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Subject: Re: Twelve Operatic Masterpieces You May Not Know
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 20 Dec 2017 21:57:20 -0500

text/plain (89 lines)

On Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 5:48 PM, Roger Brunyate <[log in to unmask]>

> Dear All,
> I am preparing a course for adults entitled TWELVE OPERATIC MASTERPIECES
> NOT KNOW. Twelve two-hour sessions, in each of which I will introduce a
> different work and
> play substantial sections. I have made a provisional list below, but would
> dearly like advice
> in refining it.

This sounds like a fabulous seminar! I'm sure they'll love it. My
suggestions below are not *major* masterpieces, but still remarkable works
of art, IMO.

Handel: ORLANDO (Herzog/Christie, Zurich) — or other Handel?

THEODORA - The '96 Glyndebourne production has a great cast, the
incomparable Lorraine Hunt Lieberson with Daniels, Croft, Upshaw;

> Rossini: LE COMTE ORY (Sher/Benini, Met) — or other less-known Rossini?

The Zurich OTELLO  could be an alternative (it’s not funny, of course, but
then I don’t find operas too funny even when written as comedies). Cast;
Bartoli with the remarkable lineup of tenors (Osborn, Camarena,
Rocha), Tang/

> Shostakovitch: LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK (Winge/Anissimov, Barcelona)

It's a fine choice, but if I may suggest an alternative presentation: 1966
film version under the title  KATERINA IZMAILOVA, featuring Vishenvskaya.
Her performance, both vocal and theatrical, was so powerful that I can't
imagine anyone to be left indifferent. It stayed with me for days...

There is not enough comedy. By excluding Verdi, Puccini, and Wagner, I have
> left a big gap
> in the mid-19th century, especially in the Italian repertoire. If I get
> some good suggestions,
> I can certainly reduce the number of pre-Mozartian and early 20th-century
> operas.

A couple of possibilities:

Boito, MEFISTOFELE - Ramey, Benackova, Arena/Carsen, San Francisco, late
80s. People respond differently to this production, I happen to like it
very much and personally prefer the older version with Ramey over the more
recent revival with Abdrazakov (though A. was quite good as well).

Cilea, ADRIANA LECOUVREUR - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Elder/McVicar, 2010
London. This opera might not be unknown but I don’t think it has been
performed in the states as often or as recently as expected for the
standard repertoire.

Or a lesser known Verdi opera...

For the earlier period, if there  is a room for Gluck, then I think a good
option for his lesser known but very fine opera could be IPHIGENIE EN
AULIDE - DVD from Amsterdam has a stunning cast (von Otter, Gens, Antoun,
Teste) with Minkowski conducting and a very interesting production by Audi.

All suggestions will be gratefully received, especially if they come with
> specific DVD
> recommendations.
> Thanks! Roger.


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