Fwd: RE: Welcome to AnOPERAlist
- Hi guys. The following questionnaire, signed "Gunnar", arrived today.
Thought I'd give it a shot.
>We all would like to know who you are, yourfavorite works, composers, artists and
other preferences in the Opera music and
My name is John Yohalem, aka Hans Lich, aka Jean Coeur de Lapin.
My favorite opera composer is Wolfgang Giuseppe Wagner or maybe it's Richard
Amadeus Verdi, whichever I've heard performed best most recently.
Heard a decent Figaro and a decent Tristan recently, and a not disgraceful
Otello, but for excitement I think I'd have to go back to Abduction from the
Seraglio in November. So it's Mozart for now.
My favorite operas (in no particular order) are Parsifal, Don Carlos,
Idomeneo, Lucrezia Borgia, Il Tabarro, Guillaume Tell, Orleanska Djeva,
Billy Budd, Princess Ida, Handel's Saul, Les Troyens, Dido & Aeneas,
Fierrabras, Alfonso und Estrella, Oberon, Fidelio, Bluebeard's Castle, Cosi
fan tutte, L'Incoronazione di Poppaea, Atlas, Les Vepres Siciliennes, La
Forza del Destino, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Walkuere, La Gioconda, Sadko, and
that opera about the boy and girl who are in love but it doesn't work out --
you know the one I mean.
I'd love the great American opera if anyone had ever written one.
My "starter" diva was Joan Sutherland, to whom I wrote 34 sonnets when I was
16 years old. But I grew out of that. Price, Caballe, Crespin, Freni,
Tebaldi, Nilsson and Rysanek helped. Mezzos: Troyanos, Ludwig, Berganza and
Cossotto. Tenors: The Big Three -- that is, Bergonzi, Vickers and Gedda --
but also Domingo, Heppner and -- the prettiest tenor voice on earth until he
was about 30 -- Carreras. Baritones: The young Sherrill Milnes, Bruson,
Bailey. Basses: Kurt Moll now and forever, Siepi, Van Dam, Salminen,
Just now, my faves among those extant are:
(S) Karita Mattila, Barbara Bonney, Hei-kyung Hong, Gabriele Schnaut,
Natalie Dessay. Deborah Voigt? Maybe.
(M-S) Stephanie Blythe, Larissa Diadkova, Olga Borodina, Vessalina Kasarova,
Lorraine Hunt -- oh, and that Swedish girl who sang the sister-in-law in
Katya Kabanova last year. Sylvia something?
(C-T) David Daniels, Bejin Mehta. Andreas Scholl? Maybe.
(Bt) There's this Pole named Mariusz Kwiecin who was a Finalist at Cardiff
last year. Keep your ears peeled. The Korean was pretty hot, too.
(Bs) Kurt Moll now and forever, but also Rene Pape. Peter Rose, maybe.
Other preferences: small opera houses and productions that aren't too
gimmicky and do not exist to exalt the stage director over anyone else.
>I am a computer technician living in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, 53years old. I started to go to the opera around 1960.
I like all sort of opera. My favorites composers are Wagner, Verdi, Puccini
As a Swede; the best tenor of all is Jussi Bjoerling and the best soprano is
You mean, for Swedes they're okay, but otherwise just so-so?
I'm afraid I can't agree with you.
Never heard Bjoerling. Nilsson was great, but she was also harsh -- it was
powerful and effective and blazing and exciting, and she was a very
intelligent musician and actress, but there was never any warmth in her
sound. This meant there was always a dimension lacking when she sang things
like Isolde and Brunnhilde.
>I don't like Pavarotti. For me he always sounds like "Pavarotti", itdoesn't matter if it Mozart or Verdi, he sings in the same "Pavarotti way".
I never did "get" the Pav, until lately, when his voice has darkened so much
and he no longer bothers to try for the high notes. I used to consider it
reedy and unpleasant, but now it's quite attractive. Maybe he will have a
career after all.
>Besides Opera I enjoy all sort of classical music, especially vocal musicand piano music.
I'm fond of Early Music, of classical chamber music (Haydn trios, Mozart
quintets), Scarlatti sonatas, Bach organ music, Handel oratorios, Schubert
anything, lieder, Broadway of the golden age (1920-1960), late '60s acid
rock and Motown. (Ideal for dancing.)
I seldom think recordings equal the thrill of live performances, and have a
low opinion of singers who use microphones.
>Do you attend operas in your community?What company performs? Notible guest
I'll go anywhere in reason as long as it's an opera I've never heard before.
New York used to have 31 opera companies, but most of them went broke. The
Met is too goddam big. The City Opera uses electronic enhancement. Venga la
>In Stockholm we have a Royal Opera Company established in the 1800thcentury. From time to time there are guests artists.
We also have a small company called the "People's Opera", which sings in
Swedish. At the moment they are giving a very fine La Boh�me.
My greataunt heard Soderstrom sing Madama Butterfly in Stockholm in Swedish.
"Can you imagine that?" she says. "Madama Butterfly in Swedish!" Frankly,
that story couldn't be sillier in Swedish than it is in Italian.
She also heard Caruso in La Juive, in 1919. Remembers it vividly. "What was
he like?" I asked her. "He was good," she said. So now you know.
>Is opera available on your local radio station? What station, what is theirbroadcast time?
The Swedish Broadcasting Company has a "classical channel". Almost every
Saturday night there is a live performance of an Opera, can be from the MET
in NY or any other foreign country.
Good for them. WQXR and WNCN used to both play operas on Sunday nights. Then
WNCN switched to rock. Then WQXR cancelled their opera program last summer.
I hate their guts and wish them gridlock and stomach spasms.
>We had a commercial channel for classical music, but it was sold and is nowa pop channel.
with the greetings of the season
Sounds like Stockholm isn't so much more enlightened than New York after
John Brightshadow Yohalem
"I wish I had a potion
Like Erin's fatal queen
As red as heart's commotion,
As youth so gold and green;
I'd pour it in your cocktail,
I'd dose you with it sure,
No tonic resolution
Would ever work your cure...."
-- Old Celtic legend, interpreted by JY
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