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  #31  
Old 08-05-12, 11:43 AM
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2) Considering that Opera Lyrique was, in many ways, a conscious attempt by French composers to put distance between themselves and Wagner, it's somewhat surprising that one of the most successful of all of these operas had a libretto based on Goethe. Which was it?
Looks like I was a little late for this one. There is another great French opera with a libretto based on Goethe... but that one was an Opéra Comique show...

Still, I'm in time for this one:
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4) Anecdotes cluster around the name of another star of the Opera Lyrique, whose crusty temperament and difficult personality led him into all kinds of conflicts. He's said to have walked out of the premiere of THE RITE OF SPRING "because of the misuse of the bassoon". On another occasion he told friends he was going to Paris "to spread nasty rumours about PELLEAS ET MELISANDE". His own operas include one about the life of a famous English monarch. Who was he?
Camille Saint-Saëns [I've seen the phrase translated as "to speak ill of Pelleas et Melisande."]
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  #32  
Old 08-05-12, 01:40 PM
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Excellent quizzing from ChiTown and Sospiro
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  #33  
Old 08-05-12, 05:34 PM
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Excellent quizzing from ChiTown and Sospiro
You are too kind! Actually I thought I'd give the others a chance after hogging most of the Verdi answers.

[translated as I'm not very good at French C19th Opera]
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  #34  
Old 10-05-12, 09:45 AM
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1) Most of us know Handel's music that announced the Arrival Of The Queen of Sheba. But the same lady had an entire opera dedicated to her - what's the opera, and who wrote it? (It's a piece with half a foot at least in the Grand Opera tradition).
A bit of a hint here - the Biblical land of "Sheba" is known as "Saba" on modern maps
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Old 10-05-12, 07:18 PM
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A bit of a hint here - the Biblical land of "Sheba" is known as "Saba" on modern maps
La reine de Saba Gounod (Google/wiki I'm afraid) but it has got me intrigued so I've put this on my wish list, unless you can recommend another version?

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Old 10-05-12, 07:47 PM
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La reine de Saba Gounod (Google/wiki I'm afraid) but it has got me intrigued so I've put this on my wish list, unless you can recommend another version?
I'm very impressed by Gounod's "other" operas But I've only heard this one on internet radio, and I'm afraid I forget who the performers were. Some of the ballet music from LA REINE is occasionally played 'in concert' - our orchestra did some of it here in Moscow last year, and the audience seemed to enjoy it.
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  #37  
Old 10-05-12, 07:57 PM
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I'm very impressed by Gounod's "other" operas But I've only heard this one on internet radio, and I'm afraid I forget who the performers were. Some of the ballet music from LA REINE is occasionally played 'in concert' - our orchestra did some of it here in Moscow last year, and the audience seemed to enjoy it.
When I think how much I love Faust (got several CDs & the Alagna/Gheorghiu DVD & went twice to see it at ROH last year ), I can't understand why I haven't explored his other work.
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  #38  
Old 11-05-12, 08:08 AM
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When I think how much I love Faust (got several CDs & the Alagna/Gheorghiu DVD & went twice to see it at ROH last year ), I can't understand why I haven't explored his other work.
FAUST somehow acquired an undeserved reputation as a pot-boiler in the 60s and 70s, and no-one would touch it with a bargepole. Thankfully people have begun remembering that it's an extraordinary and subtle masterpiece, and it's creeping back into the repertoire slowly.

We had a super production of FAUST here in Moscow, done as a joint production with Opera de Lyon. Sadly the whole thing caught fire and burned down when the Stanislavsky Opera went up in flames a few years ago. The theatre has since re-opened, but the production was too costly to rebuild, and I think they figured they'd already shown it to most of those who might stump up the ticket price. A pity, because it was a real classic - heaps of special effects, including Mephistopheles walking through walls and appearing through mirrors Not always well sung, however - but Goerelich's conducting was excellently stylistic.
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Old 11-05-12, 05:11 PM
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FAUST somehow acquired an undeserved reputation as a pot-boiler in the 60s and 70s, and no-one would touch it with a bargepole. Thankfully people have begun remembering that it's an extraordinary and subtle masterpiece, and it's creeping back into the repertoire slowly.

We had a super production of FAUST here in Moscow, done as a joint production with Opera de Lyon. Sadly the whole thing caught fire and burned down when the Stanislavsky Opera went up in flames a few years ago. The theatre has since re-opened, but the production was too costly to rebuild, and I think they figured they'd already shown it to most of those who might stump up the ticket price. A pity, because it was a real classic - heaps of special effects, including Mephistopheles walking through walls and appearing through mirrors Not always well sung, however - but Goerelich's conducting was excellently stylistic.


Oh my goodness - what a shame! And such an amazing production, what a shame it wasn't recorded for posterity.

In these difficult financial times new productions will become scarce but I'm lucky enough to be seeing a couple of new ones at ROH this year.

Falstaff (seeing final dress tomorrow & then performance on 19th May) and Les Troyens.
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Old 11-05-12, 05:57 PM
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I envy you seeing the DR of FALSTAFF tomorrow! It's a great piece, but it's fiendishly hard to keep it altogether without making it sound like a military band Those huge ensembles are tricky stuff, and have a tendency to fall apart!

But I'm sure the ROH will have crunched it until it's perfect
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