Oh there's a list. Lear by Aribert Reimann, King Priam by Tippett, The Rake's Progress by Stravinsky, La Rondine by Puccini, and anything by Handel.
They come to the first rehearsal knowing all the music and consequently a lot of the motivations behind the characters and their objectives, etc. Actors pride themselves on beginning the process as a sort of 'blank page', carrying their scripts around for weeks-- waiting for actors' memories can be intense and debilitating. Rehearsals with singers are completely revivifying in contrast-- and quick. Of course, when they show no instinct for acting, there are deeper frustrations. Opera is theater, after all.
Well, he's physically deformed; he hates himself; the one woman on earth who was kind to him has left him a widower, and he is insanely attempting-- like a father in a Molière farce-- to keep his teenage daughter pure by locking her up. He is essentially a dysfunctional obsessive, enjoying his corrupting work with his scary, sexually obsessed boss. Because of his flaws, however, we identify with him. This is one reason we go to the theater. The 'other' becomes the 'self'.
An aunt and uncle gave me the Risë Stevens/Fritz Reiner recording of Carmen one Christmas when I was little. I had studied violin for years, but Carmen -- and Bizet!-- had her way with me. Then came, in quick succession: Don Giovanni, Boris Godunov. I picked them out in record stores because of their covers and played them until they were memorized!
John Corigliano. I think he should make an opera of Rocco and His Brothers. His Red Violin Concerto is a particular favorite of mine.
After Chereau? You must be kidding. No production has so far topped his "Ring" in my opinion. Brilliantly conceived. I enjoy listening to the "Ring", and possess numerous recordings of it. And i would certainly jump at the chance to conceive and direct it if offered-- but I have to confess that so far in my lifetime I have not been able to sit through live productions of Lohengrin (Vienna), Parsifal and Götterdämmerung (Met). However Tristan und Isolde (Met)-- I managed, and happily, despite the fat woman playing the title part. In this day and age of surtitles, I want to scream and flee when Wagner's carefully crafted libretto cannot be acted out in front of us because the singers are too fat or too lazy or too worried about their music. Wagner's operas are "singing dramas", and should be held to the highest standards. Birgit Nilsson and Wolfgang Windgassen could ACT.
I don't have an ipod because I only listen to music if I can give it my undivided attention. Music is not the soundtrack of quotidian existence. I listen to music at home without distraction from great big speakers-- or live, which is a real passion of mine, especially concert-going. But, that said-- the "lost tracks" I would miss most? Ligeti chamber music, Britten solo piano music, the recordings of Nathan Milstein, Eileen Farrell, Leontyne Price, Shirley Verrett, Krystian Zimerman, Olga Kern, and the Tebaldi-Del Monaco-Bruscantini Forza. Worst of all would be the loss of an Arena di Verona concert-- 2 disks-- starring Freni and Pavarotti. Or Tony Bennett and Bill Evans' rendition of 'When in Rome'.
"Current", such an interesting word. Though we've never met, obviously you know me well. OK: Positano. My husband of 31 years and I just got back from a magical stay there. We dream of living there someday-- or spending as much time there as possible. Though Berlusconi and the pope are awful, and though we love Obama, we are increasingly exhausted by American politics and culture wars and the U.S. obsession with religion and the insane and destructive media.
Theater of Voices
Royal Opera House
Massenet Don Quichotte
Mariinsky Opera Orch
Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus