Weekend 1-5-13

I think it’s going to be more violin music this weekend, some string quartets and either a Handel opera or Strauss’s Salome. (Every so often I go to the library and notice something on the DVD shelves that I never saw before – people appear to hoard things for months. Among other things, we’ve got Adams’s Doctor Atomic! Looking forward to that, one of these days. Sometimes I wonder who makes the purchasing decisions, though. We have three different versions of Verdi’s Macbeth, but no Don Carlos; the Maria Stuarda is dubbed; while DVDs of Tosca are perhaps best described as belligerent and numerous,  I have yet to lay eyes on a Clemenza di Tito. Finally, according to the catalog, somewhere in the system there is a production of Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride from the Opernhaus Zurich directed by Claus Guth, but I have yet to locate it. Where is it? It’s neither checked out nor on the rack, which may mean it has passed onward into the gray limbo of library items usually termed “not on shelf” but which may be more accurately tagged as WHO THE FUCK KNOWS.)

On the other hand, we’ve got two (two!) copies of the Glyndebourne Giulio Cesare, which is definitely a good thing.

And then there is the person who – I have discovered over the past several months – has plucked the booklets from at least two DVDs of baroque French opera. I guess I shouldn’t assume it’s the same person, or even that it was on purpose. But the idea that there is somewhere in my vicinity a compulsive opera booklet thief is too good to pass up.

4 thoughts on “Weekend 1-5-13

  1. I really need to find a source for borrowing opera DVDs, as this buying stuff (while it does give me an unlimited window for viewing/reviewing) is getting expensive. I actually like John’s idea of setting up an exchange. I am going to make a list what I know I don’t want to keep and see if any of the discs are ones that haven’t been reviewed by either you or John and then see if you’d like to have a look. BTW, I am glad to see some profanity back in your posts. Lately it’s be less laced and more like sprinkled 🙂 (I am watching the Met Lohengrin this afternoon, since the RattenLohengrin freaked out my TV-viewing, non-opera-fan, companion. (Comment on the Bayreuth production was “beautiful music, too bad about all those rats” My conclusion: not the best intro to the opera for a Lohengrin virgin.)


    1. It does get expensive – the exchange isn’t a bad idea at all. I’m not sure I want to go back and tally up what I’ve spent on music the last few years!

      I’ll have to work on the profanity! I don’t know what has happened lately. (Maybe I need to write another Dear Despina column to get myself back into the habit.)

      There are definitely some versions of certain operas that should not be shown to the uninitiated: they’re what I like to think of as Level Three Regie: it makes sense only if you know what you aren’t seeing.


      1. I think he got the idea of what was going on (he is not a bit opera fan to begin with. Actually, other than my Dad, and my soprano Diva buddy, no one I know personally actually shares my interesting in opera).

        Lohengrin is actually a pretty easy plot to outline quickly. The rats just kept him from getting involved. (he is not big on disney animation either) I, on the other hand, really really like that production. This afternoon he made it through act 1 of the Met version, and he said, “This Elsa looks pretty substantial compared to that other one.” (Eva Marton vs. Annette Dasch) Also, I noticed today that Peter Hoffmann was not much of an actor, was he? (At least in Act 1 of Lohengrin) Leonie Rysanek on the other hand was a firecracker!!


        1. I should see this ratty Lohengrin! I haven’t listened to any Wagner since that cruise-ship Flying Dutchman with Catherine Naglestad; I think I’m overdue for some more.

          I have some friends who enjoy opera, but not at my level of obsessiveness – and tolerances for Regie definitely vary. My friend R loves Mozart, but was (she didn’t say so, but so I inferred) a little shocked by the Salzburg Clemenza di Tito.


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