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Subject: Re: opera on tv (was Re[2]: THE SOUND OF MUSIC)
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Sat, 10 Nov 2018 22:11:28 -0500

text/plain (55 lines)

Thanks to Rich for reminding us of NBC Opera Theatre.  There were many presentations 
that I was too young to catch, but heard about, like Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites" 
with a young Leontyne Price and which premiered on NBC only month's after the world 
premiere at La Scala.  Dello Joio's "The Trial at Rouen" written for NBC and which was heard 
for the first time live in Boston last season with Odyssey Opera.  Also, Prokofiev's War and 
Peace, a Rigoletto with Igor Gorin; Menotti's "Labyrinth" (written for NBC) with John 
Reardon, Judith Raskin and Elaine Bonazzi.  

Most of those were before my time, and since I was well into my teens before I ever 
attended a live professional opera ("Boris Godunov") I relied heavily on opera whenever it 
presented itself on the small screen.  Although I'd heard many recordings (and a few live 
broadcasts) my first visual "Traviata" was Elizabeth Harwood in the BBC film (in English) 
and I loved it.

I recall seeing clips of an exciting (to me) Samson and Delilah from Australian TV, and feel 
grateful  that these things I recall from boyhood are popping up with frequency on youtube 
and other platforms.  Here is the finale of that Samson (in English for those who have 
aversions to such things):

I didn't see this until youtube was invented but here's a 26 year old Beverly Sills in a fast-
paced, stripped down version of Violetta's big scene (clocking in at under 3 minutes) for 
Opera Cameos!

CBS had a program called Festival of Lively Arts (or something like that) and I recall Zero 
Mostel in "Gianni Schicchi" and how nearly everyone at school was talking about it the next 

The, there were the "Glory Days" of the 70's and 80's when The Met, New York City Opera, 
Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and companies from around the globe, would 
present live (or taped live) operas and operatic galas, etc.  

Now, of course, we have marvelous abilities to watch live (or nearly) performances on the 
internet, so I shouldn't complain and won't other than to say, I MISS the universality of 
knowing everyone was tuning into PBS at the same time, but that's a small price to pay for 
seeing and hearing things from Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris and elsewhere almost any time one 


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