Monday, September 12, 2011

Luisa Tetrazzini



Opera Week continues here at OPOD, but I am not sure why. We present for your enjoyment a picture of Luisa Tetrazzini, an Itallian Coloratura Suprano. She was a famous opera star of the early 1900's. You can listen to a recording of her singing below.

Now, if I am going to be honest with you all I will have to say that I just don't "get" opera. I don't understand the words, I can not detect any discernible "beat" to the music, the songs are long, and quiet frankly, not that pleasant to listen to. So, you will likely not see me at the opera. Perhaps a more refined visitor could explain to us the attraction of the opera.

As promised, Ms. Tetrazzini singing:

28 comments:

  1. That makes 2 of use that agree with you.
    The fact that they sing in an foreign language doesn't help with me, I think I would have better thing to do with my time, with helping orphans

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  2. Yeah, the Evil "NATE" Mass has just turned into a blow hard and didn't do a bit of good for giving Texas any rain at all.
    I wilkl keep my fingers crossed and hope you guys get some rain soon.

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  3. Yes, I agree with you guys. Opera is just NOT my cup of tea.

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  4. Congratulations on the win this weekend, PJM. I wish I would have played more. I was in and out all day long, but I still don't think I would have gotten her even given more time. She didn't look familiar from the outset.

    I'm also sorry my namesake storm didn't provide any relief for Texas.

    EAM looks like she's off to a grand start in Kenya! It must be both neat and strange to see your child so capable and independent.

    Regarding opera, I somewhat agree with you. When I don't understand the language, the singing seems to have lots of passion, but I once heard an opera in English and it all seemed rather silly to me. I wonder if it sounds similar to people who speak Italian, French or German.

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  5. I agree with your comments on Opera; however, back in 1988 I was fortunate to see Porgy and Bess on stage, and that was wonderful.

    All in the eye of the beholder, I think.

    Graham in St. John's

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  6. I've never been to the opera and while I doubt that I would understand it, I would like to try it sometime. I doubt that I will though.

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  7. Not an opera girl at all!! At least today's girl isn't as scary looking as yesterdays...

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  8. based on the comments, so far, I'm in the vast majority of non-opera fans. This view was best expressed musically in 1950:

    RJM's kind of Opera

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  9. In case anyone didn't know, Turkey Tetrazzini is named after this lady.

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  10. I love opera and am very glad you're having Opera Week! That doesn't mean I'm a refined person. It just means I like the sound of the music. I like listening to the excerpts you're including with the photos, but it's really necessary to listen to a whole opera because each one tells a story about the various characters, the good guys and the bad guys. I like hearing that story unfold in music. Great opera stars of the past, those who had beautiful voices and could interpret the roles well, had fans who were as enthusiastic and fanatic about their favorites as fans are today about Lady Gaga. I hope you'll show Caruso before the week ends!

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  11. I have no use for no longhair music at all.
    Give me Peggy Lee, Eddie Fischer, or Glen Miller any day of the week.
    And don't even get me started on that dang music that the kids today listen too!!!
    Trash!! All Trash!!!
    That danged rock and roll destroyed all the good music!!!

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  12. I have been to two Operas. I went twice just to make sure my first impression was correct. It was. I won't be going again.

    In one opera, the heroine throws herself off the top of the castle because (oh never mind) - anyway, the "airbag" or whatever they were using to break her fall off stage, actually sent her back up into the air above the ramparts several times. The audience reported loved it - I can just picture her as she bounced back up into the audience view...LOL!

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  13. I appreciate opera because I admire what the singers can do with their voices. It's really quite amazing.

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  14. I'm not a big fan of opera either. However, if you have ballet week I will drool daily!!

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  15. Luisa Tetrazinni (and opera in general) - No thanks.
    Chicken Tetrazzini - Yes please!

    John

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  16. Someone once defined "opera" as the thing where when you stab someone in the back, they start singing!!!

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  17. Love some operas, hate others. I think it is something that you have to see live. The exception to that is any opera or oratorio written by Geo. F. Handel. OMG! The portion of "Solomon" where King Solomon has to decide what to do with the baby that two women claim is theirs just reduces me to tears every time.

    What you need to do is listen to highlights of an opera as there is a lot of "filler".

    I also like Hank Williams and Tony Bennett and Louis Armstrong

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  18. Mr. PJM, I agree with you, I have no idea why opera week continues.

    I have listened to (less than a minute each of) both opera bits you've posted. And I say yuk.

    The Swedish lady with the viking horns, though...

    heh.

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  19. Just to show you how powerful operatic music can sometimes be, here is a link to a YouTube video of Giuseppe Verdi's "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves" from his opera "Nabucco". It's set in ancient Egypt and the Hebrew slaves are thinking of their homeland.

    Video, which starts immediately:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6JN0l7A_mE

    Lyrics in English:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Va,_pensiero

    This was sung at Verdi's funeral in 1901. The funeral was attended by approx. 200,000 people, such was his popularity and reknown.

    His 1901 funeral cortege film here, with brief clips of his work:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc9fCcrFEa0

    Hope you enjoy it.

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  20. PJM, you are posting recording from over 100 years ago. The technology of the time hardly did justice to the vocal gifts of these artists. I myself find it painful to listen to.

    My father heard Caruso sing in person. He said that Caruso was the greatest tenor he had ever heard until he heard Pavarotti (the fat guy with a beard). But neither of us enjoyed Caruso's recordings because of the poor technical quality.

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  21. Marie, Nabucco is one of my favorite operas, with Tosca coming up a close second. So many people claim to not like something they don't understand, like a child presented with a new food, but if you close your eyes and listen - ah! We can all whistle (or hmu) the Grand March from Aida, and don't even know we're singing opera! Most of these pieces were written in an age when schools taught foreign lanquages as a matter of course, so most Americans understood the words perfectly. Now, not so much.

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  22. You have obviously not watched Bugs Bunny....the best opera I have ever heard and understood:)

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  23. tis true, when I played clarinet in High School concert band, a lot of the classical music we could recognize in the cartoons on televison.

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  24. I largely agree - except that if one takes just the instrumental music, no singing or acting, it can be quite good. Just about anyone knows one or more parts of "The William Tell Overture" from innumerable cartoons using different bits, or if old enough The Lone Ranger. Perhaps the "Entrance of the Gladiators" is as well-known world-wide, as circus music. And of course, John Philip Sousa kept trying to write opera - which ended up as his marches if not thrown away.

    And yes, language can make a HUGE difference: while I have long enjoyed the instrumental "Carmen" but despised it as vocal opera, a few years back I heard parts translated into English (not sure, but I think for a "updated version" filmed drama about workers in a cigarette factory circa WWII) and enjoyed them.

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  25. In general, opera isn't my cup of tea. However, I happen to love Carmen. Although a couple of the songs are really long and slow. If you see the whole thing, it's about pacing.

    MOM - Good taste in music. I know who these people are because my parents listened to them. I grew up with some Johny Mathis, Herb Alpert and Andy Williams. And Johny Cash and Patsy Cline. My complaint is that rap killed rock and roll. If it's any consolation something worse will come along to replace Lady Gaga. Now I'm afraid to grow old.

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  26. PJM your daughter has officially made my everyday hero list. God bless her and keep her safe. The courage it takes to strike out on your own and take on the challenge she has takes great fortitude and courage. It says a lot about the type of upbringing she had. Such selflessness it rare in the younger generations. She is not just a citizen of this country but a citizen of the world.

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  27. I am an opera singer, and while I'm sad to see so many comments about disliking my art form, I can understand why people don't get it. As to the language: if you were to go to an opera they would have a translation projected on a screen above the stage, like subtitles in a foreign film. So you'll know what they're saying. As to the music itself: I find it beautiful. You have to think of it as a story not just a song. Seeing an opera is much more rewarding than just listening to it because there are costumes, sets, great actors and beautiful text all being sung by some of the most rigorously trained performers you're likely to meet. I LOVE OPERA!!!!!

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