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Subject: Re: Menotti: The Consul . . . and other works (was Re: Turandot)
From: Don <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 11 Nov 2017 12:13:33 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (121 lines)


Don't stop now.  I remember seeing The Last Savage at the Met and fell in
love with it then.  Finally they did it here in Santa Fe and we saw several
performances of it.  The Consul is a terrific piece of dramatic writing and
I'll never forget that old recording with Eileen Farrell singing "To This
We've Come".  Don't forget the Saint either which I also enjoy.  Brings
back memories of the old Italian neighborhood in NY, the San Gennaro
Festival and my Catholic upbringing.  An underestimated work I think.
dond

On Sat, Nov 11, 2017 at 11:01 AM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> semiramide1945  wrote:
>
> "You know haven't we done this Turandot thing to death. Maybe time for
> another subject?'
>
> Here's a bold idea:  How about contributing something to the list other
> than a complaint?
>
> Okay, I'll start:
>
> The Menotti (a dirty word it seems these days) opera "The Consul" has
> recently been
> produced on both sides of The Atlantic.  Long Beach Opera and Chicago
> Opera Theatre
> sharing a joint production starring Patricia Racette that's received
> mostly great reviews
> (Racette's Magda Sorel walking away with high praise), while The Guildhall
> School in
> London's production production finds nice notices for its cast while
> taking every opportunity
> to damn Menotti's score as garbage.
>
> The Guardian's Andrew Clements mincing no words wrote:
>
> "A talented team do their best to breathe life into Menotti’s clumsy opera
> with its B-movie
> score . . . The Guildhall School’s revival of The Consul was therefore a
> rare chance to
> discover – almost 70 years after it was composed – what this music offers.
> The answer . . .
> is not very much at all . . . with its clunky dramaturgy, flagrant
> rip-offs of Puccini, Strauss,
> Britten and Richard Rodgers, and B-movie orchestral effects There wasn’t
> much that
> conductor Timothy Redmond could do with the portentous orchestral writing
> . . . everyone
> did a valiant job, and now deserves to get back to singing some decent
> opera."
>
> Meanwhile, the American production was getting notices such as this:
>
> "The Consul is not a perfect piece, with the dramatic action, bleak
> scenario and fantasy
> sequences often failing to cohere. Yet the score is one of Menotti’s
> finest achievements; the
> music always serves the dramatic narrative and reaches thrilling heights
> with Magda’s
> soaring Act 2 aria 'To this we’ve come' . . ."
>
> I know, Signore Menotti doesn't have a great many fans on this list, but I
> find, time-and-
> again, his music - not just his operas, but ballet scores, songs,
> orchestral and chamber
> music, while not Mahler or Strauss, still never fail to move me.
>
> I remember discovering his 1951 3 movement orchestral work "Apocalypse"
> and falling
> quite in love with it, particularly the second movement "La citta celeste"
> which, has a lovely
> Bach-like chorale prelude-like feeling to it.  Here is that movement :
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXN4DUCatfk
>
> His Piano Concerto (from 1945) is my favorite of all of his non operatic
> works.  For those
> who like me who love reading scores, this incomparable recording by Earl
> Wilde shows it
> (the orchestral parts in piano reduction) in "real time."  This always
> makes me smile, and
> that's always a good thing!
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDRN8q_o6-k
>
> I'll behave now. . .
>
> p.
>
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