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Opera recordings Christmas presents


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#1 minimum

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 13:48

Hello, I'm looking for some suggestions for some accessible recordings dvd's or cd's for my daughter.

She already has Carmen, La Boheme, and has seen La Traviata, Hansel and Gretel, and several others.

 

She loves The Magic Flute Queen of the Night Aria so was looking for a good recording.

Also, any suggestions as to which performers I should look at.

 

We do go to most Operas in this country and have seen several abroad too, but I'm a bit of a novice, not that into Opera but it's what she is asking for. I know it's not most 13 year olds idea of fun, but it's her life, apparently.

 

I see names on youtube and know they must be good as names of performers at top opera houses, but could do with something accessible where daughter could look at their career, education and early life documented.

 

Finally, looking for some recommendations of performers who sing Baroque and Purcell type stuff. I know, there's no accounting for taste 

 

Thanks in advance.

 


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#2 polkadot

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 21:52

This month's BBC Music Magazine is an "Opera Special" - it sounds as if your daughter would enjoy it.  It includes an interview with Jonas Kaufman who is a contemporary opera singer, and it mentions many of the "opera greats" (both singers and composers).  It would be a good starting point.  The cover disk is a selection of opera classics.  I think a new opera series is starting shortly on the Beeb so she could look out for that.  If you're near London, the V&A Museum is running an opera exhibiton.  It's all in the BBC Music Magazine anyway!


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#3 GMc

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 12:30

?Madame Butterfly and Lucia di Lammermoor.  Callas or De Los Angeles for Butterfly.   Dame Joan and Pavarotti maybe for Lucia.  Or Callas or Dessay.  Maybe Caballe for Tosca.  Young Pavarotti in La fille du regiment.  And Callas for Carmen.  


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#4 polkadot

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 10:27

Also, any suggestions as to which performers I should look at.


Having mentioned the BBC Music Magazine's list of "opera greats" in my previous post, I have to say that having now read the list, I don't recognise most of the names! Many of opera's greatest names are omitted because the list only refers to living singers. In any event, what I do when I choosing a new opera CD is try to listen either to clips which some sites publish, or to Youtube recordings of the singer before deciding which singer I prefer for that opera.  In fact your daughter might enjoy listening to different Youtube versions of the same aria and distinguishing between the different timbres of voice, each singer's delivery, their tempo etc.

Some of the "opera great" names I would look out for are (although I'm sure many great names are missing)...

Renée Fleming
Victoria de los Angeles
Renato Scotto
Agnes Baltsa
Mirella Freni
Anna Netrebko
Renata Tebaldi
Frederica von Stade
Maria Callas
Montserrat Caballé
Joan Sutherland
Birgit Nilsson

José Carreras
Placido Domingo
Giuseppe Di Stefano
Jussi Bjorling
Thomas Hampson
Tito Gobbi
Luciano Pavarotti
Carlo Bergonzi
Franco Corelli
 
It has to be said that most of the above list are either deceased or no longer active!  I'm afraid I'm not very au fait with the current flavours of the month, but if she were to listen to Classic FM, I'm sure they promote present-day singers.  I'll make an exception in the case of Jonas Kaufman wub.pngbiggrin.png
 

I see names on youtube and know they must be good as names of performers at top opera houses, but could do with something accessible where daughter could look at their career, education and early life documented.

I very much enjoyed reading Janet Baker's book "Full Circle" - it's not a biography but a diary of her performing life.  It's very reader-friendly and a fascinating insight into her world, together with the opera world at that time (it may be different now).  On the other hand, I didn't much enjoy José Carreras' book "Singing from the Soul".   Unlike Janet Baker, I didn't feel as if he gave anything of himself away and I found it quite disappointing.  However, seeing as he's one of the three most famous tenors in the world, it's possibly a "should read" book and your daughter might enjoy it more than I did.

 

Hope this helps and I hope your daughter continues to enjoy her ventures into opera smile.png


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#5 minimum

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 20:53

Thank you very much for the ideas, and my daughter is impressed with my new found knowledge.

Ive had from 4.00pm today listening to her rabbit on, she sang beautifully for me and I nearly cried as I don't get to hear her very often. 

So I anticipated the need for more opera stuff at the right time it seems.

 

I bought the Janet Baker book, to arrive this week and a box set of Mozart Marriage of Figaro, Magic Flute, and Don Giovanni.

 

Rabbiting Mary told me that some critics didn't rate Magic Flute as an opera because of the dialogue and that there are 3 of everything.

I'm going to google the synopsis for all of the main operas and see what I'm letting myself in for.

It really wasn't my cup of tea at all. Although I've always appreciated it and like quite a few of the most popular arias.

My true favourite is March of the Hebrew Slaves which is from Nabucco. Although I've never seen it nor know anything about it.

I also heard the most beautiful aria years ago and always wondered what it was and have found out it's "Caro nome" 

 

I'm saving like mad to take her to Verona next summer, she's told everyone we're going and she wants to see them all.

Opera is really expensive, and i'm having a moan as need to buy some tickets soon.

 

It's good to get other views, please come back if you have any more suggestions. I don't know any opera people.


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