Tag: Malfitano

Strauss – Salome / Deutsche Oper Berlin 1990 (2)

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When Herod tells Salome that she can have whatever she wants if she will dance, we see the moment at which the ghastly idea occurs to her and she pounces on it: she is profoundly uninterested in Herod other than as a way to get her revenge on Jochanaan. The little orientalist flourish in the orchestra at the start of Salome’s dance (the bit with the drums and the little ‘middle eastern’ figures in the woodwinds) which seems to imply that what will follow will be a kind of seduction dance is both undercut and upheld by what follows.

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Strauss – Salome / Deutsche Oper Berlin 1990 (1)

salome deutsche operI remember reading recently that as far as we can make any historical sense at all out of the biblical story on which this opera is based, the real Salome was likely just a kid whose dancing was less a strip tease than a cute little caper. Part of me likes this possibility because it’d be sort of satisfying to know that the ‘dangerous Jezebel’ aspect of the story was read into it by later commentators who succeeded in finding in it what they wanted to. But neither the capering child nor the zealous commenters would make much of an opera. (Well, maybe the zealous commentators. But it’d be a very different opera.)

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La Clemenza di Tito / Troyanos, Neblett, Malfitano et al. / Rome 1980 (3)

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There were parts of this that I liked more than others. Catherine Malfitano as Servilia was rather sweet – but she didn’t have much to do most of the time other than cock her head and look concerned (there was enough of this that at times it was more wobbling her head and looking concerned, but I’m not sure that this is entirely Malfitano’s fault). I enjoyed listening to Kurt Rydl (Publio)’s voice, but this is not the type of production that attempts to make Publio interesting, so he wasn’t, very much. But the sound was nice.

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La Clemenza di Tito / Troyanos, Neblett, Malfitano et al. / Rome 1980 (2)

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As mentioned, this DVD was filmed amid real Roman ruins in Rome. And it’s a movie of an opera, not a DVD of a performance – the action moves around several different areas, none of which is a stage as such. (I think the audio and the video were recorded separately, too. For one thing, it doesn’t sound as if it’s being performed outside. For another, you can see little blips in the synching here and there. And finally, that would have to be a mighty mobile orchestra that maestro Levine was conducting.)

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