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There are electricians and there are electricians. Anybody that has ssen the Met broadcasts can see the heavy machinery required to move the different props, often quite massive, add to that the specific lighthing requirements for such a venue as well as all the requirements for the outregeously high tech stuff they do (like the living wall, no other way to call it, so prominent in the current Ring Cycle). I am pretty certain that you can't just grab any electrician from the street and hope they can do all the work required from the word go.
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2011 on Ring circuit at Intermezzo
I am not sure why people insist in making a competition between live opera and broadcast opera. Broadcast opera is not the movies. In a movie you have full control of how you want to present things, in live broadcasts, whish as you may, this is not the case. Cinema and TV are entirely different mediums to a live staging, you simply can't remain static looking at the stage as if you were sitting in the theatre, that is why you need the close ups and other techniques that are proper for a viewing screen (everything once there is a camera involved is unrealistic, I don't understand why people keep labouring this obvious point). I am sure "sub opera" is in the happy position of choosing to watch his opera in the Met or in a cinema. For the rest of us, slaves of a not so big monthly pay check, the live broacasts are a godsend way to participate in Opera as it happens (the interviews during the Met Opera broadcasts are absolutely invaluable, one does not get that in a live performance). The Met has forced many other Opera companies to open the doors to the praying cameras, and surprise surprise, people actually want to watch opera, but it is simply unrealistic to expect that everybody can do it in opera theaters (expensive in general terms, unless you enjoy feeding the pigeons in the roof close to your obstructed view seat, and often not close to home, after all not everybody lives in a megalopolis that can afford an opera company).
I could not do that to my piano. It would get very sad :-(
Toggle Commented May 10, 2011 on Home decor corner at Intermezzo
Mmmh. The anodyne system greeted me before 9:00 with something like this: ----- If you are here before 9:00 come back later but if you are here after 9:00 the system queue is too busy, try again later. ---- My first question is: why is a frigging *computer* asking me what time it is? The only time that matters is the one in the computer's (i.e. website's) clock! My opinion in the matter is immaterial, so I should be ushered quickly and politely either to a goodbye window saying I am too early, or directly to the queing system once the website reckons 9:00 has arrived ( if many websites can handle high volumes of simultanous transactions, why the RAH's can't handle a few tousands? How difficult it is to make a queue of 10 or 20 tousand people in machines that can perform millions of instructions per second, with memories and disks with space for millions of people's data? Why don't they give timed tickets once you try to login so you come back later in the knowledge people will not skip ahead of you?) Argh. To make matters worse I kept refreshing the website after 9:00 and nothing happened, after 15 minutes I realized something was wrong, I tried with my mobile and lo and behold, I was in. Quickly I cleaned my browser's cached and history files, restarted, and was in the queue (this is entirely the fault of the RAH's website, it should not get confussed on this way). By this point I was almost 5000 in the queue and I missed the Simon Bolivar Orchestra. I was and still am furious. I made the effort to be ready at 9:00 (in my office, because I work Saturdays) but the lack of thought about the website costed me one of the tickets I was really interested to get. If I have not received thet ticket after an uneventful, fluid booking process I would accept my fate as a good sport, but losing a ticket on this fashion is frankly infuriating. I twitted my frustration only to be told by the ROH's twitterer in residence that "The system was changed to be simpler, quicker + fairer" Well, I am not agreeing with them there. I want to go back to a ballot, this system is insane.
Toggle Commented May 10, 2011 on Proms puzzle at Intermezzo
That is a bot... A human would not be that ironic ...
Toggle Commented May 10, 2011 on hello ENO is anyone listening? at Intermezzo
In the first picture Poplavskaya looks like she really resents the audience (or lack of it, as per report). The almost hate is patently obvious!
Oh dear, oh dear. First of all I have to say I saw the HD broadcast only, so can't possibley comment about the ignominies to which opera goers were subjected. That I suppose is a rich vein of discussion for the future (should people get disccounted tickets for days when recording is taking place perhaps?). I was once told that all classical music was dead music, and in particular that Opera was the deadest of all the bits of the classical universe. I do my best to dispel this nonsense, but when people I need to convince are referred to as "bovine" or ill mannered "tourists" I start from a position of weakness, because the newcomer to the art constantly confronts this kind of cheap snobism. The first thing I am grateful about when I go to an opera house, is to have fellow concert goers around me. Yes, including the backpacker that left in the cloackroom what I suppose was his tent, or the Japanese girl connecting to the internet with her 17inch laptop during the intervals. Those people got their backsides to the opera theatre, paid prices that to some may look exhorbitant (some really are, specialy in Europe where many companies are actually subsidized) and had the audacity to enjoy themselves without caring at all about what a grumpy scholar has to say about preserving the purity of the art by, surprise, surprise, following the guidelines he is giving in accordance to his own research. Those people are putting their hard earned cash to support an art form that tends to be expensive and by many accounts elitist. Is that interest what helps to keep the art going, I wont accept such characterizations of newcomers to Opera without giving my proverbial 2 cents. Now, the performance, I thoroughly enjoyed the mayhem of the production, people were laughing their socks off because the comic timing of the 3 leads was so good (no "bovine Americans" or tourist were spotted, they were mostly posh Londoners if you must know) and everybody was smiling about the charming touches of the stage on stage idea. If this was to preempt the Talibanic traditionalists I hope it thankfully worked. As for characterization, it is clear to me that they decided to go for an over the top, tongue clearly in cheek, performance, I fail to see what else could Juan Diego Florez could have done to impress on us the lascivous nature of the Count for example. As for the singing proper, the excellent vocal pyrotechnics were a real delight, Juan Diego Florez sings with such natural effortlessness that ines forgets how difficult is what he is actually doing.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2011 on Count on the Met at Intermezzo
@Rose-Mary Hyslop said: "There's definitely amplification going on at the Met. I recently saw Iphigenie en Tauride in HD..." Me no entiende. Are you saying that you were watching an HD broadcast with good, detailed sound (I am not aware if you can filter out the noises mentioned from the obviously indispensable mics) and that leads you to conclude that there is amplification going on? Either you are missing the paradox or I am entirely missing your point.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2011 on Count on the Met at Intermezzo
The "Arts" term was so losely used that it would have slipped down a size 0 model's body had it been a size 12 dress. Amongst the nominated were Russel Brand for example, as amusing as some may find him, linking him to the arts in any meaningful way is beyond comprehension, and although the wholesome Amanda Hart is certainly witty, his witticism is not notmaly applied to any arts, although she is certainly crafty.
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2011 on on the list at Intermezzo
Don't disparage ENO for at least trying new things! I prefer somebody missing the mark trying rather than somebody else missing the mark for not daring. OHP and ENO are always intriguing, ROH has complete seasons playing it safe. What about reviving Minotaur or other modern successes, or *gasp* a new version of Nixon in China lets say. Whne was the last time they did Billy Bud for crying out loud!
The opera companies you are mentioning have to take a bit of the blame if they are not better known. I went to Hampstead Garden Opera for example, I really liked it, and I am positive I asked to be in their mailing list. Well, I haven't got any reminders or incitements to know about their new productions, which is a real shame because what I saw deserves to have a full house every time. "Tete at Tete" is another point in case, I keep in touch, but all the information is about performances that frankly have nothing to do with opera (IMHO). I know once in a while they try something, but one loses interest. In the other hand the opera company that stages La Boheme sends me updates of what they are doing, new productions, and are infectious and enthusiastic about their work. Marketing clearly has something to do the success of this company, and perhaps journalism is less than stellar (lets be honest, some of the singers in "La Boheme" are less than capable), but this company at the very least remembers us, the people that have supported them.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2011 on not the ROH at Intermezzo
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Mar 30, 2011