Der Freischutz

PhilipD's picture
Submitted by PhilipD on Mon, 2009-06-08 07:47

Der Freischutz is being preformed at the Thailand Cultural Centre in Bangkok this weekend. The conductor will be J. David Jackson. Agathe will be sung by French soprano Aude Priya and Max by the Thai tenor Sirichai Charoenkitthanakul.

Generally I love opera but know bugger-all about it and very little about Der Freischutz itself and the drama of getting to the venue and the cost involved is making me a little cautious of attending. So based on the limited information above would anyone care to venture an opinion as to whether it would be worthwhile buying tickets?

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jeffrey smith's picture

Sorry it was so dreadful.
Meanwhile, more or less coincidentally, I'm listening to the Keilberth recording, in which the only fault I can hear is that it was recorded with the most up to date equipment of its time: 1958. That's the year before I was born.

If you're ever given a chance to attend a performance of Florida Grand Opera here in South Florida--you'll probably be safe in passing it up. Lots of singers that make you wonder "where did they dig this one up from" and plenty of pretentious farts both on stage and in the audience.
And several productions in which the basic direction was "stand centerstage and screech at the footlights". (Although actually the worst in that line I've ever seen was a touring Metropolitan Opera production some thirty years ago featuring James Alexander (subbing for Pavarotti, who apparently thought Atlanta was not good enough for him) and a Slavic soprano. Don't remember her name, but she was taller and bulkier from Alexander--who ended up being hidden from view by her whenever she trotted up to the footlights to belt out an aria. I left at the intermission on that one...)

Coddington or not, you would

PhilipD's picture

Coddington or not, you would have walked out within ten minutes, I'm sure.

I haven't seen a lot of performances, but my first, Lucia Di Lammermoor at the Sydney Opera House was jaw-dropping good. Still kick myself that I didn't go to more while I was living in Sydney.

That's the problem ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... with local opera productions, and the reason I generally don't go to them in NZ. Pretentious farts of the "Darling, isn't it wonderful?" variety who actually have no clue. Once, at a production of Rigoletto, where the tenor was excruciatingly bad, I was told to keep my reactions to myself by someone behind me; on another occasion I would have walked out of Faust except that Deborah Coddington was with me and I didn't want to draw her into a scene that, on my own, I would quite happily have made.

Here's a funny side-bar: Deborah and I used to make fun of one of the leading "Darling, isn't it wonderful?" pseuds, Jenny Gibbs, as "Dame Juniper Damp-Squibs." All money and respectability, no brains. In the recent Queen's Birthday Honours list, guess who was made a dame!? Eye

It was dreadful. It was so

PhilipD's picture

It was dreadful. It was so bad we left during the intermission. The set, the acting and the singing were of a higher standard than your average school production, I suppose. But only just. Admittedly I found the orchestra competent and Aude Priya adequate but the rest I would have liked to have given a good smack.

The mood wasn't helped by the fact that it all kicked-off forty minutes late as we waited, firstly for the men with the tickets to arrive, and then for various slack ambassadors and Thai 'elite' to finally deign to take their seats. It didn't help either that ten minutes into the performance late-comers were still clip-clopping in or that there was a constant humming coming from the lighting. Nor did it help that the auditorium was three-quarters empty.

Thailand's always full of surprises and this was a nasty one; Bangkok is developing quickly in many ways but its opera company has a long way to go.

The rush-hour motorcycle taxi ride to the venue was as exhilarating as ever though. Smiling

Brain fart moment

jeffrey smith's picture

It was the first great German great romantic opera.

Could be true only if one totally ignores the existence of Fidelio (which, btw, also has spoken dialogue).

It would probably be more accurate to say that Freischutz was the first great (and perhaps most popular) German opera of the High Romantic era (by which I mean the 1820s to 1850s; the generation that included Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Berlioz, et al.)

Thanks for the info,

PhilipD's picture

Thanks for the info, Jeffrey.

By all means go

jeffrey smith's picture

It was the first great German great romantic opera.
The plot is incredibly contrived, even when you make allowances for the fact that it involves the Devil.
Much of the dialogue is spoken, not sung--like Die Zauberflote, but it's not classified as a Singspiel.
The music will however give you a roaring good time. The Wolf's Glen scene is the most famous scene in the opera; that is the one where the Devil shows up in full deviltry. But it's not the only good one.
Also, from what I know, it's not frequently performed outside German-speaking countries; you may be getting the equivalent of a once in a lifetime chance to see it live.

Oh, go ahead!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Whore about as much as you wish. I know you'll come to me in the end. As it were.

Mind if I play the field

PhilipD's picture

Mind if I play the field first? Mr. P and HWH look hot for a start.

Ha, Philip!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I am obviously gay as well. Just didn't know it until now.

You wouldn't know how many lads have said that to me. Evil Glad to be of service. Eye

Does this mean you're ready to marry me, finally?

Ha! I wish you were here to

PhilipD's picture

Ha! I wish you were here to escort me too, Lindsay; as I seem to share the same taste in music as Mr. Perren (thoroughly enjoying his selections) and HWH I am obviously gay as well. Just didn't know it until now.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Of course you should go. I wish I were there to escort you. Love

Here's the overture:

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