What operas do you need to see a better version of?

Discussion of all things opera: Wagner, Verdi, Toscanini, Zeffirelli, prelude, leitmotif, Regietheater, etc.
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What operas do you need to see a better version of?

Post by Jimlejim »

We've all been there. You go to see an opera, and it's just not up to your standards. You love the opera, but the execution is sub-par. What are some operas you have seen that you wish you could see with a proper cast? Mine are Il Trovatore and Manon Lescaut. Love them on disc and DVD, but the performances I saw were just so-so. Passable or mediocre. And an opera like Il Trovatore is electrifying and thunderous with the right cast.
Tenor freak. :D

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Re: What operas do you need to see a better version of?

Post by Orestes »

I have very rarely been satisfied with the execution of Verdi operas.
Otello is not often performed well, and the problem is in my opinion, that there does not exist any Verdi style. The ideal Otello is Jon Vickers according to many, and his apostles like Kaufmann are bringing very boring interpretations of his work.

Many tenors just sing Esultate as loud as they can, then sings some fake mezza voce in Già nella notte densa with broken legato. The second act and third act is mostly half spoken, which some spectators think is "great acting". But the tenor usually asks the conductor to rush through the Oath duet, because the aria before Si pel ciel are too taxing.

I would like to see some French operas conducted and directed with liberty and necessary cuts. The vogue of playing "Carmen" in original language with spoken dialogue by non-French singers is absurd.

When opera houses try to revive Meyerbeer operas they are having a conductor-based, fundamentalistic approach with a "critical edition" of the score with no cuts and with no concern about staging. And no notion that the singer's of 19th century had personalities that played an important role in these operas success.

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