[Dixielandjazz] Operatic Recordings

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 6 11:44:34 PST 2005

Anton Crouch <anton.crouch at optusnet.com.au> (polite snip)

> Hello all
> I know that Steve B is a good "stirrer" but I have the awful feeling that
> he is serious in his comments on opera recordings. He wrote:
> "IMO doing an Operatic performance in a studio, for a CD over several days,
> that you cannot do live on stage as it was written to be performed in a
> couple of hours is pure bullshit. It is a fake."
snipped for brevity.

Hi Anton:

Yes, I am quite serious. If you can't do it the way it was written to be
done, (Opera that is) then IMHO, don't do it.

Folks, including Maria Callas (re Carmen) should not do in a sterile studio,
what they cannot do live on stage. Especially if the program was written
specifically for live, on stage performances. One Eyed I admit, but never
the less my opinion.

And who knows what effects Wagner wanted to get, that he couldn't on stage?
There were no studios then, no recording, etc. So I'm fairly certain he did
not write the opera and the music for recording purposes without the visual

To me, The Opera, Tristan and Isolde is a story that grabs you. One of the
most emotionally powerful, visually stunning musical stories ever written.
Some have argued that it is Wagner's greatest work. The very beginning of a
modernist movement. Written circa 1857-59 it is quite different from the
Operatic conventions of the period. A new and exciting departure from what
was done previously.

DVD vs. CD? For me, no contest. Now that DVDs are available, with great
sound, I want to see as well as hear it, in one continuous performance, as
Wagner created it to be presented. To me, that is the entire operatic
experience not just half of it.

Only an opinion. 

Steve Barbone 

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