Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts

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John Haueisen
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Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts

Post by John Haueisen » Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:46 am

What do you think of the Metropolitan's live HD broadcasts?
Tonight (Weds. Jan. 24) PBS is broadcasting the earlier live broadcast of Julie Taymor's English language production of Mozart's Magic Flute.

At first glance, it seems to me a good thing, that will perhaps attract more people to give opera a chance.

If you've already discussed this, and I neglected to notice it, then it's my own fault. But could any of you please oblige me with your thoughts about these Met broadcasts?
"Oh, you wretched mortals--open your eyes--and ears!"

Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:23 pm

I don't have HD, so it will be just another broadcast to me. Ask me what I think about Traynor's edition . . .
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John Haueisen
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Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts

Post by John Haueisen » Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:45 pm

I will watch Traymor's edition tonight at 9:00 on PBS, but I would love to hear what you think of it!
"Oh, you wretched mortals--open your eyes--and ears!"

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:16 pm

These broadcasts will definitely expose new audiences to opera. Relatively few people can attend live performances, certainly not with any frequency.
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johnshade
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Post by johnshade » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:56 pm

.
Certainly someone on this forum saw the performance last night. What is your opinion of the production and the vocal performances?

johnshade
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Post by johnshade » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:39 pm

Image

John Haueisen
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Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts

Post by John Haueisen » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:05 pm

Although I watched it on regular (not HD) tv, I think that was good, as it keeps me from getting carried away with the optical show.

I had no idea what to expect, so here are my impressions. Perhaps others will have their own perspectives.

I was very glad to see a Magic Flute in English. It's hard enough to explain to non-opera friends what the plot is all about. For beginners especially, straining at subtitles detracts from the music. They took some liberties with the words, as we would expect, but it basically told the Magic Flute story. The English translation seemed to work very well.

Singing seemed very good, especially Ying Huang (Pamina) and Rene Pape (Sarastro).

Finally here, and I'm not sure if this is positive or negative: at times I felt I was at a "flying origami contest." It was sort of a Samurai village production (Really, Tamino looked the part of a Samurai soldier). There were lots of crepe papier-type creatures being waved in the air, in nearly every scene. But, hey, as I said, this is not a complaint. We need to see classic works revitalized at times by using unusual techniques.

I'd be very interested to hear what any others thought of the production.
"Oh, you wretched mortals--open your eyes--and ears!"

John Haueisen
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Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcasts

Post by John Haueisen » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:07 pm

Oh, and thank you Johnshade for posting photos from the production!
"Oh, you wretched mortals--open your eyes--and ears!"

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:01 pm

johnshade wrote:.
Certainly someone on this forum saw the performance last night. What is your opinion of the production and the vocal performances?
I loved every minute of it. The production was bright, playful, imaginative without being childish. I loved the Bunraku-style puppeteers. The singing was workmanlike. This production is a keeper, ranking IMO with the Bergman realization of 1975.
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Niki
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Post by Niki » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:09 pm

Good "light" performance overall. The singing was good, although far from the best. I like Julie Taymor stage and costumes design but it was a bit over the top. The visual effects took center stage and I don't think this served well the opera. Specially the part when Tamino charms the beasts ( the 4 bears?..) The excessive handling of the bears was distractive, even annoying IMO. Same with the first aria of the Queen. Too much activity around her. What works very well for "The Lion King" is not ideal for the flute.
The Queen of the night sang well and hit all the notes, but she is a lyric soprano and the role demands a dramatic, powerful, menacing voice.

The broadcast In SF was rushed and the score was cut short.
It would be unfair to compare it with Ingemar Bergman's Flute. It is in a different league...
Good Disney Flute

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Post by Gary » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:07 am

Niki wrote:The visual effects took center stage and I don't think this served well the opera...was distractive, even annoying IMO.
Distracting indeed. I only watched a couple of minutes of it.

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Post by johnshade » Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:20 pm

Niki wrote:Good "light" performance overall. The singing was good, although far from the best. I like Julie Taymor stage and costumes design but it was a bit over the top. ...The Queen of the night sang well and hit all the notes...
I agree. My most favorable impression of the opera was the performance of Nathan Gunn (Papageno).

JS
The sun's a thief, and with her great attraction robs the vast sea, the moon's an arrant thief, and her pale fire she snatches from the sun... (Shakespeare)

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