I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

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dulcinea
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I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by dulcinea » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:08 pm

what must I look for in those regarded as his masterpieces? For ex, what am I supposed to see and hear in COSI FAN TUTTE, whose plot is sillier than many sitcoms I could mention, and THE MAGIC FLUTE, whose plot is among the strangest and most confusing in all opera? :? :? :?
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Marc » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:20 pm

dulcinea wrote:what must I look for in those regarded as his masterpieces? For ex, what am I supposed to see and hear in COSI FAN TUTTE, whose plot is sillier than many sitcoms I could mention, and THE MAGIC FLUTE, whose plot is among the strangest and most confusing in all opera? :? :? :?
Strange, confusing: sounds tempting to me! So, what's the problem? :)
About the silly plot in Così: if you really think so .... I don't agree. But in my experience so far it has been proven to be impossible to try to explain my opinion to Così-detesters. My advice would be, without being sarcastic or mean: experience life first (in its entirety), before listening to this one. Another advice could be: just listen to the music, which is beautiful. And the way it matches with the story might lead to another 'less silly' conclusion.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:46 pm

dulcinea wrote:what must I look for in those regarded as his masterpieces? For ex, what am I supposed to see and hear in COSI FAN TUTTE, whose plot is sillier than many sitcoms I could mention, and THE MAGIC FLUTE, whose plot is among the strangest and most confusing in all opera? :? :? :?
I have no idea, I never read the Librettos, the Music's all I care about... :wink:
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by dulcinea » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:59 pm

From the very opposing reactions to COSI that I have read, it seems that--unlike DON GIOVANNI, which everybody likes--K 588 is definitely an acquired taste.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Ken » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:05 am

Agree somewhat with you about Cosi, which I have never been able to get in to; Idomineo and Don Giovanni remain my favourites --- though mostly for their wonderful music.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by John F » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:17 am

dulcinea wrote:what must I look for in those regarded as his masterpieces? For ex, what am I supposed to see and hear in COSI FAN TUTTE, whose plot is sillier than many sitcoms I could mention, and THE MAGIC FLUTE, whose plot is among the strangest and most confusing in all opera? :? :? :?
Whatever you "look for" in opera. Simple as that.

"Così fan tutte" is a comedy. Like many comedies, and indeed many serious plays, its story is based on a situation that you won't find, literally, in real life - in some ways it's absurd. But that's true of much non-operatic drama too. If you demand all plays to be naturalistic like Arthur Miller's, you leave out most of them from Euripides to Albee, definitely not excluding Shakespeare. And like all comedies, "Così fan tutte" is supposed to be funny. It is funny. But it has a serious theme, the unruly and unpredictable affections of the human heart, which it shares with countless great works of literature. And its dramatic construction is as meticulous and logical, with its symmetries and asymmetries, and its language as polished and humorously sophisticated (if you can deal with Italian), as in "The Importance of Being Earnest." We're not talking "Il Trovatore" here. But unlike "Earnest," "Così" has a heart - thanks in large part to Mozart's music.

"Magic Flute" is a fantasy, something like a fairy tale. Its story is no stranger than "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings," and not at all confusing. A young, naive guy sets out on a quest to free a princess from an evil tyrant, only to learn that he hasn't been told the truth and the supposed tyrant isn't evil after all. As in most quest stories, Tamino is not just in search of a desired object but also of his own mature self, and at the end he's much changed from the innocent he was. This too is a serious theme - another quest opera is "Parsifal" - and quite clearly laid out in the story line. To throw the quest into greater relief, Tamino is provided with a down-to-earth Sancho Panza in Papageno, who goes on his quest unwillingly and whose comic failures highlight Tamino's success. No less than Goethe thought highly enough of "Magic Flute" to write his own sequel to it. Where's the beef?

As others have said here, opera is a musical form - it's not just plays dressed up with pretty tunes. If you care for Mozart's music, then you need his operas, at least from "Idomeneo" to "Magic Flute," because they contain much of his finest music. If you want to know what to look for, there's your answer.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:34 am

John F wrote:If you care for Mozart's music, then you need his operas, at least from "Idomeneo" to "Magic Flute," because they contain much of his finest music.
Absolutely, John is totally correct (as always)... :wink:
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Lance » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:45 am

Yes, Dulcinea: just enjoy the MUSIC. If you don't like the plot of the opera, you will most certainly enjoy the music, especially if it is from the hand of Herr Mozart.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Agnes Selby » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:48 am

Indeed, John is 100% right. Also, if you wish to delve deeper into the
story of The Magic Flute, read up on 18th century Freemasonry
beliefs in Western Europe.

As for Cosi it may not appeal to your sense of humour. Humour
changes from generation to generation let alone from century
to century. You may not find it funny but the music should suffice.

Agnes.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:51 am

Lance wrote:Yes, Dulcinea: just enjoy the MUSIC. If you don't like the plot of the opera, you will most certainly enjoy the music, especially if it is from the hand of Herr Mozart.
I actually turn the Subtitles/Captions off, I once watched an Opera with them on and was so disturbed by the absurdity of it that now I just watch and listen... :D
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:26 am

I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas
Okay.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:48 am

I'm wondering why no one has pointed out that these are not "early Mozart operas." They are the fruits of Mozart's deepest maturity. If Dulcinea really wants to be bored, she can listen to the real early Mozart operas.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by karlhenning » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:17 am

What am I missing here? Così fan tutte is not early Mozart . . . .

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:20 am

karlhenning wrote:What am I missing here? Così fan tutte is not early Mozart . . . .

Cheers,
~Karl
Got in 1/2 hour before you, Karl.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Marc » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:32 am

I guessed: there's a ; in the topic title, so probably there's more to come.
So: Dulcinea is done with early Mozart operas, because she finds them boring, and now she wants to know if it's even worthwhile to investigate the 'mature' so-called masterpieces, f.i. Così and Zauberflöte.
Could this be an explanation?

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by karlhenning » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:41 am

jbuck919 wrote:
karlhenning wrote:What am I missing here? Così fan tutte is not early Mozart . . . .
Got in 1/2 hour before you, Karl.
Knew I could rely on you, John!

Cheers,
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by karlhenning » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:42 am

Marc wrote:. . . if it's even worthwhile to investigate the 'mature' so-called masterpieces, f.i. Così and Zauberflöte.
"So-called"? So-called?

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Marc » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:47 am

karlhenning wrote:
Marc wrote:. . . if it's even worthwhile to investigate the 'mature' so-called masterpieces, f.i. Così and Zauberflöte.
"So-called"? So-called?

Cheers,
~Karl
Yes, for explanation I was trying to quote Dulcinea in different words: ...those regarded as his masterpieces.... My personal answer would be: no question about that. Masterpieces!

BTW: my personal opinion about these works could already be drawn from my first posting in this thread.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by stenka razin » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:52 am

Chalkperson wrote:
John F wrote:If you care for Mozart's music, then you need his operas, at least from "Idomeneo" to "Magic Flute," because they contain much of his finest music.
Absolutely, John is totally correct (as always)... :wink:

Let's make that three in total agreemennt. 8)
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by maestrob » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:38 am

Suggestion I: Aye, the music's the thing.

Suggestion II: Try watching Mozart's operas on video, rather than just listening. Perhaps the added visual dimension will allow you to connect to them more.

Suggestion III: Don't leave out Le nozze de Figaro, arguably Mozart's most popular opera.

Suggestion IV: Try listening just to the arias and duets etc., leaving out the recits. You can either get a highlights disc, or program your CD player. Mozart poured his best efforts into the melodies of his operas and, like Rossini, his ensembles are deeply moving.

James

Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by James » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:42 am

dulcinea wrote:what must I look for in those regarded as his masterpieces? For ex, what am I supposed to see and hear in COSI FAN TUTTE, whose plot is sillier than many sitcoms I could mention, and THE MAGIC FLUTE, whose plot is among the strangest and most confusing in all opera? :? :? :?
Don't fret it, they're not for everyone that's for sure. Focus on music you do like.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:53 pm

karlhenning wrote:What am I missing here? Così fan tutte is not early Mozart . . . .

Cheers,
~Karl
I'd hate to hear what she thinks of Idomeneo, an opera I once listened too almost as much as Tito and Rosenkavalier. And I was no wimp about it: I listened to the Telefunken set that includes the extra disc of dance music!
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by THEHORN » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:03 pm

If you want to hear an Mozart opera with a REALLY confusing and impossibly convoluted plot, try La Finta Giardinera (The fake female gardener ) , which contains some very attractive music, but whose plot is beyond impenetrable . It's downright surrealistic . There's also an amusing aria for one of the characters which mixes Italian, German and English !
I've heard the Harnoncourt recording on Teldec , and had the Philips recording on LP many years ago,sung in German, conducted by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt.
If there were a contest for the opera with the most confusing plot, this one would win hands down.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by dulcinea » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:14 pm

[quote="James"][quote="dulcinea"]I'm all done with the really boring early Mozart operas; what must I look for in those regarded as his masterpieces?


Read the ENTIRE quotation first, else you'll embarrass yourselves the same way Oliphant and Gray Davis embarrassed themselves because of that Schwarzenegger quote that was originally published in an incomplete and therefore misleading form.
Last edited by dulcinea on Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by stenka razin » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:27 pm

My fellow CMGers, is there anything more beautiful in all of Opera than the trio: 'Soave sia il vento' from Cosi?...........Really :wink: .......... :D :D :D :D ++++
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:36 pm

stenka razin wrote:My fellow CMGers, is there anything more beautiful in all of Opera than the trio: 'Soave sia il vento' from Cosi?...........Really :wink: .......... :D :D :D :D ++++
Well, there's the letter duet in Figaro - same quality of perfectly blended voices - but yes, I agree, music really don't get any better than that!
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:07 pm

THEHORN wrote:If you want to hear an Mozart opera with a REALLY confusing and impossibly convoluted plot, try La Finta Giardinera (The fake female gardener ) , which contains some very attractive music, but whose plot is beyond impenetrable . It's downright surrealistic . There's also an amusing aria for one of the characters which mixes Italian, German and English !
I've heard the Harnoncourt recording on Teldec , and had the Philips recording on LP many years ago,sung in German, conducted by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt.
If there were a contest for the opera with the most confusing plot, this one would win hands down.
Yeah, but who goes to opera for the plots?

Okay, the 19th century did marginally better on the believability scale, Wag*er notwithstanding. Comic opera always was a pastiche of styles of nonsense, esp the Italian commedia dell'arte.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by James » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:10 pm

Who goes to Opera at all?? :?
most of it is a complete waste of time imho...

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Harold Tucker » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:48 pm

Boredom is in the mind of the beholder. You may quote me on that. :lol:

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:21 pm

James wrote:Who goes to Opera at all?? :?
most of it is a complete waste of time imho...
Well, then, definitely you shouldn't go! :lol:
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Lance » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:43 pm

James! I am shocked! I go to the opera and love it! Why a "complete waste of time?" Do you go to Broadway (or off-Broadway) shows?
James wrote:Who goes to Opera at all?? :?
most of it is a complete waste of time imho...
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Imperfect Pitch » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:47 pm


I like Figaro and Don Giovanni best, probably in that order, not that this adds much to the discussion.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Agnes Selby » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:48 pm

James wrote:Who goes to Opera at all?? :?
most of it is a complete waste of time imho...
The audience of the completely sold out Opera Australia
at the Sydney Opera House would disagree.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Ken » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:12 am

James wrote:Who goes to Opera at all?? :?
most of it is a complete waste of time imho...
I'm curious, James, have you seen or heard anything from Stockhausen's Licht opera cycle? I haven't, and haven't heard it mentioned much outside from bio-pieces on the composer, but I'm really curious to see or hear what the end product is like.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by THEHORN » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:41 am

Always remember TheHorn's rule of opera:

The opera has yet to be written with a plot as absurd as what happens in real life .







:) :lol:





:lol:

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by dulcinea » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:58 am

Marc wrote:I guessed: there's a ; in the topic title, so probably there's more to come.
So: Dulcinea is done with early Mozart operas, because she finds them boring, and now she wants to know if it's even worthwhile to investigate the 'mature' so-called masterpieces, f.i. Così and Zauberflöte.
Could this be an explanation?
Yes. I have already listened years ago to FIGARO, DON and MAGIC FLUTE; COSI's plot I find irritatingly inane, while I'm puzzled at the suggestion that the Queen of the Night is Maria Theresia, a lady who is remembered with more affection than her dimwit son, Joseph II.
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by karlhenning » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:09 am

I am content to take Die Zauberflöte without any political allegory.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by THEHORN » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:43 am

The Magic Flute is actually a Masonic allegory ; apparently, she and the Freemasons did not like each other at all.
Sarastro and the members of the Temple of Wisdom represent the masons , and the Queen is their sworn enemy .
I've also heard two parts of Stockhausen's Licht cycle on CD .
They are not conventionally operatic at all and the whole cycle is also a kind of allegory which is difficult to explain briefly .
Lucifer (bearer of light) is a major character in them .
The orchestra is unconventional and features a mixture of electronic and wind instruments . If you lack patience you may find these a trial to listen to, but they're definitely interesting and different .
These DG recordings are probably now difficult to find, but arkivmusic.com might be helpful .

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by karlhenning » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:52 am

THEHORN wrote:The Magic Flute is actually a Masonic allegory ; apparently, she and the Freemasons did not like each other at all.
Then I amend my statement to, I am content to take Die Zauberflöte as allegorical without regard to the personalities who might have been referenced.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Wallingford » Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:57 pm

I guess the real trick to this whole thing is NOT to look for profundity in every single thing Mozart wrote.

I don't mind one of his real early operas, Bastien und Bastienne......especially when done all by choirboys (some of them in drag).
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by James » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:28 pm

I've been exposed to lots of opera and loathe it for the most part, there is only one that I truly like as a whole and that's Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, which is so powerful & weird. Wagner's harmonic world is intoxicating and I truly love it, but the operas go on for far too long (overblown) there is too much singing unfortunately, though the best of orchestral bloody chunks torn from them are some of the most profound pieces of music ever written, and some of my all-time favorites in all of music. Period.

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by Marc » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:38 pm

dulcinea wrote:Yes. I have already listened years ago to FIGARO, DON and MAGIC FLUTE; COSI's plot I find irritatingly inane, while I'm puzzled at the suggestion that the Queen of the Night is Maria Theresia, a lady who is remembered with more affection than her dimwit son, Joseph II.
About Così: to me, these people are real, despite the farcial story. I would always prefer Fiordiligi above Brünnhilde. (Not to mention Despina .... try Lucia Popp in Klemperer's recording!)

In case of the Flute: yes, me too have read a lot of articles and theories and explanations. In the end, every theory seems to be possible. When I listen to the piece itself it's not bothering me at all. So: just forget about it (only trying to give an advice).

Joseph & Maria will be a puzzling couple in any story, believe me.

Nevertheless, about the Queen of the Night and some confusion that I always had: she is supposed to be (The) Evil, but strangely enough the tools she gives Tamino & Papageno are effective in helping The Good.
Anyway: I love the Flute. Coincidentally, this week I watched my favourite episode of Inspector Morse again: Masonic Mysteries. It's all about Good and Bad, and Masonic Puzzles, and .... a lot of Mozart, too!

But Sgt. Lewis didn't like it.

You're in good company, then!

THEHORN
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by THEHORN » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:00 pm

James , how many operas are you familiar with , either from
recordings, DVDs, or live performances etc ? There must be some of them you would really enjoy . How about La Boheme, Tosca,
Carmen , Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Giulio Cesare ,
Orfeo&Euridice, Otello, Madama Butterfly, Otello, Boris Godunov,
Eugene Onegin , Manon, The Bartred Bride , Jenufa, Aida, Faust,
Rigoletto, The Flying Dutchman, (mercifully short for Wagner),
Peter Grimes, Porgy and Bess, Salome, Der Rosenkavalier,
Wozzeck, Hansel & Gretel, Turandot, La Traviata , Il Trovatore,
Elektra, Andrea Chenier, La Gioconda, Mefistofele, Der Freischutz,
Les Troyens, Katya Kabanova, Rusalka, Pelleas &Melisande,
Don Carlo, La Fanciulla Del West, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lucia Di Lammermoor, Don Pasquale, just to name some at random ?
If you follow along with the enclosed libretto and translation, it helps you to focus on the drama and to know exactly what the characters are singing about, and their motivations and moods .
With Wagner, either or CD or DVD, you could try one act at a time, and give yourself a break. This might help with the length.
I myself have heard hundreds of different operas on either Lp or CD since I was a teenager over 40 years ago , and that doesn't count all the operas I've heard multiple recordings of !
I don't like all of them, but there are so many I really do like or love , and there are still so many operas I haven't heard yet !
When I was a teengaer, I got hooked on opera (and classical music in general) because my local library had an extensive collection of complete opera recordings and classical music in general. I got accustomed to listening to the complete recordings and following the action with the inclosed libretto and English translation . I've never regretted doing this !

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by stenka razin » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:11 pm

THEHORN wrote:James , how many operas are you familiar with , either from
recordings, DVDs, or live performances etc ? There must be some of them you would really enjoy . How about La Boheme, Tosca,
Carmen , Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Giulio Cesare ,
Orfeo&Euridice, Otello, Madama Butterfly, Otello, Boris Godunov,
Eugene Onegin , Manon, The Bartred Bride , Jenufa, Aida, Faust,
Rigoletto, The Flying Dutchman, (mercifully short for Wagner),
Peter Grimes, Porgy and Bess, Salome, Der Rosenkavalier,
Wozzeck, Hansel & Gretel, Turandot, La Traviata , Il Trovatore,
Elektra, Andrea Chenier, La Gioconda, Mefistofele, Der Freischutz,
Les Troyens, Katya Kabanova, Rusalka, Pelleas &Melisande,
Don Carlo, La Fanciulla Del West, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lucia Di Lammermoor, Don Pasquale, just to name some at random ?
If you follow along with the enclosed libretto and translation, it helps you to focus on the drama and to know exactly what the characters are singing about, and their motivations and moods .
With Wagner, either or CD or DVD, you could try one act at a time, and give yourself a break. This might help with the length.
I myself have heard hundreds of different operas on either Lp or CD since I was a teenager over 40 years ago , and that doesn't count all the operas I've heard multiple recordings of !
I don't like all of them, but there are so many I really do like or love , and there are still so many operas I haven't heard yet !
When I was a teengaer, I got hooked on opera (and classical music in general) because my local library had an extensive collection of complete opera recordings and classical music in general. I got accustomed to listening to the complete recordings and following the action with the inclosed libretto and English translation . I've never regretted doing this !

THEHORN, excellent response, mate. For me it was listening to WQXR (Live Met Saturdays) and WNYC (Midnight Saturday Night Operas) in NYC as a teen that did the trick. 8)
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John F
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by John F » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:13 pm

Marc wrote:Nevertheless, about the Queen of the Night and some confusion that I always had: she is supposed to be (The) Evil, but strangely enough the tools she gives Tamino & Papageno are effective in helping The Good.
As you said, these are tools. The tools don't help "The Good" - they help Tamino and Papagano, who use the magic according for their own purposes and according to their own natures.

The one inconsistency in the whole story, I think, is that the Queen's ladies (not the Queen herself) bring in the three genii to guide Tamino and Papageno. They turn out not to be the Queen's servants but independent agents and indeed a force for good. Their guidance goes beyond showing the way to Sarastro's realm; they intervene to dissuade Pamina and Papageno from suicide, giving them good advice to solve their problems. The unearthly and sublime music whenever the genii appear, unlike anything else in the opera, adds a whole new dimension. At their first appearance they don't utter a word - Mozart's serene clarinets, high bassoon, and pizzicato violins speak for them - but the music alone shows them to be on the side of the angels. Why are they there? Because the story says so, and without them the story would be the poorer.
John Francis

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by MaestroDJS » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:07 pm

This explanation might help:

Victor Borge: The Mozart Opera

David Stybr, Personal Assistant and Der Webmeister to Denise Swanson, New York Times Best-Selling Author
http://www.DeniseSwanson.com
~ Devereaux's Dime Store Mysteries ~ Book 2: Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death, March 2013
~ Scumble River Mysteries ~ Book 15: Murder of the Cat's Meow, October 2012
Penguin ~ Obsidian ~ Signet, New York, New York

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by dulcinea » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:33 pm

Is ZAIDE a warm-up for ABDUCTION? Each has a character named Osmin.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:09 pm

dulcinea wrote:Is ZAIDE a warm-up for ABDUCTION? Each has a character named Osmin.
You know those Ottomen--they were all named Mustafa, Selim, or Osmin. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lmpower
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by lmpower » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:21 pm

Magic Flute illustrates different levels of human development. Papageno represents the carnal man. He is interested in eating, drinking, sleeping and getting a girl friend. By accepting and cherishing this character Mozart is liberated to go to the next level, which is Tamino, the noble, high minded hero, who is on a quest for higher levels of experience. Finally we see the fulfillment of Mozart's ideals in Sarastro and the chorus, who represent the enlightenment of the sage or holy man. Mozart beautifully expresses these different levels of consciousness in his inimitable music. It is also interesting to note the sexual preferences of the characters. Papageno has a preference for Papagena, who is a sweetie. Tamino has a preference for Pamina, a noble, high minded lady, who will follow him through long and arduous trials. Sarastro is celibate. I consider this opera to be Mozart's masterpiece and one of the supreme ahcievements of the human race.

John F
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Re: I'm All Done With The Really Boring Early Mozart Operas;

Post by John F » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:39 pm

dulcinea wrote:Is ZAIDE a warm-up for ABDUCTION? Each has a character named Osmin.
18th century Austria and particularly Vienna had a popular vogue for Turkish stuff - starting with coffee :) - and it's reflected in lots of music. Not just "Zaide" and "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" but Mozart's violin concerto #5 and piano sonata #11 with their finales "alla Turca." And not just Mozart - Gluck wrote a comic opera for Vienna, "Le cadi dupé," which in places sounds a lot like Mozart's Turkish operas, and Beethoven provided incidental music including a chorus of dervishes and the famous Turkish march for "The Ruins of Athens." Just for starters.

Mozart worked on "Zaïde" in 1779 while still in Salzburg, which had no opera, and with no commission or prospect of performance. He may have had his eye on the new Emperor-sponsored German Opera in Vienna, but we've no information that I know of about any contact he may have had with them, and don't know for sure what he had in mind. When he got the commission for "Idomeneo," he dropped "Zaïde," and when he moved to Vienna in 1781 and did get a commission for a German opera, he didn't take up "Zaïde" again but started from scratch with a wholly new libretto, "Entführung," with Vienna's sophisticated audience and rich resources in mind.

It's just a coincidence that both operas have characters named Osmin. This is a minor role in "Zaïde," what exists of it, and of course a huge role for a star bass in "Entführung." Otherwise the stories are different.
Last edited by John F on Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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