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September 29, 2006

Una voce poco fa

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Once I get my time-machine back on-line it is off to Hamburg and Maria Callas in the year 1959. Too many are devoted to overwrought Wagnerian melodrama1 despite the existence of Italian concoctions which are far superior.2 Take Il barbiere di Siviglia and my favourite rendition of my favourite aria, for example.3

1 Totally unlike Austrian melodrama which is basically sonic icing.
2 'ma!
3 Excepting The Twilight of the Gods Leitmotiv 22 and What's Opera, Doc? Which kick ass.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 29, 2006 06:47 AM

Comments

Don't forget The Rabbit of Seville!

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 08:40 AM

That one will have to wait until I get home... zut!

Thanks again, everybody, for the footnote advice. I am delighted by the appearance of the subscript. The superscript caused precisely the line spacing problems anticipated in yesterday's comments.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 09:08 AM

Placing them that way (at the risk of sounding like a usability jerk) makes it visually quieter, too. They leave the sentence flowing yet allow you to dip into the side-thought is you want to.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 10:19 AM

Speaking of Wagner... Two friends -- neither of whom had ever seen an opera before -- went to see the COC's production of the whole darn Ring cycle.

One major criticism was that they did not like the COC's use of modern dress and IKEA-type set dressing (which is slightly hilarious coming from two gay fellas whose place is loaded to the gills with modernist Swedish flat-pack furniture). Their other major objection was that there was a lot less action than they were led to believe. They bolted after an hour and a half.

For me, opera buffa is where it's at, and your Italian masters fit in nicely there. I could not even begin to take the mythic sturm und drang of Wagner seriously, even if his Tannhäuser overture rocks.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 10:27 AM

Alan: In my defense, the asterisks were meant to impede usability.

Chris: The only place I would ever sit through the whole Ring is at Bayreuth. The Canadian Opera Company has some work to do to convince me it can stage anything let alone host my rear end for days on end. And I was prepared to sit through all sorts at the English National Opera so that is saying something.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 10:43 AM

As someone who is ever so slightly dyslexic, figuring out the sixth-asterisk and seventh-asterisk commment was slightly arse wrenching. This is not. Thank you for accomodating me so stylishly. I would suggest you add italicization for another note of dappery.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 10:51 AM

PS - Opera? I don't know nuttin' about no stinkin' opera. If there is no Scots opera, do I need to know anything about opera?

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 10:52 AM

We don't get much opera in Missouri, but maybe I should try to write on opera...now you've got me thinking...an John Brown/Quantrill opera. Uumm, if only I was talented.

Posted by: Joshua H. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 01:28 PM

That would make an awesome opera.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 01:38 PM

Needs a banjo section in the pit orchestra.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 01:51 PM

Maybe some kind of bluegrass-opera hybrid. That would be awesome.

Posted by: Joshua H. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 04:24 PM

Maria Callas's voice scared the bejeezus out me when I was a kid. It's amazing, but not quite human. Regardless, you've gotta admire the way she drove the diva concept further than anyone before or since. One of my favorite Callas quotes (to a concierge, I think): "Don't talk to me about rules, darling. Wherever I go, I make the goddam rules."

And props for mentioning What's Opera, Doc? Easily the best Wagner adaptation ever.

Posted by: utron [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 04:48 PM