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Subject: Re: French opera rarities
From: Mike Leone <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mike Leone <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 30 Aug 2017 18:56:50 +0000
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I agree with Bob's comment on Mignon.  I never cared much for the opera until I recently heard the 1943 Met broadcast conducted by Beecham, with Patrice Munsel who is, at least here, much better than her reputation would indicate, Risê Stevens (who else?) in the title role, and the always wonderful James Melton.  This performance has not widely circulated.  It is available from the Omega Opera Archive (http://omegaoperasite.net/) which I think mostly deals in trades, for those who are into that.  However, it has recently become available from Classical Recordings Quarterly (http://crq.org.uk/) as part of a very reasonably priced DVD-ROM of Beecham opera performances.  There is lots of great stuff on there, and I think the Mignon by itself is worth the price of the disc.  It certainly made a convert of me.
The 1945 broadcast with the same mezzo and tenor, but with Mimi Benzell in for Munsel and Pinza as Lothario instead of Norman Cordon from the 1943, conducted by Wilfred Pelletier (Wikipedia lists him under "Wilfrid" but allows "Wilfred" as an alternative spelling, while the Met website gives "Wilfred"), is occasionally on Sirius.  It certainly has superior sound to the 1943 broadcast, and also has the advantage of Pinza.  Sony has issued this broadcast, so it is easily more accessible than the 1943.  However, it has never grabbed me the way the 1943 immediately did.

Mike Leone
[log in to unmask] il Leone!

      From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:31 AM
 Subject: Re: French opera rarities
   
Hello everybody

"Mignon" by Thomas, which until the end of WWII was in the repertoire
 of theaters large and small, throughout Europe and the Americas.

It has four terrific roles for singers who can pull them off, and the title
role is among the great vocal/visual challenges in all of opera.

To know Giuseppe di Stefano's recordings of the two great tenor arias
is to know musical perfection hardly matched in my experience.

It has a superb history, well deserved, and should be much better
known.

Bob

On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 12:03 Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> I have not listened to Lalo for a long time and appreciate the suggestion.
> Along these lines, what are listers' favorite semi-obscure (or completely
> obscure) nineteenth century French operas? (Probably anything by Meyerbeer
> still qualifies as semi-obscure--I'm not convinced the Meyerbeer revival
> has great legs).
>
> My own is Halevy's Clari, revived by Bartoli and others several years ago.
> I prefer it to La Juive, although history has so far deemed that a minority
> opinion.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Vesna Danilovic
> Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:48 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Operas About Floods?
>
> Meyerbeer and his librettists used the flood as a kind of deus ex machina
> in DINORAH, facilitating a transformation of the story toward a happy
> ending. My only acquaintance with this opera was Dinorah's "Ombre legere"
> until Opera Rara issued their complete recording. Right after the scene
> with this famous 'shadow' aria, there is the flood in which Hoel rescues
> Dinorah from drowning, thus choosing love over his treasure-hunting greed,
> and, now reunited with her love, Dinorah is restored back to 'sanity' as
> well. The flood is not the main theme but nonetheless has more than just an
> episodic nature in the story.
>
> Donald Kane and David Shengold already mentioned Lalo's LE ROI D'YS, which
> reminded me of the recording that I've just pulled off from my record shelf
> for a long overdue re-listening  this evening for and would heartily
> recommend it to all. It's a broadcast from 1973 with Alain Vanzo, Andrea
> Guiot, Jane Rhodes, Robert Massard, etc., Derveaux conducting. I have it on
> the Gala label that has a generous bonus of arias from the opera that were
> recorded in the interwar years by Vallin, Cernay, Vezzani, Rogatchewsky,
> d'Arkor, and others.
>
> Vesna
> -----------------------------
>
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