classical operas. Wagner's Parsifal. Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. Schoenberg's Moses und Aron. Sometimes I think that some composers we think we know (Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky) we don't really know until we know their operas.

-J
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#2079270 - 05/08/13 12:11 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6144
Loc: St. Louis area
Only in the form of piano transcriptions.
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#2079293 - 05/08/13 12:47 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1754
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
I love attending live opera performances, and my tastes are very broad.

I've never much been drawn to either audio or video recordings.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2079319 - 05/08/13 01:34 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19335
Loc: New York City
I once graded math exams during a Met opera rehearsal. Does that count?

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#2079323 - 05/08/13 01:43 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11900
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I highly recommend listening to Puccini and Verdi. They were masters of the melodic line and I think pianists can learn a lot about making their own music "sing" if they listen to these operas.
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#2079329 - 05/08/13 01:55 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: pianoloverus]
IstvŠnE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 82
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I once graded math exams during a Met opera rehearsal. Does that count?


What is wrong with you?

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#2079330 - 05/08/13 01:56 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
Indeed I do, from Handel to Wagner!

Piano students should be aware that Chopin encouraged his students to attend the opera to gain insight in how to play his (and other composers') melodic lines in a lyrical, vocal style. One can learn a great deal about phrasing, particularly - but not limited to - in the operas of the bel canto era : Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, early Verdi, etc.

One can find such close parallels in the vocal lines of Bellini arias and the melody lines in Chopin. Sometimes the similarities are remarkable.

Regards,
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BruceD
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#2079331 - 05/08/13 01:59 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
I was surrounded by opera during my early years. My parents were huge opera buffs, so I've got a ton of arias swimming around in my head, even though I probably can't identify a single one! confused And like you, Morodiene, they believed the greatest operas (for them, the ONLY operas) came from Italy: Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Rossini. (And, of course, they would include a certain Frenchie named Bizet.) But German opera, forget it. They did enjoy Mozart's operas, but hated Wagner.

I guess there is one aria that I can identify (who can't?), "Un Bel Di", from "Madama Butterfly". Despite the fact I've heard it thousands of times, it never fails to reduce me to tears.

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#2079336 - 05/08/13 02:04 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
riley80 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 381
Loc: Florida
Brings back memories of a time when I'd spend winter Saturday afternoons with the Texaco opera on the radio. Poor person's entertainment, I called it. The SO was out working, my housework was done, and I'd lie there in the dark taking in the wonderful sounds.

Sadly, I do not live close to live performances anymore, but still recall a particular "Madama Butterfly" performance which left me in tears and I dared not leave my seat for a few minutes. In the final moments, during those final chords, he enters the room, she takes the plunge and the curtain also started to come down. Dramatic as all get out. I never forgot it.

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#2079344 - 05/08/13 02:18 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
Who else on this forum can boast recordings of all 27 Verdi operas (with scores of 26 of them (at the time, I could not find the score of Un Giorno di regno frown )) and all 12 of the Puccini operas, along with the scores?

I have only eight of the operas of Mozart on CD, however. When it comes to Donizetti (over 70 operas! forget about it) and of Bellini, five. All told 130 complete operas on CD; if only I had time to listen to them all regularly!

Cheers smile
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#2079346 - 05/08/13 02:23 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
Medium Heights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 64
Loc: Banned
A little. There are some passages hidden in Wagner for example which it would be pity for one to not know. I may not be musical enough to deeply enjoy most of classical music or any music, but I can tell the difference between unique music and something that's merely beautiful, and it is the former I'm interested in and find passages of in places like Don Giovanni (Mozart) and Wagner operas.

Wagner especially is a genius of unique moments, even if his operas are difficult to listen to from beginning to end for me personally.

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#2079360 - 05/08/13 02:53 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I like attending live opera (except I'm not a big fan of the Italian romantics.)

I don't like listening to recordings. Listening to opera seems like a very incomplete experience to me.

(Same with musical theater. I like listening to shows I've done, but if I don't know the show, the music loses a lot of its meaning and charm.)
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#2079379 - 05/08/13 03:36 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
I guess that I should add that I not only listen to opera - my listening experience is quite different from that of Kreisler's - I also subscribe to the local opera company's performances. While POV (Pacific Opera Victoria) is a local company with no really big name stars on their roster, they have high production values, good direction with good (sometimes exceptionally good) singers, and their performances are accompanied by the VSO, our outstanding symphony orchestra.

With the current economic situation, POV gives us only three - instead of the previous four - productions a year, but those usually include two standards and one a little less known.

This year we heard Verdi's Macbeth, Britten's Albert Herring and Puccini's Tosca. The 2013-14 season will present Verdi's Falstaff, Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro - not bad for a local company!

Regards,
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Estonia 190

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#2079387 - 05/08/13 03:44 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Damon]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Damon
Only in the form of piano transcriptions.


Aww you're missing out man! laugh

I love opera! Attending it, watching video, or listening to recordings. I do agree with Kreisler, but I haven't experienced enough, so I want to do anything and everything.

I agree with the OP that I prefer Baroque and Classical opera, but I also love Romantic and Modern opera. Recently, I've gotten a little into Jake Heggie smile

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#2079389 - 05/08/13 03:52 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5261
Loc: Europe
Ok,

I don't like opera! At all! I'm not sure what's wrong with me, to be honest, but every time I've been in an opera house I fall asleep. And not only at a young age (which can be excusable).


I must be insane, given the fact that I'm a composer and a musician and blah blah, but in any case that's the bare truth.
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#2079390 - 05/08/13 03:52 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 834
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
It does make it an easier experience to watch opera on DVD or the occasional PBS broadcast.

Since I'm not fluent in whatever language the opera is written in I can at least follow what's going on with English subtitles (regardless of how bad and sometimes humorous the translations can be). I would be pretty lost just listening to the music.

I don't think you can really get an idea for Mozart's music without exposure to his operas. I've listened/watched the whole Wagner ring cycle more than a couple of times. It would be an interesting exercise to listen with the score.
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#2079391 - 05/08/13 03:53 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BruceD]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I guess that I should add that I not only listen to opera - my listening experience is quite different from that of Kreisler's - I also subscribe to the local opera company's performances. While POV (Pacific Opera Victoria) is a local company with no really big name stars on their roster, they have high production values, good direction with good (sometimes exceptionally good) singers, and their performances are accompanied by the VSO, our outstanding symphony orchestra.

With the current economic situation, POV gives us only three - instead of the previous four - productions a year, but those usually include two standards and one a little less known.

This year we heard Verdi's Macbeth, Britten's Albert Herring and Puccini's Tosca. The 2013-14 season will present Verdi's Falstaff, Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro - not bad for a local company!

Regards,


Very cool. It's great to have a local opera company. Britten's Albert Herring is incredible. I love it.

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#2079439 - 05/08/13 05:30 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5108
Everything the mature Mozart wrote is operatic in nature, so I can't imagine any pianist who loves playing Mozart not having listened - at the very least - to the three Da Ponte operas.

And everything the mature Chopin wrote (his Nocturnes especially) is based on his ideal of bel canto operatic arias. One cannot know Chopin's piano style without having heard - at the very least - arias from Bellini and Donizetti operas.

Of course, there are composers like the three B's (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms) whose keyboard/piano writing have no influence from opera, but I believe that all pianists should have an all-round knowledge of classical genres - and that includes opera. Including even Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, whatever you think of the composer and/or his music.

For me, I can never get enough of Mozart's mature operas (including the Singspiel Die Zauberflöte), or Puccini's. And I always have a soft spot in my heart for Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, and not just at Christmas.......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2079450 - 05/08/13 05:55 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: IstvŠnE]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19335
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: gizzards
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I once graded math exams during a Met opera rehearsal. Does that count?


What is wrong with you?
Don't worry. I concentrated mostly on the math tests so I didn't make any mistakes correcting them.

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#2079451 - 05/08/13 05:59 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 563
Loc: Germany
My favorite opera composer is Rossini. I don't like all of his operas; but I also like some of his non-opera works.
My favorite overall classical composer is Beethoven. But I prefer some of his symphonies, sonatas and concertos to his opera.

Basically: Composers wrote stuff I like and stuff I don't care about much. Sometimes I like their operas, sometimes I prefer other works.
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Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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#2079468 - 05/08/13 07:03 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: pianoloverus]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: gizzards
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I once graded math exams during a Met opera rehearsal. Does that count?


What is wrong with you?
Don't worry. I concentrated mostly on the math tests so I didn't make any mistakes correcting them.


laugh

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#2079475 - 05/08/13 07:22 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6101
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Yes.
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Music is my best friend.


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#2079482 - 05/08/13 07:47 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
pianovirus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 951
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
I also love opera (this has just started in recent years, actually) - enjoying both live opera, as well as opera DVDs.

Actually, opera is quite tough for me because usually I get confused whenever there are more than three characters... blush that's why it takes several sessions for me to really appreciate a plot (not even to speak of the music, of course!). I remember when I first saw Mozart's Figaro (my favorite) I was quite lost by the many mutual connections between the different characters, and their diverse agendas. Well, once I understood it, I really loved it more and more, and I think it's a wonderful work also by Da Ponte (well, I don't know how much he built on Beaumarchais) to make all the main characters so lively, individual, and non-stereotypical. And then, of course, the music! Every number in itself would be enough to make a composer immortal for history. And yet it all appears so effortless. For me, the emotional peaks are the two arias of the Countess (Porgi Amor and Dove Sono). Also of course the wonderful finale, and I love how in the end it evokes the nervously festive string figurations from the overture again, somehow closing a cycle...back to beginning? Btw, just a minor detail, I always wondered why the overture is notated in 4/4. If ever a movement would be with "alla breve" feeling, it would be this one, I think...

One composer I can't (yet) properly appreciate is Verdi. Maybe during this year of celebrations I will find my sympathy for his music?!

P.S. Anyone ever listened to some operas from the "second-tier" (from today's perspective; they used to be very famous in their times of course) composers of the classical era, for example Paisiello? I think it's quite worth it! I only "discovered" Paisiello because of the Beethoven variations smile
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#2079484 - 05/08/13 07:50 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Old Man]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5929
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Old Man
But German opera, forget it.
Treat yourself - try der Rosenkavalier!

Apart from R.Strauss, there's Britten, and what must be just about my favourite opera, The Rake's Progress.
And I know a tragic opera has to be, well, tragic, but Butterfly is on the verge of too much ... I start weeping at the beginning and just keep on going.
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#2079492 - 05/08/13 08:26 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: BWV 846]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1243
Loc: London
Just got back from Verdi's "Don Carlo" at Covent Garden. It's an immensely powerful work, and was superbly sung this evening.

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#2079494 - 05/08/13 08:29 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: bennevis]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1243
Loc: London
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Everything the mature Mozart wrote is operatic in nature, so I can't imagine any pianist who loves playing Mozart not having listened - at the very least - to the three Da Ponte operas.

And everything the mature Chopin wrote (his Nocturnes especially) is based on his ideal of bel canto operatic arias. One cannot know Chopin's piano style without having heard - at the very least - arias from Bellini and Donizetti operas.

...

For me, I can never get enough of Mozart's mature operas (including the Singspiel Die Zauberflöte), or Puccini's. And I always have a soft spot in my heart for Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, and not just at Christmas.......

I agree with you 100% - except that (dare I admit it?) I don't really like Puccini.

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#2079502 - 05/08/13 08:54 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: Orange Soda King]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6144
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: Damon
Only in the form of piano transcriptions.


Aww you're missing out man! laugh


Not really, although maybe if I listened over and over, it might start to smell like a pile of my dirty socks. laugh
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2079506 - 05/08/13 09:00 PM Re: Do you listen to opera? [Re: David-G]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5108
Originally Posted By: David-G
Originally Posted By: bennevis

...

For me, I can never get enough of Mozart's mature operas (including the Singspiel Die Zauberflöte), or Puccini's. And I always have a soft spot in my heart for Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, and not just at Christmas.......

I agree with you 100% - except that (dare I admit it?) I don't really like Puccini.


Ah, you need to get into the groove......just wallow (and gasp in horror, and then weep) in that 'shabby little shocker', Tosca....... grin
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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