A bunch of well known operas (51-100)
51 Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss)
One of my favourites. The Prologue is comedy gold: the many faces of the artist. It’s clever and moving and a it pokes fun at itself a and brings together contemporaneity and the 18th century (which I find closer to us that the morose and buttoned-up 19th).
52 Manon (Massenet)
The frivolous bint what dies in a desert just outside NOLA, haha (which desert is that in the Mississippi delta?). Or is that a different take on the same subject? They liked their moralising tales back then. This is not the kind of 18th century tale I go for.
53 Pelleas et Melisande (Debussy)
Pretty good conversation piece. The music is quite lovely but the singing is so… un-dramatic, it’s a shock when you learn what they’re on about.
54 La Damnation de Faust (Berlioz)
I read Goethe’s Faust when I was at Uni and I always hated Faust the character. He’s one of them geeks that thinks he’s deeper than everybody else. I’ve always rooted for the devil. But Berlioz comes up with some wicked music.
55 Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Shostakovich)
Well, after putting up with The Nose I don’t think I’ll rush to this one very soon.
56 Alcina (Handel)
Gotta love Alcina, the metaphor for the untamed state. And the music ain’t half bad. It’s better than that. It’s nothing short of great – tuneful and moving and profound. I like it so much, I almost get sentimental about it…
57 Faust (Gounod)
It’s Old Man Gounod vs. Stockhausen of the 19th century, aka Berlioz. Just how many Fausts do we need?
58 The Love for Three Oranges (Prokofiev)
I will get to it at some point, the idea is cool.
59 The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky)
Ain’t bad but methinks he was taking himself too seriously? Or something. I’ll have Oedipus Rex first. I always think about a garden rake making progress with the leaves.
60 Orphée et Eurydice (Gluck)
Orphée again; obviously I like it. As I was saying, he da man even when sung by a woman.
61 Idomeneo (Mozart)
Wolfie tried his hand at opera seria several times with more or less success. This is perhaps his most ambitious opera seria project and, as far as I am concerned, he done tried too hard. On one side we’ve got Nessy itching to gulp young Idamante, and on the other Elettra, with nothing much to do beside being ready to jump his fine Cretan bones, hahaha; proper opera seria silly. But I’m very slowly warming up to it.
62 Bluebeard’s Castle (Bartok)
At the right moment this can be a hoot, especially because my experience with Hungarian is of such… petit bourgeois nature.
63 Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni)
One of thems that I didn’t care to explore so far.
64 L’Elisir D’Amore (Donizetti)
Donizetti hits the jackpot. You know Adina is going to have Nemorino wrapped around her finger for the rest of their married life.
65 L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)
Monteverdi had the right attitude and his little helpers weren’t bad either. This is a rare instance where composing by committee results in masterpiece. The adulterous couple gets a happy ending: Rome 3, Victorian era 0. Roman Empire fanfic ftw.