Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   Guenther K   (Member)


New production of Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights to conclude Minnesota Opera’s 2010–2011 season:

http://www.bernardherrmann.org/news/concerts.xdoc#438
http://www.mnopera.org/news?module=news&showitem=70
http://www.mnopera.org/season?module=performances&showid=1949

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2011 - 11:03 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Thanks to news on the Herrmann site, we learn that one of the April performances will be filmed for DVD release:

http://www.mnopera.org/season?module=performances&showid=1949

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2011 - 3:36 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

New production of Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights to conclude Minnesota Opera’s 2010–2011 season:

http://www.bernardherrmann.org/news/concerts.xdoc#438
http://www.mnopera.org/news?module=news&showitem=70
http://www.mnopera.org/season?module=performances&showid=1949


Did anyone attend? I flew out to Minnesota this weekend and attended Saturday night's performance. What a double treat - to hear Herrmann's wonderful opera performed live, and in such a top-flight, technically ambitious production!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2011 - 4:21 PM   
 By:   Robert0320   (Member)

Hopefully. Benny would be proud and not storm out of the opera house raging at the world.
Wish I could have seen it. I have the score on CD.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2011 - 5:02 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

I saw it on 4/16 and enjoyed most of it. Nothing like having a nearly 3 hour concert of some of your favorite composer's best output! My primary issue was that some of the conducting was simply way too fast. He seemed overly concerned about shortening the length of the opera even beyond the cuts that were made. An extra couple of minutes at the end of the night so that some of the interludes and "I have dreamt" could have been taken at a more sane rate of speed would not have killed the audience.

Despite the mostly negative reviews, I hope the HD video they shot of it is released soon.

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2011 - 5:36 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

I was hoping someone went to see it. I was wondering the same thing about some of the tempi when I saw the performance run time listed on the opera company's website. Even with the cuts it seems rather short to me and you've confirmed my suspicions.

Glad you guys got to see it regardless of any flaws in presentation!

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2011 - 10:09 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

I saw it on 4/16 and enjoyed most of it. Nothing like having a nearly 3 hour concert of some of your favorite composer's best output! My primary issue was that some of the conducting was simply way too fast. He seemed overly concerned about shortening the length of the opera even beyond the cuts that were made. An extra couple of minutes at the end of the night so that some of the interludes and "I have dreamt" could have been taken at a more sane rate of speed would not have killed the audience.

Despite the mostly negative reviews, I hope the HD video they shot of it is released soon.


There are some good reviews out there (some of the negative ones out there do seem to derive from that ol' anti-film music snobbery), fortunately, and I think the production and the opera itself deserve it. I myself was not bothered by the quicker tempi, esp given Herrmann apparently called for it in his score, but did not practice it in his recording. My impression was that the production definitely went over quite well with the audience, and I think it's a very accessible opera -- a good starter opera for neophytes. After all, colorful music, some memorable vocal set-pieces, a familiar and famous story, and mood and atmosphere to spare. For me, a dazzling night and literally a dream come true.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2011 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

Maybe they'll be doing a zippy production of The Ring Cycle -- who needs all of that slow, brooding music anyway? The kids, you know, need more uptempos.

P.S. I posted this before reading Zoragoth's review -- so perhaps my cynicism was uncalled for.

 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2011 - 12:37 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

Maybe they'll be doing a zippy production of The Ring Cycle -- who needs all of that slow, brooding music anyway? The kids, you know, need more uptempos.

P.S. I posted this before reading Zoragoth's review -- so perhaps my cynicism was uncalled for.


;-) I do have to admit that, however much I adore Herrmann's recording (esp given that it's the only one we have), I do feel some empathy with those who find it has ponderous moments.

 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2011 - 12:44 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

My primary issue was that some of the conducting was simply way too fast. He seemed overly concerned about shortening the length of the opera even beyond the cuts that were made. An extra couple of minutes at the end of the night so that some of the interludes and "I have dreamt" could have been taken at a more sane rate of speed would not have killed the audience.



Sigh - and even then some of those critics found the opera too long! I am biased, of course, since Herrmann is my favorite composer and I've enjoyed his recording for 16 years now, but I didn't find the opera overlong at all. It unquestionably earned its length in terms of plot, music, and production, and so yes, could have been allowed a few extra minutes.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2011 - 5:37 PM   
 By:   MMM   (Member)

I am a HUGE Herrmann fan, but listening to the entire opera in a comfy chair can wear you down. Even when you have a big bag of peanut M&M's or something to distract you. Sitting in an opera hall for that long can probably cause some discomfort, especially as there aren't a wealth of beautiful melodies in the opera. I know it's not that type of an opera, but maybe a few more sweeping melodic sections and brilliant trios would have helped. It IS a bit turgid and slow-going at times.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2011 - 6:07 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

During the performance I found myself much more engrossed in the work than I ever thought I'd be. Going in, I fully expected that I would catch myself zoning out during the 3rd and 4th acts, as I often do on the album, but that didn't happen. I thought the slowest part was the Prologue, which seems to take forever (actually about 15 minutes) to set up the story. I like much of the Prologue musically, but it was the least-interesting part to see staged.

 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2011 - 6:11 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

My primary issue was that some of the conducting was simply way too fast. He seemed overly concerned about shortening the length of the opera even beyond the cuts that were made. An extra couple of minutes at the end of the night so that some of the interludes and "I have dreamt" could have been taken at a more sane rate of speed would not have killed the audience.


Sigh - and even then some of those critics found the opera too long! I am biased, of course, since Herrmann is my favorite composer and I've enjoyed his recording for 16 years now, but I didn't find the opera overlong at all. It unquestionably earned its length in terms of plot, music, and production, and so yes, could have been allowed a few extra minutes.


I'm kind of wondering what criteria some of the critics used when determining that WH was too long (I see the total performance time listed at under 3 hours)? If it is inherently slow moving due to its conception then that certainly is a viable factor, but if it is merely the length of the work and its longer performance time than many operas then I wonder how the same critics respond to Wagnerian operas and music dramas? I've seen a number over the years including an all afternoon into evening performance of Tannhäuser in Bayreuth (breaks of nearly an hour in between acts though), Lohengrin (twice) and Tristan und Isolde both of which clocked in at 3 1/2 hours plus, and a performance of Parsifal that was close to 4 1/2 hours (all admittedly long time staples of the repertoire). So did the long performance times for those works get the same response from the critics? Maybe or maybe not, just curious about what factors come into play when determining whether an opera is too long or not.

 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2011 - 8:42 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

If it is inherently slow moving due to its conception then that certainly is a viable factor, but if it is merely the length of the work and its longer performance time than most operas then I wonder how the same critics respond to Wagnerian operas and music dramas? I've seen a number over the years including an all afternoon into evening performance of Tannhäuser in Bayreuth (breaks of nearly an hour in between acts though), Lohengrin (twice) and Tristan und Isolde both of which clocked in at 3 1/2 hours plus, and a performance of Parsifal that was close to 4 1/2 hours (all admittedly long time staples of the repertoire). So did the long performance times for those works get the same response from the critics? Maybe or maybe not, just curious about what factors come into play when determining whether an opera is too long or not.

Very good point, Mark. I guess if you're Wagner it's one thing, but if you're an upstart *film composer* who has had the temerity to compose an opera without so much as a commission, you better keep it short and sweet, because you're lucky we even deign to give you the time of day, buster!

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2011 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

I've been enjoying sound clips and videos at the Minnesota Opera website. Check out videos of the production (including performances of arias), background interviews with the director, singers, and set designers. There's also an interesting link to the Minnesota Public Radio interview with Michael Christie, who discusses conducting Herrmann and also his film music. Marvelous stuff!

http://www.mnopera.org/watchlisten#tab1&vid=10

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2011 - 5:01 PM   
 By:   Hester_Pryne   (Member)

Minnesota Public Radio offered a surfeit of Herrmann's music leading up to the final performance- which is uncommon with its spotty moments of film scores. Nothing was lengthy, nothing esoteric... but music that related closely to the opera, such as 'Taxi Driver'.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2020 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

This production of the opera from 2011 was filmed, and it will finally be made available for streaming later this year, October 10-24, 2020. I'm interested in seeing it again!

https://m.startribune.com/minnesota-opera-plans-event-at-st-paul-s-chs-field-as-it-scales-back-its-season/571932302/

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2020 - 6:32 PM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

Yaaaasss

 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2020 - 9:11 PM   
 By:   Ed   (Member)

Bernard Herrmann's "Wuthering Heights," an operatic adaptation of Emily Brontë's novel, was staged at Ordway Center in 2011, in a production the Star Tribune said "could hardly be bettered." It's available to stream for $10-$15 Oct. 10-24.

Worth the price of a ticket, especially if you've never heard it before. It's VERY Herrmann.

 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2020 - 11:39 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

Bernard Herrmann's "Wuthering Heights," an operatic adaptation of Emily Brontë's novel, was staged at Ordway Center in 2011, in a production the Star Tribune said "could hardly be bettered." It's available to stream for $10-$15 Oct. 10-24.

Worth the price of a ticket, especially if you've never heard it before. It's VERY Herrmann.


What a memorable night! Wonderful production, and hearing Herrmann's powerful orchestrations played by an excellent orchestra under a very sympathetic and capable conductor was just a spectacular experience.

I eagerly look forward to reliving this fine opera and encourage everyone to support the Minnesota Opera by chipping in a few dollars extra to the streaming fee.

Thanks for the head's up, Ed!

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2020 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...