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View Diary: GUS: Opera Open Thread (79 comments)

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  •  Oh, I'm a HUGE fan of Handel's operas. (14+ / 0-)

    I saw Giulio Cesare about thirty years ago here at the San Francisco opera with a friend who graciously shared his entire season of tickets with me (he'd just split with his boyfriend and I was the benificiary). Anyway, it's a fabulous opera, though it is a bit long for non-Handelians to comfortably manage. He is definitely an acquired taste for a lot of folks.

    Natalie Dessay must have been incredible. I'm a big fan of hers as well.

    Good morning, everyone!

    p.s. When I first read "Opera Open Thread" in the diary list, I was afraid you were going to be going all Wagnerian on us. ;-p

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:13:40 AM PDT

    •  Good morning my (10+ / 0-)

      darling silkie!!!  Years ago I had the pure pleasure of going to the San Francisco opera -- gorgeous house.  My friend was giving a talk to the WAGNERIAN SOCIETY!!!!   We saw Cosi fan Tutte with Frederica von Stade as Despina.  She was marvelous.

      So happy you had that season of opera!!!! And I'm happy you like Giulio Cesare.  If I love an opera, the time flies by.  I never have felt any Wagner opera drag on.  Ok, except for the Kirov Ring Cycle in NYC several summers ago -- the concept sucked hugely.

      Hope you have a nice place to walk today.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:27:39 AM PDT

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      •  My first time in our opera house... (10+ / 0-)

        ...was also Così, in 1979. A young singer named Kiri te Kanawa sang Fiordiligi. This was before she hit the big time, and when I later saw her on TV singing at Charles and Diana's wedding I was all like, "Hey, I know her!"

        And my friends and I moved at the end of Act I from our seats high up in the balcony to some empty orchestra seats quite close to the stage, which we had carefully scouted out during the first act. :-)

        There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

        by slksfca on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:36:39 AM PDT

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        •  Wowser! (8+ / 0-)

          I love Kiri.  It was her "O Mio Babbino Caro" I first heard and played over and over and over again.  Amazing that such a gorgeous aria is in a comedy.  

          I do love your opera house -- it feels like a big hug of history.  While I love the atmosphere of the Met with the Waterford crystal chandeliers and great stuff that can be done with that massive stage -- it does feel as if I'm distanced (ok, I get family circle seats).  I only went once this year -- to Parsifal.  Last year it was Don Giovanni and happened to be the same day of the October 29 blizzard.  Unnerving drive from New Haven and we got the last train that was moving out of NYC.  Trip was 3X as long because the track had to be cleared ahead of us.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:45:10 AM PDT

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          •  About "history" (8+ / 0-)

            I have some family history with the San Francisco Opera House. My grandfather was there in 1945, covering the founding of the United Nations for the Associated Press. I always think of him whenever I go to an opera or other event there. :-)

            I'm glad we don't have to fight snowstorms to get to our performing arts venues, unlike people on your coast. ;-p

            There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

            by slksfca on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:48:38 AM PDT

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            •  How wonderful! (7+ / 0-)

              Nice deep roots in one of my favorite cities in the world.  I had to look up when I was out there -- time flies so quickly.  Looks like Flicka's Despina performance was in 2004-05 season.  Dang -- where are the year's going.  So, that was before I joined DKos and knew about the wrong coasters.

              " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

              by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:53:33 AM PDT

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              •  Heh. (7+ / 0-)

                You do know that "Flicka," as you (and some other people) call her, has chosen to make her home right here in the Bay Area, don't you? ;-p

                There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

                by slksfca on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:00:04 AM PDT

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                •  Yes! (8+ / 0-)

                  She still looks gorgeous.  You are really blessed.

                  I'm thinking about getting you a membership in the Wagnerian Society of San Francisco.  I think it would do you some good!

                  I met the soprano, Evelyn Lear at a D.C. Wagner Society event.  I'm so grateful I know smart people who take me along on trips while they do all the intelligent stuff.  Lear died last year (86).  She was a hoot.  Dyed crazy red hair and a total diva -- I loved her.  She had a really lovely voice.  I think her husband, who died quite young, was a tenor.  

                  " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

                  by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:05:26 AM PDT

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                  •  I came to Wagner slowly. And reluctantly. (8+ / 0-)

                    It only happened because I fell deeply in love with Meistersinger, and from there I grew to appreciate Parsifal and Tannhäuser. I still don't care for the endless Ring cycle, except for Anna Russell's version. :-)

                    I've never known a real diva. The closest I got was a voice teacher of mine who had when much younger been in the chorus at the Met. She still lives in an old house on a cliff overlooking a river here in Northern California, and I'm afraid I have neglected visiting her for too many years.

                    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

                    by slksfca on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:16:59 AM PDT

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                    •  I forgot that I really (6+ / 0-)

                      didn't like Tristan and Isolde -- which is a mortal sin in Wagner circles.  I do need to see another production to give it another shot.

                      I wish I could transport you out here, house and cook for you and then take you to see the Ring at the Met.  Honestly, I think you would love it.  None of he operas is longer (ok, maybe a few minutes) than Giulio Cesare.

                      I need to win the frigging lottery.  I still haven't seen Flying Dutchman.  So many operas, so little time.

                      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

                      by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:28:40 AM PDT

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                      •  You might convert me to the Ring. (7+ / 0-)

                        But I think it would be a lot of work. Not that I'm THAT stubborn or reluctant to widen my horizons, but — well, yes, maybe I AM reluctant. In my old age my tastes have become somewhat ... ossified.

                        Still, I'd try if a friend was sincerely urging me... :-)

                        There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

                        by slksfca on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:37:18 AM PDT

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                        •  Oh, try it! (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gchaucer2, anodnhajo, Vacationland

                          I teach a college course on the Ring.  If my 18-year-old freshmen can handle it, so can you ;-)

                          "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

                          by Nespolo on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 02:52:10 PM PDT

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                          •  My dear friend, (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Nespolo, anodnhajo, Vacationland

                            retired from Wesleyan U. has presented a few amazing talks on Wagner and G. B. Shaw.  He will love to know you are teaching college freshman the Ring Cycle.

                            " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

                            by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 04:33:48 PM PDT

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                          •  I make sure my students read Shaw (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gchaucer2, anodnhajo, Vacationland

                            They've never heard of him.  More the reason to make sure that they read him in my class.

                            "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

                            by Nespolo on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 05:41:37 PM PDT

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                          •  We need to talk more! (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            anodnhajo, Vacationland, Nespolo

                            Shaw's Perfect Wagnerite is tremendous.  My friend just did two talks -- Shaw and Helen Keller (an unfortunate incident) and Shaw and Oscar Wilde -- tremendously satisfying.

                            Sad that young people have never heard of Shaw -- one of the geniuses (and Nobel Laureate) of Ireland.  I claim him as a contemporary since he died a few months after I was born.  

                            I envy your teaching.  I used to teach high school literature then realized I was going nowhere and went for a JD -- enviro law mostly.  I still love literature but don't miss teaching folks who would rather  tweet than read Chaucer, Shakespeare, Shaw, a zillion Asian, African, South American, etc. writers.  

                            I hope you join us frequently, Nespolo.  You are a lovely voice.  I'd love it if you would join our buddy list.  You don't have to have ever smoked -- you could have quit a zillion years ago or yesterday or don't want to quit yet.  We are an open, free and zany society of eccentrics who are always fun.    If you want to be on our buddy list just for the hell of it, let me know.

                            Thanks again for being here today/tonight.

                            " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

                            by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:44:24 PM PDT

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                          •  Thanks, Geoff, that's very kind of you (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            anodnhajo, Vacationland

                            And I did smoke -- briefly -- in college, so I qualify for membership!  Please do add me.

                            "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

                            by Nespolo on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 10:20:45 AM PDT

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                          •  I'll make sure you get added (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Nespolo, Vacationland

                            and welcome!

                            "just one more mile to go"

                            by anodnhajo on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 11:58:54 AM PDT

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