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Subject: Re: What are the good opera houses? was: LaLa land!!!
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 4 Aug 2016 16:57:43 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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With all the discussion we've had about the sort of works that qualify
as opera, how can there be such a thing as a perfect opera house?
No theater is going to work equally well for everything presented in it.

One thing I personally would demand however, is that the theater itself must
never be adjusted to suit the idiosyncrasies of whatever is being staged.
Where there is a proscenium and a curtain designed in conformity with
the overall architecture, they should be a part of everything produced; its
the directors and artists who should have to adjust.  I have never seen
anything in front of the proscenium before a performance began, that
wouldn't have been just as effective, or more, after the curtain rose - if
there is a curtain!

dtmk


On Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 4:15 PM, Olga Bourlin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I've been to a few awe-inspiring opera houses in Europe. Breathtaking and
> memorable old-world opera houses that give me goose bumps whenever I visit,
> just thinking about who performed there in the past.
>
> In San Francisco, where I used to attend Children's Opera in my youth, my
> high school class graduated from the stage of the War Memorial Opera House.
>
> I had season tickets to the opera in San Diego, when I lived from 1974-1982
> and while they may not have been world class - I found some of the operas
> there more impressive than the opera building, of which I have very little
> memory.
>
> Today (I know I'm exceedingly biased) I live in Seattle and I absolutely
> love walking into this lobby of McCaw Hall, the home of Seattle Opera.
> It just never gets old:
>
> http://www.garyfaigin.com/art-reviews-blog/public-art-equal-
> opposite-reaction-at-mccaw-hall-august-2005
>
>
> On Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 9:54 AM, Jay & Ralph <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Why should anyone experience Dotties place as an opera venue?
> >
> > The current administration billing itself as an opera company,
> > rarely (once? twice?) has produced any attractions (attempts at opera)
> > worth the price of admission.
> >
> > Though the possibility of bragging rights for being in attendance
> > when the general director dies on stage or in the pit, seems to have some
> > allure....
> >
> > Almost everyone now claims to have been there opening night at SFO for
> The
> > Otello.....
> >
> > Best look into getting tickets for the Pacific Opera Project's (POP)
> > productions
> > which sell out on a regular basis--for cause!
> >
> > Saw the FFJ movie last week--very funny!
> >
> > J
> >
> > ----- James Camner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > I read so many variants on what the New  York City Opera wanted to do:
> > >
> > > http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/04/arts/music/04oper.html?_r=0
> > >
> > > One thing for sure, the Met Opera has got to do something - they can't
> > stay
> > > in that big place with audiences of less than 2000 for very long.
> > >
> > > Someone (not Mr. Kessler) wrote to me that they didn't like the
> Chandler
> > in
> > > LA. Fair enough. So let's look at the state of opera houses in the US?
> > What
> > > are the good ones?
> > >
> > > In my personal experience there are only two that are distinguished
> that
> > > I've been to (and no they aren't in Princeton!!!!). Glimmerglass and
> the
> > > Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.
> > >
> > > The Philadelphia Academy of Music was once the closest to ideal, but
> they
> > > killed the sound when they reinforced the stage. The hall in the Kimmel
> > > Center doesn't contain the sound well over the stage.
> > >
> > > Now I have a big Midwest and Western hole in my experiences - I haven't
> > been
> > > to the SF War Memorial or either of the Chicago Opera Houses. I've
> heard
> > > good things about all three.
> > >
> > > But in New York? There is nothing, not one first rate opera house. The
> > Met
> > > is a disaster - dead zones in the orchestra, the best sound up at the
> > top is
> > > so far from the stage, there should be video monitors. The scale
> doesn't
> > > work for most all of Mozart or the Bel Canto works, it barely works for
> > big
> > > Verdi or an opera like Butterfly and not at all for operas like La
> > Traviata
> > > or La Boheme (I loathe the Zeffirelli production, especially the
> Garrett
> > > setting). And now that it will hardly ever sell out, the big size has
> no
> > > purpose and can only serve to be demoralizing as well as very expensive
> > to
> > > keep going.  The theater at Juilliard is ok, not that special and it's
> > not
> > > useful in any case since it is restricted for professional use. The
> > Brooklyn
> > > Opera House is pretty good and has some history, but it is not a first
> > rate
> > > venue worthy of a city like New York. The Rose? I don't think so. There
> > is
> > > some irony in that the old Manhattan Opera House may be the best of all
> > > (Hammerstein won in the end!) but it isn't going to do the trick.
> > >
> > > There are plenty of places I haven't been to. What am I missing?
> > >
> > > Where do listers prefer to see opera in the US?
> > >
> > > James Camner
> > >
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