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Before you buy anything, check with this.
It's really reliable- if they recommend a recording, it is always good.

You have really picked a great time to
become an opera enthusiast in Australia.
"We Will Rock You" is playing currently.
Of course if you are of a more
traditional bent then "Good Vibrations"
will be right up your street.

Opera is the last frontier for me. I'm glad you've crossed it. It reinforces my belief that if you put in the effort to understand the different genres you will be rewarded by discovering some gems in there somewhere.

Getting to the obsessive and humming stage is really cool.

BTW your email keeps bouncing my gmail and hotmail messages.

Thanks, Harry. Ordered.

One word, Simon: Jazz. Queen's best album. Get it.

I've sort of been hovering around the edges for a while now, SB. But lately?!? Bloody hell! When I buy a new CD I'm like I was with The Stones 25 years ago. I rush home to put it on. Then when I hear it on the radio (I often listen to ABC FM) it's like, "I know that! And it's great!" This new horizon looks very exciting, indeed.

I'll try and send an email to your email in the comments.

Bizet's Carmen is an easy answer, but its actually pretty good, in a brutal pretty-girl-totally-ruins-guys-life kinda way.

Thanks, Jim.

By the way, isn't that what opera is always about? That, and invading Poland.

I always like a bit of Rigoletto by Verdi. It's a good yarn, about a jester who fucks up everything.

Tone, anything at all by Verdi.

Yes. Il Trovatore is also the bomb shizzy.

Check. Verdi: the bomb shizzy with jesters.

Sounds healthy. Does it contain enough fibre, though?

What about that opera in Diva? That sounds pretty good in the movie. Don't know about the whole thing though.


(Transplanted from another post by Tony.T because Deej is an peanut.)

That's better, isn't it?

Anyway that opera was called La Wally. Not a particularly flattering name and the only bit I know is the stuff she sung in the fillum.

Mozart and Verdi are always wonderful. Some others you might enjoy: "Cinderella," "Billy Budd," and "Porgy and Bess." And, as my son points out, people make fun of Wagner, but the music is really exciting.

Two to listen to.

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana (Sicilian strumpet Santuzza has affair with family man Turiddu. Turiddu is knocking off Alfio's wife Lola. Everyone gets drunk. Alfio kills Turiddu. Better than 'Desperate Housewives'.)

Bellini: Norma (Roman boy invades Gaul c50 B.C. Knocks up Gaullish Druidess, Norma. Boy meets another Gaullish girl and tries to take her back to Rome. Gaullish Druids declare war on Romans. Norma and Roman boy top themselves. Brilliant!)

Two to listen to.

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana (Sicilian strumpet Santuzza has affair with family man Turiddu. Turiddu is knocking off Alfio's wife Lola. Everyone gets drunk. Alfio kills Turiddu. Better than 'Desperate Housewives'.)

Bellini: Norma (Roman boy invades Gaul c50 B.C. Knocks up Gaullish Druidess, Norma. Boy meets another Gaullish girl and tries to take her back to Rome. Gaullish Druids declare war on Romans. Norma and Roman boy top themselves. Brilliant!)

Have a look at http://www.naxos.com/mainsite/default.asp?label=NaxosHistorical&active=sqlcat&Title1=Numerical%20Catalogue&Title2=Great%20Opera%20Recordings&InParam=((iv_type=3%20OR%20web_display=D)AND(class_code='ZFC'))>this list, Tony. They're old remastered recordings, which somehow sound more "authentic" to me (even though they're not, obviously).

And as a bonus, every one you buy will contribute a small amount to my salary.

I own several Naxos recordings. I don't understand how they manage to afford to pay the people who work for them, seeing as the CDs are about 20p each.

Well I work for them, and it ain't for free.

"Peter Grimes" by Benjamin Britten. Don't go there girlfriend. The most boring opera ever written.

Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" is a real ball tearer though. It's got poets, secret police, prostitutes and tax collectors and climaxes in a Louisiana swamp with an aria so good they used it in "I Spit On Your Grave" (No, I'm not joking)

Te Kanawa is generally regarded as doing one of the best contemporary interpretations of the title role, but check out any recording where Leona Mitchell has a stab at it, Saw her doing it once live and she was fan-fucking-tastic. Like a sleepy lioness waking up and getting more and more angry as the shit rained down on her. And with tits that entered the stage minutes before she did.

Good light opera is also worth checking out - like Offenbach's "La belle Hélène" which is like Gilbert and Sullivan but tres sexy.

Opera is a threshold i hope i never cross. A three hour excursion into bloody mind numbing tedium as i have ever experienced. Never Again. Verdi ? I thought he was Juventus centre forward.

Well - as both Wagner and Rossini said - opera would be wonderful except for all the singing..
That aside, Verdi is excellent, Madame Buttrerfly has it's moments, etc. Basically, any of the "biggies" are famous for good reason. The performance, on the other hand, can be a matter of taste. As a thought - give a listen to Andrea Boccelli and his opera arias, decide what you think.
And the end of Wozzeck. But only once. It's crushing.

Good for you! I have been attending the opera since I was a little girl and have always enjoyed it. It is actually much more 'user friendly' for the average person these days too as they often have translations projected above or below the stage so people can actually follow the story! Some purists don't like it but I say modernize it and bring it to the people!

La Traviata is a lovely one. Madame Butterfly is good. Aida is lovely.

Although it is considered pop opera I REALLY enjoy Andrea Bocelli.

Billy Budd was mentioned above. I saw that in Paris but it is in English and I prefer my opera in Italian! I also saw Madame Butterfly at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Going to the opera is an experience in itself.

La Bohème ...

I love many others, but this one is the peak for me.

Attn: hungbunny.

I know you work for Naxos. I have read your friends reunited profile.

Ooh and as an afterthought, you REALLY want to listen to Il Travatore by Verdi. It is very very powerful. I have a copy with Pavarotti and Dame Joan Sutherland singing it!

So ...

A book. Check.

Carmen. Check.

Rigoletto. Check.

Verdi. Check.

Il Trovatore. Check.

La Wally. Check.

Cinderalla. Check. It's on telly tonight.

Billy Budd. Check.

Porgy & Bess. Check.

Cavalleria Rusticana. Check. Strumpets. Check.

Norma. Check. With Asterix.

Hungbunny list. Check. Kickbacks. Check.

Naxos slave wages. Check.

Peter Grimes. Un-Check.

Manon Lescaut. Check. Cops. Hookers. yokels. Check.

La Belle Helene. Check.

Juventus. Boo!

Andrea Boccelli. Check.

Wozzeck. Carfully now.

La Traviata. Check.

Mme Butterfly. Check.

Aida. Pyramids. Harry Madden. Check.

La Boheme. Peak. Check.

Il Travatore. Aussie eats big pavlova. Check.

Thank you all. You have been too good. As I said once before. The drinks are on ...


The drinks are on Nabakov?

A "Lo(alcohol) Litre" of Australian sparkling wine thanks.

Speaking of which, I wonder what Carmen would have to say
about the synopsis above. Somehow I think she hits the jackpot re "life totally ruined"... ;)

She wears bananas on her head, doesn't she? That not very ruinous. Not usually.

Who knows - a toreador might find such a look fatally appealing. Hex appeal.

btw - I saw a wonderful studio production of "Dido and Aneas" once with graduating students and about a dozen people in the audience. Fabulous - so powerful. Another for your list?

"Nixon In China" by John Adams. A contemporary piece of opera but I enjoyed it none the less. Especially when they wheeled a fucking big lifesize Boeing 707 on stage (OK, the first 10 metres thereof_. Also it's a good segue into my favourite avant-garde composer joke.

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Knock, knock.

Who's there?!

Knock, knock.

Who's there?!!??

Knock, knock.

Who's THERE!!!??!

Knock, knock!

WHO'S THERE!!!???!!!

Knock, knock.


Knock, knock.

this is longer funny. i'm warning you. get to the point. WHO THE FUCK IS FUCKING THERE!!!@#&^!!

Philip Glass.

Philip Glass who?

(Repeat until collapse of stout party)

Dido and Aneas. Check.

Carmen. Toreador hits picador with rollerdoor. Check.

Richard Nixon on Philip Grass.**

"People who like this sort of thing will find this is the sort of thing they like."

** Weeeeeelllllll, it COULD have been.

I'm wild about classical music but I'm an opera newbie myself. I've been to four live opera performances. The two that were NOT Mozart were Puccini's La Boheme and Bellini's Romeo and Juliet. I loved La Boheme and want to hear more Puccini. I also enjoyed the one by Bellini.

I personally don't believe it's possible to OD on Mozart but there's a lot of good music out there so it's okay to occasionally listen to something else ;-)

Pretty much same here, Lynn. I've loved classical for ages, in fact, classical is far better to study with than any music (for me, anyway) but I've never really liked opera.

Lately I love it so much it won't be long before I take up studying Italian.

Still haven't ever been to an opera, though. I guess that will be next.

Does going to The Opera And Bugs Bunny count?

I got your email and replied.

Oh, yeah, sorry, I forgot.

Coming through now.

Hello - thought I might add my two cents worth from an ex-opera singer even tho this was posted a year ago! Try Donizetti Don Pasquale and of course good old Puccini - Bellini is a definite yes, especially any recordings with Edita Gruberova. Also try some seriousely great French opera (my favorite: like Massenet's Manon or for some high soprano singing try Offenbach Tales of Hoffman or Delibes Lakme, OR if you just want to try some soprano stuff listen to Beverly Sill's CDs - "The Art of Beverly Sills". If you want some twentieth century opera try Stravinsky "The Rakes Progress" (neo-classical) and I agree - try the John Adams Nixon in China. Also maybe try Moores The Ballad of Baby Doe or Floyd's Susanna, or even try Benjamin Britten A Midsummers Night Dream rather than the Billy Bud. If you like cracked psychological stories, try something like's Berg's Wozzek to begin with - you need to really get into the psychological madness of it all and then the fragmented/hectic music makes sense - the plot is disturbing.

Also dont rule out new opera - have a watch out for anthing that might be on and try it out, (you might like it, you might hate it but no-one says you have to buy expensive seats, there are loads of cheap ones out there!) - besides the performers will appreciate the chance to sing something other than mozart's le nozze again and again and again until they die!

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