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Author Topic: Operarararara -Opera fans, why is it important to us - what about a BBM opera?  (Read 52234 times)

Offline Nax

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In amongst our members we have professional Opera Singers, Musicians, Music Historians and Commentators.  This thread is dedicated to this genre of music and discussion about it.

I think many of us have a passion for opera and often this is seen as a “Gay” trait – just one subject for discussion - what are your views.

BBM has a classic plot that is IMHO just right to be the subject of an opera – what do you think.

Neil

Offline jack

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just when i had been almost completely weaned off of threads and discussion, you had to go and start this... ::)

i think i first started talking about BBM -- the opera back on dave's comment pages, and petter and i actually began to parse it out.  not only is the heartbreak and angst perfect, but that dramatic structure lends itself to all the classic configurations of operatic form, arias, duets, quartets, m/m. m/f, f/f duets.

if only copland or bernstein were alive *sigh*.

jack...tenor
ennis...baritone
old twist... basso (russian of course)
mrs twist... alto
alma... coloratura
lureen...mezzo
randall... counter tenor (singing in "head" voice, of course)
all male chorus

next ...
 
"through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall..."

Offline Nax

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Bravisimo Jack, I think I'd better PM Petter, I haven't seen him in ages.

What style do you tink a BBM opera would take?  Puccini/ Verdi/ Weil?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2007, 07:01:17 AM by Nax »

Offline milomorris

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Hey guys!!

So now DC has an opera thread too. This place really is becoming a destination for discussion of all things gay. I remember when I first came to DC, it was for the slash/fanfiction discussions. Now I hardly ever go into that thread.

So...the BBM opera topic has resurfaced. Good. I was not around here at DC when this topic was discussed in the past. And I have only seen rather fleeting discussions of it on other BBM-related boards, and opera-related boards. Like the rest of you, I think that BBMis the kind of story that is well-suited to the medium of opera. The tragedy is certainly of a type that has found a home in opera since the beginning of the art form. Although rendering BBM on the operatic stage will require a great deal of imagination on the part of the composer, librettist, and the director. I did not travel to Holland to see the Dutch play, but I hope that an English translation it makes it to a theatre here in the States soon.

I tend to agree with Jack's vocal breakdown of the characters. Except Randall. I don't see him as a counter-tenor, but rather as a bass. In the movie, he was cast as someone who was bigger and more "manly" than Ennis, so a bass would fit well. Agguire and L.D. Newsome could also be basses. You know, the whole "villain" thing. Where I do think a counter-tenor could be put to good use would be as the Spirit of the Mountain. Yes that character came out of my head. I think that--especially in opera--personifying the mountain will work well. I see him as a quasi-narrator. And he could appear at various points in the drama sometimes singing, sometimes just observing. Thus effectively illustrating that Brokeback got them good, and will always be with them.

Unfortunatley, we may not see a BBM opera for years...possibly a decade or more. New opera is so difficult and costly to produce. I am working right now with a dedicated team of volunteers at the Delaware Valley Opera Company (in Philly) to bring a new opera about the Romanoffs to the stage. A number of us are working to create a budget for the project. And the composer will not start work on writing the opera until we have secured funding--even though the whole thing was his idea to begin with. So the team is also busy hunting down grants as well. Marketing a BBM opera also has its challenges. Looking at the typical opera-going audience, there are still alot of conservative ticket-buyers and susbscribers from the Mature generation. They would have a hard time with the gay theme. I think that it will be easier for baby-boomers to buy since they are not as up-tight about such themes.

Milo
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Offline Nax

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Hi Milo, glad you're here, and I agree with your comments about assignment of roles.  I like the idea of a spirit of the mountain.  I think there is plenty of scope for debate about the views of a "mature" audience, in the words of the late and great Anna Russle, "In Grand opera you can do anyting you like - as long as you sing it"  ;D

BBM has about the right number of lead characters and several scenes where you could have a chorus; bars, rodeo, and sheep etc. I think my rather vivid imagination could go into overdrive. Aguirre, a bass yes, almost  a Don Giovani /Scarpia type character. I could even see Ho down music being used  ;D

I completley understand the issues re production costs getting funding is always an issue.


My next vist is later this month to see Dido and Anaeus and I know you are familiar with that  ;)

Offline john john

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Wouldn't it be fabulous if G. Santaolalla wrote the score!

Scenically the opera would be quite a challenge. Namely the sheep...maybe the chorus could baaah and bleeeh harmoniously??!!!!

 

Having to hide your love is denying it.

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Bravisimo Jack, I think I'd better PM Petter, I haven't seen him in ages.

What style do you tink a BBM opera would take?  Puccini/ Verdi/ Weil?

Philip Glass...and the whole second half would be repetition of 'Jack, I swear' - and it could  be staged by Robert Wilson and have Ennis fall through a large dark hole when he tries to hang the shirts.... ;) :D
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Offline john john

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This chorus could do the sheep sounds:

http://www.honda.co.uk/civic/

Make sure you click 'Watch Movie'


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Offline jack

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ARRRGGHH!!

i just KNEW phillip glass would come up!  he has mellowed somewhat, and struck out in some new directions, but he is too much of the mechanized 20th century to capture the rural poverty and honky tonkish ambiance.  imho.  britten might have done it,and certainly copland.  it may be a reflection of my age, tastes, or experience that all the composers i think of are dead.  :-\

i think gustavo is on the right track, but i think i would want to look at some other film composers.  many have the training, and scoring a movie suggests the ability to convey feelings, especially feelings below the surface. 

ps:  the basso as villain gets old quickly :P
"through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall..."

Offline KittyHawk

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Jean, I've seen that ad on TV once, but didn't get the full effect that I got after watching and listening on the web. They could do the sheep with no problem at all. The storms, the hail, the weather, the horses hooves on moss,  - they could handle all of that!   ;)

- KH

Offline jack

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hey lydia..

any suggestions for a composer?
"through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall..."

Offline Nax

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Which opera did everyone last see / hear - mine was Tosca about a month ago - a small touring company who made a good job of it.  Pretty dramatic best "flying" Tosca I've ever seen at the end.  A large lady with no fear of throwing herself into the unknown  ;D a decent voice too.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2007, 04:56:19 AM by Nax »

Offline KittyHawk

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Hi, opera lovers,

No suggestions from me yet. However in about 10 days, I'm traveling to San Francisco to meet Jonathan/jlm1, our esteemed book editor and a serious opera lover. He's become my opera mentor and is trying to teach me to love it as much as he does. We are going too see three operas so perhaps after that I'll have suggestions for a composer. I'll be hearing Strauss, Mozart, and Gluck.

- Lydia

Offline Nax

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Hi, opera lovers,

No suggestions from me yet. However in about 10 days, I'm traveling to San Francisco to meet Jonathan/jlm1, our esteemed book editor and a serious opera lover. He's become my opera mentor and is trying to teach me to love it as much as he does. We are going too see three operas so perhaps after that I'll have suggestions for a composer. I'll be hearing Strauss, Mozart, and Gluck.

- Lydia

Well you'll have to tell us what you are going to see, I PM'd Jonathan yesterday so he know about this thread  ;)

Offline john john

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Nax, the last opera I saw on stage was a fabulous, very modern rendition of Wagner's Götterdämmerung. I'm not by any stretch of imagination a Wagner fan, but I must say I found it thrilling.

The last one I listened was Cosi fan Tutti my all time favorite.

Having to hide your love is denying it.