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My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

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mrsl
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby mrsl » May 1st, 2010, 1:42 pm


Fossy:

I wholeheartedly thank you for your correction. I was off base on the times and ages. Actually, I knew Judy was older than 10, but it was a fact that just flew out of my mind as I typed. I never mind being corrected by someone who can back up their corrections. It's a light breeze blowing through the air.
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Anne


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Fossy
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » May 1st, 2010, 10:14 pm

Deanna Durbin Born 4 Dec 1921
We know that Deanna is a favourite of Uncle Stevie. She is also a favourite of mine.

Arias from operas sung in her movies.

1937 age 15 years “One Hundred Men And a Girl”
Libiamo –Called Traviata in the movie from Verdi`s opera La Traviata. This is normally sung as a soprano/tenor duet with chorus.

1938 Age 16 years “That Certain Age”
Ja Veux Vivre from the opera Romeo and Juliette

1939 Age 17 years “First Love”
One Fine Day. An English language version of Un Bel Di Vedremo From Madame Butterfly.

1940 Age 18 years “It`s A Date” Musetta`s Waltz from La Boheme.

1943 Age 21 years “The Amazing Mrs. Holliday” Vissi D`Arte from Tosca.

1943 Age 21 years “Hers To Hold” Seguidilar from Carmen.

1943 Age 21 Years “His Butler`s Sister” None Shall Sleep, an English language version of Nessun Dorma from Turandot.

1947 Age 25 years “Something In The Wind” Miserere, a duet with Jan Peerce from Il Trovatore.

1948 Age 26 years “Up In Central Park” Pace Pace Mio Dio from La Forze Del Destino

1948 Age 26 years “ For The Love Of Mary” Largo Al Factotum from The Barber Of Seville. Normally sung by a baritone.

A total of ten arias from opera---She also sang other songs which although not from operas are usually in the repertoire of sopranos.

Il Bacio (Every Sunday & Three Smart Girls)
Les Filles De Cadiz (That Certain Age)
Ave Maria (Mad About Music & It`s A Date)
The Old Refrain (The Amazing Mrs. Holliday) written in 1915 and dedicated to John Mc Cormack.
Granada (I`ll Be Yours) by Mexican Augustin Lara. Lara was presented with a house in Spain for this composition.

My favourites---None Shall Sleep, Granada, Largo Al Factotum.
My Opinion---She was at her most beautiful in the three movies made in 1943.
Her voice was at it`s best in her last four movies.

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mrsl
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby mrsl » May 2nd, 2010, 4:04 pm

.
Wow, that was surely a definite response. I've never really been that much into opera per se but I do like the short clippets which are presented in movies like San Francisco by Jeannette, and The Great Caruso by Mario. I have sat down and listened to one or two operas but it is not my usual fare, so I'm not the person to challenge anyones' favoritism, but when included in a movie, I do feel that since I know what I like, I can make my own distinction between a Jeannette and a Deanna, but make me listen to both of them with no identification, I would most likely guess wrongly which is which. This has been great fun discussing with you.
.
Anne


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Fossy
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Fossy » May 3rd, 2010, 1:57 am

[quote="mrsl"].
I do like the short clippets which are presented in movies
like San Francisco by Jeannette, and The Great Caruso by Mario.

mrsl And so does everyone else. I believe that the reason for the success of these movies was the careful selection of the most popular arias and other suitable songs for the soprano (or in the case of Mario, tenor) in question. I have a only a few operas. The one I like best would be La Boheme. The one I prefer least would be Aida, a story about two big fat sheilas who have the hots for the general of the Egyptian army, who just happens to be the ugliest man ever seen. The only saving grace being that they all can sing.
I am a big fan of Jeannette and Mario. I will have more to say about them in due course. I am working on Jane Powell at the moment, along the lines of my comments on Deanna. It may take a few days but I will get there.

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pvitari
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby pvitari » May 3rd, 2010, 12:03 pm

Uncle Stevie, don't forget John McCormack, notably Song O' My Heart, directed by Frank Borzage. McCormack would never get an acting prize for this film, but oh, the singing!

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Uncle Stevie » May 3rd, 2010, 2:18 pm

I love this discussion.

San Francisco is one of my favorite movies. I marveled at the production and special effects considering the year it was made. It was a very effective movie about that time and place. I would call it an Epic. The casting was excellent and Jeannette played her role very well. Clark Gable played Clark Gable. I was never a big fan of his but this movie was good for him. Clark Gable, John Wayne, Gary Coooper, Humphry Bogart were amongst a bunch of male leads who played themselves in every movie. They were bad actors but cast in good or great movies. Ladies were never treated like that. If a lady was not a good actress or super beautiful with a talent she got no work.

In my opinion: Jane Powell was the best dancer of the Opera style singing ladies. Kathryn Grayson had the best voice. Deanna Durbin was the best all around everything. Deanna Durbin was the woman of many faces and I think if I met her on the steet I would not recognize her. Jeanette MacDonald was better as a 28 year old (plus) adult. Ann Blythe never impressed me probably because her voice was too throated for such a tiny girl. Grace Moore had the most infectious smile of all and her arms in motion while singing really got me hooked. Grace Moore's voice was powerful yet no one could hit a strong power note like Deanna Durbin with so pure and unwaving tone.

Uncle Stevie
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Dewey1960
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Dewey1960 » May 3rd, 2010, 5:27 pm

Uncle Stevie sez: Clark Gable, John Wayne, Gary Coooper, Humphry Bogart were amongst a bunch of male leads who played themselves in every movie. They were bad actors but cast in good or great movies.

Really, Uncle Stevie? Do you actually believe that or are you merely trying to initiate a lively conversation? The four actors you mention, while all being first and foremost iconic movie stars, were also capable of turning in brilliant performances that often transcended their status as fan magazine fodder. Gable, in THE MISFITS offered something unique to his own resume: a hauntingly real and poetically brave performance that rivaled anything on the big screen that year; Wayne, in roles as disparate as those in THE QUIET MAN and THE SEARCHERS proved beyond any measure of doubt that he was an actor first and a movie star second. Even Cooper, when given the opportunity, could create characters that showed an uncanny depth of understanding. And Bogart; well, Bogart just might be, arguably, among the finest actors of his generation. From Duke Mantee in THE PETRIFIED FOREST, all the way through his amazing career, Bogart rarely gave the same performance twice (particularly once his stardom was cemented in the early 40s). Bad actors? Really?

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby ChiO » May 3rd, 2010, 6:09 pm

Dewey beat me...again.

Clark Gable, John Wayne, Gary Coooper, Humphry Bogart were amongst a bunch of male leads who played themselves in every movie.
(emphasis added)

"Every" is pretty all-encompassing. Dewey has pointed out some examples (well...I would respectfully disagree with one, but I don't want to be accused of anti-Hibernianism).

But, to engender the art of lively conversation, who might be the examples of "good" actors? Does it follow that to judge whether an actor is "good", one must know the "self" of that actor and, if the actor is consistently playing his "self" as one knows it, he, therefore, must be a "bad" actor? Is there any room for an actor that portrays a certain persona consistently, whether due to studio demands or type casting, or has an idiosyncratic style to be considered a "good" actor?

Ladies were never treated like that. If a lady was not a good actress or super beautiful with a talent she got no work.
(emphasis added)

"Never" rivals "every" in being all-compassing. Though, I suppose, there is some logic, and a backhanded compliment, to that. If the actress got work, then, by your definition, she was either "super beautiful with talent" or "a good actress". So every actress that falls within the purview of "got work" (whatever that may be) was one or the other. Oh...and they never (repeatedly, anyway) played themselves.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Uncle Stevie » May 3rd, 2010, 8:20 pm

Thank you for your replies. And yes I just wanted to see if anyone was reading what I said. You are so very right and I take back all that I said except that many actors do indeed play themselves in most of their movies. John Wayne was John Wayne in every movie and could never play a criminal or a pitiful victim. That being said, I liked John Wayne and watched his movies because I knew what I was going to get before seeing it. Likewise in today's movie world I pretty much know what to expect when Ben Stiller is the star of a movie but if Robin Williams is billed you never know what you will get. I think Robin Williams is a very fine actor. His comedic exploits are a separate industry for him.

I have a great respect for any and all actors because I could never do what they do. Like all critics I like some and dislike some. I enjoy and respect talent. People who make me laugh or cry or feel pity or shame or sad get my respect for that. I do not particularly like some of the story lines in today's movies. I personally do not like violence, crime, drug addiction or punk disobedience pervasive in movies today. I get too much of that in the daily newspaper headlines.

I do think that women get the short end of the stick for their work in movies. Women have to be very good to be cast in a role but men often do not. /men need a look or physique to get the part.
Uncle Stevie


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So Is Thunder and Lightning"

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Dewey1960
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Dewey1960 » May 3rd, 2010, 9:07 pm

Uncle Stevie (persisted) in saying: John Wayne was John Wayne in every movie and could never play a criminal or a pitiful victim.

No he wasn't, dadgummit! Wayne managed to play a wide variety of heroic as well as tragically flawed characters in countless films. His character, Ethan Edwards in THE SEARCHERS is far from the traditional "hero" we expect from the likes of John Wayne. The pain and vulnerability on display in this film reach phenomenal heights. Wayne was an astute actor and really nothing like the persona he etched on the big screen. I think it's fair to say that he hardly ever played himself on screen. He was, first and foremost, a calculating and sensitive actor.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Mr. Arkadin » May 3rd, 2010, 9:17 pm

Uncle Stevie wrote:I do think that women get the short end of the stick for their work in movies. Women have to be very good to be cast in a role but men often do not. /men need a look or physique to get the part.


Actually, if you take time to explore the wonderful world of film, I think you'll find the talented and the talentless equally distributed among both sexes.

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Uncle Stevie
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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Uncle Stevie » May 3rd, 2010, 10:28 pm

Ok Ok I apologize and take back everything I said. We all have opinions and all actors have their unique fans. Far be it from me to take on the entire member list on this site. I will not do that. I do enjoy your opinions and comments and look forward to future discussions.

Uncle Stevie
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So Is Thunder and Lightning"

jdb1

Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby jdb1 » May 4th, 2010, 8:52 am

No, no, Uncle S., don't take it back. You are entitled to your opinions -- that's what SSO is all about.

I think that it's one of the defining points of Hollywood classics that many of the biggest stars really weren't anything but their screen selves in every movie they made. But those selves were so compelling and fascinating that the audiences not only didn't mind, they demanded it. How wonderful it was that John Wayne could star in a "John Wayne Picture," and still draw us into the story and make us believe and root for him. The same holds true for most of the biggest stars, although of course there were some who were quite capable of losing themselves in a role. But we classic filmlovers are more than content to leave the emoting to the character players; that's what they were there for.

By the way, I caught some small snippets of the Deanna Durbin movie broadcast on TCM last night, and I like her much, much better as an adult performer. Also, she looked very pretty in color. However, I still don't much like her singing.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby srowley75 » May 4th, 2010, 10:41 am

Uncle Stevie wrote:Clark Gable played Clark Gable. I was never a big fan of his but this movie was good for him. Clark Gable, John Wayne, Gary Coooper, Humphry Bogart were amongst a bunch of male leads who played themselves in every movie. They were bad actors but cast in good or great movies. Ladies were never treated like that. If a lady was not a good actress or super beautiful with a talent she got no work.


Not intending to pile on, but the only one I'd heartily agree about would be Gary Cooper. Even the performances of his that I like are tainted by his inability to inject passion or life into almost any role he played, except for possibly The Pride of the Yankees. He always gave me the impression that making films was a misery for him, as though someone was standing offstage with a shotgun forcing him to stand in front of the camera and say his lines.

On the other hand, Bogart was especially good in his later years, playing roles as diverse as Charlie Allnut in The African Queen, Dixon Steele in In a Lonely Place, and Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny. What's more, all of these characters portray a clear vulnerability (even as they attempt to put on a macho front), which completely goes against the persona that Bogie cultivated throughout the 1940s.

I'm not as enthusiastic about Gable or Wayne as some, but I can vouch for their ability to play a certain type very well. Unlike Cooper, they do have the ability to entertain me, depending upon the film. I'd agree with Dewey about The Misfits and The Quiet Man.

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Re: My Passion Is The Great Movie Opera Singers of 1930-1940

Postby Uncle Stevie » May 4th, 2010, 12:58 pm

I have to agree with most of your comments. I generalized and got caught doing that. I will say Humphry Bogart was one very impressionable actor. You are right about African Queen and many other of his movies. He was a strong character. I thought Cooper was unconvincing as Lou Gherig although I enjoyed the story because I am a Yankee fan. The woman who played his girlfriend/wife was also a bad actress in that movie. Wayne is hard for me to buy as a gifted actor. I enjoyed many of his movies and watched a lot of them. I thought he was a better naval commander than a cowboy. He was very authoritative.

Watch for Deanna Durbin's Romance movie collection due out in June. They are reported to be re-mastered. I will believe that when I see it. I did pre-order the set.

Uncle Stevie
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