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Subject: 'A Naive View of Opera'
From: Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Nov 2012 04:01:34 -0500

text/plain (108 lines)

'A Naive View of Opera' (Was The Purest and Deepest Form of Opera Love)

@ Paul Padillo and Ivy Lin

Sorry for the delay. Several messages from last week didn’t land in my
inbox until Sunday evening.

@ Paul Padillo

QUOTE: “The notion that the ultimate (or ideal) opera performance
takes place in one's mind while listening to a recording is, as
attractive as it seems, the ultimate in self-aggrandizement and
egotistical thinking”

For me experiencing opera live in the theatre is (in most cases) not
comparable to the pleasures of private and contemplative listening.
I’m sorry if I don’t care about the communal aspects of live
performance. And at the risk of stating the totally obvious: opera and
classical music (at their best) are solitary and personal experiences.
It's between just you and the sound coming from the orchestra,
vocalists, instrumentalists, etc. The fact that there are a few
hundred people sitting in the same room with me doesn't add anything
to the experience.

@ Ivy Lin

QUOTE: "This is such a naive view of opera, and the history of opera,
that I don't even know where to begin. I don't know who your favorite
opera composers are, but I'd hazard to guess most of your favorite
operas were written in a time when the composer had no concept of
"listening to recordings in private (with amplification)." They had to
worry more about things like, oh I don't know, getting the opera


QUOTE: "If you ever read the composers' letters you can see the
frustrating, painstaking process they went through to get the opera
ONSTAGE. They worried about all aspects about the production, from the
singing to the musical values to the critical reaction"

Ivy hun, it’s not necessary to remind me of the fact that opera is the
most multi-dimensional art form. And everything else in your post was
correct. Also, my first entry gave the impression that I don’t at all
enjoy visiting opera houses which is not true. And I do financially
support the Met but I won’t apologize for wanting to be ‘alone’ with
operas most of the time. What sets me apart from the majority is that
for me opera is ALL about the sound. And the text is irrelevant except
as it pertains to the sound of the music. And the staging is
unnecessary because it doesn’t have anything to do with the music.

Yes maybe I really am naďve in my approach. The consensus over at the
Parterre Box website is that my views are... “outrageously skewed” and
that I'm "making illogical leaps". The other day even La Cieca
addressed me with this:

QUOTE: “So what you're saying is, you like your music the same way you
like your quotations: out of context”

I think I give up at this point.

Now regarding amplification: who’s to say that composers wouldn’t have
adopted electronic amplification were it available in their day? Who’s
to say they would have rejected it? The vocalist is STILL using
operatic technique. The instrumentalists are still using their special
technique. We are just hearing it louder. As an example: try listening
to “Moses and Aron” in a room at home with surround sound and
reverberation and then tell me if you really prefer a live version in
the theatre.

QUOTE: "Your "form" of love of opera isn't the deepest and purest,
it's an extremely compartmentalized form of love"

Yes it probably is an ‘extremely compartmentalized form of love’ but
am I missing something here? Wouldn’t it be the most gratifying thing
for an opera composer for he or she to witness someone being so
utterly entranced by the entire score in all its details that in the
mind of the listener the libretto never even comes close to surpassing
it? And isn't this a very old issue?


Genevieve's Castle Room

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