The Munich 2003 “Orphée” Liveblogging Thread

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Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for Gluck’s “Orphée et Eurydice”, staged by Nigel Lower/Amir Hosseinpur and conducted by Ivor Bolton.

Cast Listing:

Orphée – Vesselina Kasarova
Eurydice – Rosemary Joshua
Amor – Deborah York

The production has been issued as a DVD, but is currently out of print. If anyone wishing to blog along should not have the DVD, let us know – there is a modest-size working file safely tucked away on DB.

Libretto: French (htm) The English take is not the Berlioz version, so take that one with a grain of salt.

288 thoughts on “The Munich 2003 “Orphée” Liveblogging Thread”

    1. sorry for the small glitches I’m getting.

      And snowy forest: well, Eurydice died in the woods so perhaps Orpheus made it snow with their singing?

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  1. actually, this is the essence of the perfect lady queer opera:
    3 roles, 3 ladies, 2 of whom in suits, and 2 of whom in love with each other while the 3rd is being their cheering fangirl.
    PERFECT.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Aaaand there’s that.
        And I think after the past two TADW events it is time for me to revisit the Amsterdam version with Gauvin and Nesi.

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      2. Sorry, I fell asleep last night sorting through the screencaps – today is zoo and grading and class prep, so I will simply turn them into the longest WSM ever.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. 1) Eurydice died over a miscarriage
      2) the doll is the personficiation of musical genius
      3) the doll is the personification of the genius idea to go get back Eurydice
      4) Amor is the babysitter of Orphée Jr. whose hours are up.
      5) Orphée and Eurydice wanted kids?
      6) Amor as a fickle fortuna figure sells better than an Amor to 21st ctry audiences?
      7) Well, love is for fools, so: clown.
      ….?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the iconography of death/food/cooking is pretty solid?

      of course, it might be that the symphony orchestra complained to much in the theatre cantina, and now gets boiled in revenge by the kitchen team.

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    2. I think it’s also, thinking about Lowery, that he wanted something absurd and lowkey nigthmarish to evoke a little Hieronymus Bosch?

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      1. no, this was before i knew of VK… that must have explained it.. now the kitchen scene much more serene…
        pay attention, how to enter the door, a guide . i might need to make a gif of that entrance stance.

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        1. I think the staging idea was “let’s go midway freestyle associating of happy places with hugs and puppies. Also, Arcadia. Bet the audience will be really confused.”

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  2. okay, why are all the dancing choir couples straight? That is supposed to be Elysium? Or is queer Wlysium somewhere else, where they all still wear white shirts?

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    1. was about to say. everyone gets to hug VK and then there is THAT SMILE when there’s finally Sleeping Beauty…

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      1. never before, never after (with one exception. though that wasn’t a tailcoat shirt. We can have one of each)

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    1. it’s one of these prime Kasarova samples where she is not singing a piece, but interacting with it and *working* it.

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    1. very hip Berlin Bar, with a ballet space for pseude-Greek Burlesque, but with clothes. And if they actually want to catch the show, they better sit apart.

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        1. if you need to integrate the ballet music somehow scenically, doing a “mini Orphée redux” is not that off, for me. And emotionally, I prefer to get the ‘serious’ version with a happy end of sorts and then the question mark with a wink, and not an ending where everything goes awry after all (not with this opera).

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        2. and then what is Orpheus? It is the tale of the underworld journey and the loss and singing, so it is immediately turned into a stage show (hip Berlin Bar or not) to be carried on? Turning itself into a story?

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    1. yes, I enjoy the ballet because it is poking fun at the very myth they have just done in serious, showing off its stereotypes.

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          1. yes, our cinderella boiled her step sister alive, as well as cooked her step-mother and sent the pot (with the skull inside) to the other step-sister as a gift, which prompted that sister to die instantly from heart attack. *then*, cinderella lived happily ever after, not sure if she cared for the prince..

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          2. (sorry, need correction, because, you know, we have poems (we always have poems), to memorize the story, so poem goes like this:
            “what’s so yummi,
            mom eating daughter
            any leftover to spare?”

            and that’s from the bird sitting up on the tree asking the step-mother, so now, correction:

            Cinderella cooked her step-sister, then made a special vietnamese dish out of it, with the skull inside, then sent to the step-mother as special gift. Step-mother each day ate and couldn’t stop singing praise how tasty it was, until hit the bottom and saw skull, then died instantly. *then* cinderella lived happily ever after.

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          3. 😲
            Now I m trying to imagine how Cenerentola would have turned out with THAT libretto. Very “In questa reggia” instead of “Non più mesta”?

            Liked by 1 person

    1. this is – I don’t know, the Ovid? where after his return and renewed loss of Eurydice, he scorns all women (which some read as him turning gay), so the Bacchae come and rip him to pieces? And that wasn’t so popular with the re-use of the myth in the renaissance?

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          1. yes, it’s a must. i dislike it that tube has removed sooo many accounts, including Smorgie’s old one… and so many of VK’s clips were on there.. now she’s not well represented on tube..

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        1. since Anik is sleeping, let me represent the group, yes, (though am not sure which one is the ref of all Alcina, but.. ) the certain one where i’m very sure i’ll have to remove my glasses if there’s *any* hope i can follow… i’m quite worried about my ability to concentrate 😉 . Would be a superior of all decompressing techniques am sure.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m actually rewatching it now and I have to say I didn’t really get all the greatness yesterday… it’s like all the noble, melancholic beauty is just starting to kick in.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. with VK, the first few rounds for sure the posture + outfits can completely cloud my judgement :-), but the more i listen, the more its effectiveness sinks in the musical expression aspect. I think for me many singers will communicate, but there was a series of VK’s performances in 2012 through a vast range of roles that changed my fundamental understand of music and communication. She doesn’t sing sacred music too often, sadly, because it was after her “il pianto di Maria” that i suddenly saw something much deeper in the music and communication.

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          1. Oh yes, it is so much just what she does with a line in regards to constant chances, and moving closer, then being more distant again… she just doesn’t try to get as close as possible to a content, it is as if at the same time, she is conveying to you a stance on that content.

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