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Subject: Re: Esclarmonde (was Carreras and his rep)
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Mon, 30 Jan 2017 09:59:33 -0500

text/plain (28 lines)

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.


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