Theme and Variations

Thoughts and experiences of exploring classical, jazz, and other art music.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Abduction, Cosi, Tito

The following is a post I contributed to the Yahoo Opera Study e-mail group.

I've got three more (well, two and a third) Mozart operas under my belt.

The *Abduction from the Seraglio* I watched was performed by Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the direction of Zubin Mehta. Stealing the show (I suspect this happens a lot) were Osmin, played by Kurt Rydl, and Blonde played by Patrizia Ciofi. (Now I know where "Blondie" comes from in *The Abduction of Figaro*...maybe this opera is the source for the pirate, but I doubt that). The stage used some simple but colorful backdrops, mostly stained-glass windows and sliding doors, with each different scene having a different configuration. I must say I've come to appreciate these more simple sets.

This Abduction has Belmonte arriving on a little row boat, hardly big enough for travel on the high seas, though we learn later he has a bigger boat waiting. Added to this production is a large crocodile, which appears to be a pet of Osmin's. Osmin enters with his part in the opening duet with a bucket from which he feeds the croc. It's a neat touch.

All of the singers were attractive and had wonderful voices. The extended scene between Osmin and Blonde is lots of fun, where the tough blowhard Osmin is turned into a child in a tantrum. The Pasha is a serious but courteous gentleman.

I got through about the first third of the Peter Sellars' *Cosi fan tutte*, with it's modern setting at the cafe named "Despinas." This was my second Cosi, having done the La Scala version months ago. About 15 minutes into it, I started to feel kinda foolish. I don't know why, but I was relieved nobody saw me watching it. I don't mind old operas and plays and such being translated into modern settings, but with the angst and the groping and Despina crying and so on, I just couldn't finish it. Luckily this was a Netflix rental, so it wasn't much of a monetary loss. Who knows? Maybe someday I'll be able to appreciate it better, but this production was just too jarring visually for me.

So next, I kinda skipped ahead and watched the Glyndebourne production of *La Clemenza Do Tito*. I did a little reading in Charles Osborne's book *The Complete Operas of Mozart* (Greenberg quotes this book in some of his lectures - I found it in a Half-Price Books store in San Antonio this last spring), and Osborne doesn't seem to think much of it. It was written while Mozart was also working on *The Magic Flute*. Two of the main characters, Sextus and Annius, are soprano roles written for castrati; these are now, of course, pants roles (the women wore body armor but it was hard to pretend they were really men - and -uh oh! - there was some same sex kissing going on [not that there's anything wrong with that]). Titus is really a swell guy, always expecting the best of folks, and is surprised and torn to learn that Sextus tried to kill him.

This production, too, used pretty minimal sets, basic shapes (well, except for maybe the flying saucer), and lighting that reminded me of film noir movies with its shadows and light. I really like the music, though I can't say any one part of it stands out. I suppose being sandwiched in between Cosi and Flute that, by comparison, it doesn't shine as bright as its neighbors in time. But I liked it, and would pay to see it live.

Pretty fun stuff, these Mozart operas.

5 Comments:

Blogger oakleyses said...

longchamp outlet online, true religion, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, red bottom shoes, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, nike air max, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton handbags, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, longchamp handbags, ray ban outlet, prada outlet, coach outlet, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, coach outlet, oakley vault, cheap oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, nike free, tory burch outlet, nike shoes, coach outlet store online, burberry outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet, christian louboutin shoes, true religion outlet, coach purses, michael kors outlet store, kate spade outlet online, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, nike air max, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, tiffany and co jewelry, christian louboutin outlet

2:06 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

sac vanessa bruno, nike free, michael kors canada, timberland, michael kors uk, air max, nike air force, air jordan, true religion jeans, ray ban pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, louis vuitton uk, nike air max, sac michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, lacoste pas cher, nike roshe run, ray ban uk, true religion outlet, longchamp, oakley pas cher, nike roshe, mulberry, new balance pas cher, north face pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister, tn pas cher, north face, lululemon, nike blazer pas cher, barbour, ralph lauren, hermes pas cher, nike air max, hollister, sac louis vuitton, chaussure louboutin, nike free pas cher, burberry pas cher, guess pas cher, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton, scarpe hogan, vans pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, air max pas cher

2:09 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes, jimmy choo shoes, birkin bag, rolex watches, ferragamo shoes, canada goose, vans outlet, instyler ionic styler, uggs outlet, canada goose outlet, soccer jerseys, north face jackets, babyliss pro, wedding dresses, p90x workout, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, ugg outlet, asics shoes, celine handbags, ghd, nike huarache, bottega veneta, insanity workout, abercrombie and fitch, herve leger, ugg boots, nike trainers, ugg soldes, marc jacobs outlet, beats headphones, hollister, mont blanc pens, reebok shoes, canada goose outlet, lululemon outlet, valentino shoes, longchamp, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, new balance outlet, roshe run, ugg, canada goose outlet, uggs on sale

2:13 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

baseball bats, nike air max, ray ban, parajumpers outlet, toms outlet, timberland shoes, converse shoes, replica watches, moncler, hollister, lancel, moncler, juicy couture outlet, moncler, links of london uk, wedding dress, louis vuitton canada, ugg, vans, moncler, pandora charms, canada goose uk, louboutin, canada goose, oakley, juicy couture outlet, hollister canada, pandora jewelry, moncler outlet, iphone 6 case, ralph lauren, canada goose pas cher, pandora uk, coach outlet, moncler, montre femme, converse, swarovski uk, uggs canada, supra shoes, hollister clothing, karen millen, swarovski jewelry, thomas sabo uk, canada goose, air max, gucci, moncler

2:15 AM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

2015-10-10 zhengjx
Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet On Sale
michael kors handbags
cheap jordans
ugg australia
cheap nfl jerseys
Lebron 12,11,10 Shoes For Sale
Louis Vuitton Outlet 100% Authentic
ugg boots
Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Stores Online
canada goose outlet
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Sale
michael kors outlet sale
Coach Factory Outlet Online Sale Discount
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet online
cheap louis vuitton
Coach Outlet Store Online Clearance
Michael Kors Outlet Online Sale Free Shipping
coach outlet store online
ugg boots
nike outlet,nike shoes,nike store,nike air max,nike free run,air max,nike free,nike blazers
Louis Vuitton Outlet Discount Handbags
cheap ugg boots
hermes birkin
ugg boots
Coach Factory Outlet Discount Online
true religion jeans
nike air max

6:48 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home