Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween: Opera Style!

"Gib' mir den Kopf des Jochanaan!"

I'm a lover of all things spooky and lugubrious, particularly my operas! Some favorite scary operas I've seen - and a couple I've only dreamed of seeing:

Strauss: "Salome"
Britten: "The Turn of the Screw"
Wagner: "Der fliegende Holländer"
Glass: "The Fall of the House of Usher"
Verdi: "Macbeth" & "Rigoletto"
Puccini: "Il Tabarro" & "Le Villi"
Argento: "Miss Havisham's Fire" & "The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe"
Corigliano: "The Ghosts of Versailles"
Tamkin: "The Dybbuk"
J. Martin: "Beast and Superbeast" (4 marvelous chamber operas)
Bartok: "Bluebeard's Castle"
Menotti: "Martin's Lie"; "Help! Help! The Globolinks!"; and "The Medium"
Picker: "Dolores Claiborne"
Dvorak: "Rusalka"
Beason: "Lizzy Borden"
Adams: "Doctor Atomic"
Massenet: "La Navarraise"
Tchaikovsky: "The Queen of Spades"
Tchaikovsky: "Mazeppa"
Donizetti: "Lucia di Lammermoor"
Webern: Der Freischütz

Sondheim: "Sweeney Todd" (pushing the envelope operatically perhaps.)

For an opera-themed movie Dario Argento's wondrously horrible "Opera" about the ghoulish goings as a celebrated film director makes his operatic debut staging a production of Verdi's "Macbeth." There is a wonderful anti-regie tirade by the diva singing Lady Mackers:

"This isn't one of your crummy movies, it’s Verdi’s Macbeth. Birds on stage? Back projections? Laser beams . . . What is this an opera house or an amusement park? I have to SING! How can I do that on a stage with a raven who hates me? It never takes its beady eyes off of me . . . it shrieks, whistles, flaps its wings . . . that raven is DELIBERATELY destroying my performance! Birds belong with other birds and NOT in the opera house singing Macbeth!"

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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