Walter Meyer, writing of his memorable opera experience:
>Thus the action was carried out in the recitatives and the arias were
>deliberate interruptions in the narrative to provide an opportunity to
>illustrate the character's thoughts. This could get a bit irritating,
>at least for me, as the clock was closing in on the 10 when the characters
>are about to embark on heroic or villainous projects...but first have to
>sing this little song, which is never little.
I've had the opposite reaction sitting through a Handel opera. The
recitatives are irritating and I look forward to the arias. For me, those
plots are the pits. I'm sorry that Water found the arias to be "little
songs"; I find them to be the heart of the opera.
Here's a plug for the Rene Jacobs recording on Harmonia Mundi of the
opera Water attended. It's great music and superbly performed on period
instruments. You can skip the recitatives or skip the arias or listen to
it all in any time increments you wish. So, if you start getting bored,
just go to the computer and read some MCML messages or hug your kids.
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