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Subject: Re: WERTHER loathsome?
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 30 Jan 2017 21:56:04 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (65 lines)


Replying to what Max said about WERTHER, I should have changed my
subject line accordingly; my words had nothing whatever to do with
ESCLARMONDE.

On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 7:24 PM, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> ---------- 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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