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Opera in Ireland - general discussion thread on all things opera in Ireland

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  • New National Concert Hall website is an absolute disaster!




  • Wexford Festival Opera starting soon what do people think of the line up ?




  • I saw Mercandante's Il Bravo in Wexford last night.
    Vintage Wexford. A meaty opera, great singers (with the exception of one tenor), sumptuous production.

    More than made up for the Medea fiasco last year.




  • I saw Mercandante's Il Bravo in Wexford last night.
    Vintage Wexford. A meaty opera, great singers (with the exception of one tenor), sumptuous production.

    More than made up for the Medea fiasco last year.

    Medea was a mess Fiona Shaw quickly did a runner once word got out.

    Il Bravo I really enjoyed except for the modern day tourist scenes people going around taking selfies.

    Looking forward to Dinner at Eight, I love those "live action" Hollywood esque Opera's such as Vanessa. Also La fanciulla del West.




  • I dropped a line to INO today about Aida, as I live up in Sligo I was asking them had they ever considered that one of the Saturday shows should be a matinee, they are doing two Saturday shows 24th November and December 1st with two shows on the Tuesday and Thursday inbetween these two saturdays. I fully understand why a show like Aida simply cannot be a touring show, but if you consider the NY Met fills the house for matinees with people who travel far and wide into NY for the shows, I know this because I have been to them and spoken to audience members in NY, Why can't INO set up this tradition of one show in each run being a Saturday matinee. With many of the audience (unfortunately true) being in their senior years, the travel pass gets them there for free and it means long distance travel home in the evening is not a 3.00 am arrival home. I reckon there would be a market for it, opera goers from around the country I think would travel to Dublin for a matinee on a saturday. Why not give it a go? If you think its a good idea drop INO a line. I really think it would work, they would pull in an audience from Belfast, Galway and Cork for this, not to mention Sligo, but I really think there is a theatre going audience to sell this too, the Abbey Theatre Saturday matinees are often the first to sell out.


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  • Great to see our new National Opera Company that rose out of the ashes of Opera Theatre Company announce a full programme of events for 2019. Well done, opera in Ireland is moving forward.

    http://www.irishnationalopera.ie/whats-on/current-upcoming-productions




  • westtip wrote: »
    Well done, opera in Ireland is moving forward.


    It is.

    I thought their Figaro was fantastic. I wasn't so keen on the Tales of Hoffmann - the 'reduced ensemble' thing is usually unsuccessful, the piece had no impact at all, and I thought the guy who sang Hoffmann was pretty awful. It wasn't a great choice as it's a very difficult opera to pull off.
    I'm going to Aida next week.




  • It is.

    I thought their Figaro was fantastic. I wasn't so keen on the Tales of Hoffmann - the 'reduced ensemble' thing is usually unsuccessful, the piece had no impact at all, and I thought the guy who sang Hoffmann was pretty awful. It wasn't a great choice as it's a very difficult opera to pull off.
    I'm going to Aida next week.

    GP I thought they nailed it with Hoffman as a touring production! Really got to the essence of the opera, Yes Figaro was very good. I am planning to go to Aida not got a ticket yet maybe tomorrow or thursday what night you going GP?




  • The Nozze was decent and gave reason for hope. But it was well and truly dashed last night. You just cannot give an opera without soloists of some reasonable standard. The high priestess was fine. The messenger woeful to laughable, and the principals consistently poor. Aida herself, the least bad.
    On the plus side though, and usually a weakpoint of opera in Ireland, the churus were good. Well played whoever was behind that element.


    I was going to just write - INO will have to do better. They really have to get better soloists. But in fact, the almost full GCT loved it. So maybe they dont.




  • Which night did you go? I was there on Thursday when there were two replacement singers, both Italian. Aida was Monica Zanettin and Radames was Stefano La Colla. Both were sensational, particularly the tenor. I agree that the messenger was laughably bad, but at least it's a very short role. Imelda Drumm (Amneris) has a good top register but her lower notes are inaudible and her acting was very hammy. Manfred Hemm was excellent as Ramfis. The orchestra and chorus were excellent.

    The production was OK, even if it was a weird pastiche of traditional and modern. The director was ridiculously hyperactive - really needs to learn that there are parts in operas when you just have to let the audience sit back and listen. 'Ritorna vincitor' does not need randomers pushing trolleys backwards and forwards in the background.


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  • I was at Saturdays which I presume was the A-team (there were no changes announced).
    Yes, extras wheeling around screens to no effect irked me too. It seems to be a 'thing' in Irish productions for some reason.




  • I missed Aida just couldn't do it logistically, never mind sounds like a mixed bunch. Re standing ovations, it has become an annoying habit of our audiences, it ceases to have meaning when it is becomes the norm.




  • westtip wrote: »
    I missed Aida just couldn't do it logistically, never mind sounds like a mixed bunch. Re standing ovations, it has become an annoying habit of our audiences, it ceases to have meaning when it is becomes the norm.


    Totally. It's got to the stage where a pianist gets a standing ovation for showing the ability to walk from the wings to the piano without tripping up like Norman Wisdom. Beyond ridiculous.




  • That was a wonderful Traviata broadcast from the MET tonight into Cinemas, Diana Damrau is some superstar and as for Quinn Kelsey wow he is just getting better and better. Juan Diego I just love him!




  • If anyone is interested I have two spare tickets for Netrebko and Kaufmann in Forza at the ROH on Sunday March 24th. It is a matinee, my guess is doable back and forth in a day from Dublin, I can't go for logistical reasons, they arent th greatest seats about halfway up the Ampitheatre in Row H and not even together, it was a bunfight to get them, all the Kaufmann performances are sold out, and the few he is doing with Netrebko sold out in minutes.
    Any takers let me know by PM. (they are £41 sterling each).




  • Two great operatic experiences in Ireland this week, that truly wonderful new production of my least favourite Puccini opera, Madama Buttefly. Just love the production the accolades and good reviews are well deserved.

    Number 2 was to once again see Live in HD that unbelievable Walkure from the Met. I reckon I have seen Walkure about 20 times in opera houses, but it truth this really must go down as the greatest production I personally have seen since the amazing Gotz Friedrich production of the Ring at the ROH in 1982, which happened to be my first ever full Ring Cylce - Even in though it was in the Cinema tonight it was difficult not to be completely blown away by that Wotan Farewell to Brunnhilde tonight, and seriously the staging of this Ring Cycle at the Met, is just mind blowing! As I say the best for me since all those years ago and many full Ring Cycles and one off Walkures since. Just mind blowing theatre!




  • I decided not to go to Butterfly when I saw that Julian Hubbard was singing Pinkerton. I saw him in Hoffmann and was very unimpressed.
    But reading all the good reviews maybe I made a mistake.




  • I decided not to go to Butterfly when I saw that Julian Hubbard was singing Pinkerton. I saw him in Hoffmann and was very unimpressed.
    But reading all the good reviews maybe I made a mistake.
    #

    In truth he was the weakest link his voice is not big enough for the BGET.




  • Good to know it was decent. Felt a bit guilty for not supporting, but just couldnt muster the energy for Butterfly. Least interesting of all Puccini's for me too.
    Why it gets the popular support eludes me. Was at a Manon Lescaut a couple of weeks ago, and it really is fine music. Very rich, in the manner of Fanciulla del West or Suor Angelica. Boheme is his best all rounder and rightly pulls the wider crowds too. Tosca almost as good. Gianni Schicchi is a good farce - a short story that works, and spun out well. Turandot has fine music. Il Tabarro I find a little dull an monchrome.
    Butterfly just seems to have reached a threshold of popular recognition. I will see it again some day, and give it a chance. But am in no hurry.




  • Butterfly just seems to have reached a threshold of popular recognition. I will see it again some day, and give it a chance. But am in no hurry.

    Indeed one fine day maybe, RoL.
    I agree with you about Butterfly though my least favourite nevertheless this was an enjoyable evening.

    Moving on, did anyone else go to Forza broadcast from the ROH last night, these cinema nights are not like going to the opera, but are a good opportunity to check in on the big houses...mind you I'm going next week!

    Outstanding cast. Netrebko is getting better, Kaufmann is more and more like Domingo at his peak in the 1980s, as for Ludovic Tezier (di Vargas) - wow and the same goes for Ferrucio Furlanetto (the Padre), can't wait to see it live, Monastryka is taking over the role of Leonora next week, massive voice will have no problems matching Netrebko!!


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  • The INO Madama Butterfly is on the RTE player.


    https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/madama-butterfly/97523752174




  • I have two tickets for Royal Opera House next Thursday June 6th for Andrea Chenier, in the front row of the Ampitheatre, they are £39 each if anyone is interested, Roberto Alagna is singing what’s more Dimitri Platinas is also in the cast – he is fantastic. It is a super production I saw it two years ago;
    short notice, I want to shift them this week I will let them back to box office on Friday of this week, anyone interested PM me Thanks




  • On a different subject entirely, did anyone go to the INO Magic Flute? Impressions?




  • On a different subject entirely, did anyone go to the INO Magic Flute? Impressions?

    Went to the matinee last Thursday, quite enjoyed it, not brilliant but very acceptable standard for our national opera company, things are progessing well with INO.




  • https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/arts/music/franco-zeffirelli.html?fbclid=IwAR3SpL252SJ2V7o---JWVbhHNIr9bCwcB00849Uyw0qQHTDOLRQKisKRZOI

    What a Director, what a contribution to the global opera stage: Zeffirelli Rest in Peace.




  • westtip wrote: »

    His Desert Island Discs from 1978 is worth a listen

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p009mz3n

    davej




  • anyone go to the ROH Don Giovanni in cinemas last night, saw the production last year and it is growing on me, although felt the voices did not come across well int he first act - much better in second act and the production is well thought through on this second sighting of it.




  • I didn't see the screening, but I was over in London last weekend and saw a matinee at the ROH. I hadn't been very impressed with this production when I saw it first, but liked it much better this time. It moves at a good pace, unlike the older production which felt saggy. I'm still not loving the final scene, though. Call me old-fashioned, but I want to see the devils dragging him down to hell-fire!

    The following night I went to Agrippina, also at the ROH. Joyce di Donato, who is probably my favourite singer today, was wonderful as always. The real revelation for me, though, was Lucy Crowe. I've heard her a few times before, but she shone as Poppea. She's really going from strength to strength. I last heard her as Tamina in the ENO's Magic Flute not long ago in what was probably the most satisfying production I'd ever heard of my favourite opera.




  • Yes I agree about this DG. It is a really challenging production, and has grown on me, I am not too fussed about seeing a traditional death of the Don. I thought it was well sung and brilliantly acted. Joyce di donato is simply the best around at Handel anyway, her concert in Dublin last year was spell binding, and I hope the same next May. Yes Agrippina was fabulous. Don't you just love that place (The ROH)!


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  • Thanks for the tip, Westtipp. I hadn't realised she's coming here again next year. I missed her last time for some reason, but I've now booked my seat for next May.

    Yes, I love the ROH, even more after the recent renovation. The public areas are now brighter and more welcoming. For a while, they had Maria Callas' costume, wig and props from Zefferelli's production of Tosca on display on the ground floor, but they've now been replaced. Fascinating to see, though. Tito Gobbi's costume was nearby.


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