Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

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Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby TheTechWriter » Fri May 09, 2003 6:50 pm

So, I've been listening to Beethoven.com for several months now, and absolutely *LOVE* it. The hosts are great--each in their own way--and it's great not to have the attitude you get when you listen to other classical stations/programs.

But the one thing that I dislike is Nicole's Four-play. I absolutely love most all of the classical music on the station, but can't seem to get into opera. It just sets my teeth on edge. I have actually taken to switching to another online radio station for the four o'clock hour. (I listen to 8-10 hours of Internet radio a day.)

Is anybody else in the same boat? Or do most people who like classical also like opera?
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby OperaTenor » Fri May 09, 2003 6:52 pm

Welll.....
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby priya978 » Sat May 10, 2003 3:28 am

Haha OT!!!

I don't HATE opera. I'm not especially fond of it, but I do like, maybe even love, Italian opera. Puccini and Verdi and Fidelio is good. I would suggest to you La Boheme for starters. Trying to listen to opera is for some people and some operas like not having listened to 20th century them listening to Hindemith all of the sudden. You have to acquire the ear for opera.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby OperaTenor » Sat May 10, 2003 8:33 am

Eugy's pretty much correct. It is an aquired taste. I agree just about anything by Puccini is the place to start (like tasting a Merlot before a Zinfandel, if I may). TechWriter, is it just opera, or do you dislike vocal music in general?
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Sat May 10, 2003 9:41 am

Welcome, TW. I think there are at least three of us here with the same gig, translating engineerspeak into userspeak. And I agree with you about the Four-Play; it's kind of challenging to the ear. Nicole is an actual musician, I'm a listener, and it seems to make a difference

Nabucco has lovely melodies; La Boheme is a GREAT starting opera. The Grand March from Carmen is one of the best things ever written. (but there's no singing...) The guys' other suggestions are all good, too. (Listen to OT, he knows good stuff. Eugy is also a pretty decent source. Haggis is the best. Where he has an opinion, it has a good solid set of reasons behind it.)

I don't usually switch channels for the Four-play, but I've been known to bail when the "music" is a bunch of people sawing violins in half and the violins are going ee-ee--eeeeeek. That's why we have all those favorites in the left margin!

Again, welcome. Enjoy the group!
>^..^<
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby monkeymd2b » Sat May 10, 2003 10:26 am

I don't mind listening to Opera but it is a fun moment when I realize that I saw the opera for whatever piece is being played. The only reason why I went to the opera performances in high school with my mom and her teacher friends (they also were my former teachers) was because my mom figured that she wanted to take someone in our family with her and I was the least likely to snore should I pass out. But I enjoyed it so I kept going after the 1st performance...I also enjoyed the dinner beforehand so maybe I was going more for the food and eventually learned to enjoy opera.
When I was listening to B.com in the days of my stereo woes, I would also turn off the 4play at 4 just because music with vocals is too distracting to me when I study...even opera when I have no clue what they're saying.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby EricMichaels » Sat May 10, 2003 2:33 pm

Personally, I'm more likely to listen to a tenor or baritone when it comes to an opera selection. The sopranos are just too much for me...
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby OperaTenor » Sat May 10, 2003 3:19 pm

Originally posted by monkeymd2b:
...even opera when I have no clue what they're saying.
One thing I love about Puccini is that the music conveys the story so well it's almost like you don't need to know what's being said to know what's going on.

One more suggestion to TechWriter, if I may. Take one of the more popular, melodious (for lack of a better term) operas (like Turandot, La Boheme or Madama Butterfly), and really familiarize yourself with the story and the translation of the lyrics, and then give it a serious listen. I know that's a lot of up front work for something you're supposed to just sit and enjoy. If you have the great fortune to sit in a hall where the tech rehearsal is being performed, you will find it a most enlightening experience, as you will see the "supertitles", which are brief, concise translations projected above the stage in a very unobtrusive manner. These "supertitles" make it easy to tranlate at least the gist of what's being said on stage in a very concise, easy to read form. The benefit for the listener is they can momentarily glance at the text, get the meaning, and only have to divert a small part of their attention away from the drama being played out on stage. It is truly to be seen if you haven't. IMHO, it greatly enhances the performance in two ways: It allows the listener an option to have a fuller understanding of the story, and it offers the option without interrupting the flow of the story. As for me, that process really turned the corner as far as my listening enjoyment is concerned. And, I'll confess, there is a significant body of work out there that bores me to tears. If I never hear Falstaff again it might be too soon! Obn the other hand, there is a lot out there I can never tire of hearing (I listen to Turandot as much as a couple of times a month).

It's late, I took a sleeping pill after coming home from watching a most awsome Billy Graham Mission, So I may have been ramblig. Hope it made any sense. :eek:

<small>[ 05-11-2003, 03:41 AM: Message edited by: operatenor ]</small>
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Kyle » Sat May 10, 2003 3:43 pm

I don't hate opera
just have very few favs
like Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky.
Ballets are actually really good!
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby priya978 » Sat May 10, 2003 4:16 pm

Turandot is the pinnacle of all opera! :D

Don't try Wagner. first of all it'll take you two days to get through one opera of his, plus they make you feel like your going nuts, plus I forget which of the Ring operas, is just political ideas. Arggggg!!!

Verdi is good (unless your OT :D )

Ballet, I can NEVER watch. I love the music, but seeing it just makes me want to put on some rap and start going on like the concert hall's a club.
Opera however helps if you watch it.

And with Puccini operas, I don't understand a word, but yet it always somehow put me into this certain state, like I feel if you touch my heart it'll hurt. Then I'm almost always on the verge of crying, but I'm clueless!
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Kyle » Sat May 10, 2003 4:19 pm

[/QUOTE]And with Puccini operas, I don't understand a word, but yet it always somehow put me into this certain state, like I feel if you touch my heart it'll hurt. Then I'm almost always on the verge of crying, but I'm clueless! [/QB][/QUOTE]

I understand. Puccini's operas are all depressing. I really like his Tosca and maybe Madame Butterfly.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Bones » Sat May 10, 2003 10:21 pm

Don't neglect Mozart, especially Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovani, and The Magic Flute. They have marvelous music, but a beginner might want to just listen to the exerpt CDs rather than the whole operas.

I agree what the others have said about Puccini. Puccini's operas are operas for people who hate opera. They are easy to comprehend and they are full of melody. There's not much to dislike about Puccini operas. Carmen also is a wonderous work with melody piled upon melody.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby bignaf » Sat May 10, 2003 10:40 pm

OT said it all. :)
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby priya978 » Sat May 10, 2003 11:19 pm

Ohh and then, unless you see it live, you should make sure you get the right recordings. Because halfway through then 3 hours you might get kind of bored on a CD. And it's EASY to make an opera recording boring. Get a conductor who makes everything exciting. :)
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby bignaf » Sun May 11, 2003 12:01 am

Lenny didn't record much Puccini. :D
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby priya978 » Sun May 11, 2003 12:10 am

LMAO!!!! HAHAHA!!!! :D :D :D !!!!!

Lenny didn't record much opera AT ALL. Carlos Kleiber is quite exhilarating, that's who I was thinking would be another pick, next to Lenny or just pick one.

No, Karajan's boring. Don't get him. Trust ME. Big's biased, I'm not. :D :D :D
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby OperaTenor » Sun May 11, 2003 2:49 am

Originally posted by bignaf:
Lenny didn't record much Puccini. :D
I'm looking more for Mehta, Eduardo Mueller (if you don't know him, look it up), Boynene (sp) only if it's Bel Canto (aka Can Belto!), and a couple of others I can't think of right now.

Single most important aspect of a good opera conductor: GOTTA BE ABLE TO SING!!!

It would seem this thread is being hijacked into an opera for newbies thread. What's your determination, TechWriter?

<small>[ 05-11-2003, 03:52 AM: Message edited by: operatenor ]</small>
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby TheTechWriter » Sun May 11, 2003 6:27 am

Wow! Great responses. A couple of points were made that made me say, "Hmmm...."

I think that part of it may be that I'm working (writing software documentation) when the opera comes on, and it may be that it is just too distracting [monkeymd2b]. I think it also tends to be the shrill wailing that rips my attention away from what I'm doing and convinces me to change channels [EricMichaels].

[operatenor] I love several of the vocal and vocal-type musics that are played on B.com. I really enjoy when Andrea Boccelli (sp?) is on, and I enjoy the Mediaeval Baebes. So I don't think that it is necessarily an aversion to vocal music, per se.

I've never heard of a tech rehearsal before, but that sounds like a really neat idea, having the supertitles. That would be a great way to introduce people who don't think they like opera to opera [operatenor].

I also have lots of places to "start" listening to opera [multiple]. You may start hearing requests for the four-play from David in Charleston, SC. :-)

Thanks for the great responses!
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby priya978 » Sun May 11, 2003 4:16 pm

Mehta is good too. Mueller is the conductor of the SDO, right OT? :D
I like the lUsh sound (with a dug in, swooping "u" in lush) that Mehta gets, he's made video/DVD recordings of Turandot.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby bignaf » Sun May 11, 2003 4:31 pm

why would you want Bonynge? maybe for his wife.
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