Author Topic: Opera Productions of the Life of the Imperial Family  (Read 7483 times)

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Offline Vassili_Vorontsoff

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Opera Productions of the Life of the Imperial Family
« on: August 07, 2006, 04:25:01 PM »
Has some heard about the opera on Nicolas II  life?It is focused to be true on Rasputin through the imperial family...Opera by   Rautavaara .

http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=6867503

Vassili
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 11:57:34 PM by Alixz »

Offline Vassili_Vorontsoff

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2006, 04:39:14 PM »
Once more,another information there is also another opera written by an actual componist (Deborah Draillope) which is entitled Nicolas an d Alexandra

http://www.rendezvousla.com/Opera/SaisonOperaauxUSFixed.htm

I've never hear it,but it shshows that russian history is enough fascinating to attract always nowadays!

Vassili

AngryJohnny

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 05:59:59 PM »
Vassili,
I have heard bothe operas. I saw Deborah Drattel's (pronounced Druh-tehl) opera 3 years ago in Los Angeles. I found it to be an insult to music, to Russian history and culture in general. Not because it was avant-garde or difficult music to listen to. On the contrary, it almost sounded like the opera of an amateur composer. It was very boring, the libretto was extremely bad and the storyline very inaccurate historically. Every body hated it, including Rostropovich who was conducting it. It got some of the worst reviews I have ever read. It showed for 5 performances and that was the end of it.
Rautavaara's opera is completely different. I have it on DVD. I find its music very beautiful but somewhat inappropriate for what goes on on stage. The libretto is also somewhat cliche' and naive. One would expect a much more interesting opera from a composer like Rautavaara.
All that said, I would also like to let you know that I am a professional composer myself and am currently composing an opera based on the same story. I hope it becomes a much more interesting opera than Rautavaara's.

Offline Vassili_Vorontsoff

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2006, 06:03:04 PM »
As respect of the 2 operas I can not agree with you because I do not hear them,I've just read the news on a music magazine...

As a violinist and a music lover,I think that this story can become a great opera ,I hope you would succeed in your work..;

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2006, 08:27:11 PM »
Vassilli-
 I have recently acquired the Rautavaara opera RASPUTIN and I am quite impressed with it. A libretto with english translation would be nice, but not necessary, imo, as the story is pretty familiar and we all know it backwards and fowards. It is in Finnish, a grand production and excellent casting. Even if one is not "into" opera, the spectal is worth the viewing effort. The depections are quite frank, especially Felix & Dimitry. Although putting Alexandra in the middle of a religous rapture/orgy was a bit much, but dramatic license...
 I have yet to track down the LA N&A, either in cd or dvd.
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Offline Johnny

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 04:48:57 PM »
Here's a surviving link to a 2003 review Deborah Drattell's doomed opera "Nicholas and Alexandra"'s premiere.
There are several interesting pictures of the production. But I must admit the sets look decent only in thiese pictures.
I was present at the performance and found the sets to be really bland and boring; especially so since the sets didn't change during the entire opera.
http://www.andante.com/article/article.cfm?id=22209
By the way, the reviewer's prediction turned out to be accurate. The show closed after 5 performances and the DVD which was supposed to be released a month after the opening night was shelved for good. For good reason, too. I still believe it was one of the worst operas I have ever seen, or should I say heard, because it was the music which was the most boring and unimaginative.
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TheAce1918

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 05:23:18 PM »
2003 review Deborah Drattell's doomed opera "Nicholas and Alexandra"'s premiere
By the way, the reviewer's prediction turned out to be accurate. The show closed after 5 performances and the DVD which was supposed to be released a month after the opening night was shelved for good. For good reason, too. I still believe it was one of the worst operas I have ever seen, or should I say heard, because it was the music which was the most boring and unimaginative.

Wow, it was that bad  ???

The pictures were pretty good, but I must agree with the disadvantage of a single set.  Its tragic that such a sensitive and historical event such as the one that this opera depicts, was shelved after only a handful of shows. 

I love the quote at the end of the review as said by Nicholas II.  "There is no justice among men."  So true.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 08:34:08 PM »
I was told, some time ago, that this was to be re-written and re-staged. Did nothing come of that?
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Johnny

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2007, 09:09:11 AM »
Wow, it was that bad  ???

Worse! But then it's no surprise. That's what you get when you commission a composer not based on her/his talents but because of her /his connections, powerful agents, back-room deals, and oh yes, affirmative action! You don't just go and commission a multi-million dollar project to a woman from one of the wealthiest families in New York, whose previous works were as dreary and amateurish as her Nicholas and Alexandra, and expect a masterpiece of the operatic stage in return ;D.
As much as I admire Domingo as a singer and actor I think his judgment in this case was severely impaired. 

Robert,

Domingo did in fact say, shortly after the big flop, that he still believed in this opera and was going to try to rescue it. I think he said it mostly to save his own face. Also it would have been very painful to let go of the huge investment they put into the documentary film about it and the DVD of the opera that had already been produced but not released. Given the fact that nowadays most opera theaters' board members, sponsors and even top management people are pure businessmen, who know nothing about music and opera, and often don't even like it or haven't seen one, and sponsor it just for prestige and tax purposes, they would blindly rely on the opinion of one or two people like Domingo whom they trust in a field they have no personal opinion about. That's how this opera came into being.
In this case, however, the opera turned out to be such an embarassment, that even the big shots noticed. They realized that any more money put into it would be like spending money on cosmetic surgery on Lucy (the famous African skeleton remains).  I do hope that the case remains closed.
Татьяна: Кто ты - мой ангел ли хранитель?

Offline Binky

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2007, 11:57:38 AM »
I think it would be real hard to do a good opera about Nicholas and Alexandra and Rapsutin because we know a lot about them and know they didn't sing stuff to each other much.  So it would seem kind of funny to have them standing around and singing.  But Alexandra did have a good voice but Nicholas didn't like to hear her sing much maybe becuase he thought that was not dignified for an empress to be doing.  So I don't know if Nicholas would like for people to be doing all this singing about him and his family when he didn't like it alive.  I'm glad the opera was so bad that no body much saw it even when they do like opera which most people dont'

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 12:10:45 PM »
There was another N&A opera, produced in New York [the Met ?]  some years ago.  I am sure it was different than the 2 discussed here. It also failed miserably, though. I think it closed after one  performance.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline etonexile

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2007, 02:14:01 PM »
The life of the IF might make an interesting musical...Any jolly idees how it might go?...
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 02:22:42 PM by etonexile »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2007, 02:37:06 PM »
Well, Sir Andrew was talking about such thing some time ago. So far, nothing has come of it. That might be a blessing. I would hate the story be just "formula"  although some of his work is brilliant.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

TheAce1918

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2007, 02:52:12 PM »
I don't think there should be another attempt at creating any sort of stage performance relating to the Romanovs.  Judging by how many have been shot down in the past...it wouldn't seem right to try it again. 

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Imperial family in an opera
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2007, 03:44:16 PM »
For that very reason, Ace, I think getting backers now would be very, very hard.  The Finnish opera was good, imo, but definitely  "different". There is a musical "Rasputin"  discussed elsewhere on this board that has potential, it does rate positive interest, but again, finding backing has prevented a full stage production.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 03:45:51 PM by Robert_Hall »
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.