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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
How do you feel about opera?
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Poll: How do you feel about opera?
Love it!
Hate it!
I like listening to it
I like seeing it on stage
Sorry, puts me to sleep
I only like the catchy tunes that come up now and then
I only like the soapy ones....
Other -- tell us your opera tale!
View Results (54 votes)


May 8 2012, 2:41am

Post #1 of 59 (1014 views)
How do you feel about opera? Can't Post

I ask because a local movie theater here does live from the NY Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, and we recently went to see the third opera in the Rings cycle. (It was a Christmas gift from my son..)

Now, when I was younger the stuff put me to sleep, but this time I absolutely loved it. The movie theater approach was pretty helpful, as you could see the singers up close and they subtitled it, which helped out folks like me quite a bit.

I also just watched the LOTR films recently and I think operatic is a word that really fits them, ROTK especially. So I thought I'd see how you all felt about opera in general , and if you want to share any operatic thoughts go right ahead

Thanks in advance for any and all replies or votes!


May 8 2012, 2:53am

Post #2 of 59 (673 views)
Love it! [In reply to] Can't Post

With Italian opera especially it helps if you have no idea what they're singing about.

I tend to prefer comedic operas. Only two or three people die.

Aunt Dora Baggins

May 8 2012, 3:38am

Post #3 of 59 (701 views)
When I was in sixth grade [In reply to] Can't Post

our music teacher had the lead in the university production of Don Giovanni, and a bunch of us went to see it. I saw several operas in my teen years and loved them, but it's been a while. I have a few favorites: Don Giovanni, Faust, and some modern things like Pirates of Penzance and JC Superstar.

I listened to the Ring cycle on records a decade or so ago, but I have to admit it's the libretto that I really love there, though I do like some of the music (and I noticed some bits of the LotR soundtrack that seemed to be an homage to it.)

When I saw Faust as a teenager, I was so taken that I went several times and sat in the front row. I used to get crushes on the local actors in plays and the singers in operas. And that guy playing Mephistopheles was pretty cute.


May 8 2012, 3:44am

Post #4 of 59 (692 views)
there is one bit of the LOTR soundtrack that is a homage to Wagner. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the final notes of the movie (not including the fan club credits).

See more here: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...ilarities_wagner.htm


All other similarities are coincidental and therefore not homages.

so declares Doug Adams. I don't engage in the debates Wagner fans have over the music. They're a serious bunch. :-)


May 8 2012, 3:50am

Post #5 of 59 (697 views)
Not sure how to respond [In reply to] Can't Post

I like some opera pieces. I have never been motivated to sit through a televised airing of an opera (like from the Met).

Is Gilbert and Sullivan opera? If so, I love them.

I wonder if, in some sense, a piece like Ruth McKenzie's Kalevela: Dream of a Salmon Maiden - which was a story told all in song - can be considered opera? If so, it rocked. And I think I responded to it like many people respond to opera.

Oh, and how about Tommy? It was a rock opera, yes? I liked Tommy.

I like music telling stories. I just can't get into what opera I've heard for longer than a song with a decent melody is sung.


May 8 2012, 11:29am

Post #6 of 59 (670 views)
I love to listen to it... [In reply to] Can't Post

...perfect thing to listen to on a chilled afternoon. The Magic Flute (in German, of course!) is a favourite.

Grey Havens

May 8 2012, 12:43pm

Post #7 of 59 (683 views)
I like to watch it... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but only if there's subtitles.... I need to know what's being said, otherwise I'm totally lost, plot-wise.


May 8 2012, 3:01pm

Post #8 of 59 (667 views)
Hi weav! [In reply to] Can't Post

There have been some that i really enjoyed listening to on the radio in the past. And some not. I have never seen one.

AlassŽa Eruvande

May 8 2012, 5:08pm

Post #9 of 59 (653 views)
You know, I was all set to vote until [In reply to] Can't Post

I realized, I don't think I've actually ever seen an opera. Not even on tv. So what category would I fall in? I don't hate it, how can I? I don't love it, either. How about, "disinterested bystander"? Laugh

Glad you're back, weaver! I hope these recent sightings of you indicate real life has settled down a bit and you can come out to play more! Heart

Arwen's daughter

May 8 2012, 5:17pm

Post #10 of 59 (657 views)
Same here [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never seen or even listened to an entire opera, just little clips and pieces in other media. I feel like I should make it a point to see one sometime.


May 8 2012, 7:57pm

Post #11 of 59 (643 views)
Just last night... [In reply to] Can't Post

...my husband and I saw "Wagner's Dream," a movie about the making of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Wagner's Ring cycle. It was wonderful.

I have loved opera ever since I saw my first one as a young adult. When I was at UC-Berkeley in the 60's I used to usher at the San Francisco Opera, in order to be able to see them free.

My favorite opera composers are Wagner, Mozart, and Puccini. Verdi not so much.


May 8 2012, 8:10pm

Post #12 of 59 (659 views)
There are great operas available from Netflix. [In reply to] Can't Post

Good ones to begin with include The Magic Flute, La Boheme, and The Marriage of Figaro. Netflix has several productions of each. Read the reviews to choose! Find a synopsis of the opera you're about to watch online, and read it first. In the world of opera, spoilers are a good thing!


May 8 2012, 8:44pm

Post #13 of 59 (633 views)
This topic is awesome! [In reply to] Can't Post

My sister took me to a production of Madame Butterfly by the Utah Opera for my birthday a few years back. Loved it! My local classical radio station also broadcasts Met performances during the season on Saturdays. Love it! For a while I actually had designs of becoming an opera singer. Now I'm toying with fantasies of adapting Final Fantasy VII (a video game) into an opera. Yes, I am fully aware of the nuttiness of that idea.


May 8 2012, 8:56pm

Post #14 of 59 (645 views)
I love it! [In reply to] Can't Post

The music can be sublime.

Although some of the plot lines are pretty silly...


May 8 2012, 9:06pm

Post #15 of 59 (669 views)
I ended by voting "only like the catchy tunes..." but... [In reply to] Can't Post

my real feeling is that mostly I only love the music.

I love The Ring Cycle, but it's for the music only. There is a lot of Carmen that I love, and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, etc. and much of Rossini, but only for the music. I just want to yell "shut up and let the orchestra play" to much of what I consider screeching in opera. I know, I know--I'm a philistine.Sly


May 8 2012, 9:16pm

Post #16 of 59 (649 views)
This is for you: [In reply to] Can't Post

Opera Without Singing

(This post was edited by Elizabeth on May 8 2012, 9:16pm)


May 8 2012, 9:21pm

Post #17 of 59 (650 views)
Ha! Whoever wrote this comment on that Amazon cd [In reply to] Can't Post

"The human voice penetrates in a way different from instruments '' really has put her finger on it. I much prefer the instruments, not to mention the fact that half the time the libretto is in a language I don't understand.

Forum Admin / Moderator

May 9 2012, 1:32am

Post #18 of 59 (640 views)
I'm not sure how to answer this. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a big musical theater fan and I love Gilbert & Sullivan, which is generally considered "light" or "comic" opera. As for the classic operas, my appreciation has increased over the years and I do listen from time to time. I have occasionally watched a production on PBS or video but often it doesn't hold my attention all the way through. That's partly because, as someone else has noted, the plots and the lyrics are often pretty silly even when not meant to be. And because the acting is often impeded by the need to sing with correct technique, I often prefer listening to watching. I admit I do like the "catchy" stuff best.

Though it's probably proof of my "lowbrow" tastes, I find that I'm really not a fan of operatic technique when it takes over for the natural sound of the voice. By which I mean that I'm less interested in perfection than in the individuality of tone and feeling in the voice. Some opera singers sound great to my ears, others sound forced or "yell-y", even some of the most famous. That's one of the reasons I love musical theater which has a lot of great and well-trained voices but has traditionally less emphasis on producing a sound that can be heard a mile away and thus sits easier on my ears. So often the voices I most enjoy are those which are sneered at a bit by Real Fans Of Opera, such as Andrea Bocelli. Another favorite is Anthony Warlow, who ranges from opera (usually light opera) to musical theater to swing/big band and sounds great in each. So I guess I'm NARFOO? Wink


May 9 2012, 3:54am

Post #19 of 59 (727 views)
Gianni Schicchi [In reply to] Can't Post

by Puccini is the only opera (one act) I've seen "live", professionally done in an opera workshop at St. Ben's here in Minnesota. The cast included several CSB/SJU alumni who are with the Minnesota Opera now, along with current voice majors including my cousin who is pursuing her music degree there. I've not enjoyed something so much in a long time. Yes, the plot was rather silly, and the music was wonderful. And I laughed. A lot. It was in a black box theater and the proximity of the actors was wonderful. So much was expressed through body language and facial expressions. And to see someone very close up singing opera is like a lesson in physiology regarding the vocal expression humans are capable of.

There was a Public TV presentation of 'Carmen' in the last couple years that caught my eye and I loved it. Can't remember who/what/where it was though.

This snippet of Wagner always intrigues me: The Ride of the Valkyries.

I feel that most opera is like jazz for me. I have trouble casually listening to most of either forms, but to experience them live can be amazing.

I would love to see a full opera on stage. One of the things on my bucket list.


May 9 2012, 4:13am

Post #20 of 59 (629 views)
interesting point [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel that most opera is like jazz for me. I have trouble casually listening to most of either forms, but to experience them live can be amazing.

I had a lot of Scandinavian music on a sampler CD and it was very difficult for me to listen to the joiker, Wimme. But he opened for a band I did want to see (Hedningarna) and hearing him live was incredible.

Tol Eressea

May 9 2012, 7:01am

Post #21 of 59 (630 views)
I enjoy them if I know them well enough to hum along (at least in some bits) [In reply to] Can't Post

So for me that pretty much only includes the more popular Verdi, Puccini, and Mozart. I worked with an opera snob who rolled his eyes at these operas referring to them as war wagons. Laugh Anyway, I enjoy listening to them or watching them live; watching on TV doesn't really do it for me for some reason. I don't claim to be a huge fan of opera, but I like Don Giovanni well enough to see a Marionette version in Prague where DG was debuted and where marionette theater is popular. If you knew the issues I have with dolls, puppets (not including muppets which I love) , and especially marionettes, you'd know that it was a sign of how much I wanted to experience Don Giovanni in Prague that I faced my puppet-phobia Laugh

Tol Eressea

May 9 2012, 7:11am

Post #22 of 59 (670 views)
My first introduction to opera was from an album very much like the one in your link:) [In reply to] Can't Post

It was an arrangement of various Verdi arias, but as a kid I had no clue what it was, I just loved it. I would dance around my living room imagining myself as a famous ballet dancer. Smile Later when I heard someone singing one of these arias, I was so surprised - "there are words to that?" Haha!

AlassŽa Eruvande

May 9 2012, 2:12pm

Post #23 of 59 (639 views)
WAIT A SEC!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Turns out I HAVE seen opera! And I LOVE IT!!



May 9 2012, 2:43pm

Post #24 of 59 (627 views)
Sometimes I like hearing in on the radio [In reply to] Can't Post

But I definitely love the Shadow of the Past!


May 9 2012, 5:19pm

Post #25 of 59 (626 views)
I've been trying to find time to reply to this post [In reply to] Can't Post

and now it seems I have five minutes.

I really love opera. I am a singer (although I appreciate that being a vocalist and a love of opera don't always go together). In fact, I am an Alto, and despite there being very few main parts for us (maid or chorus member anyone?), I couldn't live without it.
I have a soft spot for Gilbert and Sullivan, and 'Ruddigore' was the first student opera I got involved in - the best days of my student life were spent in a vile yellow dress being one of a chorus of bridesmaids Wink.

Then unfortunately my opera society exec. changed hands and got all snooty, so after that I was only an under-appreciated minion in an army costume for 'Magic Flute' before I left.
My university is attached to a rather large Arts Centre, so we often get the English Touring Opera. I first went to see them perform 'Abduction from the Seraglio' in English aged about 14. I dragged a friend along, and with both loved it.
I have also seen a company perform 'Madame Butterfly' in the original language with surtitles. They were from Oslo and were using some antique Japanese kimonos. What a multicultural combination!
I have also really enjoyed watching DVDs of Hansel and Gretel and Carmen.
Opera ambitions: To make it through watching all of the Ring Cycle, and to play the Rossini's Cinderella - an alto heroine! Laugh

Sorry for the ramble!

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