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Subject: Re: Gay Pride Operas
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 29 Jun 2017 11:37:36 -0700
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I also loved the Luhrmann version of Boheme and he had the most beautiful
cast - David Hobson and Cheryl Barker sang beautifully and were exquisite
to look at.  I saw the Broadway version a few times and it was like wise
beautifully cast (physically) and some of the singers were superb.  All
were very good.  I could have done without the amplification however - the
broadway theatre, I think it was the  Broadway, a big house by Broadway
standards, was small enough for even young operatic voices to have been
heard well.  It certainly beat the antics of 40-50 plus singers at the
Met.  I will say however that the most exquisite La Boheme I ever heard was
Freni and a by then grossly overweight Pavarotti in the late 80's under the
baton of Carlos Kleiber.  It was heaven.  So yes, voice does trump (sorry
for the use of that word) appearance when you are dealing with artistry of
that level.  Pavarotti was close to his best, Freni, god bless her, was
every bit as good as she was twenty years earlier.  This was the last time
she sounded like the "young" Freni.  Two years later, she sang it with
Placido Domingo under Christian Badea.  Both were wonderful but she no
longer had that blush of youth which she still commanded two years
earlier.  And of course, the 800 pound elephant was  in the room - the
memory of Kleiber. He only gave 20 performances at the Met over two or
three seasons but they were among the most memorable in the history of the
house.  A giant who left us much too early.  Thank god the magnificent
Mirella is still with us.  Kick me if I am wrong, but except for Daniela
Dessi, Barbara Frittoli and Mariella Devia, both of whom I have always
loved, the last great Italian sopranos were Freni, Scotto and Chiara.  Who
is there today?  I know, a few nice singers but real giants?   I do have
hopes for Maria Agresta and Carmen Giannatassio.  Time will tell.

Donald

On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:17 AM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> A very. brief comment on the "Baz" Boheme. It was very well sung by
> the original TV cast, and it was, visually, the most totally convincing and
> moving performance of the opera I have ever seen. I found it breathtaking
>  in its focus and commitment.
>
> They say "to each his own". I guess that's one explanation :-)
>
> Bob
>
> On Thursday, June 29, 2017, ANGELO MAMMANO <[log in to unmask]
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml',[log in to unmask]);>> wrote:
>
> > There was a Ballo production in Stockholm with Gedda which reportedly
> > emphasized the actual
> >
> > sexual orientation of Gustavus .  He and Oscar were shown to be more than
> > merely King and page.
> >
> > The San Francisco Opera Lucrezia Borgia with Fleming and Fabiano  showed
> > unusual intimacy
> >
> > between Gennaro and Orsini.  Certainly there was more intimacy between
> the
> > two than between
> >
> > any other characters in the opera.  I thought that the Boheme I saw on
> > Broadway in the staging
> >
> > from the Australian Opera would be a little daring and show a possible
> > same-sex relationship
> >
> > between Schaunard and Colline but it turned out to be perhaps the tamest
> > and most boring I have
> >
> > ever seen.   I have seen more realistic and moving Bohemes from Amato
> > Opera back in the 50's.
> >
> >
> > Angelo from Boston
> >
> > >
> > >     On June 29, 2017 at 12:08 PM Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > >     I think there's a big difference between an definite gay theme vs.
> a
> > potential overtone of homoeroticism.
> > >
> > >     I've seen a homoerotic attraction portrayed between Don Carlo and
> > Rodrigo that remains latent until Carlo realizes Rodrigo is dying. There
> > was a particularly strong sense of that in a 1998 San Francisco
> production
> > with Sergei Larin as Carlo and Anthony Michaels Moore as Rodrigo. Larin's
> > Carlo erupted with physical affection for Rodrigo
> > >
> > >     Homosexuality has been implied in some productions of "Ballo in
> > Maschera" that resort to the Swedish characters and setting, particularly
> > with Gustavus. It does create some cognitive dissonance with regard to
> his
> > passion for Amelia.
> > >
> > >     In both "Billy Budd" and "Death in Venice" there are
> interpretations
> > that do or don't involve specific homosexuality. Sometimes it's clear
> that
> > Claggart has repressed (or suppressed) lust for Billy, but it can also be
> > portrayed that he's just incredibly jealous of Billy's ease, likeability
> > and masculine beauty. Similarly Ashenbach can be experiencing an
> > overwhelming sexual attraction to Tadzio, or Tadzio can represent a more
> > abstract ideal of carefree beauty that is opposite to Aschenbach's
> > previously heavily disciplined life.
> > >
> > >     Max Paley
> > >
> > >     Sent from my iPhone
> > >
> > >         > >
> > > >         On Jun 29, 2017, at 08:18, Vesna Danilovic <
> > [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >         I agree with the previous posters about some questionable
> > inclusions though
> > > >         don't want to criticize the article because the intentions
> are
> > honorable,
> > > >         except to say that the list curiously omits some openly gay
> > themes or
> > > >         characters such as, already mentioned, HARVEY MILK and DEATH
> > IN VENICE. For
> > > >         characters, we can also add Countess Geschwitz in LULU, the
> > first openly
> > > >         gay character in any opera (someone please correct me if
> there
> > are earlier
> > > >         examples). Or perhaps it would be a good occasion to
> celebrate
> > those
> > > >         musicians and composers who made strides toward the culture
> of
> > tolerance in
> > > >         many ways, including LGBT.
> > > >
> > > >         Vesna
> > > >
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