Category Archives: Audience participation

getting in the mood for Don G.

Very excited to see Opera Philadelphia’s Don G. this afternoon at the Academy of Music.

To get in the mood, I watched Opera Phila’s trailer:

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Then I decided to resurrect some of my favorite Don G. entries from the now defunct Twitter contest called #operaplot.

*Sigh. I really miss that contest.*

But thanks to Opera Phila, I won’t miss my favorite Mozart opera.

Without further adieu, here were some of my favorite Don G. sendups in 140 characters or less flying across my Twitter feed back in the Golden Days of #operaplot:

Don Giovanni (Mozart)
Vankan0 – it 640 de 231 fr 100 tr 91 es 1003. Kill father. Dress up as servant. Seduce farmer girl. Supper with ghost. Go to hell.
Gerrit Theule – A rake’s progression goes from woman to woman to woman to hell. His poor servant, left to explain things, escapes at least.
Gerrit Theule – Three strikes and the Don’s out. The Commendatore wins every time. Except at the beginning. He doesn’t fare so well there
Patrick Swanson – I tell ya, Leporello-life is good. Bangin hot chicks, breakin hearts. Pass the butter. *knock knock* Who’s there? Oh shit.
Paul JZ – The Don’s Hectic Calendar: Seduce. Rape. Duel. Kill. Flirt. Lure. Flee. Regroup. Accuse. Swap. Fool. Invite. Revel. Refuse. BURN!
Paul JZ – “Questo è il fin di chi fa mal!” So, don’t seduce, rape, accuse, fool, desert, lure, beat, or kill, lest you be dragged to hell!
Thos Carpenter – A cautionary tale for serial rapists everywhere: never invite a walking, talking statue from hell to a dinner party.
MMmusing – Cad kills Commendatore. Conquests cataloged, courts country cutie. Cry creates chaos. Cast Commendatore comeback cues comeuppance.
MPR Mike – 1003 in Seville is plenty.
Paul JZ – I’m too sexy for amor—too sexy for Seville. I’m a charmer—I shake my lil tush on the piazza. I’m too sexy for this opera. *burns*
Fabtab – Man leaves Playboy mansion to compete for a virgin; sings a rap so filthy even the Pope digs it.
Oliver JMC – By some miracle, he didn’t experience any burning sensations until after the 1003rd.
Eric Mahlzeit – Cunning Spanish nobleman murders, seduces, serenades, and throws one hell of a dinner party.
Where’s Runnicles – How many? I don’t believe you. Seriously, I made a list. Where do you think you’re dragging me off to and why is it so hot there?
CTMCC – Go to hell Don G says mad woman, sad woman, nearly-bad woman, their menfolk and many many others.
MPR Mike – In which our hero learns that, in Spain, he should have stopped at 1003.
Pattyoboe – He’s made a long list, checked it more than twice. Everyone knows he’s naughty, not nice. Dinner time for Statue & Don.
Otterhouse – Leporello: “Drink wet cement and really get stoned.”
Shevinka – Hi lep, remember that old dude we killed? Well he got me b4 the stds did! give your wife *one* for me :p, see you in hell xx
Lattavanti – No reference from former boss because he went to Hell for killing some chick’s dad. Here’s a list of other gfs—see, he trusted me
Henri Drost – I can’t get no satisfaction tho I’ve tried 2066 times. No no no says Leporello but I’d be damned to decline an invitation.
Le Boyfriend – Kissed the girls and made them cry. Stabbed one’s dad and watched him die. Offered chances to repent, he opted to be Hades sent. Men!

All wonderful entries, no? Which was your favorite?

 

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Filed under Audience participation, Baritones, Classic Opera, Don Giovanni, Opera and humor

for every season there’s an opera, especially autumn

Fall is my favorite season apart from the glorious month of May. (I’m a sucker for spring flowers. What can I say?) As fall blazes on in the Mid-Atlantic states, my favorite eclectic radio station plays the traditional fall tunes–covers and original songs. Just this morning, they played Eva Cassidy’s version of “Autumn Leaves,” Cheryl Wheeler’s medley, “When Fall Comes to New England/When October Goes,” Ralph McTell’s “A Leaf Must Fall,” and Iris Litchfield’s “Autumn Colours,” to name a few selections.

I’m very susceptible to seasonal influences in food, drink (all Octoberfest beers, for instance), and of course music. So, it occurred to me there may be operas that suit certain seasons better than others.

Autumn operas
Raisa Massuda of Baltimore claims that Purcell’s The Tempest is her absolute fall favorite! Purcell is generally regarded as the greatest English composer before the 20th century. Listen to this air from the Tempest and judge for yourself. There’s an appropriate solemnity to it–fall is the death of living things, after all.

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Tenor Mitchell Sturges suggested Tosca or anything Strauss as perfect operatic fare for fall. He went on to explain that, “Fall brings a gravitas with it that both Puccini and Strauss excel in.”

The story of Tosca is intensely dramatic–relentless tragedy. If like me, you mourn the end of fall because cold, cruel winter is sure to follow, then choosing Puccini’s Tosca, arguably the most Wagnerian of his scores, makes perfect sense.

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Another opera lover I met through Twitter who goes by the username Am Zénon,  lover of all great art and music and literature (Zénon is the fictional physician and philosopher from L’ Oeuvre au Noir by Marguerite Yourcenar),  claimed a favorite fall composer instead of a single opera. “Wagner, definitely Wagner in autumn, with his drama and music, stirring deep into inner life,” makes autumn the best time for appreciating his work. So many choices for listening to Wagner, so I chose a portion of the overture to Tannhäuser, which was first produced in Dresden on October 20, 1845. As I am listening to the work, looking outside my window, seeing red, gold, and orange-leaved trees, made more vibrant in the muted sunlight of late afternoon, it too seems a fitting homage to fall, blending minor and major keys and mournful strains of horns.

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What’s your opinion on the perfect opera for fall? All three pieces are perfectly evocative and make for rich and rewarding fall listening.

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Filed under Audience participation, Classic Opera

an opera poll for Mozart’s birthaversary

Today, January 27, is the anniversary of the incomparable W. A. Mozart’s birth!

He was a most awe-inspiring composer–the gold standard by which composers were measured before and after. Of course, he wrote hundreds of other pieces outside of opera.

But in case you forgot, this blog is called “Operatoonity.”  By virtue of that fact, an opera poll is in order–just to drum up a little Mozart  b’day excitement.

All those in favor, please vote for your favorite Mozart opera below:

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Filed under Audience participation, Mozart, Poll

Six days left to show me your DON JUAN!

Traveling anywhere festive before August 31, 2012? Or do you already live in a beautiful part of the world?

Take copy of my humorous backstage opera novel DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA along for fun! You might win big bucks for a few minutes of thinking, arranging, and posing a photograph.

Shoot a digital photo of DON JUAN at your favorite vacation spot this summer. Post it on your Facebook page or as a Twitpic by August 31! Make sure to tag me, Gale Martin, so that I see your photo, or add @Gale_Martin if using Twitter, which I will then post on this page. Or email it to galemartin.writer@gmail.com.

But you better hurry. You only have six days left!

That’s all you have to do to be registered to win a $100 gift card from Amazon.com!

Winner of DON JUAN GETS AROUND! will be announced September 1, 2012!

What should your photo look like? Take a look at some of these fantastic photos submitted by Barbara Bosha (Puerto Rico), Ann Lander (Stafford, England), and Linda Orlomoski (Salem, Massachusetts):

For more photos of DON AROUND TOWN, click here.

All photos submitted for DON JUAN GETS AROUND! will be added to this space after they appear on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account and don’t want one? Feel free to email them to me at galemartin.writer@gmail.com. But make sure you send it by August 31.

Where can I get a print copy, you might ask? From Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com or at many independent booksellers. If you live in the States, I’ll gladly ship one to you. Email me for details.

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Audience participation, Contest, Contests, Opera and humor, Opera and social media

for Mozart’s birthday, I’m putting on a few airs

"Had this man Mozart lived, none of the rest of us would earn a crust of bread for our operas." - Antonio Salieri

Wolfgang Amadeus [Amadé] Mozart was born today,  January 27, 1756, in  Salzburg, Austria.

“Mozart is the highest, the culminating point that beauty has attained in the sphere of music,” Tchaikovsky said. And of course, he was just one of many composers with highest praise of Mozart–Rossini, Brahms, Gounod, Bernstein, to name a few others.

To celebrate, I’m putting on airs–arias (for the uninitiated, that’s what aria means in Italian). And I received numerous wonderful titles from the Twittersphere when I asked for favorite Mozart arias.

I have my own faves, which like my best loved foods and wines, I go back to again and again. But on this august occasion, I am happy to share others’ favorite arias by the birthday boy, as much for myself as for you.

This is the musical version of me trying sushi rather than ordering another filet mignon, medium rare.

Here’s three arias (airs) offered up like pure and noble sacrifices from some of the lovely folks populating my humble but extremely useful Twitter feed pour vous.

Soprano La Toya Lewis (@LaToyaLewis) mentioned “Hai già vinta la causa” from The Marriage of Figaro as one of her favorites. Here’s a fine version from American baritone Rodney Gilfrey:

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More than one Twitter compadre named “Come scoglio”  from Così fan tutte as their favorite Mozart aria. Brandon Antoine (@B_A_L_Baritone),  soprano Kate L. Fenech (@MissFeneshhhhh), and Pokrovsky Opera (@Pokrovsky_Opera), who  mentioned this clip in their Tweet, from Salzburg 2009 sung by Miah Persson:

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Finally, here’s Mexican Tenor Ramón Vargas performing “Fuor del mar” from Idomeneo, who Paulo Montoya (@operarules) must concede is spectacular:

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Filed under Audience participation, Classic Opera, Classical Composers, Favorite arias, Mozart, Opera anniversaries