Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Opera/Archive 39

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MTV Opera

I've put this page up for deletion, reasons explained in the prod tag. Cheers, Moreschi Talk 17:43, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

That entire thing stinks of OR and pseudo intellectualism... Lethe 00:52, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Bravo! "Aux armes citoyens . . . ." -- Kleinzach 01:22, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't there also be a discussion at WP:AFD? I can't find anything about MTV Opera at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2007 September 2.
My 2¢: the article should be re-focused and re-titled "Khadish" (and no, I'm not volunteering); until then: keep. Michael Bednarek 02:58, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Moreschi has recommended this for the 5-day (no discussion) deletion - correctly in my view - there's nothing substantial about Khadish. If someone is unhappy with this it can go to AFD. -- Kleinzach 03:21, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I checked the web. The term itself had been applied in a couple of places, although not in the sense used in the article. It's used pejoratively for things like Anna Netrebko's recital video and to refer to MTV's 'Carmen: A Hip Hopera'. Khadish was a short student video production (financed by the University of Amsterdam Musicology Department) by the same 27 year old chap (Sjaron Minailo) whose thesis was used as the main reference. The 'opera' appears to have been part of his thesis, from which it was probably copied in translation. Khadish appeared at a fringe drama festival in Holland and there's a brief interview with Minailo in de Volksrant here. That's about it, apart from the director's blithering about it here on the web site of his theatre group. There have been 3 editors to this article (one is an anonymous IP based in Holland), none of them have contributed to anything else on Wikipedia, apart from Special:Contributions/Lolaandersson, who tried several times (unsuccessfuly) to get it mentioned in the main Opera article. This suggests it only not only violates WP:OR and WP:N but also WP:COI. I honestly don't see how this could be 'rescued', given the inherent non-notability of Khadish and its director, but if the original author(s) want to try they can always put it up at AfD and get some suggestions. Best, Voceditenore 07:28, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
In light of Voceditenore's comments above I change my stance emphatically to delete as nominated. Michael Bednarek 10:52, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


It's not clear how or even whether I ought to dare to edit the Nov composers of the month, so let me just leave a pointer to these additional works: Ernst_Krenek#Operas Sparafucil 22:43, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

  • How: you can edit by just clicking the "edit" link up there in the November box. I just did that and added everything that wasn't already listed from the list to which you pointed (none of which I have ever heard of, so I hope this isn't a hoax (OK, I know it isn't)). I have, however, seen Jonny spielt auf on stage.
  • Whether: "Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit". Or: WP:BE BOLD
--GuillaumeTell 00:39, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Some problems here. First of all we are not trying to start pages on every work by every listed composer. Grove only has articles on three operas by Krenek. We can do more than that of course - but only if we have information. We don't want to start useless one-line stubs that no-one develops, which annoy readers who are searching for material. That's why the full list of Krenek works is not in The opera corpus. (Another minor point is that the listing above should be alphabetical order). -- Kleinzach 02:41, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Will (if I may call you that). It's obvious of course, once one is out of "edit this page" mode. As to boldness, I'm trying not to unintentionaly get up anyone's nose.

I was thinking along similar lines to K. in originally adding selected works to the corpus list, and agree that we're not out to create unsourced one-liners. But I've had a look at Pallas and think it's good enough to keep looking for other scores to read through. Sparafucil 06:06, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the new names except for Pallas Athene weint. I hope that's what we want. Please add any titles that are notable enough for articles - or even better please start them! -- Kleinzach 03:58, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I leave you the decision to decide what's notable enough for the corpus list, but it seems premature to limit what articles should even be considered for a composer of the month. Did you just misunderstand me? Sparafucil 06:07, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Yet again you revert my edit! True. I don't understand you. Are you insisting that every time we have a Composer of the Month, we should replicate the complete list of operas from the composer's page and put it at the top of this Talk Page? Leaving aside the space issue, what is the point?
I personally do not decide " what's notable enough for the corpus list" . It's done according to agreed criteria explained on that page. The opera corpus is used as our basic reference for coverage. That's why we try to turn all the relevant opera corpus red links into blue when we have a composer of the month. All the article-worthy operas of a given composer should be in the The opera corpus. (If we find any important ones missing - which happened recently with (CoTM) Cavalli - we add them.)
The opera corpus has been used as the basis for CoTM. What we don't want is for someone to start a series of stubs with minlmal information, no sources and no hope of development. This happened recently with a series of Moniuszko works (see archive 37). Do you want this to encourage a similar situation with Krenek? BTW how many of the articles will you personally undertake to write - or are you confining your activity here to this discussion page? -- Kleinzach 07:14, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I admit it's a bit exhausting discusing things here but we neednt be editing at cross purposes either. You confused me by using the word 'we' above and in your edit summary, suggesting you thought I was in agreement. Perhaps that was the royal 'we'? :-)

The corpus criteria seems to aim for error on the side of inclusivness, otherwise one would be tempted to prune the Abraham titles (or are they already a select list?) Sparafucil 00:52, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The Abraham titles in The opera corpus were an offshoot of my very first article (Paul Abraham); at the time, I didn't receive any "guidance" regarding the inclusion criteria for "The opera corpus" - at least I can't remember. I still intend to create articles for his more notable works, "Viktoria und ihr Husar", "Die Blume von Hawaii", "Ball im Savoy" - as soon as I get around to it. Michael Bednarek 01:45, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you to Michael for clarifying the Paul Abraham question.
Sparafucil, assuming good faith on your part, I take it you had a real reason for reverting. What was it? Do you have information on the 16 red-linked Krenek works (November Composer of the month)? Do you intend to write about them? According to your note 'sources' are availble for three of them have, however none of these are covered by Grove, so can you tell us what sources you have found? Are they online or offline? And the other 13, why are they still on the list? Do you know anything about them? -- Kleinzach 16:05, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm assuming a useful article can be written on any piece for which a score (or even a libretto) can be found, and of course I'll be looking into secondary literature as well: all I know about Krenek's biography at present falls under the heading of oral history (I am a grand-student).

Kleinzach, admirable as Grove is as a model for style, it is a paper book with space limits. I'm glad Abraham was pruned by a sympathetic hand (and congratulations on the articles, Michael!), but the line between "broad and inclusive" and "selective [and] notable" is a bit murky, you might admit. What is your rational for "culling" Gounod and Saint-Saëns, for example? Sparafucil 23:40, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

As explained to you before The opera corpus is not for listing complete works. These go on the composers pages. I assume you have read the explanation at the top of The opera corpus "This list is intended to be a selective one of notable works."
Now I have answered your question, please answer mine above. -- Kleinzach 00:49, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
How many articles will I write? Come Dec. we shall see, and the CotM template will be gone. Does that answer your question about why I reinstated the work list as well? If you'd like to divide things up, I would most enjoy doing Karl V first.
No that didn't answer any of my questions. Let's try again: why are you insisting on reproducing the complete list of Krenek's works on the top of this page? What is the point? Are you going to be doing the same thing for all the other composers? Some composers wrote dozens, even hundreds of works.
Many of the complete lists of works were posted (as you probably know) by me. It's a considerable disincentive to see these lists then duplicated and recycled elsewhere, without even being reformatted. We don't want these lists turned into a strings of eternal stubs, accumulating tags and wasting our time.
My question was really about which Gounod operas are notable, and why. If Grove is the arbitrer, should blue links also be cut? My own take on 'notability' is whether I might like to read an article. Sparafucil 03:24, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Your definition of 'notability' is not that of WP, please read the literature. If you want to make a point about Gounod do the necessary research first. (Grove is a source, but not the only one.) -- Kleinzach 04:32, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

September's composers of the month.

The following are operas for which I have libretti (either from a recording or a live performance) for which no synopses are on Wikipedia:

I'm willing to work on some of these during the month, but can't guarantee to do all ten. I also want to finish my work on Die Feen first. For those that don't have any articles at all I should also have basic information from the same sources. Who is planning to cover some of the same ground and wants to avoid duplicating reading effort? As I have recently acquired a recording of the Cunning Peasant, that is one I do want to put my name next to during the month as I plan to have a listen with the libretto in front of me some time.--Peter cohen 16:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Could probably do Broucek. --Folantin 19:46, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I could do The Devil and Kate, Jakobin and Kat'a. Staying with Janacek, I can also flesh out the synopsis for From the House of the Dead and provide one for Šárka (and maybe for Fibich's version as well). --GuillaumeTell 21:49, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay. I've created the stub for Cunning Peasant while listening to the end of it first time around. Sounds nice and jolly. (I'd finished work on Die Feen by then.) I think then a couple of Smetana ones will come next for me: Libuše (opera) and Dalibor (opera). I think three is enough to volunteer for, for now. We'll see who else volunteers, how people are getting on with what they're volunteered for etc. and regroup later.--Peter cohen 22:43, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Have now finished what I can write on Cunning Peasant from what I have available. Anyone with additional sources is welcome to round it out.--Peter cohen 20:19, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Operas without articles I can't really help with are Alfred, Armida, Vanda.and The Secret. So it eould be nice if someone could volunteer for some of these. And it may be worth another check for any overlooked as Cunning Peasant was not listed as lacking an article. And obviously other people may want to comment on operas with articles that need deepening or broadening. And with just two and a half pages of CD booklet for the background of Cunning Peasant, there is obviously room for someone to add more once I've finished extracting what I can.--Peter cohen 22:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I've started Vanda - and also done some lists of roles for a number of the others. Incidentally I find Operissimo useful for these - though obviously it's best to check them against other sources when possible, and make them consistent with synopses. -- Kleinzach 00:52, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

References: Harvard or not?

One thing that came up recently was the question of Harvard referencing.

At the moment we don't have a format for references, sources and bibliographies. Do we need one and if so should we adopt Harvard? In favour would be its universality, against might be its formality.

There are a number of versions of Harvard around but essentially it puts the author's surname first followed by a date in parentheses, e.g.

  • Smith, J (2005), Dutch Citing Practices, The Hague: Holland Research Foundation.

Applied to online citations, the format would look like this:

Opinions? Comments? -- Kleinzach 01:41, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I prefer the Wikipedia:Footnotes citation format, and it's much more common on Wikipedia than Harvard references. If the project is going to adopt a standard, I'd go with that. Fireplace 15:51, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Judging by the article, Wikipedia:Footnotes seems to be more of a method than a format. Can you explain a bit more? -- Kleinzach 00:24, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Harvard references include a short citation within the text, such as (Adorno 1964) which is listed fully in a bibliography. Footnote style uses ref tags (Alcibiades uses footnotes, e.g.). See Wikipedia:Citing_sources#Inline_citations for more info. Fireplace 01:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I was referring to the format (see above). We don't want citations in the text, do we? It would look too academic. -- Kleinzach 01:48, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah I see. Harvard referencing usually refers to short inline citations. As far as formatting the references section, I usually use the cite book, cite journal, etc. templates, which auto-format the citations into a standard format. Fireplace 02:15, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I am all for standardizing formats in our articles. I know most of the current reference formats are not consistent, therefore, I agree with Kleinzach. Harvard referencing is something very common in today’s higher learning and I am sure it is not something difficult for people to adopt. - Jay 02:24, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

December Composer(s) of the Month

Here are some ideas for the December composer(s) of the month:

Any other suggestions as always welcome! -- Kleinzach 04:50, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

  • We seem to have been a bit light on French composers recently - there are big gaps in the works of Charles Gounod and Ambroise Thomas. Moving further east, there are the operas of Anton Rubinstein. --Smerus 07:20, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
    • Gounod/Thomas per Smerus or Haydn. Those are major gaps in our coverage. --Folantin 07:30, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
      • I can see that Gounod needs work, but I don't know that there's much needed for Thomas apart from improving the Mignon and Hamlet articles - are any of his other works ever performed these days? Georges Bizet instead, maybe? And I'll put in my usual plea for Gioachino Rossini. --GuillaumeTell 17:39, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
        • Wouldn't Gounod and Bizet be an odd pair - even if the opera dates correspond? And maybe not substantial enough to do individually? Gioachino Rossini as a compromise candidate? We've kept him waiting. -- Kleinzach 01:45, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Rossini? I'm not sure how well (if at all) we cover some of his more obscure stuff. Moreschi Talk 10:47, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    • Ahem! how come 'obscurity' is a criterion which works against Thomas but for Rossini in this context?  :-} --Smerus 12:13, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
      • Only two Thomas operas have articles in Grove and both have articles here already. 38 Rossini operas have articles in Grove, 17 of which are still to be done here. (Grove isn't our only authority, but the figures indicate why Rossini might be more of a challenge than Thomas.) However I'm only trying to find a consensus here - neither Thomas or Rossini would be my personal choice. -- Kleinzach 13:03, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't mind Haydn, either. Moreschi Talk 13:48, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Haydn is a nice month-sized project; Gounod is a higher priority, and I think he dosnt need a companion (considering that we didnt finish Verdi in a month inspite of much preextant groundwork). I vote however for Hindemith just because I'll already be reading Cook's Opera for a New Republic...Weill, Krenek & Hindemith. Sparafucil 23:40, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Any more votes? I'm hoping we're moving towards a consensus! The main candidates - I think! - are Gounod, Haydn and Rossini. -- Kleinzach 00:35, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

  • fine by me.--Smerus 09:12, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

This leaves me with the unenviable task of somehow counting the votes. (Maybe we should have a reform next month and only allow one person one vote?). It seems to be between Gounod and Haydn. Unless anyone steps forward to object I intend to cast a deciding vote for Haydn. Is that that OK with everybody? -- Kleinzach 01:24, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

  • then let me sneak in an advance canvass for Gounod for January - --Smerus 08:41, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I have now entered Haydn for December. -- Kleinzach 23:01, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Standard frame for roles

I have added many frames in our articles following our standard frame. But the standard frame doesn’t have the title header for each column except for the last one, refer below (sample). The “title” in last column is actually not a title but the premiere date and the conductor :-


Premiere, March 6, 1853
(Conductor: Unknown)
Violetta Valery, a courtesan soprano Fanny Salvini-Donatelli
Alfredo Germont tenor Ludovico Graziani
Giorgio Germont, his father baritone Felice Varesi
Flora Bervoix mezzo-soprano Speranza Giuseppini
Imperial guards, soldiers, chorus

It doesn’t look good and for that reason, I noticed some people adding the titles or make some changes in it. It makes the title header or even the format varies by authors. I like to suggest for a standard frame with titles. Below is the sample, please make your suggestion. Thanks.


Cast Voice type Premiere, March 6, 1853
(Conductor: Unknown)
Violetta Valery, a courtesan soprano Fanny Salvini-Donatelli
Alfredo Germont tenor Ludovico Graziani
Giorgio Germont, his father baritone Felice Varesi
Flora Bervoix mezzo-soprano Speranza Giuseppini
Imperial guards, soldiers, chorus


Premiere: March 6, 1853 (Conductor: Unknown)
Role Voice type Premiere cast
Violetta Valery, a courtesan soprano Fanny Salvini-Donatelli
Alfredo Germont tenor Ludovico Graziani
Giorgio Germont, his father baritone Felice Varesi
Flora Bervoix mezzo-soprano Speranza Giuseppini
Imperial guards, soldiers, chorus

- Jay 15:15, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Reply Whoops, an edit conflict. So this is a bit 'after the fact', and very similar to Jay's most recent one, but I agree the tables need consistent labelling for each column header (would look a lot better and be more informative for the non-specialist). My reason was the first proposal above doesn't make clear that the names in the last column were the role creators. I also think 'Role' is better than 'Cast' for the first column . How about this?...
Role Voice type Premiere Cast - March 6, 1853
(Conductor: Unknown)
Violetta Valery, a courtesan soprano Fanny Salvini-Donatelli
Alfredo Germont tenor Ludovico Graziani
Giorgio Germont, his father baritone Felice Varesi
Flora Bervoix mezzo-soprano Speranza Giuseppini
Imperial guards, soldiers, chorus
Best, Voceditenore 15:53, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I prefer the first proposal, except changing "Cast" to "Role" as Voceditenore suggested. There's no need for the extra line in the second one, and the first proposal is more easily adapted to operas which have multiple "premieres" (e.g., Parsifal, Das Rheingold, Don Carlo). Fireplace 15:56, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Folantin on both counts. And thanks to Jay for his indefatiguable work on incorporating the frames into the articles. (And I'm trying to imagine a Traviata with Imperial guards and soldiers in it!!) --GuillaumeTell 17:15, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I like the first proposed as well. I've been using "Range" as the name of the voice type column in a few articles that I have edited - I'll correct them once we get a finalised consensus. The one with the premiere date at the top will probably save a line for an entry with particularly long details, but it looks a bit messy/anti-intuative Lethe 22:42, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I prefer the Voceditenore version. Surely 'role' is correct rather than 'cast' in the first column. The cast were Fanny Salvini-Donatelli et al. No? -- Kleinzach 00:19, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
That will teach me to proof-read messages, I was sure that I mentioned that (I also prefer role) Lethe 14:29, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks guys, if everybody agree with it, I will do the changes to our articles later today (refer format below). And to GuillaumeTell , it is pretty much easier to imagine Traviata with Imperial guards and soldiers compared to .. see below! God, I wish...


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, September 04, 2007
(Conductor:Plácido Domingo)
Floria Tosca, a celebrated singer soprano Anna Netrebko
Mario Cavaradossi, a painter tenor Jay
Baron Scarpia, chief of police baritone Kleinzach
A sacristan bass GuillaumeTell
Members of Wikiproject Opera as soldiers, police agents, chorus

- Jay 01:30, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Just one point on the chorus, while SATB is normally to be expected, it might be worth including a specification for such operas that might have all-male or all-female casts. Tristan comes to mind as a TB chorus.--Peter cohen 08:42, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Also various well-known Rossini operas. (And I think the role of Sacristan rather suits me, especially as it's usually designated as a baritone rather than a bass.) --GuillaumeTell 13:59, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Reply - I think you should put back the Conductor: label in the final column header. Without it, it's potentially confusing as to who or what the name refers to. Otherwise this latest version looks fine. Best,Voceditenore 11:20, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Does the conductor part need to be in brackets? If it's on a seperate line it doesn't seem neccessary to distinguish it (unless I'm missing the reasoning behind it). Also, "Premiere Cast" is in title case, but "Voice type" is not - should one be chosen over the other? Sorry, I can get really pedantic sometimes... : s Lethe 14:33, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I have a problem with "Conductor: Unknown", since it implies nobody knows who the conductor was, when it's usually just a case of the editor not having the information to hand. -- Folantin 14:44, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Reply to Folantin - How about (Conductor: - ) for the unknown or any suggestion? - Jay 15:38, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Reply to Lethesl - I believe the brackets is to separate the conductor from "the cast". The conductor's name must be in that column because some operas have more than one "premieres", look at Radamisto (Handel) for eg - Jay 15:38, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Smetana's Viola: viable as an article?

I'm wondering about the notability (viability) of the new article on Smetana's Viola. Apparently the composer only wrote 300 or 400 bars. Only a fragment remaining. Please see the talk page. Any input will be appreciated. Thanks. -- Kleinzach 10:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me to be as viable as the article on Die Hochzeit. Actually, I think it's more viable: the latter also doesn't have an article in Grove, nor has it one in the Viking Guide. There is an article on Viola in the Viking, by John Tyrrell (who wrote the Grove article on Smetana). Its libretto has survived, unlike Die Hochzeit's, and apparently there is a Supraphon recording of what there is of it. --GuillaumeTell 11:07, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Can you possibly note that on the the talk page? -- Kleinzach 11:17, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Done. --GuillaumeTell 21:51, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Article styles and formats

In view of all the discussions about formatting - which deserve recording - I've started a project subpage here. The idea is to consolidate formats for easy access and further development. (Styles are space-consuming, so a subpage rather than inclusion on the project page, made sense to me.)

I have included existing material from the project page as well as Jay's table for roles, a format for recordings (borrowed from Voceditenore), and reference formats (as discussed above).

This is just a start. Please criticize/correct or whatever. -- Kleinzach 03:53, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

How about "Selected recordings", for eg Aida#Selected_recordings - Jay 04:23, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes indeed, I've made some corrections. -- Kleinzach 04:27, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your work on this. Do we need a style for complete discographies? We have two examples: The Flying Dutchman discography and the Pelléas et Mélisande discography. What do you make of these? Are they anomalous? -- Kleinzach 09:07, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Uhm.. never knew they are existed. The format looks a bit ... not so appealing and yes, I believe we should standardize the format just like the "Selected recording - table style". I will change it later today, if it is OK with all of you. - Jay 09:29, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but let's keep all the information, all the singers' names. It's useful and there are lots of blue links. -- Kleinzach 10:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that References should probably be included in the first part of Opera (title) article sections, to encourage people to cite using ref tags from the start, to save much work later on. Having certain statements specifically backed up helps a lot to anyone coming along to improve the article later - otherwise, it will require a large rewrite if they can't find a source for large chunks of text (especially bad if it's a specifically translated quote, or from a book). I've especially found that when just a book is cited without being linked to any specific statement, I cannot prove or claim that anything from the text is in the book, so the book almost may as well not be in the references. Lethe 16:14, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I've made an edit. (The somewhat ancient text was taken from the project page.) I understand 'source' as meaning a general work that has supplied substantial information for the article and 'reference' for something that is more specific. Obviously as an article progresses references (and inline citations) become more and more important. -- Kleinzach 23:37, 5 September 2007 (UTC)