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Subject: Re: Twelve Operatic Masterpieces You May Not Know
From: Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 21 Dec 2017 00:09:54 -0500

text/plain (119 lines)

Dear Roger and Listers:

If you are looking for lesser-known, funny operas, how about Verdi’s second opera, “Un 
Giorno di Regno” (1840) ?

There is a Philips version with Jessye Norman, Fiorenza Cossotto, José Carreras, and Ingvar 
Wixell, but at $72 it’s quite pricey.  A cheaper version is the one with Renato Capecchi and 
Sesto Bruscantini, Orchestra Lirica e Coro di Milano della RAI (Cetra).

-- or Pergolesi’s “La Serva Padrona” (1733) ?

Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Carlo Maria Giulini, cond. -- Profil/Naxos

-- or Prokofiev’s “L’Amour des Trois Oranges” [The Love for Three Oranges] (1921)?

Opéra de Lyon, Kent Nagano cond., Gabriel Bacquier& Jules Bastin -- Virgin Classics

-- or “Eine Nacht in Venedig” [A Night in Venice] (1883) by Johann Strauss II ?

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Symphonie-Orchester Graunke, with Rita Streich, Nicolai 
Gedda, Anneliese Rotheenberger, Hermann Prey (EMI Classics)

-- or “Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor” [The Merry Wives of Windsor] (1849) by Otto 
Nicolai ?

Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelik, cond. with Karl 
Ridderbusch, Helen Donath, Trudeliese Schmidt (Decca) 

All of them are lovely, charming, funny, and some would even fill in your gap.  Hope this 

Cheers and all the best,


Alain Letort
Washington, D.C.
Des Ungeheuers Höhle

On Wed, 20 Dec 2017 17:48:07 -0500, Roger Brunyate <[log in to unmask]> 

>Dear All,
>I am preparing a course for adults entitled TWELVE OPERATIC MASTERPIECES YOU MAY 
>NOT KNOW. Twelve two-hour sessions, in each of which I will introduce a different work 
>play substantial sections. I have made a provisional list below, but would dearly like advice 
>in refining it.
>You will see that the "you may not know" part should be taken with a grain of salt. I am 
>avoiding the ubiquitous faves (CARMEN, BOHEME, etc.) and the biggest composers 
>Verdi, Wagner, Puccini), though I might entertain Strauss. My audience of about 100 will 
>retirees from many different professions, intelligent, open, engaged, but not necessarily 
>with specific knowledge of opera. Each work should indeed be a masterpiece, with an 
>assured place in the history of opera. Each should be available on DVD in a strong 
>performance with English titles. However, as I have to entertain the eyes of the audience 
>well as their ears, I am going to choose works primarily because of their theatrical 
>rather than for the singers. Here is my first list: 
>Monteverdi: ORFEO (Deflo/Savall, Barcelona)
>Lully: ATYS (Villégier/Christie, Paris)
>Handel: ORLANDO (Herzog/Christie, Zurich) — or other Handel?
>Rameau: LES BORÉADES (Carsen/Christie, Paris)
>Rossini: LE COMTE ORY (Sher/Benini, Met) — or other less-known Rossini?
>Meyerbeer: ROBERT LE DIABLE (Pelly/Oren, London)
>--- GAP?! ---
>Janacek: JENUFA (Braunschweig/Bolton, Madrid) - or other Janacek?
>Debussy: PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE (Mitchell/Salonen, Aix, or Vick/Davis, Glyndebourne) -- 
>too well-known?
>Schoenberg: MOSES UND ARON (Decker/Boder, Bochum)
>Shostakovitch: LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK (Winge/Anissimov, Barcelona)
>Britten: DEATH IN VENICE (Warner/Gardner, ENO) — perhaps substitute A Misummer 
>Night's Dream?
>Adams: DOCTOR ATOMIC (Sellars/Renes, Netherlands) — or other recentish American 
>Other than the specific questions I ask after some of the entries, I see some problems. 
>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 
>I can certainly reduce the number of pre-Mozartian and early 20th-century operas.
>All suggestions will be gratefully received, especially if they come with specific DVD 
>Thanks! Roger.
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