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Subject: Re: "Mefistofele' tonight at the Met
From: Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 9 Nov 2018 21:25:22 -0500
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Nor will I apologize for observing that “Ecco Il Mondo” always struck me as
a really nifty and jolly musical comedy entrance song.

But the potentially show-stopping “L’altra Notte” is a great gloomy aria
because of the way it is accompanied (Boito signals Margherita’s madness in
the introduction much as Donizetti signals Lucia’s in  her final entrance
music)  and the way it is constructed, with its unexpected cadenza and the
opportunity for some sopranos to crash down into chest register for the
final notes. I think it is also a great audition piece as is “Un di (ero
piccina)” from Mascagni’s not very memorable “Iris” - except no one ever
does it.

And Les, I think equating something with “Italian pasta” is a high
compliment.

Paul Ricchi

On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 6:41 PM Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> How about you and Les (and some others) deciding that every person
> on this forum is entitled to an opinion that may be different from your
> own, and that they might just be right. I find "Mefistofele" to be an
> opera of a few great highs and a couple of hours of lows. I've seen it
> three times staged, and once in concert, the concert with Tebaldi,
> Ghiaurov and Bergonzi, a night to remember, not for the music, but for
> the moment that it was. Ghiaurov, Ligabue and Kraus in Philadelphia
> was as great as singing ever gets, and while it more than salvaged
> the evening, it did not salvage the work
>
> I could not care less how many people find it a masterpiece, and I
> could not care equally less how much company I have. I hear "Mefistofele"
> as an entertainment that engages me for twenty minutes in the beginning,
> ten minutes when Margherita is lamenting this and that, another ten
> when Faust is warbling his pleasant tunes, yet another ten when Elena
> is thrilling us with her top C scene, and finally another ten minutes when
> Mefistofele repeats the magnificent themes of the Prologue. The rest is
> filler hardly worthy of comment.
>
> People who are "sick" of opinions that differ with their own and people
> who have nothing better to offer than that those who differ are
> "delusional"
> are - among a very large group who "know not and know not that they know
> not".
>
> Offered without apology!
>
> Bob
>
> On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 18:06 Tom Frey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > some folks thrive on being smarter than the rest and more "in the know"
> > than the lowly majority. It's harmless. Let them bathe in their delusions
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Sent: Fri, 09 Nov 2018 17:25:58 -0500 (EST)
> > Subject: Re: "Mefistofele' tonight at the Met
> >
> > I'm sick of these opera "experts/snobs" who put their noses down on
> operas
> > like "Mefistofele", "Wally",
> > "Adriana", Gioconda", Turandot, Andrea Chenier" and "Cav/Pag" and
> > "Fanciulla".  I love the music in all of these operas and they've given
> me
> > hours and hours of joy and happiness.
> >    I say to hell with these condescending and self-appointed "critics"
> who
> > dismiss these operas as "Italian pasta".  "Mefistofele" is a beautiful,
> > beautiful opera, and every time I hear it, I love it even more.  It's an
> > amazing opera, and I find the "Helen of Troy" scene one of the most
> sublime
> > scenes in all of opera, and a beautiful and startling contrast to
> > everything that has come before it in this particular opera.  I could go
> on
> > and on about all of the above-mentioned operas, but I won't bother.  I
> > don't care how many detractors these operas have.  I love them and I
> > consider them masterworks because they make ME happy, which is why I am
> an
> > "opera man" to start with.
> >
> > > On November 9, 2018 at 2:57 PM David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > Can anyone explain the very negative opinion of this piece expressed
> over
> > > the years by certain musicians?  As I recall, for a while at least
> Levine
> > > expressly forbid it from the Met repertoire.  Like most posters here I
> > have
> > > loved it since I was a teenager.  Great tunes, thrilling choruses,
> > exciting
> > > orchestration.  Not liking a piece is one thing, but calling it trash,
> as
> > > many professionals have done, seems strange to me.
> > >
> > > Related point.  Is there anything in 'Nerone' nearly as good?
> > >
> > > David Kubiak
> > >
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