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Subject: Re: Shakespeare and opera
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 20 Dec 2016 03:42:21 +0000
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I love all three of the Verdi Shakespeare operas: I would suspect that Otello and Falstaff are the most highly regarded musically, but Macbeth, which was written in a much earlier period in Verdi's life, probably may be considered "a work in progress", though I admire it very much. All three title roles require an exceptional interpreter in three great baritone roles, not to mention a tenor who can do Otello. And then there's the legendary difficulty of Lady Macbeth. I find Falstaff fascinating because of the precision of the ensemble characters (very technical and exact). Desdemona, beautiful as the role is, does not require the virtuosity of Lady Macbeth or even the listening and vocal blending" skills of Alice Ford, though it is probably the most poignant and moving (did any soprano sing this role better than Tebaldi?) 
While I enjoy Romeo et Juliet, and especially the great performance from 1947 with Sayao and Bjoerling, I'm not able to put this opera in the same category as the three Verdi operas. 
I only wish that Verdi had written an opera on King Lear. A title role sung by a great baritone, and three female roles (perhaps with a lush Tebaldi voice for Cordelia, and two contrasting mezzos for the two evil sisters). Just a thought. 


----- Original Message -----

From: "Vesna Danilovic" <[log in to unmask]> 
To: "OPERA-L" <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2016 8:37:30 PM 
Subject: Shakespeare and opera 

Dear listers, 

This year has seen numerous commemorations of 400 years after his death. 
So, just before this milestone year expires, I thought to ask any 
interested lister about their favorite opera with connection to 
Shakespeare. Mine is probably Verdi’s MACBETH, though perhaps his OTELLO is 
artistically even closer to the original play. I also love Gounod’s ROMEO 
ET JULIETTE on its own merits, but -and I could be wrong in this- its music 
escapes me as an expression of a Shakesperean tragedy. It's still a 
wonderful opera that I love listening to, most fondly in the Met broadcast 
with Bjoerling and Sayao. 

It would be very much interesting if anyone else could share their own 
choices. 

Happy holidays to all, 

Vesna 

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