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Subject: Re: another Boheme
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:12:32 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (143 lines)


Puccini didn't seem to mind "throwing away" a good idea, but
when this one appears, I always wish the audience were sitting
on their hands.

dtmk

On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 12:31 PM, Trish Callis <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> In my experience the lines after Musetta’s aria (“Marcello!”  “Sirena!”)
> are always covered by applause, and I have always wondered whether Puccini
> intended them as throwaway or expected everyone to freeze.
>
> Patricia L. Callis (Trish)
>
> ________________________________
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]>
> on behalf of donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2018 10:24:08 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: another Boheme
>
> LA BOHEME Act Two is one of the wonders of the musical world, and
> might still be called that, even if there were only seven.
>
> Many moons ago, when I was faced with the task of  taping some
> appropriate music to accompany a Christmas window display
> depicting the Old Met stage during a performance of that act, with
> the warning that "too much singing" would not sound good on
> the street day after day, I dug deeply enough into the budget to
> hire an aspiring music student who promised he could arrange the
> act into an 18 minute, non vocal suite for chamber ensemble,
> including a trumpet solo for the tenor's part.  Sounded good to
> me, so he went to work.   The musicians, about a dozen or so,
> assembled a month or two later at the old 30th St. studio for a
> recording session.  They were not well rehearsed, retakes were
> limited, but the resulting tape, with my reluctant approval, had to
> be used anyway.  Under the circumstances: 5th Ave. traffic, the
> constant shuffle of feet, the clanging of  the Salvation Army's
> seasonal handbell, etc, it worked well enough, especially with
> my addition, among a cluster of  other  Christmasy trifles, of only
> one vocal track: Caruso's 1906  "Che gelida manina."   The aria
> rang out amidst all of that tumult, every half hour or so, with startling
> realism, until New Years Day..
>
> I still think the student's suite, which used every note Puccini wrote,
> in proper sequence,  and had some quite imaginative instrumentation,
> was a worthy effort; a professional performance would be interesting to
> hear; I sometimes wonder what he ever did with it.
>
> The thing I still like about Zeffirelli's Act Two is the place where
> everybody
> freezes; there are times when should happen in a lot of operas.
>
> dtmk
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 11:12 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > IMO, Act II is actually the hardest act, from both a staging and a
> musical
> > perspective. So
> > much going on (with so many people onstage) that needs to be made clear.
> > All that chorus
> > work, the film-like back-and-forth interplay between the Bohemians' table
> > and the other
> > activity in and out of the cafe...the number of things we should see (and
> > clearly hear)
> > during the concertato ending of the Waltz...and then a parade to top it
> > all off (during which
> > we still need to get the plot point of Alcindoro getting stuck with the
> > bill, etc.) It may be one
> > of the shortest acts in opera, but boy, it's packed. Thee's a lot that
> > could go wrong.
> >
> >
> > On Wed, 21 Feb 2018 20:41:59 -0600, gordon young <[log in to unmask]
> >
> > wrote:
> >
> > >I'm not sure act two can be ruined.
> >
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