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Subject: Re: tosca
From: Patrick Byrne <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 23 Apr 2017 14:09:18 -0400

text/plain (161 lines)

Let us be very honest about the ripping of operas from their correct  and 
historical settings. It has zip to do with concepts and making the story  
meaningful for the audience of today. Who could not understand Tosca in the  
period it is set in. Done correctly, the sets, costumes, and manners are spot 
on  to the time of the story. Done as a gun moll and a bunch of gangsters or 
in a  mini skirted tart on a motorcycle carrying a boom box, or any of the 
other  sick sister so called directorial "ideas"is about economics, pure and 
simple.  Nearly every new concept I have seen is either garbed as Nazi's or 
some thrift  store conglomeration of cheap outfits. That is neither new nor 
interesting.  It is cheap, however. Authentic sets and costumes from 
certain periods are very  expensive.
If so called directors wish to stage something new and fresh I suggest they 
 write a fresh new opera and stage it as they wish, such as Dead Man 
Walking, or  Nixon in China, or the Sweet Bye and Bye. I always am curious to see 
new operas,  and never interested in a period piece done up in some 
disgusting drag from the  wrong epoch. Square peg, round hole.
Patrick Byrne
In a message dated 4/23/2017 3:27:20 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

On Sat,  22 Apr 2017 14:59:11 -0500, gordon young 
<[log in to unmask]>  wrote:

>As an artist the depiction of art and art practices in opera  always fail 
>maybe I should say generally fail. In Boheme if the is no  visual reference
>to Marcelo’s being an artist, no canvases or any of  the clutter that makes
>up an artist's studio I question every other  aspect of the designers
>I don’t think I have  ever seen a Tosca production where I accepted the
>painting of the  Magdalene. Most often the style of the painting ignores 
>period in  which the production is presented.  
= snip =

It is a few weeks  until the 54th anniversary of my first experience with a 
interpretation of a classic opera (Wieland's Tannhauser). It was difficult  
but I finally 
understood that it was reasonable that opera is an art that  does not 
deserve to 
treated simply be a museum piece to be reproduced.  This is certainly not 
what the 
composer would have wanted. All over the  world opera has won new audiences 
making the drama meaningful for their  times. The idea that the last half 
century of 
opera production did not  happen is something you only find on Opera-l. 
and others are not  the least concerned that America’s backwardness in this 
means that  creativity in opera production is entirely a European function. 
do  you understand that no American opera producer is important outside our 
borders while, in every other art, American creativity and influence is  
honored and recognized?

Let me take on Tosca - the story  - with a personal experience. Two days 
ago, I 
used Google to explore  transportation to Bayreuth this summer. That 
included both 
trains and  flights to Munich and Nurenburg. Less than 12 hours later, an  
advertisement from a tourist group in Munich appeared on my Facebook  
This was not a coincidence as anyone knows. What we also learned  in recent 
is that the government routinely penetrates the security of  these giant 
companies and can access private accounts. In the  particular case 
recently, the 
government knew that hackers had stolen  their “keys” to get around 
companies security barriers late last  year but it was only when the hacker 
was released by Wikileaks  that the public, and the internet giants, became 
of this. The  government decided that it was not in the public interest for 
the public  
to know that their rights of privacy are totally abrogated and that  
protections in 
the Constitution of the United States are now obsolete.  They are now more 
than ever shutting down Wikileaks. 

We first  see Floria Tosca as a vapid star, happy, adored, invited 
everywhere, in love  
with a famous artist and clearly non-political but does anyone remember  
the FIRST 
THING that happens in the opera? Anyone? In the first seconds we  see a 
fighter for 
freedom and justice fleeing persecution. Even  Cavaradossi, also madly in 
love, had 
to be jolted back to remembering his  love of basic human rights when he 
confronted with Angelotti. But the  real story is how Tosca reacts to this 
new reality. 
She remains vapid and  jealous during the first act but it is only her 
with  Ailes/O’Reilly (read Scarpia) that her moral compass starts spinning. 
could allow the hand on her pussy - or not - and she chooses not. Her cris  
de cour 
(Visse d’arte) means she well understands that this will  permanently upset 
comfortable world. Her first sight of the knife on  the floor also shows 
she now 
realizes how escape from an all-knowing  authoritarian state requires 
action. (They not only know when you  buy your tickets, they know when you 
even thinking about  tickets.)

Not relevant for today? You don’t understand why there are  laptops around 
“security” services? Personal freedom and democracies are  not only under 
but loosing ground. Today is a critical vote in  France. Last Sunday Turkey 
voted to 
abandon the concept of liberal  democracy. Russia has been moving away from 
for years and their work  to encourage and elect controlling state 
governments in 
other countries  have been successful. 

I know all of you will be off soon to enjoy your  Sunday. No, you do not 
have to 
think about Tosca today.

Frank  Cadenhead

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