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Subject: Re: Perfection in opera (was Re[2]: 2008 film of la boheme - question)
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 9 Aug 2018 16:55:15 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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And now for something completely different...

In terms of perfection  - "Norma."  It has everything - music that
compliments its superlative libretto point for point, music that
irrespective of its context can function on its own as a thing of
unutterable beauty, and music drama that challenges it's performers to give
of their very best or see themselves - but not the work - compromised.

 "Anna Bolena" follows closely behind...

On Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 4:32 PM, Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> It is like heresy to say this but Rosenvavalier would be better if the
> tavern scene were about 15 minutes shorter, and Forza would be better if
> Prezziosilla took a star bullet right in the middle of her rat-a-plan.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Aug 8, 2018, at 7:04 PM, Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
> 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...
> >
> > I am probably too critical, but I'm not sure I know of an opera in which
> every note and moment is sacred and could not be removed without marring
> the work's perfection. For that matter, I'm not sure I know of a film,
> novel or symphony I would call "perfect" (although some do come awfully
> close).
> >
> > There are many works where I would not change a thing--but that's not
> the same as perfect. I wouldn't change anything in Die Frau ohne Schatten,
> but realistically cannot claim it is a perfect work, only that I love it so
> much.
> >
> >
> > ------ Original Message ------
> > From: "Jon Goldberg" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Sent: 8/8/2018 5:44:42 PM
> > Subject: Re: 2008 film of la boheme - question
> >
> >> But this is where Mr. Kane has a really important point on "perfect"
> vs. "favorite," Much as
> >> I love the score to Puritani, I could never consider it anywhere close
> to a perfect opera,
> >> because *dramatically* it not only makes very little sense, but it's so
> very dramatically
> >> inert. But it's glorious music, yes. (And very difficult music to sing,
> which thrills us even
> >> more when it's sung well.) Which, I suppose could make it a candidate
> for a "perfect"
> >> concert piece. ;-)
> >>
> >> The other operas Mr. Frey mentions, "perfect" or not, have plenty to
> offer both in terms of
> >> music AND drama. I do think that any candidate for a "perfect" opera
> needs a lot of both.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Wed, 8 Aug 2018 16:44:22 -0400, Tom Frey <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> My list of perfect operas begins with: Magic Flute, Masked Ball, I
> Puritani, Ariadne auf
> >> Naxos, and La Boheme. There are many others that one could add.
> Although I've sung in
> >> the chorus at Parsifal, Lohengrin and Tristan and appreciate the
> grandeur of Wagner, I am
> >> drawn mostly to Bel Canto
> >>> ----- Original Message -----
> >>> From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
> >>> To: [log in to unmask]
> >>> Sent: Wed, 08 Aug 2018 13:21:23 -0400 (EDT)
> >>> Subject: Re: 2008 film of la boheme - question
> >>>
> >>> I think this sets the bar too high; there are dozens of operas as
> >>> good as those two, and some, by Verdi himself, are going to be
> >>> considered superior by many people: DON CARLO, AIDA, LA
> >>> TRAVIATA, or LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, for example.. It is
> >>> my opinion that ANDREA CHENIER is as "perfect" as an opera
> >>> can be, and that it is almost impossible to single out just one or
> >>> two out of the twenty masterpieces by Wagner and Puccini. The
> >>> whole thing becomes yet another list of "favorites"
> >>>
> >>> dtmk
> >>>
> >>>> On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 1:03 AM, Isaac Alan <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> I am right with you, but for me, Rigoletto and Otello would also be
> >>>> included
> >>>> ________________________________
> >>>> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <
> [log in to unmask]>
> >>>> on behalf of James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
> >>>> Sent: Tuesday, 7 August 2018 9:25:56 PM
> >>>> To: [log in to unmask]
> >>>> Subject: Re: 2008 film of la boheme - question
> >>>>
> >>>> On 8/7/2018 4:27 PM, Bob Rideout wrote:
> >>>> > I'm with you 100%. There are three, arguably four, operas whose
> >>>> > every note and every word approach perfection - Boheme, Nozze di
> >>>> > Figaro and Falstaff. The fourth is Meistrsinger, though when
> performed
> >>>> > complete, especially David's role, I find unnecessary, to put it
> nicely.
> >>>> >
> >>>> > In any case, those two notes strike me as a perfect accent within a
> >>>> > perfect act, within a pretty perect opera. I cannot imagine why
> anyone
> >>>> > woukd omit that moment.
> >>>> >
> >>>> > But then, I'm sure there are those who can't get enough of David in
> >>>> > Meistersinger. ;-)
> >>>> >
> >
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