Author Topic: Operas About the Romanovs  (Read 22179 times)

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Offline Joanna

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2004, 09:43:26 PM »
Hello Jmentanko !

I am confused a little. Was Nicky and Alix on Discovery the opera that the posts are talking about or was it a new documentary? Is it Discovery channel in the United States? And if it is a new documentary do you know if there is a video?

Many thanks!
Joanna

Johnny

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2004, 05:35:38 AM »
Joanna
You have a right to be confused, because Imnetanko started this discussion with the Discovery Channel's documentary about the Romanovs. Then somehow they all, including me, started discussing the opera, which should have been probably posted under the more apprpriate topic "operas on Romanovs" which is one of the topics available on our board. On the other hand, I know for fact that even before Dratell had finished her opera there was a documentary made about it called something like "the Birth of an Opera" or "the makings of an Opera" etc... It was shown all over Russia and because it was mostly about its hot topic and involvement of Placido Domingo and Mstislav Rostropovich who conducted it and not much about the final version of the opera (because it wasn't even half way done) it was received rather favorably. Initially Rostropovich himself got very interested in the opera because of his long time passion and interest about the Romanovs. I read that the curtains in his Paris apartment come from the Winter palace. He also provided material in form of historical documents that he had purchased at an auction to help with the plot of the opera. He did all that without knowing the composer's music and simply because he trusted Domingo's judgment in commissioning the opera to her. But once the opera was done, I heard, he was appalled and conducted it very reluctantly and only out of obbligation due to signing his contract with the LA opera.

Johnny

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2004, 08:39:34 AM »
Robert,
Unfortunately, instead of being under this topic here, operas about the Romanovs are being hotly debated right now under the topic Nicky and Alix, don't ask me why! Then again, I am sure you knew about it because I saw some of your own postings over there too. I hope there was a way to move all those postings over to this place.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Johnny »

Robert_Hall

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2004, 08:55:14 AM »
Thanks Johnny
I keep forgetting that so much is listed under Nicky & Alix.

Robert_Hall

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2004, 01:39:49 PM »
Literally, I thinkl. The sets storehouse burned down !

Jane

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2004, 02:41:26 PM »
I've tried poking around on the internet to see if any other companies are going to stage the opera "Nicholas and Alexandra" but it looks like it may have had it's glory day at the LA Opera.  I may snoop around a bit more to uncover some of the reviews.

Out of curiosity, to those that have seen this opera, what were the sets like?  Of course this is due to the artistic director and set designer more than the composer, but I'm curious.  What language was it sung in?  Was Rasputin a baritone or is that too obvious?  What a shame it apparently was such a dud; from a human tragedy standpoint, the story can't be beat.

Thanks,

Jane

P.S. I was going to post this in the other thread, but this one seems to get all the traffic.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jane »

Johnny

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2004, 04:40:52 PM »
Jane,
Funny you think it is so obvious for Rasputin to be a baritone. That was one of the main criticisms about the opera that the composer changed the original bass-baritone part to a tenor to make Placido Domingo happy, so he could sing it. And later shamelessly she goes around saying that Domingo's suggestion to make Rasputin a tenor was a great revelation for her and thanking him for this great suggestion that improved the opera immensly. Of course every one knows that she is just kissing his (...) Rasputin simply does not work as a tenor, and it didn't in her opera.
As far as sets are concerned, there were no sets. There was this backdrop of grandious windows that were there troughout the opera and that was it. Everything was dark green. There was no furniture of any kind. Even Alexei didn't have a bed when he was sick. He was just standing there holding his leg and screaming, which needless to say didn't making it believeable at all.
There was a folding wall that would occasionally appear on the stage dividing it into sections. And, oh yes, there were a couple huge chandeliers that were also part of the permanent decor including the Ipatyev's house basement in Yekaterinburg. I must admit though that as bleak as the sets were they would have worked if the opera were at least somewhat inspired!
Oh, before I forget, the opera is in English. Chances are that's all she speaks!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Johnny »

Jane

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2004, 06:35:48 PM »
That sounds absolutely dire, Johnny.  
The idea of the Tsarevich hopping around screaming in pain, etc.  Utterly dire.  Thank you for sharing what must have been a very difficult memory with us.  ;)

Jane
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jane »

Jmentanko

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2004, 07:24:37 PM »
Quote
Hello Jmentanko !

I am confused a little. Was Nicky and Alix on Discovery the opera that the posts are talking about or was it a new documentary? Is it Discovery channel in the United States? And if it is a new documentary do you know if there is a video?

Many thanks!
Joanna


Actually it was a documentary. It was on Discovery Civilization months ago.

I've been quite amused to see this whole opera discussion develop. ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jmentanko »

Johnny

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2004, 07:10:04 PM »
I found a rather amusing review of Dratell's opera "Nicholas and Alexandra" on the web:
http://listserv.cuny.edu/Scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind0309d&L=opera-l&F=&S=&P=12905

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?) it's been so long since the first (and hopefully last  >:() performance that some of the more colorful reviews from major US newpapers have already disappeared from the web. But this one will give you a taste of what was being written eveywhere, and often much less restrained than this, for several weeks after the opening night!

Silja

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2004, 03:41:10 PM »
The other day I read in a TV guide that Ozzy Osbourne was planning a musical on Rasputin?
Could anyone comment on this? If true, I  believe this is NOT a good idea  :P . . .  

anna

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2004, 06:50:43 PM »
After all he's the Prince of Darkness ;D

Anna

Offline Vive_HIH_Aleksey

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2004, 03:25:03 PM »
There are two musicals about Rasputin and I have heard music from both.

One of the songs is called Nasdrovia, sung by Rasputin shortly before his death. Here are some of the lyrics.

"Drink my friends, for the night is young, and tomorrow comes all too soon, so drink with me to the songs we've sung, here's to you!"

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm surprised Boubil/Schoenberg didn't sue!!!!!

In the other musical the plot is RIDICULOUS, it's like a parody of reality tv and all of a sudden you're transported to 100 years ago, and they have the actor who plays Aleksey to play the boy Rasputin!

Aleksey's song is adorable though, at the end.

"The world outside will be my home, the world outside will be my throne..."

Musicals are powerful because music is powerful when used right. Look at Moulin Rouge, and Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, things like that. They're great at making you emotional.

Lloyd Weber wants to make a musical on Nicholas and Alexandra too.
Hatred – this is a disgusting feeling. Yes, there is sport gambling, there is a striving to win. But to hate someone – this is awful! I think, that first of all you have to learn to respect your rival. -- Evgeni Plushenko

Pravoslavnaya

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2004, 08:32:44 AM »
Angie -- do you know all the words to the song sung by the boy playing the Tsarevich?  If it's a sweet little number I wish I could hear it.

There is another musical about Rasputin with music by a man named Michael Rapp.  Ted Neeley premiered in the title role and Greer Firestone (who yearns to honor Alexei through good theatre and just hasn't had everything click yet) had a lot to do with it.  The key words is 'just hasn't had everything click'.  

Offline Vive_HIH_Aleksey

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Re: Operas About the Romanovs
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2004, 11:56:26 AM »
The song Nasdrovia is from the musical by Michael Rapp. Greer Firestone has a beautiful novel of Aleksey, it's my favorite Romanov fiction book because it accurately portrays his personality.

Unfortunately I don't know all the words to "The World Outside" from the other musical. but it is adorable. I heard it on mp3.com, perhaps you'll have luck finding it again. The refrain is cute.

"As we sail through the world outside, sailing, sal through the world outside!"
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Vive_HIH_Aleksey »
Hatred – this is a disgusting feeling. Yes, there is sport gambling, there is a striving to win. But to hate someone – this is awful! I think, that first of all you have to learn to respect your rival. -- Evgeni Plushenko