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Subject: Re: Spanish opera- Marina
From: Don <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 23 Dec 2017 15:40:57 -0700
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There are a couple of complete videos of Marina on  Youtube as well as some
audio only performances.  One is with Maria Bayou and Alfredo Kraus.
dond

On Sat, Dec 23, 2017 at 1:38 PM, Juan Dzazopulos <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> I wonder why nobody has mentioned what I consider if not the best at least
> the better known Spanish opera of all times. I refer to "Marina" by Emilio
> Arrieta.
> "Marina" had its premiere as a zarzuela in 1855 but was later changed into
> an opera and as such had its premiere at the Teatro Real de Madrid in 1871.
> It was the first opera ever presented there in Spanish language. The
> leading tenor role was sung by the Italian tenor Enrico Tamberlik
> (1820-1889).
> "Marina" has been recorded in selections or complete 11 times and it can
> be also found in at least 5 DVDs. It is a difficult opera and has been a
> challenge for most Spanish tenors (in brackets the recording year): José
> Palet (1916), Miguel Fleta (1926), Hipólito Lázaro (1930), Fernando Bañó
> Ferrnado (1954), Alfrdo Kraus (twice, 1965 and 1998), Bernabé Martí (1966)
> and Jaime Aragall (1967).
>
> My favorite recording is that of 1930 for Spanish Columbia, with an "all
> stars" cast: Hipólito Lázaro (Jorge), Mercedes Capsir (Marina), Marcos
> Redondo (Roque) and José Mardones (Pascual).
> It has been transferred to LP,  and later to  CD, at least by three
> different companies (Aria Recordings; Blue Moon and Symposium. I recommend
> without reservations the last one, if you can find it.
>
> If you want to know what other Spanish works (zarzuelas/operas) are my
> favorite, after "Marina", this is the list: Luisa Fernanda, Doña
> Francisquita, Los Gavilanes, La Dolores, La Verbena de la Paloma, La Rosa
> del Azafrán, La Leyenda del Beso, La Dolorosa (not to be confused with La
> Dolores), La Canción del Olvido, Maruxa, Las Golondrinas and those composed
> by Pablo Sorozábal: La Tabernera del Puerto, La del Manojo de Rosas, Black
> el Payaso,La Isla de las Perlas and  Don Manolito.
>
> A happy and peaceful Christmas for you all,
>
> JUAN
> --------------------
>
>
>
> El Sat, 23 Dec 2017 17:16:02 +0000
>  "ls111553 ." <[log in to unmask]> escribió:
>
> Although I'm not big a zarzuela enthusiast, I do enjoy many wonderful
>> tunes, like the prelude to Bretón's La Dolores, which to me has always
>> been
>> "the mother of all jotas". But there is a handful of works that I love but
>> which seldom "export" well, as they rely on a more than passing
>> familiarity
>> with their regional context and performers to whom this comes naturally in
>> order to "speak" to their audiences. The same can be said of Viennese
>> operettas and such. We may enjoy what we hear, but some key elements of
>> style and background not always go beyond passport check. It is a joy to
>> experience El rey que rabió, Gigantes y cabezudos, the very
>> tongue-in-cheek
>> Las Leandras (is there a "catchier" tune than Los nardos?) in Madrid, with
>> a cast that "gets" it right. That said, whenever a "Domingoish" tenor
>> breaks into "No puede ser" as an encore, I head straight to the parking
>> lot, muttering exactly those words with a couple of "regional"
>> embellishments added.
>>
>> Ah, the WNO upper-crusty set! Recently, at Kennedy Center, I was
>> introduced
>> to someone who turned out to be a very agreeable person, but whose first
>> line of conversation (right after "pleased to meet you") was "I grew up in
>> Ecuador, but my father did not allow us to learn any Spanish. Only French
>> and German". I suppose he didn't mean anything unpleasant, but the opening
>> statement was kind of a shaker. Anyway, a quick look at the names listed
>> as
>> main donors on the WNO program, may have given the lady you mention an
>> idea
>> of how many "maids" make it possible for her to listen to opera in
>> "civilized" languages... while reading surtitles!
>>
>> On Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 4:36 PM Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> Dear Idia and List:
>>>
>>> I don’t know whether Idia’s definition of “Spanish opera” includes
>>> “zarzuelas.”  I am
>>> assuming that it does, because the vast majority of of Spanish musical
>>> theatre pieces
>>> consists of “zarzuelas,” which, like French “opéra-comiques,” include
>>> quite a bit of spoken
>>> dialogue.  As Wikipedia puts it, “early [Spanish] operas, however, failed
>>> to catch the
>>> imagination of the Spanish public. It was not until the increasing
>>> popularity of such genres
>>> as ballad opera and opéra-comique that opera in Spain started to gain
>>> momentum, since
>>> the use of speech in the vernacular inevitably encouraged Spanish
>>> composers to develop
>>> their own national style of opera: zarzuela.”
>>>
>>> Some twenty years ago, at the urging of Plácido Domingo, who was its
>>> Artistic Director at
>>> the time, The Washington Opera staged a couple of zarzuelas, in which I
>>> was privileged to
>>> be a super : “El Gato Montés” by Manuel Penella and “Doña Francisquita”
>>> by
>>> Amedeo Vives.
>>> Wikipedia actually classifies a“El Gato Montés” as an opera, but Domingo
>>> and TWO referrred
>>> to it as a zarzuela, so who knows. A few years ago I saw a performance of
>>> the zarzuela
>>> “Luisa Fernanda” by Federico Moreno Torroba at the beautiful Palacio de
>>> Bellas Artes in
>>> Mexico City (the opera house boasts a terrific stained-glass stage
>>> curtain
>>> by Louis Comfort
>>> Tiffany, which I believe is the only one of its kind in the world.)
>>>
>>> “El Gato Montés” includes the world-famous “paso doble” which in the
>>> popular imagination
>>> is always invariably linked to bullfights.  It can be heard at
>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Osdg6ibxnWU .  A full performance of
>>> “Doña
>>> Francisquita” (Gran Teatro del Liceo, Barcelona, 1987, with Alfredo
>>> Kraus)
>>> can be seen at
>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEyFxsQ651U.
>>>
>>> I enjoyed all three of these zarzuelas/opera tremendously.  Of the three,
>>> I liked “Doña
>>> Francisquita” best on account of the smashing tunes and gay (as in merry)
>>> and colorful
>>> dancing numbers it was filled with.  I actually was given a couple of
>>> spoken lines in it on
>>> account of my skill in foreign languages, so I was actually paid as an
>>> artist (as opposed to
>>> super) and had to join AGMA (the American Guild of Musical Artists) in
>>> order to be allowed
>>> to fill the position.  I am still a paid-up member of AGMA and that
>>> membership card is one
>>> of my proudest possessions.
>>>
>>> In my view, all three of these works provide a far more enjoyable evening
>>> of musical
>>> theatre than all the “Dead Man Walkings” and “Death of Klinghoffers” that
>>> opera managers
>>> insist on shoving down our throats.
>>>
>>> This view, unfortunately, was not shared by most TWO (Washington Opera)
>>> subscribers,
>>> many of whom bitterly complained to TWO management (I understand some
>>> people actually
>>> cancelled their subscriptions).  “Doña Francisquita,” in particular, came
>>> in for particular
>>> invective and abuse  because many people felt there was far too much
>>> Spanish dialogue
>>> (even though there were surtitles).
>>>
>>> I also feel there was an undercurrent of racism underpinning some of the
>>> criticism.  As one
>>> bejeweled and becoiffed matron told me at a social function, “I don’t pay
>>> all that money to
>>> listen to a third-class opera in my maid’s language.”  I heard other
>>> similar comments from
>>> subscribers.
>>>
>>> Why is it that so many English speakers have such a negative view of
>>> Spain, a beautiful
>>> country of warm, artistic people with a great culture ?  The Spanish
>>> Inquisition was
>>> centuries ago, and Spain has been a democracy for 50 years now.
>>>
>>> I guess the TWO Board listened to the criticism because I do not recall
>>> that any zarzuela
>>> was ever performed by TWO/WNO after “Doña Francisquita.”
>>>
>>> I hope the above is responsive to Idia’s question.
>>>
>>> Cheers and all the best,
>>>
>>> Alain
>>>
>>> Alain Letort
>>> Washington, D.C.
>>> Des Ungeheuers Höhle
>>>
>>> =====================================================
>>> On Wed, 20 Dec 2017 12:18:11 -0500, Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> >I know there are some wonderful Spanish composers and a few fine operas
>>> >as well but why is there such a dearth of  top 10 popular operas by
>>> Spanish
>>> >composers and performances in major venues?
>>>
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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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