Teatro Nuovo Plan

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lennygoran
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Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by lennygoran » Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:06 am

We've been to a few of the operas put on by Teatro Nuovo-don't know how this project will work out? Regards, Len



"We hope that all is well with you and yours! While the pandemic winter has kept us all indoors, Teatro Nuovo has been busy hatching a project that we are now ready to share with all of you. For some time we have been brainstorming an answer to the question of how to join the world of “online content” while producing something that would remain of lasting value after the shutdown is over.

Our response is The Bel Canto Collection, a video library of Italian (and Italianate) gems uniquely suited to Teatro Nuovo’s trademark performing style, sung and played by our unmatched singers and orchestra members. Approximately 100 individual videos are planned, many of them world premieres. We are inviting you into a neglected but important repertory: chamber music and songs produced alongside the classic operas in opera’s homeland.

The collection is divided into three different chapters:

The Complete Songs of Verdi, a comprehensive record of the music for voice and piano by Italy’s greatest composer of all

I Professori d’Orchestra, a compendium of delightful pieces for solo instrument showcasing the mastery and bravura of our orchestra

La Romanza Italiana, a catalog of delicious Italian songs from the Bel Canto era.

Along with Verdi you’ll see other familiar names - Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti - but we are eager to introduce you also to Bazzini, Sivori, Filippi, Crivelli, Venzano and dozens more, including a certain Arturo Toscanini.

Besides serving our Bel Canto mission and revealing some gorgeous music, this series is an important way to help keep our artists employed during the near-cessation of normal musical work. All artists are compensated for their services. This program is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Joan and Alan Taub Ades Foundation, and by other supporters like you.

Watch your in-box for the first installment, coming very soon, and meanwhile stay safe and well as we all look forward to the moment - not too distant now, we all hope - of greeting you in person at performances! "

https://mailchi.mp/e7af98997944/announc ... acc91f8586

maestrob
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by maestrob » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:00 pm

That project sounds really interesting, Len! Do keep us posted as things develop.

For instance, I have not studied Verdi's song output, and would be very interested in hearing those.

lennygoran
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by lennygoran » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:51 pm

maestrob wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:00 pm
That project sounds really interesting, Len! Do keep us posted as things develop.
Brian will do. Regards, Len

lennygoran
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:48 am

maestrob wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:00 pm
That project sounds really interesting, Len! Do keep us posted as things develop.
Brian a follow up-this email arrived yesterday. Regards, Len

https://mailchi.mp/e8c95db54088/teatro- ... acc91f8586

maestrob
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by maestrob » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:23 am

Thanks, Len! That looks promising, and I will hear those selections later on, after I finish with Barney's opera by the Pope! :wink:

Quite wonderful to see Will Crutchfield in person. I've always admired him, both as a critic and later on as a conductor, but never had the lucky chance to meet him.

lennygoran
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:24 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:23 am
Quite wonderful to see Will Crutchfield in person. I've always admired him, both as a critic and later on as a conductor, but never had the lucky chance to meet him.
We got to see him at the lecture he gave before they did the Beethoven Leonore.


A Beethoven Aria Was Lost. I Filled In the Missing Pages.

You’re no Beethoven, to say the least. But you have to take the risk.



Published Feb. 21, 2020Updated Feb. 22, 2020

Beethoven had to present his only opera three times before it won success. It was premiered as “Fidelio” in 1805, revised as “Leonore” in 1806 and revised again in 1814 as the “Fidelio” we know today. Everyone now calls the first two versions “Leonore” to distinguish them from the famous one — but they are far from identical, because Beethoven was under intense pressure to shorten and simplify after the mixed reception in 1805.

What he originally wrote, though, was not some kind of student effort; we’re talking about a composer who already had the “Eroica” Symphony behind him. The conductor René Jacobs has recently asserted — backed by a recording — that the 1805 version is the best overall, and he is not alone. It is the version Opera Lafayette will revive in Washington on Feb. 26 and New York on March 2 and 4, conducted by Ryan Brown. But this time, it will be performed with a tenor aria nobody has heard since the year it was written.

Or, rather, with a guess — mine — at what that aria might have sounded like. The original was destroyed when scores were cut up so that some pages could be recycled for the second version. Revision was no light task in pre-photocopy days. Everything had to be done by hand, and they weren’t thinking about posterity; they were thinking about tomorrow’s rehearsal.

The scene in question is the first appearance of Florestan, a political prisoner wasting away in a dungeon when his brave wife, Leonore, takes a job at his prison in hopes of getting him out. His soliloquy consists of a grim prelude, a spacious recitative and a grand aria in the standard two-part (slow-fast) form. That outline applies to all three versions of the opera, but every section is musically different in each.

The first time around, Beethoven had tenor troubles. A reviewer wrote that Carl Demmer, the 1805 Florestan, was “almost always” singing flat. Looking toward the 1806 revival, the composer made a revision of the slow movement — almost certainly a simplification — and he at least considered dropping the fast movement altogether.

But then a replacement tenor was found in Johann August Röckel — the only change in the original cast. Beethoven was happy with him, but he still had to shorten the opera. Two sections got lost on the cutting room floor. One was the original slow movement; the shorter, revised one was kept. The other was the whole first section of the fast movement, a solo in F major with obbligato flute, in which Florestan recalls happier days with Leonore at his side. This was followed by an agitated section in F minor, in which he hopes his wife will realize he did the right thing. In 1806, that second part was left to stand by itself after the rewritten Adagio.

All previous revivals of the 1805 opera have had to content themselves with the 1806 aria, because the music had vanished. How do we know it was ever there? Partly from a few surviving pages: Under time pressure, you weren’t going to throw out a sheet if one side had music still needed for the new score, or if you could update it by overwriting a few lines. But for the music on the missing pages, our only clues come from the multiple drafts preserved in the “Leonore Sketchbook,” 346 pages of scrawls and chicken-scratches now bound together into a forbiddingly vast volume in the State Library of Berlin.


Beethoven’s sketches are impossible to read in any ordinary sense of the word reading, but a whole scholarly industry has grown up around decrypting them. The drafts for the lost aria have been thoroughly examined, some of them provisionally transcribed. The original notebook can now be studied online through high-resolution digitizations. But deciphering the sketches, and deciding which to use, is just step one. Beethoven drafted mostly “top line” melodic ideas, and the elements that make his music sound like itself are hardly concentrated on the top line. To make a performable score, you have to imagine how he might have supplied those elements.

My nomination for that job was not due to any special expertise on Beethoven, but to my long experience with filling gaps. In revivals or editions of obscure operas, it’s often necessary to compose missing bits, ranging from a couple of bars accidentally skipped by a copyist back in the day to whole accompaniments for arias whose orchestral scores got lost. Or even, in a few cases, fresh invention based on nothing but a libretto, for necessary continuity in an opera that’s come down to us incomplete.

An Opera Lafayette board member had heard one of my reconstructions — an unfinished movement from Donizetti’s Symphony in E minor, played last summer by the Teatro Nuovo orchestra — and liked it. Would I dare try Beethoven? I answered that I would study the sketches and give it a shot if they suggested something to my imagination.

They did. In the earlier revivals of “Leonore” I had heard, the Florestan aria always seemed a bit lackluster: noble resignation followed by a brief expression of anxiety. What quickly became clear from the sketches is that the part Beethoven cut out had been the heart of the scene.

“He draws a portrait from his breast,” the libretto says, and a solitary flute pierces the gloom like sunlight through a crack in the prison walls. Florestan speaks of the “beautiful days” gone by; of his beating heart; of their tight embrace. His voice reaches for the heavens in a solitary burst of coloratura. We have only a melodic line to judge by, but it radiates a kind of ecstasy.


And Beethoven left a clue to the kind of music that was on his mind. There is a phrase in the flute part, sketched over and over in slightly different ways, that stops just short of being a direct quote from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” It is the excited orchestral buildup just before Tamino, gazing enraptured at the likeness of a maiden he has never seen, sings, “Oh, if only I could find her!” Florestan, gazing at the likeness of a wife he is sure he will never see again, might have sung a lament. But this theme is charged instead with the jubilation of hopeful young love.

Mozart was never far from Beethoven’s thoughts as he confronted the opera stage for the first time. The parallel between Leonore’s big E major aria and Fiordiligi’s in “Così Fan Tutte” has long been noted, and it was a thrill to see another such link practically leaping off the pages of the sketchbook. There are also bits of melody that either hark back to the Adagio or look forward to the known conclusion. These helped too: I could at least get started by borrowing the harmony and orchestral figuration that goes with them. Bit by bit, the ideas piled up.

In the Adagio, several clues convinced me that the missing 1805 version was probably closer to the sketches than to the 1806 revision. That’s a guess — we can only ever guess — but the sketches have some dramatic gestures and a soaring final melody that Beethoven did not keep in the more serene versions of 1806 and ’14. Less resignation, more protest, more yearning.

From one sketch or another, it’s possible to assemble a near-complete draft of vocal and instrumental melody straight through the aria. The top line Opera Lafayette’s audiences will hear is at least 95 percent Beethoven. Inventing the missing orchestral score is another matter.

The process goes something like this: You first write down the notes Beethoven definitely used, from those surviving pages. Next, the ones you’re fairly certain about — in this case, a short quotation in the 1805 overture. Third, the melodic lines you’ve chosen from his sketches; you’re not sure they’re the ones he chose, but at least you know they’re his. Fourth, the ideas you’ve found by analogy with similar passages elsewhere, or in some other score you think Beethoven was hearing in his head. With each step of this sequence you’re getting farther from certainty, but you’re not yet exactly inventing.

When all that is done, though, you’re still staring at a lot of blank music paper. Except where you found one to borrow, there’s no bass line. Harmony and orchestration are up to you. You feel like an understudy subbing for a star in a rehearsal: It’s not your show, so there’s a certain appropriate caution, and yet whatever talent you have is going to be needed, so you had better let yourself go and do the best you can.

This is, of course, risky. You’re no Beethoven, to say the least. Somebody else might have picked better hints from his other pieces. But you have to take the risk. Beethoven had a clear idea of how this scene should play, and the only way to hear it is to fill in the blanks.

I may be making this sound like a bigger deal than it is. My contribution amounts to about four and a half minutes, barely a third of what Franco Alfano provided for Puccini’s “Turandot.” But it was exciting to feel, for a little while, like Beethoven’s long-distance assistant. What I hope is that the result can at least allow his original concept of the aria — and some beautiful musical ideas — to speak again after more than two centuries of silence.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/arts ... onore.html

maestrob
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by maestrob » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:39 am

My former competition Semifinalist, Robin Johannsen, has recently recorded Beethoven's "Leonore" with Rene Jacobs and the Freiburger Barockorchester, a deluxe set that can be streamed on Amazon, so it must be available elsewhere. This magnificent recording is rated five stars by more than 40 amazon reviewers, and by me as well.

Here's the cover:

Image

lennygoran
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by lennygoran » Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:57 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:23 am
Thanks, Len! That looks promising, and I will hear those selections later on, after I finish with Barney's opera by the Pope! 😉

Quite wonderful to see Will Crutchfield in person. I've always admired him, both as a critic and later on as a conductor, but never had the lucky chance to meet him.
Brian a followup:

Got this email today:

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your enthusiastic response to our first video releases last week from The Bel Canto Collection, Teatro Nuovo’s unique contribution to the online music world.

Today, we are proud to present two of Verdi's most sparkling miniatures from mezzo-soprano Hannah Ludwig, and two pieces that plumb the depths of lyrical melancholy: Brogi's "Visione veneziana" sung and played by baritone Fernando Cisneros, and the brooding prelude to Verdi's tragedy I masnadieri from TN principal cellist Hilary Metzger.

We hope you will enjoy them and share with your friends and loved ones.

Please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you have not already done so. This will ensure that you are immediately notified when Teatro Nuovo releases new videos!

These videos are made possible in part by a generous grant from the Joan and Alan Taub-Ades Foundation and by other supporters like you. If you like what you hear, we encourage you to donate what you can to help us continue this project.

In the meantime we hope you’ll enjoy these and the upcoming videos for many months to come!

Best,

Teatro Nuovo

Regards, Len



https://mailchi.mp/d5f2eb127915/new-vid ... acc91f8586

maestrob
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by maestrob » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:16 am

Thanks, Len! I'll check them out today. :wink:

lennygoran
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Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by lennygoran » Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:39 am

maestrob wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:16 am
Thanks, Len! I'll check them out today. 😉
Brian got an email today with some new additions. Regards, Len

https://mailchi.mp/d1819c56ef04/new-vid ... acc91f8586

maestrob
Posts: 10211
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:42 am

lennygoran wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:39 am
maestrob wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:16 am
Thanks, Len! I'll check them out today. 😉
Brian got an email today with some new additions. Regards, Len

https://mailchi.mp/d1819c56ef04/new-vid ... acc91f8586
What fun! Thanks, Len. :wink:

And a Happy Passover to you both!

lennygoran
Posts: 16780
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by lennygoran » Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:48 am

maestrob wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:42 am
What fun! Thanks, Len. 😉

And a Happy Passover to you both!
Brian thanks-we had a Zoom Passover hosted by our Brooklyn friends-Happy Easter to you and Teresa. Regards, Len

maestrob
Posts: 10211
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:24 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:39 am
maestrob wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:16 am
Thanks, Len! I'll check them out today. 😉
Brian got an email today with some new additions. Regards, Len

https://mailchi.mp/d1819c56ef04/new-vid ... acc91f8586
OK!

Both singers were quite expressive and would have been invited by me to Carnegie Hall. The violinist, however, had a tone that was a bit sour. The subtitles for the singers were very welcome.

I particularly liked the Black baritone: very smooth and rich sound. I hope he gets a chance at a career.

Thanks, Len!

lennygoran
Posts: 16780
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Teatro Nuovo Plan

Post by lennygoran » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:49 am

maestrob wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:24 pm
The subtitles for the singers were very welcome.
Brian yes-I love captions and subtitles! Regards, Len :D

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