Saturday, April 16, 2016

La Gioconda

La Gioconda means "The Ballad Singer" or "The Happy Woman," a sadly ironic title for an opera whose heroine meets a tragic end. In the final scene of La Gioconda, the heroine arranges a secret meeting in the ruins of an island castle.




This is an opera unique for having a major role for each of the voice types (soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, bass). The result is a rich and beautiful score with several familiar tunes, including "The Dance of the Hours" (the one in Fantasia where the hippos and the crocodiles dance). You can listen to the broadcast of this beautiful opera here.

You can read more about this opera here.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Werther

In Act 2 of my favorite opera, the newly married Charlotte and Albert walk to church on an autumn day. The creepy, tortured, sexy Werther follows.


You can read about the opera Werther, based on a story by Goethe, here. A link to the show will be posted when it becomes available.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Faust

In this first act of Gounod's Faust, based loosely on Goethe's legendary story, Mephistopholes visits Faust in his study, where he has devoted his life to the pursuit of science and scholarship. Faust has recently tried to end it all by poisoning himself, but Mephistopholes gives him a (dubious) reason to live.



You can read more about the opera here.

You can listen to the recording here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Die Walkure

Tonight's opera features nine sisters who usher Norsemen to Valhalla when they die during glorious battle. Here, they prepare and confer on a mountaintop before the battle, and the Flight of Valkyries, begins.


You can listen to Die Walkure here (on the miniplayer) or here (for the general website).

You can read more about the opera here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Die Tote Stadt

This is Paul, a guy who is kind of crazy, with the shrine he has made to his wife, who is kind of dead. Opera!



You can listen to the recording here.

You can read more about this opera here.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

La Forza del Destino

In this scene of La Forza del Destino, a disguised nobleman and several muleteers meet in the kitchen of a roadside inn.


This beautiful recording features Leontyne Price, Placido Domingo, and Sherill Milnes. You can listen here. Read more about the opera here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Marriage of Figaro

This is Act 2 of the splendid comedy of delightful errors The Marriage of Figaro. In this scene, the countess tries (unsuccessfully) to convince the count that there is a woman, not a man, hiding in her closet. Her maid Susanna hides behind a couch.





Please forgive the photo quality. I am in need of a new camera. 

You can read more about this opera here.

You can listen to the beautiful recording here.

Edit: I added this photo to show the scene from the point of view of Cherubino who is, in fact, hiding in the closet.