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Subject: Re: Perfection in opera (was Re[2]: 2008 film of la boheme - question)
From: James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 9 Aug 2018 11:44:57 -0400

text/plain (46 lines)

Hello, Rich  -
I agree with most of your preferences, but I still think too much 
emphasis is made on things that should (or shouldn't) be cut. I don't 
like to make lists, even informally, but I also don't judge an opera's 
quality by its length. The effect of a performance of MEISTERSINGER can 
be overwhelming, and doing it uncut only increases that. JENUFA doesn't 
need abbreviating, just expert direction and it flies by. I'll stop 
before I go into list "mode".

Besides some cuts just don't make sense themselves.

Jim Bodge

On 8/8/2018 7:04 PM, Rich Lowenthal wrote:
> I am curious to hear what listers mean when they say an opera is
> "perfect." I think Nozze is one of the best constructed operas, with
> terrific characters and an ingenious plot, and would agree that Mozart's
> score is "perfect" (but then it seems hubris to criticize Mozart)--but
> if the opera is performed uncut, the fourth act drags with the various
> star turns one suspects Mozart only reluctantly composed. My favorite
> opera is Elektra, but it too is rarely performed uncut, and
> realistically, the complete opera is probably too taxing for any but the
> most valkyrish of singers. I love Meistersinger, but do grow weary
> during a performance, and agree that despite its tremendous score, as a
> drama Puritani is lacking. I think one of the best matches of music and
> drama is Jenufa, but acknowledge that in performance, it too can benefit
> from cuts, and that some might find the drama overwrought...
James Bodge

You only need two things: WD-40 and Duct Tape.  If something moves and 
it shouldn't, use the Duct Tape.  If it won't move and it should, use 
the WD-40.

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