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Subject: Re: tosca
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 23 Apr 2017 14:14:19 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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I just heard that Rattle exceeded his considerable success with yet another
TOSCA in Berlin.  This opera seems to be the current rage in German
speaking regions; is there any credibility to the notion that his "shabby
little shocker" has acquired of late some new stature based on political
elements that Puccini himself could not have cared less about?


dtmk


On Sun, Apr 23, 2017 at 1:35 PM, Katalin Mitchell <[log in to unmask]
> wrote:

> You see, once I realized that Angelotti's hands were not to be untied as
> he was given the new set of keys to use without them, and saw Alvarez make
> love to the ladder instead of his lady, I turned the whole thing off. I
> hadn't heard enough good things to make listening worthwhile either, so why
> waste two hours on a dreadful production, when a hopefully much better
> Tosca is coming our way from Vienna in a couple of weeks.
> Kati
>
> > On Apr 23, 2017, at 10:26 AM, gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Let me go through Mr. Cadenhead’s response to my comments on the Tosca
> that
> > has been under discussion. I am for innovation in opera and the other art
> > forms but I do not accept innovations that do not work and most in this
> > production didn’t work it seemed silly and sophomoric. I would say the
> same
> > thing about more traditional productions some work and some don’t.
> >
> > Cadenhead’s obsession with his concept that Americans are stupid is
> > ridiculous. His contention that I and others “are not the least concerned
> > that America’s backwardness in this art means that creativity in opera
> > production is entirely a European function.” This might show that Frank
> has
> > not kept up with what is going on in the American opera scene. Even minor
> > opera companies in the U.S. are introducing new operas. The Fort Worth
> > opera festival is introducing two new operas and the Dallas Opera has
> > introduced a number of new operas over the last few years and next year
> > introduces a new opera “Sunken Garden” as well as Korngold’s “The Ring of
> > Polkrates”. I’ve heard that “Sunken Garden” will require the audience to
> > wear 3d glasses. Now that is innovative! Maybe.
> >
> > If Mr. Cadenhead had responded to the points I made instead of digressing
> > to his travel plans to Bayreuth attempting to make that part of his
> > argument that America is out of touch with progressive ideas. Why do
> > European designers want to come to America if we are unable to understand
> > their brilliance? Most of the opera goers I know are open to innovation.
> > Not all innovations work and for me if there is a conceptual glitch in a
> > production, especially early on, I begin to see all of the conceptual
> > flaws.
> >
> > “We first see Floria Tosca as a vapid star…” yes Opolias was vapid but
> that
> > was the singer not the character. As I said in the post Frank is
> responding
> > to makeup might have helped in making Opolais Tosca. She is not an
> actress
> > and, for me, not a very interesting singer. I liked Angelotti entering in
> > handcuffs but maybe Cavaradossi could have removed them as, again for me,
> > they made his movements questionable. How could he have unlocked the
> chapel
> > with his hands behind his back? How could he have made it to the villa
> > without the use of his hands?
> >
> > Because of the lack of the tenors acting skills Cavaradossi’s passion for
> > Tosca was never made clear. And Cavaradossi’s use of the computer was
> > limited to one movement towards the computer. The computer was a prop not
> > an idea and as I said the painting, or whatever it was supposed to be,
> > placed on the floor was problematic and the silly head placed at the back
> > on a wall made no sense as the painting seemed to be arbitrarily placed
> on
> > an irrelevant architectural space.
> >
> > I know many female artists and art hags like chubby men but a sexier
> tenor
> > would have helped. The final act had no dramatic power which was the
> stage
> > directors fault and the singers.
> >
> > Scarpia was probably the biggest problem for me as the directors entire
> > concept of him struck me as silly and clichéd. And his singing  … every
> > phrase began unfocused and out of pitch. Then his look … the black
> > fingernail polish … could anything be more clichéd? I could go on and on
> > pointing out the absurdities in the directors incomplete concept.
> >
> > Updating an opera might take more than merely changing the visuals  it
> > might mean the musical language and the texts be changed to make them
> agree
> > with the concept.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Apr 23, 2017 at 3:27 AM, Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> 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
> >>> concept.
> >>>
> >>> 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
> >> the
> >>> period in which the production is presented.
> >> = snip =
> >>
> >> It is a few weeks until the 54th anniversary of my first experience
> with a
> >> radical
> >> 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
> >> by
> >> 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.
> >> Gordon
> >> and others are not the least concerned that America’s backwardness in
> this
> >> art
> >> means that creativity in opera production is entirely a European
> function.
> >> Gordon,
> >> do you understand that no American opera producer is important outside
> our
> >> borders while, in every other art, American creativity and influence is
> >> everywhere
> >> 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
> >> margins.
> >> This was not a coincidence as anyone knows. What we also learned in
> recent
> >> news
> >> is that the government routinely penetrates the security of these giant
> >> internet
> >> companies and can access private accounts. In the particular case
> >> recently, the
> >> government knew that hackers had stolen their “keys” to get around
> internet
> >> companies security barriers late last year but it was only when the
> hacker
> >> material
> >> was released by Wikileaks that the public, and the internet giants,
> became
> >> aware
> >> 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
> >> busy
> >> 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
> was
> >> 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
> >> confrontation
> >> with Ailes/O’Reilly (read Scarpia) that her moral compass starts
> spinning.
> >> She
> >> 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
> >> her
> >> 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
> >> extreme
> >> action. (They not only know when you buy your tickets, they know when
> you
> >> are
> >> 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
> >> threat
> >> 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
> >> that
> >> 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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