Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby dkm32 » Sun May 11, 2003 5:51 pm

Originally posted by EricMichaels:
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...
Oh! Do I agree!!! (Hi, OT :( :( :( :(

<small>[ 05-11-2003, 06:56 PM: Message edited by: dkm32 ]</small>
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby OperaTenor » Sun May 11, 2003 5:54 pm

I almost can't believe I'm saying this, but for all of the bad experiences I'd had with Bonynge in the past, I have to say he did a competent job of conducting us in Norma, and I've been told he's something of a Bel Canto (aka Can Belto :D ) specialist.

As for Mueller, he frequently conducts at the SDO, but he primarily conducts in Europe, as far as I know. Our resident conductor is a woman by the name of Karen Koeltner.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby bignaf » Sun May 11, 2003 9:14 pm

I guess he knows how to handle bel canto singers well. BTW you've used the can belto joke 3 times already, it is now oficially stale.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby barfle » Mon May 12, 2003 8:23 am

I know there are classical music stations (KKGO in Los Angeles was one) that avoid vocal like the plague. I would guess it's because it's an acquired taste, as mentioned before.

I generally like opera, because I like theater. But there are a lot of arias that simply make me cringe. I would guess that HRH likes the "Revenge Aria" as sung by Sumi Jo, because she plays it a lot. Sorry, but when that comes on, beethoven.com goes off on my PC. I can't stand it, it hurts my ears, it sounds absolutely awful to me. There just ain't no accountin' for some peoples' tastes, I guess.

I've noticed a lot of dislike of sopranos in this thread. Some of them can certainly get shrill (maybe it's a talent NOT to get shrill?) and, from my limited experience, that's what makes a lot of non-classical listeners wonder about just what's so enjoyable about the genre. I've remarked earlier about how the stories in operas are generally pretty shallow vehicles for the music, but I've noticed that I find a lot of the music more enjoyable if I know what's going on, even it it's about a bunch of jerks getting led around by their privates, or an impoverished, sick girl who gets sicker until she dies.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby OperaTenor » Mon May 12, 2003 10:23 am

Hi Big, can't help it. :p I love that pun.

Hi Barfle, IMHO it is a talent for a soprano not to sound shrill. I also believe the recording process doesn't help the situation for vocalists (possibly more so than for instrumentalists). Someone once told me the recording prcoess enhanced popular music and detracted from "classical" music (the quotation marks denote the all-inclusive use of the term). That statement was driven home for me when I heard Domingo sing live once. Compared to recordings I'd heard of him, it was like liquid gold coming out of his mouth (and he was only rehearsing!). His recordings haven't sounded quite the same since.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Nicole Marie » Mon May 12, 2003 11:25 am

Well no matter what anyone thinks about the 4 Play feature - it is the third most popular feature on Beethoven Radio, behind the 2 film features. It's staying. I have to agree with OT, get familiar with opera and you'll find you understand it much better. Get to know what it takes to belt out the high notes, learn about the composers, the stories...

Beethoven Radio hosts a great opera show for first timers called "Looking throught the Opera Glasses" it's hosted by Maestro Willie Anthony Waters of the CT Opera. Maestro Waters talks about the performances, story lines and more. He presents it so first timers will be able to follow. It takes place the first Sunday of very month at 11AM EST.

Check out this link to learn about Maestro Waters: http://www.beethoven.com/williebio.htm

Or the CT Opera link: www.ctopera.org
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby TheTechWriter » Mon May 12, 2003 11:45 am

Oh, I certainly wasn't suggesting that the program go. I was merely trying to find out if I was the exception, or if there were others with my own aversion to opera. And, upon reading people's responses, I realize that it might just be certain parts of certain pieces that bug me. I'm going to listen to the 4-play this week, and see what exactly it is that turns me off. Thanks to everyone for your insightful posts!
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby EJA » Mon May 12, 2003 11:53 am

Folks in my office gather 'round the set at 1:00 (4:00 ET). It probably has something to do with the fact that several of them are Italian. Personally, I like the feature, but dislike the name.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Shapley » Mon May 12, 2003 12:07 pm

I enjoy the four-play. Not all of the works, but probably the greater part of it. I guess I'm a sexist, but I prefer hearing female voices to male ones, again with a few exceptions.

Sumi Jo's version of Mozart's "Revenge Aria" has become one of my favorites.

Unlike Nicole, however, I enjoy Charlotte Church's voice. I guess I'm an uncultured sexist, to boot.

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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby barfle » Mon May 12, 2003 12:39 pm

Originally posted by barfle:
There just ain't no accountin' for some peoples' tastes, I guess.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Marye » Mon May 12, 2003 12:42 pm

I must say I find the Four Play easy listening for Opera. NM seems to pick well known pieces with good artists. If these selections are too much of an irritant then I think there is little hope for someone to love an opera. Puccini, Verdi or Wagner. Maybe the most you will enjoy are the choruses and that ain't bad either.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Stephanie » Mon May 12, 2003 12:44 pm

I really enjoy the four-play. I am NOT an opera "maven" but I am sorry that so many classical stations don't play more vocal music (it doesn't have to be opera; plain chant or madrigals or whatever are all enjoyable). I do find that the words can be distracting, when that happens I just turn it down for a while. I'm not a big Bocelli fan (I actually think his voice is kind of weak) but absolutely ADORE Pavarotti (I know, I'm dating myself, but who cares).

Keep up the great work!
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby treebeau » Mon May 12, 2003 2:41 pm

Interesting thread.

Personally I didn't have any taste for opera until I reached 40, and even then, I'm easing into it.

As for the 4 play, I think it's a nice introduction to most of us who aren't very familiar with opera and can become accustomed to the famous arias. Yes, sometimes the sopranos are a bit much. Thank goodness for volume controls, mute buttons, and headphones, right?

For my ears, and don't take this personally Nicole, I cannot get used to Juan Diego Flores. Perhaps I would like some of his other stuff, but the ones that Nicole plays just irritate my spine like fingernails on a chalkboard. The reason is all the quick up and down "ah-ah-ah-ah" embellishments. I simply remove the headphones for a couple of minutes.

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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby toni » Mon May 12, 2003 3:06 pm

Hmmmm.... I'm one of those who doesn't care much for opera, and still enjoy some of the selections I've heard onFourPlay... How about some vocal stuff that's not opera, NicoleMarie?

best ~~~
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Marye » Mon May 12, 2003 3:23 pm

Juan Diego Flores certainly does have a great voice and his high notes are remarkable. You are right about the embellishments but I think that is because it is Rossini ... which sounds difficult to my ears. Of course I could be wrong.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby barfle » Mon May 12, 2003 3:28 pm

Hi, Toni.

I find that she plays a non-operatic piece just about every day. Sometimes it's the medieval honeys (or is it chicks? Dolls? Girls? Oh, that's right - "Baebes!"), every now and then we get "Watkins Ale" (a bawdy ballad), lots of "Ave Marias" and the occasional "Simple Gifts." She's even been known to stick her fingers in her ears and play "Time to Say Goodbye" if someone requests it!
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Nicole Marie » Mon May 12, 2003 3:41 pm

I mix in opera with other forms of vocal music every day. I know those who can't stand opera will stay tuned for the other pieces I play. It's my hope that when you hear opera up against other vocal works that you'll stay tuned in and develop a great understanding for opera. Like today I played Wagner and Puccini, up against the Baebes and Rutter. I try to balance it.

<small>[ 05-12-2003, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: Nicole Marie ]</small>
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby bignaf » Mon May 12, 2003 7:56 pm

you doing great job. YRH. as if you need the views of a commoner like me.
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Gaby » Tue May 13, 2003 10:07 am

Personally I am not an Opera fan, especially not when forced listening to the whole thing. I'm with Eric on the Sopranos. I do think, however, that most operas have at least one or two great songs in them and I listen to those. I agree that H.R.H. Nicole Marie does balance the heavier pieces with other music that is easier on the ears to me.

As for ballet, I love it. When I listen to classical music, my mind always associates it with some form of mental picture, be it a waterfall, a volcano erupting, pounding of the waves, birds singing, etc. Ballet transforms the music into some physical form for me and I find that satisfying. :D ;)
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Re: Anybody else love classical, hate opera?

Postby Parrothead » Fri May 16, 2003 4:22 pm

Not big on most opera. However, whatever HRH plays works for me.

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