Who Likes Opera then?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by meandmycornet, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    We've had who likes musicals.... soooo what about opera? any fans?

    I haven't seen a 'proper' opera.... but I've seen two productions by 'Barnstaple Amateur Operatic Society' and they were amazing.... (just so happens that our solo horn player is the Musical Director... and his wife.... our 2nd Baritone player.... is in the chorus!).

    I've seen Orpheus in the Underworld.... which was AMAZING! and Pirates of Penzance... which is definately my favourite.... I loved the policemen and the general, the bloke they'd casted to play the general was amazing!

    They do a show every year and we (mum, nana and myself) try to go every time.... we didn't go this year... and Gil and Carol couldn't do it either... because it clashed with the regionals!

  2. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    We are very fortunate to live close to Glyndebourne so try to go to one of the performances in the season and one by the touring opra which happens later in the year.
    Not so keen on G&S but memorable ones seen in the last few years would have to be:
    Die Fledermaus - very funny as well as great music
    Magic Flute
    Kat'a Kabanova and Jenufa, Janacek - sublime music
    The Last Supper - Birtwhistle - amazing music, interesting story! (a reunion of the people at the last supper!)
    Luisa Fernanda - never heard of it but had the oportunity to see Placido Domingo at La Scala in this - a very different opera experience compared to Glyndebourne/ENO/ROH etc.

    On the list to do some time: The complete Ring cycle.
  3. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    As a true brass band person i am you cant help but like the operatic arias from the operas some of my favs are Carmen,Tosca,Madame Butterfly,La Boheme,Cavalleria Rusticana&IPagliacci.
    I have got a 24 complete set of Discovering Opera-
    Does anyone else have that set it was produced by Fabbri in the early 90's /late 80's
  4. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Opera is fantastic, I'm a big Wagner fan (although it's not everyone's cup of tea) and Gilbert and Sullivan too, though technically (boc) their stuff is operattas. There are also many gems written by the not so famous, people like Donazetti and so on. All well worth a listen.
  5. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I have a soft spot for Pirates - when I was 8 years old and learning to play, the youth band used to rehearse at the same time as the beginners class and one of the things they played regularly was the overture from The Pirates of Penzance. I liked it so much I wore out my mum's LP of it, the Savoy Opera conducted by Sir Malcom Sargent I think.

    If you like Pirates you'll like most of the other "famous" G&S, try HMS Pinafore or The Mikado. They virtually all have a "patter song" like "I am the very model of a modern Major General" and most AmDram societies have someone who specialise in them! They all usually have a lugubrious men's chorus along the lines of the Policemen as well.

    There aren't many operas I really like but I love The Marriage of Figaro, there isn't a note of it that isn't perfect. Also if you get chance go and see The Magic Flute, it's barking mad but good fun.
  6. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I like bits of opera - my trouble is I tend not to like the sound of warbly operatic women! The male singers are OK though!

    G&S is fab!! I've never seen a G&S that hasn't been absolutely brilliant - I'd recommend it to anyone. They were the musicals of the day......
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    When we lived in Windsor my dad used to play for the Windsor & Eton Operatic productions, which included an annual G&S, so I was introduced to them quite early - "Pirates" (not a personal favourite), "Patience", "HMS Pinafore", "Princess Ida", "The Mikado" & "The Yeoman of the Guard". They're always worth seeing, and withstand the efforts of producers remarkably well - Jonathan Miller's "Mikado" at the ENO is a good example - as long as some of the topical references are sensitively brought up to date.

    I have enjoyed a number of other operas, although we don't get to see many these days. I'd endorse the backing of "Magic flute" made above, and "Turandot" is also a good intro for people, as is "Aida". I must say I found "Fidelio" a bit heavy going, but I am not a great fan of Beethoven. I like the Britten operas, especially "Billy Budd" (unusual in that it has an all-male cast), and enjoyed (?) a memorable production of Peter Maxwell Davies's "Taverner", full of intrigue at court, and with some spectacular brass writing.
  8. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Opera is fantastic, but I really prefer Montel Williams and Tyra Banks. :rolleyes:

    (With apologies to Goodness Gracious Me!)
  9. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    I remember when I was in Year 12 (about 6 years ago) we had a music lesson on Opera.... part of an opera was played to us and we had to write down some stuff about the piece....

    This is what I wrote down and thus, told the teacher............

    "I hate Opera"

    She laughed :)
  10. flugel_fancy

    flugel_fancy Member

    I've never been to a full on Opera performance. I can only imagine I would get very confused. Any suggestions to one that I might enjoy as a newbee?
  11. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Try and get yourself down to English National Opera. Not for the purists, perhaps, but all their productions are sung in English, making it more approachable if you haven't seen one before, and some of their recent productions have been first-class. Again, if you haven't been before, perhaps steer clear of the real heavyweights. Wagner is great, but goes on for a bit (Die Meistersinger is over 5 hours long). Try and stick with the Italians, Verdi, Puccini or Rossini as their operas are generally shorter and easier to follow. Puccini's Tosca or Madam Butterfly might be a very good starting point if there is a production on near you.

    I strongly recommend all musicians to broaden their horizons further than their own back yard as there is whole world of music out there waiting to be discovered.
  12. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    My problem too... Although I still regret the fact that I lived in Vienna for 2 years and never took the trouble to go and see a "proper" opera at the Staatsoper. They did Magic Flute one year which is one I would like to see. Did Madame Butterfly for music O level and actually quite enjoyed it, and I do like a bit of Wagner.
    However as Nanny Ogg says, operas is mostly about stout or stabbin'; you've got 2 types of opera, comic opera where they sing "beer, beer I like to drink lots of beer", and serious opera where they sing "oh I am dyin', I am dyin' yes that's what I'm doing, I'm dying'. Sums it all up for me really.
  13. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    We studied Dido and Anaeus (sp?) for A level. Lots of dying in that one........i felt like dying after watching it too! Do appreciate the music but can't be doing with the depressingness of it all!
  14. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Although her stuff with Faithless was better before she went solo ;)
  15. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    Your just so quick Mr Taylor i don't even have time to laugh :p *rolls eyes*
  16. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Go and see Pirates! If I understood anybody could! Its absolutely hilarious and great fun to watch!
  17. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    It's worth remembering, of course, that Opera follows the trends of the time in which it was written. In very much the same way a lot of Shakespeare seems irrelevant in today's Pop Idol/X Factor/Big Brother society. If you boil it all down, it's really all about the romantic notions of love and death. Of course you could always do what Bruckner did when he went to hear Tristan (and I don't mean the Martin Ellerby piffle); being devoutly religious he considered many operatic storylines to be immoral, so he just shut his eyes and listened to the music!
  18. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Never seen an opera but would love to. I would also like to see a ballet, possibly Swan Lake.
  19. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Saw Carmen - it was in english... but I still didn't understand it. Didn't have subs either :(

    Love the Prelude to Tristan (haven't seen the opera tho!)
  20. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    Thats what i did! I was merely appreciating the music for what it was......i wasnt falling asleep in my lesson......honest!! ;)

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