The Magic Flute?

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The Magic Flute?

Postby FlyingSorcery » Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:07 pm

Did anyone see this article on Yahoo Entertainment:
MagicFlute
Am I a snob or a purist, or is this a good way to bring opera to the masses? My brain just can't quite get around the visual of The Queen of the Night on a tank :shock: And putting it in English isn't going to help, unless they sing very very slow.

But maybe it's just me. What does everyone else think?
Opera in English...about as sensible as baseball in Italian. H. L. Mencken
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Postby piqaboo » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:14 pm

I could live without Sarastro being Pamina's dad.

The rest would probably work. It would be hard not to laugh tho, if one could actually understand the lyrics as they are sung.
Also hard to figure out where Branagh is going to find his happy ending: all those little Paminettes and Pappagallets.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Postby bignaf » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:35 pm

the masses actually like the traditional setting best.
I think the concept of the setting is fine, even good. Magic Flute is an opera that can work in many settings. but I don't like the other stuff they force unto it.
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Postby bignaf » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:39 pm

the translation into English should help with the masses. and I think a good translation, that doesn't change the meaning of the words at all, and doesn't change the rhythm of the words is good. but I suspect they injected some of their agenda into their translation.
and I hate people who say
utterly fascinating and appalling situation
with a British accent.
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Postby OperaTenor » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:34 pm

This is where this smilie comes in handy:

:barf:
"To help mend the world is true religion."
- William Penn

http://www.one.org
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Postby Shapley » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:54 pm

I know that B.com has a rendition of the Revenge Aria in English, which I've mentioned before, and which has had occasional airplay. I don't know if they have the entire opera (operetta?) in English.

The last time it was played, I was thinking "That isn't Sumi Jo singing." They were halfway through the piece before I realized "It's in English!".

I recall some complaints regarding Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat. Did he sacrifice the meaning in order to maintain the poetry. I suppose that is true in any translation, you have to determine which is the most important - the words or the poetry, or in the case of opera - the words or the music. I would go with the poetry and the music.

V/R
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Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Postby Hexameron » Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:00 pm

This will be bad.

I think I'll stick with "Copying Beethoven" as the only classical music film to look forward to.
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Postby Catmando » Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:19 pm

There's also the argument that the voice is an instrument, the same as a violin or piano.

Think of an opera as a "vocal" concerto. Changing the language that an opera is sung just doesn't seem right to me. Changes the whole complexion.

I'm sure Wolfgang is rolling in his grave.
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Postby Shapley » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:06 pm

I'm sure he is:

:rotfl:

Amadeus was a fun-loving guy. I doubt he cares, as long as the music is heard.

Is it that much different than Liszt transcribing Beethoven's Symphonies for piano, or Vaughan Williams composing variations on Thomas Tallis' theme? Or, for that matter, Mozart composing variations on a theme?

V/R
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Postby bignaf » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:41 am

changing vowels also changes the overtone structure. so changing the owords is changing the music. plus there are additional or missing consonants which would be percussive effects.
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:29 am

Yup, translations matter. F'r'instance: O Sole Mio is Pavarotti, It's Now or Never is Elvis. :yikes:

However, I severely doubt that Wulfie would've minded. Man had a low and evil sense of humor, would probably have been at the forefront of translator-dom and making dreadful puns all the while.
>^..^<
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Postby barfle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:19 am

I've always thought Sukiyaki was much more meaningful in its original Japanese.
:twisted:

And I can't think of anything that would make Revenge any more palatable except perhaps pianissimoltimo, and me in another room.
--I know what I like--
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Postby Catmando » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:29 am

I would love another version of the Cuban Overture. Maybe called the Manitoban or Canadiana Overture.

Essentially the same as the Cuban Overture, only played with Mute button on. And it's only allowed to play once a week or month.

:twisted:
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Postby DavidS » Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:42 am

That's the advantage of the modern mode of having operas performed in their original language, with subtitles in English (or whatever) projected simultaneously on a screen.
Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice.
BTW: one of my cable channels broadcasts classical music, including operas, from France. Reading the French subtitles has considerably improved both my French and my Italian.
Tel grain, tel pain.
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