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C.Z.
2017-04-06 23:49:57 UTC
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Where is AC Douglas?
REP
2017-04-08 19:42:03 UTC
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Post by C.Z.
Where is AC Douglas?
Perhaps no longer with us. No blog posts within the past year, and no recent Opera-L posts (that I see). He wrote about seeing the Wieland Ring live and buying his first car c. 1955, so he was not a young man.

On the other hand, he could just be fed up with the current state of opera, as so many of us are.

REP
Herman van der Woude
2017-04-08 20:43:47 UTC
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Post by REP
Post by C.Z.
Where is AC Douglas?
Perhaps no longer with us. No blog posts within the past year, and no recent
Opera-L posts (that I see). He wrote about seeing the Wieland Ring live and
buying his first car c. 1955, so he was not a young man.
On the other hand, he could just be fed up with the current state of opera,
as so many of us are.
REP
The 'Sounds and Fury' web-site still exists (www.soundsandfury.com).
However, the youngest contribution dates back to 5 February 2016, and
after that: nothing. For an industrious contributor as A C Douglas is
(or was), this could be the sign, that REP is right. On his web site
ACD wrote that he saw Wieland Wagner's staging of Der Ring des
Nibelungen in 1958, almost 60 years ago. He may have been a young
person at the time, but at least twenty, so I expect him - if he is
still around - to be in his eighties, if not even older. If that be the
case, I hope for him that he still is in a good shape, but at that age
alas, anything is possible...

Anyway, I still feel blessed by being named an idiot by him as so may
of us!
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Herman van der Woude
2017-04-09 09:02:25 UTC
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Post by REP
Post by C.Z.
Where is AC Douglas?
Perhaps no longer with us. No blog posts within the past year, and no
recent Opera-L posts (that I see). He wrote about seeing the Wieland Ring
live and buying his first car c. 1955, so he was not a young man.
On the other hand, he could just be fed up with the current state of opera,
as so many of us are.
REP
The 'Sounds and Fury' web-site still exists (www.soundsandfury.com). However,
nothing. For an industrious contributor as A C Douglas is (or was), this
could be the sign, that REP is right. On his web site ACD wrote that he saw
Wieland Wagner's staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen in 1958, almost 60 years
ago. He may have been a young person at the time, but at least twenty, so I
expect him - if he is still around - to be in his eighties, if not even
older. If that be the case, I hope for him that he still is in a good shape,
but at that age alas, anything is possible...
Anyway, I still feel blessed by being named an idiot by him as so may of us!
A little typing error occured, and to corret it in the ACD way, I would
like you to read 'as so *may* of us' as 'as so *many* of us'. O dear, o
dear...
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Herman van der Woude
2017-04-09 11:00:15 UTC
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Post by Herman van der Woude
Post by REP
Post by C.Z.
Where is AC Douglas?
Perhaps no longer with us. No blog posts within the past year, and no
recent Opera-L posts (that I see). He wrote about seeing the Wieland Ring
live and buying his first car c. 1955, so he was not a young man.
On the other hand, he could just be fed up with the current state of
opera, as so many of us are.
REP
The 'Sounds and Fury' web-site still exists (www.soundsandfury.com).
However, the youngest contribution dates back to 5 February 2016, and after
that: nothing. For an industrious contributor as A C Douglas is (or was),
this could be the sign, that REP is right. On his web site ACD wrote that
he saw Wieland Wagner's staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen in 1958, almost
60 years ago. He may have been a young person at the time, but at least
twenty, so I expect him - if he is still around - to be in his eighties, if
not even older. If that be the case, I hope for him that he still is in a
good shape, but at that age alas, anything is possible...
Anyway, I still feel blessed by being named an idiot by him as so may of
us!
A little typing error occured, and to correct it in the ACD way, I
would like you to read 'as so may of us' as 'as so many of us'. O dear,
o dear...
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Herman van der Woude
2017-04-09 11:02:53 UTC
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Raw Message
The 'Sounds and Fury' web-site still exists (www.soundsandfury.com).
However, the youngest contribution dates back to 5 February 2016, and
after that: nothing. For an industrious contributor as A C Douglas is
(or was), this could be the sign, that REP is right. On his web site
ACD wrote that he saw Wieland Wagner's staging of Der Ring des
Nibelungen in 1958, almost 60 years ago. He may have been a young
person at the time, but at least twenty, so I expect him - if he is
still around - to be in his eighties, if not even older. If that be the
case, I hope for him that he still is in a good shape, but at that age
alas, anything is possible...

Anyway, I still feel blessed by being named an idiot by him as so many
of us!
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Mike Scott Rohan
2017-04-09 12:56:19 UTC
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Post by Herman van der Woude
The 'Sounds and Fury' web-site still exists (www.soundsandfury.com).
However, the youngest contribution dates back to 5 February 2016, and
after that: nothing. For an industrious contributor as A C Douglas is
(or was), this could be the sign, that REP is right. On his web site
ACD wrote that he saw Wieland Wagner's staging of Der Ring des
Nibelungen in 1958, almost 60 years ago. He may have been a young
person at the time, but at least twenty, so I expect him - if he is
still around - to be in his eighties, if not even older. If that be the
case, I hope for him that he still is in a good shape, but at that age
alas, anything is possible...
Anyway, I still feel blessed by being named an idiot by him as so many
of us!
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
He was certainly cantankerous enough, though he had his reasonable and interesting side. I very much wished he could have restrained his urge to abuse people, which almost smacked of mental illness, to contribute more; and at times he seemed to be trying, but it didn't last. Like you, I hope he is ok, but we're none of us getting any younger. And I share his disgust at the state of opera, although now and then productions and singers do come along to redeem it.

But there are signs we're not alone. The lates edition of Opera, normally a bastion of trendy production, carries a longish article asking why producers are so afraid to put the sublime on stage -- a very central part of the problem. I haven't had time to more than glance at it yet, but will report in due course. Certainly one problem with Eurotrash producers is their insistence on wallowing in social and sexual mud, obsessed with rape, groping and the aesthetics of the porn shop -- for shock effect, mostly, but they reduce everything to this level. Sex, fine by me; but does it have to be at this inappropriate level? The difference for me was embodied by Peter Hall's Rhinemaidens, naturally nude, and Gotz Friedrich's, doing a rather self-conscious fetishistic strip. (His Valkyries ended up miming porn with their dead heroes...) Not much of the sublime there!

Cheers,

Mike
Bert Coules
2017-04-09 14:46:49 UTC
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There's a rather perceptive (and very negative as far as the staging is
concerned) review of the new Met Tristan (which sounds ghastly) at

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/sep/27/tristan-und-isolde-met-opera-review

or

https://tinyurl.com/h4nbqyp

Actually, that comment is unfair. Strictly speaking, it doesn't *sound*
ghastly at all, as evidenced by yesterday's BBC broadcast:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08ln6lx

But it sounds ghastly, nonetheless.
Herman van der Woude
2017-04-09 16:26:51 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
There's a rather perceptive (and very negative as far as the staging is
concerned) review of the new Met Tristan (which sounds ghastly) at
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/sep/27/tristan-und-isolde-met-opera-review
or
https://tinyurl.com/h4nbqyp
Actually, that comment is unfair. Strictly speaking, it doesn't *sound*
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08ln6lx
But it sounds ghastly, nonetheless.
More or less by accident I heard the second act yesterday night in the
car (not the best of places to listen to music, I admit). I did not
like Stuart Skelton's voice as Tristan, it is an ugly one, and I did
not like Nina Stemme's voice as Isolde either. Not my dream couple.
Sir Simon Rattle is a very good conductor, as we all know. Some 15
years ago he conducted T&I in Amsterdam (Royal Concergebouw Orchestra)
very much as the opera should sound. I don't think the Met's orchestra
is the best orchestra of this world.
So much for a short impression out of the car...
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Bert Coules
2017-04-09 17:01:10 UTC
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Herman,

I turned on my car radio yesterday just as the act two duet was getting
going again after that lengthy central section. And by chance, I arrived
home just as Marke was beginning his monologue.

I parked, went indoors, unpacked, had a shower, got changed, made some tea,
and put on a radio - and Marke was just finishing. Wonderfully happy timing
on my part.

If I'm ever invited to direct Tristan (which I won't be, so the world is
safe), I'll cut that damned speech down to just a few lines. It's perfectly
possible to do so and retain the sense, the dramatic progression and the
character development, and the show would be miles better for it.

Bert
m***@gmail.com
2017-04-10 00:49:16 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Herman,
I turned on my car radio yesterday just as the act two duet was getting
going again after that lengthy central section. And by chance, I arrived
home just as Marke was beginning his monologue.
I parked, went indoors, unpacked, had a shower, got changed, made some tea,
and put on a radio - and Marke was just finishing. Wonderfully happy timing
on my part.
If I'm ever invited to direct Tristan (which I won't be, so the world is
safe), I'll cut that damned speech down to just a few lines. It's perfectly
possible to do so and retain the sense, the dramatic progression and the
character development, and the show would be miles better for it.
Bert
I think if Marke is really good dramatically he can use that monologue in a very moving and touching way - it humanizes the character but in the wrong hands it can be dull indeed.
Bert Coules
2017-04-10 07:45:43 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
I think if Marke is really good dramatically he
can use that monologue in a very moving and
touching way - it humanizes the character but
in the wrong hands it can be dull indeed.
Indeed, but for me it simply brings the drama to a dead stop at exactly the
point where it should be moving on to the end of the act: a dramatic
miscalculation on Wagner's part. It would be ten times as effective if it
were ten times as short.

The central section of the love duet suffers from something similar, but
just about hangs together by virtue of its placing in the act: stillness and
repose are just what are needed there. But even so I'd trim it back a bit.
m***@gmail.com
2017-04-10 13:27:57 UTC
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Post by Bert Coules
Post by m***@gmail.com
I think if Marke is really good dramatically he
can use that monologue in a very moving and
touching way - it humanizes the character but
in the wrong hands it can be dull indeed.
Indeed, but for me it simply brings the drama to a dead stop at exactly the
point where it should be moving on to the end of the act: a dramatic
miscalculation on Wagner's part. It would be ten times as effective if it
were ten times as short.
The central section of the love duet suffers from something similar, but
just about hangs together by virtue of its placing in the act: stillness and
repose are just what are needed there. But even so I'd trim it back a bit.
Dramatically in this opera it doesn't really matter if Markes address is ten lines long or one hundred - the only thing that matters is the two lovers. The other roles are of considerable vocal difficulty but it is amazing to me how in this work how little effect they make, The reason is they are representatives of the day world - they are not part of the lovers universe at all and the music and atmosphere almost succeed in shutting them out. Although they have all the good will in the world their actions are powerless and futile - things wind up just as they would without them, only a little worse. As for trimming any of the work, esp the love duet - I will not comment.
Bert Coules
2017-04-10 13:30:45 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Dramatically in this opera it doesn't
really matter if Marke's address is ten lines
long or one hundred - the only thing that
matters is the two lovers.
We'll have to agree to disagree about that.
Richard Partridge
2017-04-10 19:36:59 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Bert Coules
Herman,
I turned on my car radio yesterday just as the act two duet was getting
going again after that lengthy central section. And by chance, I arrived
home just as Marke was beginning his monologue.
I parked, went indoors, unpacked, had a shower, got changed, made some tea,
and put on a radio - and Marke was just finishing. Wonderfully happy timing
on my part.
If I'm ever invited to direct Tristan (which I won't be, so the world is
safe), I'll cut that damned speech down to just a few lines. It's perfectly
possible to do so and retain the sense, the dramatic progression and the
character development, and the show would be miles better for it.
Bert
I think if Marke is really good dramatically he can use that monologue in a
very moving and touching way - it humanizes the character but in the wrong
hands it can be dull indeed.
That sounds like an awfully short shower to me. Are you sure it was
sufficient?

Dick Partridge
Herman van der Woude
2017-04-10 20:32:40 UTC
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Post by Richard Partridge
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Bert Coules
Herman,
I turned on my car radio yesterday just as the act two duet was getting
going again after that lengthy central section. And by chance, I arrived
home just as Marke was beginning his monologue.
I parked, went indoors, unpacked, had a shower, got changed, made some tea,
and put on a radio - and Marke was just finishing. Wonderfully happy
timing on my part.
If I'm ever invited to direct Tristan (which I won't be, so the world is
safe), I'll cut that damned speech down to just a few lines. It's
perfectly possible to do so and retain the sense, the dramatic progression
and the character development, and the show would be miles better for it.
Bert
I think if Marke is really good dramatically he can use that monologue in a
very moving and touching way - it humanizes the character but in the wrong
hands it can be dull indeed.
That sounds like an awfully short shower to me. Are you sure it was
sufficient?
Dick Partridge
Gna, gna... lol
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
Bert Coules
2017-04-10 20:47:09 UTC
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Dick,

Reading back my own post, the thing that struck me was that I evidently had
the shower and *then* got changed...

Bert
wkasimer
2017-04-13 13:41:14 UTC
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Post by Herman van der Woude
More or less by accident I heard the second act yesterday night in the
car (not the best of places to listen to music, I admit). I did not
like Stuart Skelton's voice as Tristan, it is an ugly one, and I did
not like Nina Stemme's voice as Isolde either. Not my dream couple.
Sir Simon Rattle is a very good conductor, as we all know. Some 15
years ago he conducted T&I in Amsterdam (Royal Concergebouw Orchestra)
very much as the opera should sound. I don't think the Met's orchestra
is the best orchestra of this world.
So much for a short impression out of the car...
Part of the problem is that the Met's engineers seem to have no idea about what music should sound like. Everything is dreadfully spotlit and dynamically compressed, exposing every flaw in every singer and instrumentalist. I can't remember the last time I was able to sit through an entire Met broadcast.
Bert Coules
2017-04-13 14:27:14 UTC
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Post by wkasimer
Part of the problem is that the Met's engineers
seem to have no idea about what music should sound like.
I rather suspect that the compression at least is done (or perhaps insisted
on) by the broadcasting company rather than the Met.
m***@gmail.com
2017-04-13 15:22:03 UTC
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Post by wkasimer
Post by Herman van der Woude
More or less by accident I heard the second act yesterday night in the
car (not the best of places to listen to music, I admit). I did not
like Stuart Skelton's voice as Tristan, it is an ugly one, and I did
not like Nina Stemme's voice as Isolde either. Not my dream couple.
Sir Simon Rattle is a very good conductor, as we all know. Some 15
years ago he conducted T&I in Amsterdam (Royal Concergebouw Orchestra)
very much as the opera should sound. I don't think the Met's orchestra
is the best orchestra of this world.
So much for a short impression out of the car...
Part of the problem is that the Met's engineers seem to have no idea about what music should sound like. Everything is dreadfully spotlit and dynamically compressed, exposing every flaw in every singer and instrumentalist. I can't remember the last time I was able to sit through an entire Met broadcast.
It depends how you are listening - the Sirius broadcast via one of their radios is pretty bad but the Internet streams are much better and the MET direct stream via their website is the best
Herman van der Woude
2017-04-09 11:06:26 UTC
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Post by REP
Post by C.Z.
Where is AC Douglas?
Perhaps no longer with us. No blog posts within the past year, and no recent
Opera-L posts (that I see). He wrote about seeing the Wieland Ring live and
buying his first car c. 1955, so he was not a young man.
On the other hand, he could just be fed up with the current state of opera,
as so many of us are.
REP
The 'Sounds and Fury' web-site still exists (www.soundsandfury.com).
However, the youngest contribution dates back to 5 February 2016, and
after that: nothing. For an industrious contributor as A C Douglas is
(or was), this could be the sign, that REP is right. On his web site
ACD wrote that he saw Wieland Wagner's staging of Der Ring des
Nibelungen in 1958, almost 60 years ago. He may have been a young
person at the time, but at least twenty, so I expect him - if he is
still around - to be in his eighties, if not even older. If that be the
case, I hope for him that he still is in a good shape, but at that age
alas, anything is possible...

Anyway, I still feel blessed by being named an idiot by him as so many
of us!
--
Met vriendelijke groet,
Cheers,
Herman van der Woude
wkasimer
2017-04-13 13:49:33 UTC
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Post by REP
Post by C.Z.
Where is AC Douglas?
Perhaps no longer with us. No blog posts within the past year, and no recent Opera-L posts (that I see). He wrote about seeing the Wieland Ring live and buying his first car c. 1955, so he was not a young man.
There's an obituary for an A.C. Douglas, age 86, of Shreveport, Louisiana, dated August 5, 2016. I can't access it without a paid account, but perhaps someone else has a paid account to newspapers.com.
Richard Partridge
2017-04-13 18:23:18 UTC
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Post by wkasimer
Post by REP
Post by C.Z.
Where is AC Douglas?
Perhaps no longer with us. No blog posts within the past year, and no recent
Opera-L posts (that I see). He wrote about seeing the Wieland Ring live and
buying his first car c. 1955, so he was not a young man.
There's an obituary for an A.C. Douglas, age 86, of Shreveport, Louisiana,
dated August 5, 2016. I can't access it without a paid account, but perhaps
someone else has a paid account to newspapers.com.
Well, that's too bad. I'll miss him. He was irascible and pugnacious, but
some of his contributions were worthwhile.

Dick Partridge

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