Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Opera/Archive 45

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Archive 44 | Archive 45 | Archive 46

Archives Table of Contents

Royal Opera House (the opera house) and Royal Opera, London (the opera house company)

If you read both articles from the top to the end, you may find that they are actually talking about the same “place”, which is the opera house. The beginning of the Royal Opera, London article (the company), is heading to the correct direction (talking about the company) but as you read further, you can see that many of the points are all about the opera house, not much about the company itself.

One example, unlike other opera house articles, Music directors list for ROH is written in Royal Opera, London article (the company), not in the ROH article. Both of the external links in Royal Opera, London are pointing to the opera house and not to the opera company.

And many more, including opera singers that performed there etc. Why must names of operatic singers who performed in ROH were mentioned at the company article but not the opera house itself? (Read paragraph under the header: Covent Garden Opera Company. The whole paragraph is about performances, singers etc at the opera house but the header says "Company")

I am currently doing the translation for ROH and found that both articles can actually be used for the opera house. I know it is good to separate the company and the opera house but I do not see any good point having 2 separate articles if the info about the company is too little and has to be prolonged by putting the opera house history and events while those info supposed to be in the opera house article. Not only the names are almost the same, the “story” is about the same, don’t you think it can easily confused readers? To be frank, not all the people in this world know what is Royal opera house vs Royal Opera, London vs Covent Garden. To some people out there, those 3 represent the opera house, not to mentioned after reading the article. Can someone please revise the company article to sound more like the company, so then it shows clearly that the article is about the company instead of the opera house? - Jay 17:09, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I've just had a look at the two articles and I don't think there's significant overlap in the contents. Although, there is scope for improvement. The rationale for starting the Royal Opera (company)'s history at 1945 also makes sense, because that was the point at which the company became more of a recognizable entity. It's always tricky because of the intersection of the jobs. Not so much now with Tony Hall (and his predecessor, Michael Kaiser), but previous administrators had a lot of artistic input (more on the opera side than the ballet side).
The point is, that the Royal Opera company since 1945 has had it's own budget and organization (company director, company manager, casting director, etc.) who are employed by the opera company and are separate from those for the Royal Ballet company. The two companies share 'house' facilities like the costume, lighting, make-up, technicians etc. who are employees of the opera house. Singers in Royal Opera productions (even travelling international super-stars) are employed by the the Royal Opera company not the house. The house is simply where they sing, although it too has to be managed. The Royal opera is an artistic company, whereas the house is an arts organization, if that makes any sense.
Another problem is that all the adminstrative brouhaha in the late 1990's was largely centered on the alleged woes of the opera company not the house (or even the ballet company). Here are some suggestions...
  1. The 'house' article could include more about that level of administration and the common performing facilites of the house, as well as pointing out that it 'rents itself out' to outside opera companies (especially during the summer). It also 'rents itself out' for fashion shows, awards ceremonies, weddings (if you're very rich) and even pop concerts.
  2. The 'company' article should make clear what sort of staff and administrators work for the opera company itself, i.e. the company's own structure. It should certainly name the director of the opera company, Elaine Padmore.
  3. I changed the section title "Chief Administrators at Covent Garden since 1945" to simply "Chief administrators since 1945". "Covent Garden" gets too conflated with the house, and pre-1968 name of the company.
  4. In the 'company' article, I added a more direct to the company, i.e., [1] and also added it to the 'house article' to match the one for the Royal Ballet (keeping the main one for the house as well). It's all the same web site, anyway.
But no, I don't think the articles should be combined. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll nip down there tomorrow with my digital camera and take some more photos for illustrations. Best, Voceditenore 19:53, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Changed my mind. I've now had time to read the two articles much more carefully. I think I agree with Jay now. It's a bit of a mess. Separating the ballet company makes more sense since it has a much more independent history, and as an entity predates 1945.

The opera company is so intertwined with the opera house that it makes separating the two much harder. But even so, much of the administrative stuff currently in the 'company' article really belongs in the 'house' article, along with a much clearer explanation of how the place is organized. (I'm referring especially to the section Management, funding and politics, but also to the Chief Administrators at Covent Garden since 1945) For one thing the administrators mentioned ran the house not the company and the music directors have (and had) a wider brief than just the opera - the orchestra does work independent of opera perfs. The 'company' article needs to concentrate much more of the administration of the company itself in addition to post-1945 artistic 'highlights'.

I see from the talk page, that there was some controversy when the 'company' article was split off, with some editors quite opposed to it. Maybe all this should be taken to the talk pagess for the articles. In the meantime, I'll continue to link to the 'house' article in articles about singers and operas. Best, Voceditenore 20:33, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Prima Donna article

The following statement in the article, "Now that opera companies (with a fixed cast) are a thing of the past," is untrue.

Most European opera companies still have a fixed staff of singers (sometimes on a salary), which are sometimes, but not always, joined by better-known guest artists. The terms "Prima Donna" and "Primo uomo" are still frequently used (either in the native language or in Italian), without negative connotation, to denote the most able or successful singers on staff. Miklósfai 12:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Welcome Miklósfai to the Opera Project and Wikipedia! You are absolutely right about Prima donna. I have just made a quick correction to that page. (The article wasn't written by anyone here and it does rather overemphasize the pop side.) Are you Hungarian, I wonder? Actually we need some help with our Hungarian articles. -- Kleinzach 12:52, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Singers of the month for December

Since we sort of agreed to alternate male and female singers wherever possible, December would be the ladies' turn. Just to remind you of the suggestions so far...

Sparafucil suggested filling a gap he noticed in coverage of the New Music Divas "Dawn Upshaw and Meredith Monk have articles well underway, but Bethany Beardslee, Joan LaBarbara, Cathy Berberian, Judith Bettina, Jane Manning and others who have shaped the music of our own age all have rather skimpy stubs (if that)."

Two other suggestions in this category are certainly Jill Gomez and possibly Cyndia Sieden (created the role of Ariel in The Tempest (Adès).Voceditenore 08:34, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Christine Whittlesey and Susan Narucki could also be added. Sparafucil 05:00, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Kleinzach's suggestion was Great Contraltos: e.g. Clara Butt, Louise Homer, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Kathleen Ferrier, Marian Anderson. "Taking existing (fairly long) articles on some major figures and bringing them up to project standard would give us benchmarks for future articles."

Any 'votes' or further suggestions? Best, Voceditenore 07:56, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

  • If we're doing them as groups, I don't see any particular reason not to just arbitrarily choose one for December, and put the other up for February. Adam Cuerden talk 01:20, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
The extended list for New Music Divas is looking good. I'm happy to back that for December. -- Kleinzach 05:24, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Since there were three votes for the New Music Divas, and no proposals for anything else, I've made them the December SoM. We'll hold the great contraltos over until February when it will be the ladies' turn again. Have just got back from the USA. When I've collected my thoughts and gathered my wits, I'll kick off the proposals for January. We did pretty well with the "Great Verdi Baritones", with several new articles. In the next couple of days, I'll create one for the only remaining 'orphan', Achille De Bassini. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 14:10, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Opera in fiction

For those of you who don't belong to Opera-L, an interesting proposal surfaced the other day. [2] Voceditenore 10:46, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

The list could be wikified reasonably easily and made into an article called List of fictional works about opera, and books that already have an article could be categorised as Category:Opera in fiction in the Category:Fiction by topic. Maybe a general article called Opera in fiction could be put together, too. Quite a bit of work would be involved, though, even for works which do already have an article - check out Cosi Fan Tutti, which got a mention in the recent opera-l discussion (the book is a very entertaining read, by the way!). --GuillaumeTell 11:26, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
kosboot is currently rolling out a List of fictional literature mentioning opera. Unfortunately it is alphabetical by author but listed title first (e.g. Final encore by Martha Albrand, The Alteration by Kingsley Amis etc etc.) which is a bit odd IMO. -- Kleinzach 04:36, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
So after a short dialogue between Kleinzach and myself, the question arises as to what is the best format for such a list. My personal opinion is alphabetical by author, but Kleinzach suggests that alphabetical by title is to be considered. What is the consensus? kosboot 15:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I have finished entering titles and authors, so all the data is there, much of it waiting to be further wikified. If someone has a nice idea of better organization, I'm interested in hearing it. 19:41, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Kleinzach that it looks odd. I don't think that he's suggesting title-order, just author order with the author listed in front of (instead of after) the title. As I've got half an hour to spare, I'll see if I can rearrange it along those lines. ---- GuillaumeTell (talk) 21:58, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I've now finished reorganising it into author order and have added all the wikilinks that I could find, plus one or two ones for probable authors. If there's a consensus that the previous version looked better, we can revert to it. Ideally, I'd prefer the titles to be in italics rather than bold, but life is too short.
Now, all that's needed is for someone to read all the books and create articles for them... --GuillaumeTell (talk) 18:21, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
In fact, the original list on OPERA-L does have brief descriptions of many of them. Ideally, individual pages should be created for every book. Since that's not practical at the moment, the question arises as to what to do (if anything) with the brief descriptions. Perhaps, if the list was made into a table, where the title and author occupied the first two columns, the third column could contain the description. But I suspect that might look a little cluttered. Any ideas? kosboot (talk) 22:55, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
The list is looking much better now. I am wondering what can be done to make it more useful and less likely to be a target of the deletionists - also to answer kosboot's question about the brief descriptions. We do perhaps have a model - the List of important operas. This list works well because it is also chronological. Could the same thing be done with the books? In other words: titles + descriptions + dates? I imagine it would be fairly easy to get hold of publication dates, though it would be a long job. Best. -- Kleinzach (talk) 07:43, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The OPERA-L list does have dates (and pagination!), so they'd be easy to insert. I wouldn't favour rearranging in chronological order, though, if you're suggesting that. As for the comments, some entries have them and some don't; some are long and may need editing, others are very short. All the comments in the List of important operas are sourced - do we just give the source here as "members of OPERA-L" or what? And I think the list ought to be categorised as an incomplete one. --GuillaumeTell (talk) 11:56, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure you both know more about this list than I do. In general, I prefer long bibliographies to be broken up by language, period, genre or whatever. I find solid lists offputting. Breaking it up alphabetically certainly makes it look better typographically, but grouping by the initial letter of the surname doesn't really convey a lot. How about the kind of approach used by the Annotated Bibliography of Fly Fishing? This is chronological, tabular, divided by genre, and annotated. No sources, so the implication is that it is self-referenced. A lot of work, of course.-- Kleinzach (talk) 12:42, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I like this Annotated Bibliography of Fly Fishing, but I also like the cleanliness of the List of important operas. Long lists don't deter me because there are so many of them. So long as the organization of the list is clear (chronological, alphabetical), I can use them. Another possibility (but more work) is that the page can have tab columns within a single page. This is something I've seen on WikiMedia's pages. Meanwhile, I'll add some sources. kosboot (talk) 21:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Good to have sources, however it's worth noting that the references for List of important operas were largely to justify 'importance' i.e. it was an exclusive list. My understanding is that List of fictional literature mentioning opera is inclusive. Another thing: I suggest changing the title to 'Bibliography of opera in fiction' or similar. I think we should emphasize that it is a bibliography. -- Kleinzach (talk) 00:15, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
If renaming is on the table, Bibliography of Opera in Literature would allow Kirkegaard's discusion of Don Giovanni in Either/Or to be included. It would of course be very nice to be able to index by specific operas, and one way of keeping the list shorter/managable/descriptive might be to limit it to more specific references. Sparafucil (talk) 02:36, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

As I see it, "bibliography" includes works (i.e. discussions and analyses) about opera in fiction. This list is definitely not that. I'm the first to admit the name I chose is inelegant, but I could not think of one that was more specifically accurate as to what the list contains. The original name, "Opera in Fiction" would not do since all kinds of media would be implied. In any case, here it is on Wikipedia, so anyone can do anything to it. Now to start work on the "opera terms." kosboot (talk) 04:30, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I see there are different definitions of 'bibliography' [3]. I was thinking of it as simply a list of books. Of course the point of the article can be explained in the introduction. -- Kleinzach (talk) 11:09, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Statistical review (14 November 07)

We now have 3,892 articles about opera. (These are articles displaying the Opera Project banner.)

Here are some more figures to illustrate the development of the Opera Project to date:

From The opera corpus:

  • Composers = 503 (of which 7 are still red-linked)
  • Opera titles = 1,877 articles (about one-third still red linked)

Category: Operas:

  • Opera title articles = 1,191

Articles about people:

  • Category: Opera composers = 197 (little used category)
  • Category: Opera singers = 144 (little used category)
  • Category: Opera librettists = 129
  • Category: Opera directors = 90
  • Category: Opera managers = 81

Articles on voice types (almost all opera singers):

  • Category: Sopranos = 394
  • Category: Mezzo-sopranos = 117
  • Category: Contraltos = 27
  • Category: Castrati = 22
  • Category: Counter-tenors = 34
  • Category: Tenors = 168
  • Category: Baritones = 61
  • Category: Bass-baritones = 41
  • Category: Basses = 73

Total in voice categories above = 937

Articles about institutions etc.:

  • Category: Opera companies = 157
  • Category: Opera festivals = 48
  • Category: Opera publishers = 9
  • Category: Opera competitions = 6
  • Category: Opera organizations = 4

Technical articles about opera:

  • Category: Opera terminology = 112
  • Category: Opera genres = 33

Descendant projects:

  • Gilbert and Sullivan = 287 articles
  • Wagner = 46 articles

--Kleinzach 06:31, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Did you exclude Category:Opera houses? Rmhermen 05:44, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Not particularly. Many categories are not included above. I was just providing an overview. In the case of Category: Opera houses, there are 45 sub-categories by country so it's hard work counting them. BTW all the articles should have a banner and be in Category: WikiProject Opera articles. -- Kleinzach 07:54, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I should probably point out, in all fairness, that many of the G&S project articles are on plays, not operas. Gilbert was a prolific playwright, as well as a librettist. (talk) 18:41, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Cantus Buranus

Is this really an opera as the article claims? Rmhermen 05:29, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing up the issue. About the article, i vote for ABSOLUTELY NO! How can a recording of a "band" members with punk heads + pirate style etc .. i dont know how to describe, (See Corvus Corax band photo at their official website) can claimed themselves as “Recording a full length of opera”. Hit this link in Wiki Article, it says "German band Corvus Corax recorded "Cantus Buranus", a full-length opera set to the original Carmina Burana manuscript in 2005.". Sorry to say but it is like a big insult to me! - Jay 06:15, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I have changed "opera" to "recording album". - Jay (talk) 15:42, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Sonia theodoridou

Someone has posted a bio of this soprano in Greek. She is definitely notable (she played the part of Juno in René Jacobs' recording of La Calisto). My modern Greek is not too hot, but I will try to translate some of it. If anyone has any info in English, maybe we could add that and create at least a stub on her. Cheers. --Folantin (talk) 13:46, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

The article has been Speedily Deleted for blatant copyright infringement. --GuillaumeTell (talk) 15:21, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Opera navigation boxes

Thanks to Jay's indefatigable work (and GuillaumeTell's original prototypes) we now have about 40 navigation boxes, designed as narrow columns on the top right of the pages.

However we also have a couple of other boxes with a different design: Template:Krenek operas and Template:Kurt Weill. These are neither dated, nor in alphabetical order, but they are collapsible and have the 'v.d.e' editing buttons.

Should the Krenek and Weill be redesigned as long column boxes? Should they go in dated, chronological order? Should we consider giving the whole series the 'v.d.e' buttons? Perhaps on a bar at the bottom of the box? (It's technically tricky but the Infobox Project would probably be happy to do it for us.) Any ideas? Best. -- Kleinzach 01:38, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

For Krenek I was trying to follow the chronology of their composition and opus #'s, so by all means correct any errors (alphabetical order is less informative, though I could see its value in Cimarosa). I do prefer the row boxes myself as they leave room for a more specific image than a composer portrait at the top of the article. Sparafucil 01:22, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
As you are working on Krenek can you put in the dates on that box? That's one thing we can get out of the way. -- Kleinzach 02:32, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I've now discovered how to put the 'v.d.e' on the bottom of the boxes. Here is an example: Template:Adams operas. Any comments? -- Kleinzach (talk) 07:39, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I have added "hide/show" + the 'v.d.e'. I placed them on top. Refer to Template:Mascagni operas. What do you guys think? - Jay (talk) 14:42, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Someone has made another version of "v.d.e" and "hide/show" format for Template:Halévy operas. I would suggest for all of us to have discussion on the format and choose one. Or not, we may have many versions of it in the future.
a) Template:Adams operas
b) Template:Mascagni operas
c) Template:Halévy operas
d) Template:Janacek operas
Any comments? - Jay (talk) 15:47, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I've added the Janacek template to Jay's list - it appears to be slightly different from the Mascagni and Halévy ones. Personally, I don't think that show/hide is particularly important, and though I'd prefer to have the "v.d.e." at the top where it usually is, none of the examples seem quite right, and distract attention from the title of the box, IMO. So that's a vote for the Adams format. --GuillaumeTell (talk) 18:47, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I follow majority’s vote because to be frank, I don’t see any needs to have the v.b.e or even the hide/show. It looks just great without them. I don’t favor Template:Krenek operas because in my opinion, it is best for the list to appear on top. The reason is because, readers can see the whole works of the composer without having them to scroll all the way down. Not all readers want to read the article till the end, and I am sure some of them are not aware of the template at all. - Jay (talk) 10:07, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I also prefer the Adams format. If we are using the top right position - which I think is the best place - collapsibility is not really essential. -- Kleinzach (talk) 12:09, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what's gained by dumping collapsibility as an option, and I find it a little boring myself to see the same box on every Verdi opera over and over. Is it feasible to have a bar at the top right that says"Operas of" and "show"? This might be a compromise between forcing people to scroll and redesigning pages like this. Sparafucil (talk) 21:58, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Sparafucil: I'd be happy to consider this (myself) if you can demonstrate how to do it. Could you rework the Template:Krenek operas? Position top right as agreed, chronological with dates (please remember to put these in as requested above), collapsed by default. Once we have a prototype it can be copied easily enough. On the other hand if it's not feasible, I suggest we go with the proven Adams model. -- Kleinzach (talk) 23:46, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Janáček template - Example of v.b.e and hide/show template by Rick Block - Jay (talk) 12:09, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I should explain that Rick Block did this as an example in response to an enquiry from me at Wikipedia talk:Navigational templates. (I have to say that I don't think the 'superscript-style' top bar works.) -- Kleinzach (talk) 14:10, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, I fiddled with changing "collapsable" to "expandable" in the code and other experiments before hitting on this: Template:Weill operas. Btw, my impatience to do anything tends to be inversely proportional to the chances of someone else beating me to it, but the dates will someday be added. I changed the order temporarily to group by genre, again with an eye to interesting others in taking on articles; I really don't intend to do anything about Jonny, though it obviously is an important article. Sparafucil (talk) 11:51, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Template:Weill operas is promising but huge. We need to remove all the white space and also centre the title, it's veering off to the left. Not to be critical - after all six people have tried to do this so far and no-one's yet succeeded! Also making it collapsed by default looks pretty bizarre on some of the individual opera pages. This isn't something that I've ever seen on WP. -- Kleinzach (talk) 12:10, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately the new version of Template:Weill operas led to complaints (quote "moving Kurt Weil template box to top resulted in huge ugly gap in "skin" I browse with...") so I am reverting it to the 'Adams' version. -- Kleinzach (talk) 23:17, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I have added v.d.e following Adams format to all the templates. I have also added opera template to all the talk pages. - Jay 17:34, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Opera banner for template talk pages

I put opera banner in all the talkpages - It is because, before we added “v.d.e”, some people may not know how to access or amend the template, but now they easily change it by hitting “e”. For protection, I believe the banner is important, so then people know that they should discuss with peopl in Opera Project before make any changes. - Jay 01:45, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

I've now suggested we use a 'codeless' version of the banner for this because the normal version places pages in Category:WikiProject Opera articles for bot processes. -- Kleinzach 04:00, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Good idea, I agree - Jay 05:58, 2 December 2007 (UTC)


London première

Thought ye might like this - Adam Cuerden 18:39, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Also, if anyone knows, can someone give me the years of the London premières of Rossini's operas? I know this is somewhat obscure information, but with it, I have a very good chance of illustrating all the later operas (Illustrated weeklies only really took off in the 1840s.) Adam Cuerden 18:44, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Picture research is important - and can only become more so. However to be absolutely candid about this, contemporary Italian and German sources would be a lot more valuable than English ones for these works. -- Kleinzach (talk) 00:06, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Noone denies that. However, I have easy access to English sources, and don't have access to Italian and German sources. The images, even if not from the original productions, are still illustrative, so we may as well get them and use them, since the pragmatic choice for the near future is between contemporary English images... and no illustration at all. =) Adam Cuerden talk 07:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Quite nice! Have you come across anything for I masnadieri (premiered in London, July 22, 1847.)? Sparafucil (talk) 11:17, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I've just done 1843, and am working forwards from there. Adam Cuerden talk 14:27, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
The Naples Theatre Archives (Archivi di Teatro Napoli) are a valuable resource for portraits of singers, original set and costume designs, etc., especially for Rossini. Go here: [4] and scroll down to "collezione Ragni: Scenografie, figurini, prospetti e piante". You can do a search on other composers here [5]. Enter the search term in the box for "Ricerca in tutti i cataloghi" and then click "Cerca". Best, Voceditenore (talk) 15:31, 27 November 2007 (UTC)