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Should we keep performing the same old operas so often?

Posted: 15 Jan 2017, 15:20
by Opera Vivrà
It’s season announcement time here in the United States, with most of the major opera companies announcing their 2017–18 offerings at some point in January. As is often the case, the titles of many of the operas on the lists look awfully familiar.
Link to the blog post: http://www.operavivra.com/blog/same-old-operas/

Re: Should we keep performing the same old operas so often?

Posted: 26 Jan 2017, 16:27
by Geoff
"Should we keep performing the same old operas so often" ??

Sure ! Why not ? Over the past 50 - 75 years, apart from Benjamin Britten I can't think of one 'modern' opera composer who has piqued (a good word, eh?) my interest. Come to that I can't think of a 'modern' opera performance which merits more than one performance either and if the general opera-going public's opinion is anything to go by, I do not think that I'm on my own by a long chalk. Then again, what do I know :roll:

Moving on to my old well-known hobby horse, it's the 'modern' treatment of opera productions which deter me. I recently watched a production of Gounod's 'Faust' from Turin which left me distinctly underwhelmed. IMO absolute rubbish but then again, I have a good friend who goes into raptures about such productions. As I say, what do I know :roll: !

Regards,
Geoff.

Re: Should we keep performing the same old operas so often?

Posted: 30 Jan 2017, 12:48
by Jim
Of course we should. They are the cash cows and people want to hear them!!! There is little interest in the modern equivalent. This music seems to be written more for academics as an intellectual excercise than actual people. I would struggle to categorise much of it as music, but that depends on the definitions adopted. I would, however, concede that we should continue to perform new works in the expectation, however remote, that something will stick in our consciousness. Perhaps there might even be a tune in one that we could possibly hum. I would not be holding my breadth though.

I have a lot of sympathy with Geoff's view of modern productions, however, I have seen some good ones. I do not go to an opera to be socially educated but to be entertained. To me the staging is well down the list of priorities, while acknowledging a particularly egregious staging can ruin enjoyment. It would be difficult to believe this reading reviews where staging comes first and singing last.

Jim