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Subject: Re: A glimpse of a great production of Don Giovanni that never was
From: Donald Kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 17 Dec 2011 12:12:22 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Entirely too much has been made of the view that opera
in the last fifty years or so has suffered from old
fashioned,
traditional stagings.  It is much more likely that very few
of us can actually recall the kind of productions that one
Opera-L poster likes to call "as seen in the Victrola
Book of the Opera".  If only it were possible!   My first
GIANNI SCHICCHI, for example, in 1949, did bear some
resemblance to the Florentine epoch in which the composer
firmly placed it, but all those I have experienced
since, at the Met and elsewhere, have had to be set in
Fascist Italy for some reason.  It would be refreshing and
innovative if some operas were occasionally given in the
style that was current when they were new, still employing
whatever modern stagecraft is available to bring that style
to life.  Musicians earnestly try to perform in a manner
that
is considered stylistically correct;  what's wrong with
having visual elements held to the same standard?

Donald Kane


-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of James Camner
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2011 10:35 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: A glimpse of a great production of Don Giovanni
that never was


In the rollicking and absurdly entertaining new Sherlock
Holmes film,
"Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows" there is a scene set
in the Paris
Opera showing the last scene of Don Giovanni, as they
imagine it would have
been done in 1891. It's superb, with all sorts of devils
with pitchforks
and tails, and the best looking stone guest I've ever seen.
(They make the
mistake of having them sing it in Italian - it would have
been in
French...)  Otherwise It seems to me that from what I've
seen of pictures
from the Bel Epoque including elaborate stereoscope photos,
they got it
deliciously right.  If only someone would do it like this
today!  It might
be a fabulous big stage production.

The film also has a recurring theme of the villain playing a
recording of
Die Forelle.  (in this film, the sound of a disc player in
1891 is
unrealistically good). The professor also sings it at one
point.


James Camner

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