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Subject: Re: What are the good opera houses? was: LaLa land!!!
From: Olga Bourlin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Olga Bourlin <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 4 Aug 2016 14:26:54 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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McCaw Hall and Seattle Opera: Not perfect acoustically (budget issues were
at stake), but since the renovation the acoustics at least seemed to have
gotten better.  In any case, there's no debate about the improved amenities
:-):

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/05/arts/critic-s-notebook-seattle-opera-gamble-the-results-are-in.html

On Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 1:26 PM, Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> The new lobby is lovely. True, but the uneven and somewhat cold acoustics
> do get old--at least for me. I've been going since 1976.
>
> Andrew Moravcsik
>
> > On Aug 4, 2016, at 16:15, 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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