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Subject: Re: Alligators in opera
From: John Greiner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 3 Sep 2017 01:39:15 -0400
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I've actually managed to see alligators in productions twice, once when called for, and one in a director's conceit in what was supposed to be a "serious" traditional production that wound up being camp.

The one when called for was the aforementioned Les Fetes de l"Hymen by Rameau.  This was done by Opera Lafayette.  You can visit their website and see pictures, the alligators (crocodiles) were done by dancers as well as one of the principal singers.  www.operalafayette.org.  Scroll down to the pictures of previous productions for 2014-2015.  (It's a linked website to another website, so not a direct URL.)

The other production was Il Guarney by Gomes done by Washington Opera when Domingo became general director.  It was done very traditionally, but between the libretto and staging, it turned into high camp, starting when a group of hunters came in after a successful day of shooting alligators in the woods...

For the list of French rarities, I would add Les Femmes vengees by Philador.  It was presented by Opera Lafayette as a French version of Cosi Fan Tutte and I think it was a very enjoyable opera.  Les Arts Florrissants by Charpentier is also a lovely work, I've seen it twice, once by William Christie's group on tour (the opera itself), and again by Opera Lafayette.  Really most of the latter group's work I've seen have all been pretty presentable and/or enjoyable operas (Une Education Manquee was a lot of fun but not really for the opera house, I was glad to get to see Lalla Roukh even if dramatically it was a bit slow at points.)  But they've done a lot of good work.

Best,

John Greiner

P.S.  A few folks mentioned a number of somewhat more common French Operas that should be done more often  I would add Lakme, La Perichole, and The Grand Dutchess of Gerolstein.  All three are very entertaining in the theater.   
 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
To: OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sat, Sep 2, 2017 4:05 pm
Subject: Re: Alligators in opera

DId anyone mention the Alligators (perhaps they were Crocodiles) in Act 3
of Siegfried?

In Bayreuth's Castorff production there is the Gator / Croc Siegfried feeds
popcorn to during the Act 3 duet with Brunnhilde...at some point the sated
creature  is joined by another Gator / Croc and there is quite a bit of
copulation - assuming the machinery worked - the first time I saw it was
more like auto alligatorism, but the second time, all was in working order
and there was proper two party coitus.

Towards the end one of the gators / crocs felt a little peckish and
devoured the Forest Bird - which was subsequently rescued by Siegfried who
had no possible interest in what  Brunnhilde was singing about at the top
of her lungs...

As Anna Russell once said - "I'm not making this up you know..."

On Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 1:19 PM, Katalin Mitchell <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> In Peter Sellar's' production of Giuglio Cesare all those years ago,
> Cleopatra gamely carried around a blown up plastic alligator... if nobody
> remembered this already- I have not read all the comments....
> Kati
>
> > On Sep 2, 2017, at 12:35 PM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 9:11 AM, Gabriel Stelian <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> I actually encountered alligators in opera. In the third act of the
> >> current Bayreuth Siegfried, two alligators have sex on stage, while
> Wotan
> >> and Erda are engaged in a spaghetti fight.
> >>
> >
> > OMG. I wonder if they are using the recycled alligator costume for Kundry
> > from Torino's PARSIFAL a few years back (the fabulous Goerke was Kundry).
> > http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/parsifal/
> >
> > If some silly conceptions are supposed to shock us, then at least they
> can
> > try to be original. Too much to ask, it seems.
> >
> > Vesna
> >
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