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Subject: Re: Menotti: The Consul . . . and other works (was Re: Turandot)
From: LANE WHITESELL <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:LANE WHITESELL <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 11 Nov 2017 16:12:33 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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I, too, loved The Last Savage in Santa Fe.
(I was still in grade school in Oklahoma for the New York performances.)
Lane A. Whitesell

> On November 11, 2017 at 2:13 PM Don <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
> 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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> --
> ​Always keep a roll of baling wire and another of duct tape in your car.
> It's amazing how useful it can be.
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