Sam's annual opera thread

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Replies

  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    shush wrote: »
    Really, I see.

    So unlike all that Classic Italian/ German. :uhm:

    This may come as a surprise to you but lemme ask: If you wrote a song, would you write it in French or German, maybe Italian?

    Nope. You'd write it in English most likely. And guess what? Puccini and Verdi were Italian and so they wrote in Italian. So, mmm, most operas are written in the vernacular. That's generally how it works. Duh.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    LMLarsen wrote: »
    Ah, tolerance. As long as we agree with you.

    Er, no. My opinion is mine alone. If you're a huge G&S fan, go for it! I think they're trite and mundane. If others think differently, keen.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    The wife wanted to go see The Magic Flute. I said "I've got your magic flute, right HERE."


    I refuse to "read" a movie or live performance. Call me an ignorant hick, but I like my entertainment in 'Merican.


    But a serious question, what's the difference between an opera and a musical?

    Seriously? In a classic opera, the dialogue (script that's between the various "songs") is "sung" in a chanting style that's known as recitative ("secco" -- dry) that's a bit like plainsong. In a "musical" or operetta, the dialogue is spoken, not sung.

    But in modern opera, even "serious" opera, the dialogue is usually spoken these days, so that difference is mostly gone.

    Another difference is that musicals or operettas tend to be lighter, with a "musical comedy" theme, and rarely have serious or nasty plots, whereas in legit opera, dark themes are common.

    On stage, musicals have amped vocals. In opera, there are zero amps or mikes (unless you're recording the opera) and all singing is straight out with only the power of the human voice. Pretty hard to do. So the requirements for classic opera singing are higher than for musicals.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,801 Senior Member
    I enjoy me some opera - the voice quality is stellar. I also think its far easier to enjoy opera when its been translated into English. I've been to a couple that were sung in English, and enjoyed them thoroughly.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    The Magic Flute is in Singspiel, which is a mixture of dialogue and singing...or so I read. I've never seen it and probably never will.

    Magic Flute is indeed in Singspiel, which means that the dialogue in between the "numbers" are spoken and not chanted in a plainsong style. Mozart wanted the opera to be more accessible to the common folks and so he specified spoken dialogue. Such was pretty rare in that era.

    Magic Flute is a fun and very entertaining opera. Julie Taymor (Lion King fame) created a special, shortened Flute for the Metropolitan Opera's Christmas special on TV. It's a hoot, lots of fun special effects and pretty good fun to see. For example, when Papageno (the comic sidekick to the Prince) is "tempted" by the spirits, they show him huge ice cream cones and big fried chicken legs to eat. All done for a laugh.

    The most amazing opera production I've ever seen however was last year's Metropolitan Opera production of Rigoletto. It was reimaged as 1960s Las Vegas, a mob-controlled casino. So the Duke was changed to the "Boss" and his thugs were mafia type crooks. It was stunning and powerful.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Why Sam, The Phantom of the Opera, of course, old and new movie versions. :jester:
    etc.

    Well, "Phantom" isn't a legit opera, it's a Broadway musical. Not one of my real faves, as it's a bit hokey.

    But what REAL AUTHENTIC operas have you seen that made you not like them? Apparently none, right? So you've not "tasted" that wine at all, right?

    It's kinda like your buying a new Taurus as your first gun, then not liking it, and deciding that all guns are lousy. Exactly the same thing.

    Realize, if you don't want to see a "real" opera, fine with me. I really don't care. But you can't make that decision by saying that you've "tasted" an opera and haven't actually done so.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    The wife wanted to go see The Magic Flute. I said "I've got your magic flute, right HERE."


    I refuse to "read" a movie or live performance. Call me an ignorant hick, but I like my entertainment in 'Merican.

    So you've never seen a movie with subtitles?

    But there are plenty of English language operas. Most however aren't that keen.

    And don't smack the women around because they might want some culture that's not yogurt. There are a fair number of people who enjoy classical music, ballet, and opera, and are otherwise regular folks. Of course there are snobs of all type, including reverse snobs, who never consider trying something new or unique, challenging in the slightest. Fine with me.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    I enjoy me some opera - the voice quality is stellar. I also think its far easier to enjoy opera when its been translated into English. I've been to a couple that were sung in English, and enjoyed them thoroughly.

    I've also heard some pretty good opera in English performances. But as I said, and most here know, lyrics even in English aren't always recognizable and having the supertitles is a real help.

    Regretfully also, opera in English is somewhat bereft of top rank singers, who of course gravitate toward "legit and formal" opera. So generally, opera in English has 2nd rank singers and orchestras. That's unfortunate but true.

    I rattle along with German a bit and my Italian and French are essentially nonexistent, so I learned my Italian and French roles phonetically, helped by having DVD movies and CD recordings of the operas, and taking 2 private voice lessons per week. So my pronunciation has not been the finest, but acceptable.

    It's damn hard, coming out on stage and singing a role, wearing itchy makeup (even though it's hypoallergenic), an ill-fitting costume, carrying a prop, and remembering where to stand and walk and to whom you're singing, and getting a rapid fire back-and-forth dialogue just right. In Italian, which I don't speak! Duh.

    Here I am as the drunken gardener Antonio in Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" -- all the cast are pals of mine -- with the Count to my left, and Figaro and Susanna (real life married couple) to my right, the countess to my far right. I'm complaining about people trampling my flowers and brought a flower to show the Count. And of course I'm drunk, which isn't easy to act about, not to mention singing "drunk" lines.

    op03.jpg

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,078 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    I rattle along with German a bit. . .

    How's your rendition of Nena's 99 Luftballons? That would at least get you current. . .sort of. . .to 1983. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,801 Senior Member
    Why does your makeup itch? Some kind of sensitive skin?
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,736 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    I rattle along with German a bit ...........................


    Maybe you would like this youtube clip then Sam..............just to provide a bit of balance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvePEzdMI-M
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,496 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    Why does your makeup itch? Some kind of sensitive skin?


    Nah, it's the makeup that's irritated! :roll2:
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    Opera? Her show sucks.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Er, no. My opinion is mine alone. If you're a huge G&S fan, go for it! I think they're trite and mundane. If others think differently, keen.

    You say that, and yet continue to marginalize every opinion in this thread that is counter to your own.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Opera? Her show sucks.

    She OWNs it...........:roll2::roll2::roll2:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,496 Senior Member
    Opera? Her show sucks.


    :roll2:
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    Horey Cao! I've seen an opera. The Rocky Horror Picture Show!
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,496 Senior Member
    Horey Cao! I've seen an opera. The Rocky Horror Picture Show!


    Sorry, it's in English and the music plays (or did) on mainstream radio, so no dice there. Probably not 'campy' enough to qualify as "so bad it's good" either. Try again, heathen unwashed.
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,921 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    With fall here, all over the place, in cities and colleges, opera companies of all sizes are beginning their season. You may find yourself "roped" into attending an opera occasionally, or persuaded to do this, or you may actually want to sample a "real" opera. So this thread will offer a brief intro to the subject.

    Of course, to enjoy an opera, you'll have to first have at least a modest appreciation or liking for classical music, even if it's sidebar and not too passionate. Just so that you "somewhat like" an occasional classical piece, that's enough. Because the operas I'm listing are ALL those with "tunes" and "songs" (arias -- "aria" is simply a solo -- or duets or whatever) that have a hummable and interesting musical line, something that is immediately "listenable" because the tune is catchy.

    The operas I'm listing also have either exciting or funny story lines, and are entertaining. Just remember that in a movie, no matter how good the movie, it consists of actors on a set before a camera, faking it 100% no matter how good the flick. And sure, nobody actually stands there and sings a song about something, true. But nobody actually stands there in front of a big camera and recites lines and pretends to be a soldier or cop or superhero, either. It's all fake, folks. So you've got to assume suspension of disbelief for a movie, a TV show (SOA isn't a documentary, huh) and the same for an opera. So, my short list including the original language:
    1. Rigoletto by Verdi (Italian)
    2. Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) by Mozart (Italian)
    3. The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) by Mozart (German)
    4. La Boheme (The Bohemians) by Puccini (Italian)
    5. The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) by Rossini (Italian)
    6. Carmen by Bizet (French)
    7. Of Mice and Men by Carlisle Floyd (English)

    If you're worried about not understanding Italian or French or whatever, just realize that when you attend a rock or CW concert and the song's in English, you often can't understand the exact lyrics either. But regardless, English translations are projected above the stage (supertitles) on a wide electronic billboard and you can glance up and catch the lyrics' translation.

    All these operas are, as I've said, very entertaining -- they've either got strong, dramatic stories or are genuinely comical. And the music is "listenable".

    Also realize that like most anything else (guns, cars, movies) about 90% aren't worth crossing the street to see or hear. Enjoying SOME operas doesn't mean that you will enjoy ALL operas. Just equate this to vehicles or guns and you'll understand that there aren't a lot of true good ones out there. Same for operas.

    Btw, you don't have to dress up for an opera. Only idiots wear tuxes. Decent street clothes are just fine, jeans even. You can go casual or what's known as "office casual" most of the time.

    Just don't be late! When the music starts, nobody is let inside till an intermission. Which you might think "good!" but in fact late arrivals irritate everyone around, and preventing them entering was pioneered by Toscanini.

    Okay, an intro for each opera in the list follows, and if you've got comments or questions about specific operas, feel free to ask. You might also check YouTube for excerpts, just to get the flavor, and read the story line in Wiki.
    S

    Sam, I'm weird enough I could do this. Sometimes I actually get caught up in weird stuff, imagine that!

    :silly: :roll2: :tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,921 Senior Member
    Sam, I love some of this already. Pavarottiti was one of my very favorite singers of all time. Mario Lanza was another one. Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, are still great today as is one of my very favorites, Andrea Bocelli. I could go on but it's straining my brain to pull all that out of my memory that's been buried there for years. I don't know if i could sit through an Opera being sung in Italian or French, maybe I could stay awake if it was in German, but I know any of these Tenors I've listed can hold my attention for hours.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    ........... terribly dated Victorian dialogue and lyrics.

    samzhere wrote: »
    This may come as a surprise to you but lemme ask:......... So, mmm, most operas are written in the vernacular. That's generally how it works. Duh.


    Duh!!!! :roll:

    cjp wrote: »..... Oh dear God, I've admitted to liking something Limey.I'll never hear the end of this.

    Jayhawker wrote: »...But seriously Shush....

    Big Chief wrote: ».........walking around with a greasy butt ain't no fun, though!

     


     

  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,699 Senior Member
    The annual opera thread is drawing to a close, now, I think...sigh. Now, I can return to that blissful ignorance that cretins all over the world wallow in for 364 days of the year.

    Just kidding, Sam - I recognize that being able to perform opera or ballet requires talent and a great deal of dedicated training - I'm just one of those simple folk who gets tired of being told what 'art' REALLY is. I like pitchers that look like something I recognize and music that tells a story about something other than unrequited love and tragedy. I'd rather be bored by something I instinctively understand. :tooth:
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,567 Senior Member
    Having seen a few operas, some i liked, others bored me to tears.
    snake284 wrote: »
    Sam, I love some of this already. Pavarottiti was one of my very favorite singers of all time. Mario Lanza was another one. Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, are still great today as is one of my very favorites, Andrea Bocelli.
    I know any of these Tenors I've listed can hold my attention for hours.

    I have to add Josh Groban to the list, when i'm driving cross country, i can burn out a CD listening to him ,though i dont understand a thing he's singing.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,183 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Maybe you would like this youtube clip then Sam..............just to provide a bit of balance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvePEzdMI-M

    Here's a good one. It's Engrish with Engrish subtitles!

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152483747803889
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 7,076 Senior Member
    My only experience with opera is from Looney Tunes!! I do enjoy classic BB!!
    4d48936bfa622e04140daae2388e9689.jpg
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,183 Senior Member
    Speaking of Bugs Bunny, "The Rabbit of Seville" was GREAT! :up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXCULR2wO-A
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,801 Senior Member
    Just remember, it ain't over til the fat lady sings!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    Just remember, it ain't over til the fat lady sings!

    There you go, bringing up Opera's show again.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    coolgunguy wrote: »
    Sorry, it's in English and the music plays (or did) on mainstream radio, so no dice there. Probably not 'campy' enough to qualify as "so bad it's good" either. Try again, heathen unwashed.

    I may be a heathen but I just washed last December.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    Meanwhile in Japan, there be Noh.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o--VbWf6M0c

    Just say no to noh.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
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