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Subject: Re: Stunned After Last Few Measures of an Opera
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Tue, 4 Dec 2018 11:01:16 -0500

text/plain (61 lines)

Donald, when reading your posts I often have the sense that you live according to a set of 
fixed ideas and notions that forces you to question (though never seemingly to a 
satisfactory conclusion for yourself ) anyone who does not share your view . . .  that they do 
not, perhaps, understand the world, or art, or perhaps, anything else within it.  

Try as I have over my life, I’ve never figured out how someone can see and experience 
things so radically different than I do in my little world, but it’s never really mattered and 
even sharing the joy differently has brought more satisfaction than frustration.  Ultimately, 
it doesn’t really matter, does it?  

As the one you cited who listed “both DIE MEISTERSINGER and PARSIFAL” I must state you 
appear to have answered your own question:  “but what else do they have in common 
except an inevitability so carefully crafted that no other outcome is even imaginable . . . are 
we really not talking about what was once called “le coup de theatre?”  I’m not certain what 
you mean in that while I prefer to experience opera live and in person, the effect made on 
me is remarkably similar even when just listening to a recording or a broadcast.  Wagner 
did not intend his works to be merely “heard” so I must ask, are the endings of Parsifal and 
Meistersinger also “coup de theatre” even if unintended, as we experience them only 
aurally?  Does it matter?  Is my reaction irrelevant?  It may be to others, but not to me, 
since I can only experience it through my own filters and sensibilities, much like (or exactly 
like) you do.

The original question posed asked us to share what operas (specifically their endings) had 
the effect of stunning us.  I, and others, have answered, if not to your satisfaction, honestly, 
which was, I believe the point.  That you don’t share it is of no relevance – though some 
interest (at least to me).  

There is an inherent smugness in the opening pair of sentences with which you began your 
post, followed by the zinger suggesting some sort of abandonment of the senses or of our 
comprehension of language.  Contained therein invariably seems to be the endless 
argument of “then versus now," with an increasing contempt for “now.”  There may may be 
a perfectly logical argument in there somewhere, but ultimately complaining about how someone else enjoys their art, and questioning or minimizing the experience of others has 
always been bad form.  Then, and now.


* * * * * * * * 

On Tue, 4 Dec 2018 08:44:50 -0500, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

"Have you ever considered what it means to be stunned?   What would the life expectancy 
be of an opera goer who experienced such a thing as often as your list suggests?  Or have 
we, yet again, abandoned the sense of the topic?  "Stunning" as an adjective has come to 
have about as much meaning as "iconic".  One list had both DIE MEISTERSINGER and 
PARSIFAL: the ending of the first is glorious beyond belief, and of the second, awesome 
beyond belief, but what else do they have in common except an inevitability so carefully 
crafted that no other outcome is even imaginable if we are still talking about music.  In 
some cases, are we really  not talking about what was once called,  le coup de theatre?"

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