Saturday, 8 December 2012

December 8: French vs. Italian Opera

Since some of my favorite operas is French maybe you would think I prefer French to Italian Opera. I love Carmen, Werther, Samson et Dalila and Herodiade. But my favorite opera composers are Italian like Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini.

Verdi also composed operas for the Paris Opèra and so it is common by Verdi elitists to say that Don Carlos in 5 act version in French is the only one good enough to be accepted. I do love the Italian 4 act version for true passion and a much tighter grip on the drama. In Italian I cannot be bored but even with Plácido Domingo, Katia Ricciarelli, Ruggero Raimondi I found it boring in French. Naturally I Vespri Siciliani is for the same elitists nothing compared to Les Vêpres Sicilienne. Nonsense, Verdi operas are best in Italian except Jérusalem, I think.

Passion is Italian, French is for polite talk. When I say I love Carmen I must say the French dialogue puts Carmen sudden from hot, passionate Spain to a French salon. And it is even worse when one does not even allow the singers to do the dialogue. I had to edit out all that dialogue from Karajan's Carmen with Carreras and Baltsa because they did not do the dialogue, some annoying French actors did it instead. Carmen sung in French with Spanish dialogue would be the dream. The words not just translated but made completely Spanish. PASSION, you know.

I love SAMSON ET DALILA, it is just magic.

For reviews from my travels, see

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