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Subject: Re: The most influential opera to impact our own time is (long)
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 27 Jan 2018 11:57:33 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
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text/plain (157 lines)


Thank you Paul.  You said a lot of what I was thinking and expressed it
much better than I could have.

Donald

(listening the the JV Tosca from the Met _ sorry if I offend, I heard
Tebaldi, Crespin, Nilsson, Rysanek, Olivero, Kirsten, Corelli, Tucker,
Pavarotti, Domingo, Merrill, MacNeil and Milnes among others when I was
growing up operatically.)  Its not that I don't like Yoncheva or Grigolo, I
like them both but I expect more, I want more in this opera.  Lucic, a
solid, decent baritone, is past it (at least at the first performance -
lets see how he does today.  I will see the encore video on Wednesday.
What I won't get is the impression of these voices live in a big auditorium.

On Sat, Jan 27, 2018 at 11:21 AM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> With apologies for length - a lot of thought went into this response
> knowing this is NOT
> "required reading."
>
> Mr. Camner wrote:
>
> 1.  “Sorry to say . . . Tristan und Isolde . . . for such a famous work,
> such a titanic and
> incomparably gorgeous masterwork, it is remarkably scarce in live
> performances these
> days.”
>
> RESPONSE: The past season Tristan received 30 some odd productions – 14 of
> them brand,
> spanking new, most of them well received.  That is not “remarkably scarce.”
>
> Wagner’s influence is felt not only in music but in popular culture (as
> Mr. Camner noted,
> then questioned):  not only In classical music, but also in popular music
> running the gamut
> from rock’n roll through the various types of metal, e.g., speed,
> grindcore, black, death,
> heavy, etc
>
>
> 2.  “How many subsequent works carried on or imitated Tristan und Isolde?
>
> RESPONSE:  Most of them.  Too many composers to list felt the influence of
> Wagner,
> whether they "imitated" Tristan (not the point) or not.  The influence of
> Strauss is
> undeniable, likewise Massenet, Pfitzner, Zemlinsky, and that influence was
> felt far beyond
> the opera-house, extending into purely symphonic works by guys named
> Mahler, Elgar,
> Bruckner, Vaughan Williams, . . .
>
> 3.  Maybe that deadly box office poison bore Pelleas et Melisande? (Talk
> about a road to
> nowhere).”
>
> RESPONSE:   “Pelleas” bad rap is a uniquely American phenomenon.  Outside
> of the U.S. it
> continues to be produced regularly, attracts audiences, and from June 2016
> to July 2018 it
> will have seen 33 productions – 14 of them new and none of them in the
> United States
> (save a single concert performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
> Productions from
> Europe on streaming devices and BluRay/DVD sales as well as recordings –
> including the
> classic 1941 Desormiere EMI (still the best) continue to sell remarkably
> well, particularly for
> “poison.”
>
> 4.  “We are a long way from the days when major writers like Bernard Shaw
> and Willa
> Cather passionately wrote about Wagner and operas like Tristan und Isolde.”
>
> RESPONSE:  Indeed, Cather and Shaw wrote passionately, but that does not
> imply
> “frequently” and opera remains intriguing enough of a plot device that a
> number of good
> authors still find it fascinating enough to serve their stories.:  “The
> Venice Adriana” – “Death
> at La Fenice” – “Flying Dutch” – “La Divina,”  One of my favorite short
> stories of recent
> vintage (though not particularly “short”) is Mark Helprin’s brilliant “Il
> Colore Ritrovato” from
> “The Pacific and Other Stories.”  It is the tale of a hapless bookkeeper
> who, upon hearing
> the stunning voice of a half-witted laundress, becomes an impresario and
> turns her into the
> greatest living soprano of her time.  A delightfully slightly acerbic,
> wistful story beautifully
> relayed (as are the others in the collection).
>
> Additionally, Wagner continues to be one of the most written about
> composers with his
> Tristan, in particular, frequently taking a starring role.
>
> 5.  “What are the traditional operas that really matter to the general
> public today? I would
> suggest that even La Boheme is rapidly losing its once iron clad box
> office appeal.”
>
> RESPONSE:  Where?   In professional productions alone (not to mention
> colleges,
> conservatories, amateur companies, etc.) La Boheme is scheduled to receive
> 212
> performances in 49 productions in 46 cities – just over the next three
> months.  Three
> months.  It’s not going anywhere, friends.
>
> Even the controversial “Boheme in Space” production at the Paris Opera,
> after its opening
> night “hiss ‘n boo” debacle, met with rapturous audiences and nearly every
> other
> performance of the rest of the run was sold out.  Many on this list – most
> of whom did not
> even see it – decried that Puccini was skewered or slaughtered.
>
> Wagner's influence is felt not only in music but in popular culture (as
> Mr. Camner noted,),
> not only classical music, but also in popular music running the gamut from
> regular ol’ rock’n
> roll through the various types of metal, e.g., speed, grindcore, black,
> death, thrash,
> metalcore, heavy, etc. I'd say that's a far reaching influence as one
> could ever hope to
> have.
>
> p.
>
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