Talk:Agrippina (opera)

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Format for roles[edit]

As per Wikipedia:WikiProject_Opera/Article_styles_and_formats#Role_tables. If any of you disagree. lets discuss here or in Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Opera. - Jay 06:22, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Some additional material[edit]

Handel opera box[edit]

I think we're going to have to make that giant list of operas collapsible. It's next to impossible to get decent image layout with that... thing taking up so much space. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 08:13, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Done. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 09:11, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


List of arias[edit]

Do we need one? It wouldn't be hard to make one up, and the structure of Handelian opera is such that it does divide into discrete chunks. That said, it's fifty-some discrete chunks, which could be excessive. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 11:42, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Do you mean the "Musical numbers" section? It is necessary to understand the work. Could you also add English translated titles of the Italian arias.--Caspian blue 15:17, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I've labled it as such, but there's still work to do. The added numbering is not from any edition; Baerenreiter is a possible source and may well list the simfonia as #1, but I cant check now. Sparafucil (talk) 23:17, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for adding information to the article. I have transferred the relevant information from your proposed "Editions" section to External links, where they properly belong ("bald" links to other websites should not appear within articles). As to the Hicks quote, I have temporarily removed this because it needs some discussion. Does Hicks's negative opinion of the edition have any bearing on accuracy the list of musical numbers, and if so, what? By including his comment it looks like we were saying: "Here's a list of arias, but in the opinion of the experts it doesn't have any authority." I have checked this list against the version of the libretto that I used to write the synopsis; it is virtually identical. Can you please respond to this matter here, rather than within the article itself? Thank you Brianboulton (talk) 02:22, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I think there should be a through discussion of all editions (it would also be interesting to see what research of the sources has found its way into recordings: surely Early Music has reviews...), which doesnt neccesarily fit well in an external links section. Can you define "bald"?
Also I think it safer to include Hicks' caveat than to appear to endorse Chrysander's table of contents. Even if that list were largely unaffected, I raised the doubt in the context of an edition of the musical work, and it should be included with the links, which may as well include the Googlebooks link. Do you have a better idea?Sparafucil (talk) 05:32, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

To answer your points:-

  • To include in the article a thorough discusion of all editions of the opera would seriously unbalance it. The Opera Project guidelines for what should be included in opera articles makes no mention of such discussions, nor is there any such section in any of the opera articles I have consulted. The focus of this article is on the opera itself; a study of the editions, if they give rise to significant differences in production and interpretation, could be the subject of a separate sub-article.
  • Sorry, "bald link" is a phrase I picked up from my early Wikipedia days. It refers to such links as Googlebooks appearing in the text. Such links should either be within properly formatted references, or within an external links section. The link to the Chrysander edition already exists within ref [51], which is why I didn't include the Googlebook link among the external links.
  • By including this list of arias etc in the article, we are endorsing it as a list of musical numbers. Hicks's caveat about the edition generally should not be presented in a way which appears to say we are not endorsing our own list. If in your view Hicks's comment cannot be interpreted in any other way, then I can amend the list on the basis of another edition. I suspect, however, that criticisms might be found of any edition thus chosen. Why not replace the Hicks comment with a general caveat, along the lines: "No standard edition of the work exists; while criticisms have been levelled at individual editions,<insert Hicks caveat as inline citation> lists of musical numbers are generally uniform in all editions. Note: the numbering below has been added for ease of reference".

Let me know what you think. Brianboulton (talk) 09:32, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

(Later) I have largely followed my own advice with regard to the third point, above, putting in a bit more detail from Hicks and clarifying that the list is based on both Chrysander and Haendel.it. Likely variations to the list are identified and sourced. These two versions are both listed as sources under "References" so are not included with other editions under Extenal links. Brianboulton (talk) 20:02, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy to continue discussing here but I've indulged myself in an edit. Where to discuss editions seems like a distict topic to tackle below, but as for the list, we should specify whether the alternate versions were ever composed (and if not include them in footnotes instead) as well as determining exactly which printed libretto gives them. Hence the "clarification needed" tag.
As for Hicks' reservations, there is no need to endorse or apologize in the List section; the list is Chrysander's (w/ other variants in footnotes) until a better edition is available. Sparafucil (talk) 21:30, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, if you are happy with this. I just wish you had made your position on this clear yesterday, before I spent time and trouble trying to accommodate what I thought were your concerns. Also, can I ask that you do not place clarification tags in the article as a means of requesting information? The alternative version of the aria in question is within the reference [51]; furthermore this specific replacement and the reason for it is discussed in the article. What further "clarification" are you seeking?
PS. The Hicks statement is not a link and cannot be in External links. I am removing the statement for the time being until an appropriate home for it is found. If it is to be included it must cover everything that Hicks says about editions, not just his remarks on the Chrysander edition.
I'll try to balance boldness and concern for your time & trouble; I had thought you were suggesting above that we each refrain from edits before discussing here. The clarifications would be 1) exactly which source is the online libretto [51] based on? and 2) Are these musical numbers, ie were they set by Handel? Btw, where else would one use clarification needed tags?
You may be interested in Early Music Vol. 26. No. 2 p362 (May 1998): Donald Burrows reviews Gardiner and makes remarks on McGegan as well. Amazon has many track lists (for example, which might make for a more comprehensive list (I'm not suggesting including recits, of course!) and are a place to look for the libretto 'variants', if we're not yet confidant calling them "alternatives". cheers, Sparafucil (talk) 22:49, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
You don't need to use clarification tags when you are in active discussion with another editor on the point in question; their function is to draw attention to where action or discussion is required.
As to your 1) and 2) I don't know what edition of the libretto Haendel.it used; it may be secreted in the website somewhere but my Italian is rudimentary. However, Haendel.it is a respected and reliable source, we do not normally question reliable sources, we assume their integrity. On that basis I am accepting that this is a bona fide libretto, that items marked "aria" are musical numbers, and that the musical settings of all such numbers are Handel's, either by original music or by adaptation. If you have reasons to doubt this source's reliability, let's hear them, but I think we are chasing shadows here.
I have looked at lots of lists of the arias, and haven't found any significant differences from the one I've used. I have shown willingness to address your concerns, and am prepared to continue this discussion on editions in a civil manner, but let us try to keep it in proportion; this is a small aspect of the article as a whole, one which normally doesn't intrude on opera articles. Cheers to you too. Brianboulton (talk) 23:45, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
May we assume that "Alternate version"[clarification needed] is the same as "Some editions[who?] replace with"? I cant find any of these on Amazon tracklists (I might easily have missed one) but it seems from here that what is meant is merely that the libretto (maybe 1709 is the only nonmusical source, though this is far from clear from the bibliography) prints a different aria. Why not just say so? Sparafucil (talk) 00:34, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't quite understand, can you clarify what needs to be said, and where? Thank you for your general support, by the way. Brianboulton (talk) 01:33, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
If you don't mind me using a slightly rude expression, I think The KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) rule is one very well applied here: Readers do not want to know which edition uses which aria, they just want to know about the alternative versions, which have been fairly extensively discussed in the text. Briefly mention any alternative versions, but save any details for the footnotes, or usability goes out the window. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 18:45, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
In fairness, I think Sparafucil is indeed suggesting something simple. It's just not clear to me exactly what his suggestion is, which is why I have asked for clarification. I don't think there is disagreement here, now that some misunderstandings have been cleared up. Brianboulton (talk) 21:25, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't mean it as an insult to Sparafucil, I just think we need to make sure the end display does not confuse the reader - in an overview like this, clear presentation (adding as many footnotes as needed to clarify points) is far preferable to overwhelming the reader with information they don't need at this level (because, let's face it, a Wikipedia article is only a few pages long at best, there's a limit to how deep we can go in that much space). Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 22:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
That said, if we want to discuss versions in a separate section, that would be fine, but it should probably be brief: Very few of our readers are going to be coming here because they're about to put on a performance of the opera. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 22:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I've just had a go at a simplification; hope it's clear now. I've changed my mind about footnoting the variants because one of the cheif virtues of such a list is to present an overview of changes to the work. Sparafucil (talk) 22:17, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
It looks alright, but I think it would be clearer to just say "Alternate" (with a footnote giving the source), since many of these alternatives are discussed in the article itself: For instance, 31's alt is clearly the aria of extreme virtuosity that replaced the original during the run; 42 and 43's alt are the two parts of the duet that the solos replaced, and so on. the list doesn't stand on its own, after all.
Obviously, we're mostly in agreement here, but this is up for FA, so we may as well discuss it, and get it perfect =) Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 22:20, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I'm all for perfection too :-) and understand you're not proposing anything weasely but rather moving [what alternate] into the footnotes (as I originally proposed). I think though that as we learn more about successive revisions this list is a good place to make the different changes easily graspable at a glance, though god forbid anyone should make it into a table. Sparafucil (talk) 07:26, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Editions[edit]

This discussion started above (List of arias). There are several ways editions could be tackled:

  • Like the discography, as a separate section "Editions" (reverted once, 'balance' may be in the eye of the beholder but comprehensiveness is a requirement for FA)
  • As currently, under "External links" (a problem for references) and "References" for print only versions (better all in one place, I think)
  • As a subsection of "Bibliography" (logical, but "Notes" would need to come after) Sparafucil (talk) 21:30, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
    • My preferred way of dealing with editions would be a short prose section. There are enough tables in the article already (opera roles, selected recordings, list of arias). A short subsection with appropriate references, probably in Reception and performance history, could provide the necessary information. Do you know of any specific editions other than Handel's autograph score, Grimani's book, Arnold's edition and Chrysander's composite? Hicks talks of "other manuscript sources" but does not illuminate. The Hallische Handelausgabe may provide the new scholarly edition that Hicks says is needed. Brianboulton (talk) 18:11, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

How about following recordings, then? Even if not published in ink, these usually prepare editions of their own incorporating ms sources, and offer a little insight into current research. Sparafucil (talk) 23:03, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm waiting for a sight of the book extract that Awadewit is sending over, before deciding what to do here. It will be a day or two. Brianboulton (talk) 00:34, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Poppaea, Poppea, or Poppæa?[edit]

At the moment, we use both the first two. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 18:50, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Poppaea is the correct name in English and Latin; Poppea is Italian; Poppæa (with a ligature) is a slightly old-fashioned/pretentious version of Poppaea (my Oxford Companion to Classical Literature avoids it, preferring "Poppaea"). --Folantin (talk) 18:54, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Checking, it looks like Poppea only appears in the name of Monteverdi's opera and in the cast list's list of Italian names, so I may have caused a false alarm. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 19:14, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, this was sorted out a long time ago. Brianboulton (talk) 21:15, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Extreme ranges[edit]

Yikes, a reminder to be very careful with citations: the reference at the end of the "Composition" section reads:
^ Dean and Knapp, p. 28, as quoted in Seligman, Elvadine R. (2007). Understanding the Art of Vocal Embellishment in Handel's Opera Seria. University of North Colorado. Retrieved on 6 March 2009.
Seligman's paper is only 19 pp long; the relevant footnote is on p.12 and is not a quotation at all!

Seligman notes that one of Fausina's embellished arias did not excede the compass of the original, then states: "The practice of demonstrating vocal skill by singing in extreme ranges did not develop until well after the Baroque era.48". One thinks immediatly of Polifemo's leap from high a' to great D or John Gostling's solos covering a 19th, or back to the '23 notes' of the early 17c Italians. Wouldn't it be better to drop this claimed 'innovation', or is there a better reference with a more qualified claim? Sparafucil (talk) 22:53, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Not really a yikes issue, I feel. The extract from Seligman is cited in her paper to Dean and Knapp; I mistakenly said "quoted". That was my error. My view is that this is too small a point to go chasing after better verification, and it would be better to simply delete this information, which I have done. Brianboulton (talk) 02:07, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, a little questionable to begin with. The yikes is only my reaction to clicking on a "page 28" reference and scrolling to p19 at the bottom :-O Certainly it would be fun to examine the aria at first hand... Sparafucil (talk) 07:46, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Yea, I got the page number wrong, too. Not my finest research hour. Will check through for other slips. Brianboulton (talk) 08:54, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Dean and Knapp's Handel's Operas[edit]

I have obtained Dean and Knapp's Handel's Operas. There is an entire chapter on Agrippina that has much information not in this article. I thought I could scan the chapter and send it whoever wants to decide what to add. Awadewit (talk) 23:26, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks - how do you propose to send it? Email it or what? Brianboulton (talk) 00:29, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I've emailed it to you. Awadewit (talk) 21:05, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Received with thanks. I am reading it, and will post something here, hopefully tomorrow. Brianboulton (talk) 00:40, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
May I have it as well? Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 02:37, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Done. Awadewit (talk) 20:34, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Dean & Knapp: information has now been added/amended. The main changes are in the Music section, which has also been rearranged in format. A short Editions section has been added to the article, following earlier discussions on this talkpage, and the instrumentation has been included in the Composition section. A number of small changes, for example to dates, peformance history details, etc, have also been made. Brianboulton (talk) 15:44, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Re editions[edit]

To Do:

  • External links should gather all 4 sites for the Chrysander edition. I earlier gathered them in order of ease of navigation with my own browser...
    • Of the 4 you listed, two are still there. The International Music Score Library project is an internal link that now appears under See also. The Googlbooks link I removed because the edition is only partially shown; large numbers of pages are missing from it, and since we already have three links to the score it doesn't seem worth including. Brianboulton (talk) 21:57, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
      • IMSL is an external link. Yes, by all means drop Kalmus as a link then, but include parenthetically in Sources or External: (Leipzig 1874, still available as a reprint from Kalmus Classics)
        • The IMSL links you provided go to wiki pages. Brianboulton (talk) 22:42, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Shouldn't the scores in Sources be under H for Handel anyway? The Kalmus is not a edition per se but the currently available reprint of Chrysander.
  • The first sentence on Wolff (Editions) does not need a footnote now that there is complete bibliographic info in Sources Sparafucil (talk) 19:35, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
    • I will deal with this Brianboulton (talk) 21:57, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Thanks. The FA faq for nominators probably should include something about taking time to explain stability issues to other editors, to avoid misunderstandings like ours. Sparafucil (talk) 22:30, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
        • I'll do the final tweaking when the FAC closes. Peace at last. Brianboulton (talk) 22:52, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Selected recordings[edit]

Does this section really belong here? As it stands, it seems a bit promotional for an encyclopedic article. The section doesn't state why these recordings have been selected or what significance they have to the opera itself. Cherry-picking recordings without good reason is a bad idea since Wikipedia isn't to be used for promotion.

On the other hand, since this opera is rather obscure, would it be possible to include the entire discography of complete performances? I'm not sure how reliable a source it is, but this site claims that there's only 9 recordings of the opera. If that fact could be documented in reliable sources, should they all be mentioned? ThemFromSpace 01:04, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Discographies for classical music in general is always a problem, and there's no no agreement anywhere about what the right thing to do it (though I'm not sure about operas specifically as they have their own project). On the one hand, pure neutrality would say that every recording should be listed, but on the other hand since WP isn't a guide, such lists may be a bit so-called crufty especially in cases like Beethoven's symphonies where there's hundreds of recordings. Plus, the question of if a live recording of possibly quasi-legal issue should be counted (especially a problem with operas), not to mention often multitude of reissues across various labels...it can be a mess. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:28, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I believe that Dean and Knapp have a complete list, which only has one or two recordings more than we have already, if that would simplify matters. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 11:37, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Dean & Knapp do not give discographies. In any event, the book was last revised in 1995 so information wouldn't be up to date. The Wikipedia Opera Project gives "Selected recordings" as one of the headings in its guidelines for opera articles, and the majority of these have recording information. Perhaps, rather than addressing this question on an ad hoc basis, it should be referred to the Opera Project for consideration. Brianboulton (talk) 16:40, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
This may be a misunderstanding. There are 'Selected operas (short style)', 'Selected operas (table style)' (see here) and full discographies, see Category:Opera discographies. --Kleinzach 09:57, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh? Getting my sources mixed up, then. I know we had one. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 17:04, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that any "selected recordings" section should only contain recordings that have been commented on to be significant. For example, if this was performed at a significant occasion. Just because a recording is well-reviewed or is a good examples of the piece (the latter would be original research) doesn't mean it should show up in a general encyclopedia. ThemFromSpace 19:48, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I have referred this to the Opera Project for further discussion. Brianboulton (talk) 09:40, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

External link to http://operabase.com/oplist.cgi?lang=xx&is=Agrippina&sort=D[edit]

Apropos of this discussion I'd like to get a discussion started on the above link added the other day and removed by me. I don't think this link meets several of the points of WP:ELNO but I realise that it could be interpreted different ways. ThemFromSpace 00:55, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I've started a discussion of this issue at the Opera Project talk page since this applies to many articles. Please feel free to contribute. Voceditenore (talk) 13:23, 24 May 2009 (UTC)