Opera North

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Opera North

I don't know if anyone else here has been to see the latest Opera North instalment of the Wagner Ring Cycle, but once again it was a great success. Like many in the audience I was particularly impressed by the orchestra, who gave a very powerful performance. They were clearly undaunted by the long takes. 

 

With this in mind it seems extraordinary that no record company has offered them a recording contract.

 

DSM

 

 

The Berlin Philharmonic don't

The Berlin Philharmonic don't have a record contract anymore. There isn't any money in it; in economics terms, competitive forces have whittled profits down to nothing. In addition, of course, the market place is already saturated with recordings.

As for Opera North, given there are dozens of Rings out there with great orchestras and the best singers in the world, who is going to buy the Opera North cycle? (I'm not saying Opera North aren't excellent.......)

The only real chance for them would be some kind of in-house label, but that still requires a minimum level of sales to be viable, plus substantial one-off start up costs. 

Unusual Rings on record.

While Jane's response makes perfect sense and is very pragmatic, the British label Avie has already anounced, at least in US, the proud presentation of a new Ring of the project called The Seattle Opera Ring, in 14 CDs, in a proper package with a generous booklet, for the price of about $130. No soloists are mentioned (I presume there should be local household names). Only the conductor: the Israeli Asher Fisch.

Likewise, the Australian label Melba launched, in 2006, what was called the first SACD Ring, with the State Opera of South Australia under Asher Fisch (again), from live performances in Adelaide. Actually, it sell well and it was not bad at all, with impressive recording.

In 2007, the Dutch label Etcetera initiated their Amsterdam "live" Ring, with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra under Hartmut Haenchen, with some more recognisable names and in quite good SACD recording.

More recently, the German label Oehms, despite the proliferation of various Rings in the market (two Rings only from Thielemann), released two full cycles of the Ring, one from Hamburg under the very impressive Simone Young and one from Frankfurt (The Frankfurter Ring) under the very consistent and solid Sebastian Weigle.

Besides, what is happening in the DVD/Blue Ray field is another folly...

With that in mind, I guess DSM's question is legitimate. The issue is whether the Opera North is interested and can find the proper sponsor(s) for this (recording) project.

Parla

 

Perhaps I was unduly

Perhaps I was unduly pessimistic........

I've just read, too, that Opera North receive a staggering £10,000,000 a year in public subsidies!!!!!!! Plus Lottery funding.......

Opera North Ring

Jane/Parla

 

I think you really need to have been there to really appreciate why I have suggested this. The performances were absolutely staggering, particularly Die Walkure. I have heard many recent performances on the radio of Wagner particularly from the New York Met, and thought they were rather lacklustre and turgid (Parsifal in particular).

 

A long time ago I went to see Opera North and remember saying to myself, well they are not the Berlin Philharmonic. I certainly wouldn't say that now, and would hope that one of the low-cost CD companies such as Naxos would pick up the gauntlet.

 

DSM

I think

You had a wonderful experience , however comparing opera north to the Met is a bit naive.
Their last ring was outstanding and hailed by the press as a stunning Ring.

Mined you, I do believe you when you said you like North better , but commercial and realistically who would buy it, beside you?

Adrian wrote:

Adrian wrote:

Their last ring was outstanding and hailed by the press as a stunning Ring.

Mined you, I do believe you when you said you like North better , but commercial and realistically who would buy it, beside you?

 

The Met Ring had mixed reviews, as most Rings do. By no stretch could you say plaudits were universal. 

 

From any angle the work is so immense, interpretations so varied, forces needed so demanding, that no single cycle is going to please everyone.

 

Copenhagen went out on a limb, pleased many, alienated some. Hats off to Opera North for giving it a go and long may other opera companies try their hand. I don't expect, in my life time, to find that the last word has been said on this cornerstone of western art. The claim will be made no doubt, but it will be laughable. 

tagalie wrote:

tagalie wrote:

 

Adrian wrote:

 

Their last ring was outstanding and hailed by the press as a stunning Ring.

Mined you, I do believe you when you said you like North better , but commercial and realistically who would buy it, beside you?

 

 

 

The Met Ring had mixed reviews, as most Rings do. By no stretch could you say plaudits were universal. 

 

From any angle the work is so immense, interpretations so varied, forces needed so demanding, that no single cycle is going to please everyone.

 

Copenhagen went out on a limb, pleased many, alienated some. Hats off to Opera North for giving it a go and long may other opera companies try their hand. I don't expect, in my life time, to find that the last word has been said on this cornerstone of western art. The claim will be made no doubt, but it will be laughable. 

 

 

 I am going the the cinema productions "live at the Met  "and I was stunned.
It surely took my breath away

Never mind that .
 In he early 1990 we hade a ring done her in Rotterdam.

It was hailed as a very good performance but that doesn't mean that a record company will make a recording  or DVD off it, that's was my point.

 

Opera North Funding

Can I just take up on Jane's point of the "staggering £10,000,000" funding which Opera North receives. This is still considerably less than The Royal Opera or English National Opera. Also Opera North's productions are shown in a wide number of cities around the UK including Leeds, Newcastle, Salford, Nottingham, Belfast, Liverpool and Birmingham. They also double-up as Yorkshire's only professional symphony orchestra in various towns and cities, and do a lot of work with local children. They truly embody the spirit that Arts are for all.

 

DSM

 


I am sure they get less than

I am sure they get less than the big London beasts, DSM, and I am sure Opera North do a good job "for all" etc. I am just uncomfortable with the whole idea of public funding for the arts. It isn't really the right thread to mention or debate this, so I didn't amplify.

However...

However, we see what happens when there is no public funding at all (see what is going on in US). Private funding for the Arts is a very volatile thing. I believe a combination of the two might be helpful for a more sustainable support of long-term planning and more ambitious projects.

Parla

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