This was a dollar. Lot of opportunities to have fun with this post. Well, time is kind of limiting that this week. time and bad internet connection at the house.
Oddly enough this today, I am going to see the last of the Ring Cycle, Gotterdammerung and yes, it has bothered me every year on some level that I am watching the work of a rabid anti-semite. Well, the Houston Grand Opera has been doing a piece from the cycle every year and I have been all in up til this point. After I went to the first part, Das Rheingold, I started getting season tickets. The first year, I only went to two operas, but after that, I have been arguably attending most shows a season and have really enjoyed them.
As far as this production, it is OK. Technically, it has been great. Production-wise, I am not a fan of the modern set and custom although many people are raving about them. I also felt the dragon in last year’s Seigfried was clown shoes. It looked like a rubik snake.
For this record, I was going to ask my pal Scott for his thoughts about operatic chorus as he served some time in the Houston Grand Opera’s chorus. However, he has been busy , re-opening Dan Electro’s Bar in Houston. And likewise, I have been to busy to drive to the Heights to see him. Well, if you are in Houston, check out the bar. It is a Houston classic spot. I am sure if I got around to asking him, Scott would say something to the effect of the importance of the chorus to opera and its role in the production. Here’s an idea, why not go to Dan Electro’s and ask him?
Well, there is this album from the conductor, Robert Shaw (1916-1999). Released in 1956, I think by RCA Victor, it is a collection of popular choruses and is quite good. Good song collection that culls famous work from the French, German, and Italians. A lot of decent tunes including, Bizet’s Carmen, Gounod’s Faust (which I saw at the HGO within the last two years, Verdi’s Nabucco, and Wagner’s Lohengrin. On that note, I did not realize that Wagner wrote “Here Comes The Bride” until I heard this album. That means most married folk now have an ethical dilemma as well. Turns out your drunk uncle was not the only anti-semetic thing at your wedding.
For a sample, I was stuck between a bunch of songs, but ultimately decided on Verdi’s “Anvil Chorus” from Il Trovatore. Yeah, I like the simple effects. If you have watched any type of TV for the last 20 years, you know this song.
Good album. Satisfactory. I really wanted to do more with this post but , what can you do.