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Ballet encores vs opera encores?An aria encore within an opera


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#16 toeprints

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:52 AM

California, I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you - Nureyev and Gregory encored immediately following the pdd! After the thunderous applause died down, the music started again - and they were off! I assume Rudi had signaled the conductor to start right away. I don't know where they got their energy, but the encore was even better than the first - and they knew it!

The late critic, Clive Barnes, was there, but left early to write his column for the next day's paper - so it was not mentioned. I am sure he was kicking himself for missing it.

#17 Mel Johnson

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:16 AM

In the matter of encores, I feel that too much attention cannot be paid to the influence of Mikhail Fokine on the practice. He didn't care for stopping a show to do a certain set-piece over again, making no visual and dramatic sense. He was joined in this opinion on the opera side of the house by Feodor Chaliapin. Both worked for Diaghilev in Paris, so the practices of that company must not be overlooked either.

#18 4mrdncr

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:31 PM

The original Kings of Dance (Stiefel, Corella, Kobborg, Tsiskaridze) did an encore after their premiere performance at the OCPAC, but never repeated it during subsequent performances or incarnations (NYC or elsewhere that I know of. Also don't know if subsequent versions of KoD with different dancers ever did either.)

Otherwise, I've seen some very long curtain calls (21++), and ovations during performances, but no clear memories of any encores done within a performance.

#19 Paul Parish

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:13 AM

Bart Birdsall, I'm pretty sure you're right about Wagner.

For one thing, he wrote a more-through-composed kind of opera than the 'number-opera' that preceded it. Mozart's operas proceed by rezitativ-aria-rezitativ-trio-rezitativ-aria, and each piece liteally has a number -- which I guess is why the word "opera" is plural (plural of opus). Stopping a show to repeat a "number" doesn't really present any great difficulty in the proceedings, since everybody knows where we are. It's like reading an epistolary novel and re-reading one of the letters again.

it used to be common.

Maybe there's some influence from movies -- since hte ongoing stream of images in a movie is a mechanical proposition; it's a "cool medium', it comes on us like fate and you sign on for that when you buy your ticket and walk in.

Interestingly, even in the USA they used to stop movies and show numbers again -- it happened famously with a movie that had a number by the Nicholas Brothers. I can't remember which one, I THINK it was "Down Argentine Way," they had to roll the film back and show it again

it's in their bio "Brotherhood in Rhythm" I'll look it up later.

#20 sandik

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:45 PM

Oh Paul -- thank you so much for the link -- I love that number!

And I wonder if the repeatability of numbers from films that included African American dancers was influenced by the fact that their scenes were often designed to be left out when the film was screened in the south. If it's not essential to the throughline of the work, it's easy to repeat, in the same way that Petipa sometimes changed out solos for different dancers.

#21 Birdsall

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 09:45 AM

Also, Rhythm and blues singing is not unlike virtuoso opera singing. The RnB singers like Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, etc. ad lib endless melismas when singing a song. They will take something like "Over the Rainbow" and totally rewrite the song!!! The emphasis on the voice in RnB makes the singer the primary important figure and that used to be how opera was during baroque and up to Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini (Bel Canto era). Virtuoso singing where you embellish and command the stage and your voice is more important than the actual composition you are singing.....that lent itself to encores, I believe. When you have extraordinary talents on the stage suddenly they become the star of the show and all else including the composer and his composition take a back seat.

With the new popular shows about singing auditions and dancing shows getting popular we might get people more and more interested in the actual soloists of any given work. We might be entering a new time where once again the audiences are less concerned about the actual composer's music and more interested in the soloists, and that would lend itself to more and more encores. However, the composer's work gets neglected somewhat when this happens. But eventually it would swing back around where it will once again be considered a disservice to the composer to show boat, etc. I think it swings back and forth. Neither viewpoint is necessarily wrong, although I personally love the idea of more encores! LOL

#22 esperanto

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:41 AM

it seems that each type of artistic performance has its own etiquette.
In Ballet there's constant acknowledgment of audience applause after something's been done.
In Opera the singers just stand in their place without going down to the footlights to bow to
audience.
At concerts it's considered bad form to applause between movements.

#23 Birdsall

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:41 PM

it seems that each type of artistic performance has its own etiquette.
In Ballet there's constant acknowledgment of audience applause after something's been done.
In Opera the singers just stand in their place without going down to the footlights to bow to
audience.
At concerts it's considered bad form to applause between movements.



Yes, even during a singer's recital, if she sings a set of Strauss Lieder you will sometimes find an audience applauds after each song, and that is actually bad etiquette. You are supposed to wait until the entire set of Strauss Lieder is done and then applaud and then comes the next set of songs (maybe by Debussy). You wait until all songs in the set are done.

But audiences get excited and an especially well done rendition can cause you to forget and applaud.

It was surprising to me at first when I went to ballets (and I was mainly an opera lover) to hear so much applause throughout the show even when the music is playing. In opera you aren't supposed to even applaud as the curtain starts to go down if the music is still playing (although most audiences do ruining some amazingly introspective moments). Personally, I wish the curtain would not go down until the final note sounds. But that is just me. I think the lowering of the curtain causes an automatic explosion of applause and I have shook my head in disbelief at times. That is a great video of Barenboim's eyes coming out of their sockets at the very end of Tristan und Isolde when the audience starts to applaud before the final note.

Since ballet is a more physical and athletic art form it has developed so that it is normal to applaud when someone does something incredible. I also think that ballet music has the reputation of being less serious music (mainly something to dance to), so it is a lesser crime to interrupt Minkus as opposed to Wagner! LOL

#24 California

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:42 PM

it seems that each type of artistic performance has its own etiquette.
In Ballet there's constant acknowledgment of audience applause after something's been done.

.
It's fun to see how they acknowledge applause when they are in character, as in, say, Giselle. They most often seem to stay in character, but perhaps make an extra pass across the stage that they don't usually do, or pause for a long time before exiting, but never taking a traditional bow facing the audience. But for some things (such as the black swan pas de deux), bows to the audience seem more the norm and less out of character.

I was startled when the Bolshoi did their full-length Don Quixote at Segerstrom in Orange County in spring 2010. They took full bows after each act, with all the dancers who had been in that act, of the sort we usually see here only at the end of the entire ballet. Was that because many of those dancers would not be appearing in later acts? I remember counting up about 100 dancers listed in the program on that tour, so they didn't need to double up on roles as we see in smaller U.S. companies. Do any Russians know how that practice developed? Is this the standard for all their full-length ballets?

#25 Mel Johnson

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:47 PM

Current opera standards owe a lot to Feodor Chaliapin (another Diaghilev star), who along with Fokine, objected to the stop and bow procedure onstage in their particular discipline. In opera, the keep-it-rolling ethos among the post-Wagnerians helped Chaliapin. Fokine didn't have another reform movement to back him up, so ballet bows stayed in, if somewhat modified. (MODIFIED rapture! - Nanki-Poo)

#26 Birdsall

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:54 PM

I was startled when the Bolshoi did their full-length Don Quixote at Segerstrom in Orange County in spring 2010. They took full bows after each act, with all the dancers who had been in that act, of the sort we usually see here only at the end of the entire ballet. Was that because many of those dancers would not be appearing in later acts? I remember counting up about 100 dancers listed in the program on that tour, so they didn't need to double up on roles as we see in smaller U.S. companies. Do any Russians know how that practice developed? Is this the standard for all their full-length ballets?


Was it possibly Opening Night in that venue? It could also be tradition. And sometimes there are characters in opera that do not reappear and they sometimes give them a bow, so they can go home if the opera has another 3-4 hours to go! LOL

#27 California

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:06 PM


I was startled when the Bolshoi did their full-length Don Quixote at Segerstrom in Orange County in spring 2010. They took full bows after each act, with all the dancers who had been in that act, of the sort we usually see here only at the end of the entire ballet. Was that because many of those dancers would not be appearing in later acts? I remember counting up about 100 dancers listed in the program on that tour, so they didn't need to double up on roles as we see in smaller U.S. companies. Do any Russians know how that practice developed? Is this the standard for all their full-length ballets?


Was it possibly Opening Night in that venue? It could also be tradition. And sometimes there are characters in opera that do not reappear and they sometimes give them a bow, so they can go home if the opera has another 3-4 hours to go! LOL


Nope. They did this at both the Saturday matinee and evening performances, after opening on Thursday night. That's why I'm thinking that it's standard practice for the Bolshoi, and I'm curious about the rationale. Although most (all?) of the characters in Act I of DQ reappear in Act III, that might not always be the case.

#28 Birdsall

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:09 PM



I was startled when the Bolshoi did their full-length Don Quixote at Segerstrom in Orange County in spring 2010. They took full bows after each act, with all the dancers who had been in that act, of the sort we usually see here only at the end of the entire ballet. Was that because many of those dancers would not be appearing in later acts? I remember counting up about 100 dancers listed in the program on that tour, so they didn't need to double up on roles as we see in smaller U.S. companies. Do any Russians know how that practice developed? Is this the standard for all their full-length ballets?


Was it possibly Opening Night in that venue? It could also be tradition. And sometimes there are characters in opera that do not reappear and they sometimes give them a bow, so they can go home if the opera has another 3-4 hours to go! LOL


Nope. They did this at both the Saturday matinee and evening performances, after opening on Thursday night. That's why I'm thinking that it's standard practice for the Bolshoi, and I'm curious about the rationale. Although most (all?) of the characters in Act I of DQ reappear in Act III, that might not always be the case.


Must be tradition at the Bolshoi then. I have noticed curtain calls after each act on videos I have seen from the Bolshoi.

#29 esperanto

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:59 AM


it seems that each type of artistic performance has its own etiquette.
In Ballet there's constant acknowledgment of audience applause after something's been done.
In Opera the singers just stand in their place without going down to the footlights to bow to
audience.
At concerts it's considered bad form to applause between movements.




. That is a great video of Barenboim's eyes coming out of their sockets at the very end of Tristan und Isolde when the audience starts to applaud before the final note.


I once read that Sir Thomas Beecham turned to the audience when they applauded after the first movement of a Beethovan symphony and scathingly said: for an encore we shall play the Second Movement!

#30 Birdsall

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:01 AM



it seems that each type of artistic performance has its own etiquette.
In Ballet there's constant acknowledgment of audience applause after something's been done.
In Opera the singers just stand in their place without going down to the footlights to bow to
audience.
At concerts it's considered bad form to applause between movements.




. That is a great video of Barenboim's eyes coming out of their sockets at the very end of Tristan und Isolde when the audience starts to applaud before the final note.


I once read that Sir Thomas Beecham turned to the audience when they applauded after the first movement of a Beethovan symphony and scathingly said: for an encore we shall play the Second Movement!



That is great! LOL


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