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Subject: Fwd: Esclarmonde (was Carreras and his rep)
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 30 Jan 2017 19:24:16 -0500
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 4:41 PM
Subject: Re: Esclarmonde (was Carreras and his rep)
To: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>


Goethe's novel on which the opera was based, is considered a
German literary classic and enjoyed widespread popularity in its day,
so who's to blame for Massenet's dismal work - he and his librettist?
Or could it be that best-selling fiction doesn't necessarily transfer to
the operatic stage?  PRIDE AND PREJUDICE anyone?  GWTW?
HUCKLEBERRY FINN?          . . . REBECCA?

dtmk



On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 9:59 AM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Unfortunately, I missed "Esclarmonde" when the Met did it in 1976 (although I could have
> made it in from Princeton, don't know why I didn't).  A college opera friend of mine saw it and
> thought that it was a wretched opera.  He said the "O divin Esclarmonde" episode at the
> beginning reminded him, musically and dramatically, of the Miss America pageant.
>
> At least as performed and sumptuously sung on the Bonynge/Sutherland recording, I rather
> like the opera, especially the "Esprits de l'air" episode at the end of Act I, which is thrilling.  I
> find the orchestration lush and the vocal lines beautiful.  But the plot is beyond stupid and the
> characters are all ciphers.  I do agree that, when you come right down to it, other than as a
> star vehicle for Sutherland, it is a pretty empty piece.
>
> BTW, I do like "Esclarmonde" better than "Werther," an opera I loathe.  Mike Leone and I are
> in agreement about the Whining Whinger.
>
> MDW
>
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