Tag Archives: Opera

best classical music, Giacomo Puccini: “Coro a bocca chiusa” (Humming Chorus) from Madame Butterfly , great compositions/performances


Giacomo Puccini: “Coro a bocca chiusa” (Humming Chorus) from Madame Butterfly

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JULES MASSENET.- EL CID – Ballet


JULES MASSENET.- EL CID – Ballet

 

Bizet – Carmen Suite No.2 – Danse Bohème , great compositions/performances


Bizet – Carmen Suite No.2 – Danse Bohème

Chabrier – Fête polonaise, from the opera “Le Roi malgré lui” (Acte II), great compositions/performances


Chabrier – Fête polonaise, from the opera “Le Roi malgré lui” (Acte II)

Chopin – Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni: great compositions/performances


Antonin Dvorak – Rusalka – Song To The Moon: make music part of your life series


Antonin Dvorak – Rusalka – Song To The Moon

story: Enrico Caruso


Enrico Caruso

Caruso was an Italian operatic tenor renowned for the beauty, range, and power of his voice. A mechanical engineer who indulged his passion for singing in his spare time, Caruso had no formal musical training until his late teens. After just a few years of study, he made his professional operatic debut, touching off his meteoric rise to fame. In 1903, he made his American debut at the Metropolitan Opera, where he was a favorite until his death. What helped secure his status as an opera legend? More… Discuss

Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: great compositions/performances


Mottetto per San Paolino – Giacomo Puccini(1858-1924): make music part of your life series


Mottetto per San Paolino – Giacomo Puccini(1858-1924)

Modest Mussorgsky: Dawn on the Moskva-River: Make music part of your life series


Mussorgsky Dawn on the Moskva-River

Mozart: “Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben” from Zaide K344: make music part of your life series


Mozart: “Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben” from Zaide K344

Alfredo Catalani “Notturno in G sharp minor” for Rowna: mke music part of your life series


Alfredo Catalani “Notturno in G sharp minor” for Rowna

Notturno in G sharp minor for piano
by Alfredo Catalani
Riccardo Caramella, piano

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alfredo Catalani (19 June 1854 – 7 August 1893) was an Italian operatic composer. He is best remembered for his operas Loreley (1890) and La Wally (1892). La Wally was composed to a libretto by Luigi Illica, and features Catalani’s most famous aria “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana.” This aria, sung by American soprano Wilhelmenia Fernandez, was at the heart of Jean-Jacques Beineix’s 1981[1] cult[2] movie Diva.[3] Catalani’s other operas were less successful, partly hampered by inferior libretti.

Life and career

Catalani was born in Lucca and trained at the Conservatory of Milan under Antonio Bazzini.

Despite the growing influence of the verismo style of opera during the 1880s Catalani chose to compose in a more traditional manner. As a result his operas have largely lost their place in the modern repertoire, even compared to those of Massenet and Puccini, whose style his works most closely resemble.

The influence of Amilcare Ponchielli can also be recognized in Catalani’s work. Like Ponchielli, Catalani’s reputation now rests almost entirely on one work. However, while La Wally enjoys occasional revivals, Ponchielli’s La Gioconda has always been the more popular opera of the two (287 performances to date at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, as opposed to only four for La Wally).

In 1893, upon his premature death from tuberculosis in Milan, Catalani was interred in the Cimitero Monumentale, where Ponchielli and conductor Arturo Toscanini also lie. Toscanini was a strong advocate of Catalani’s music and named his daughter Wally in recognition of the composer’s most successful opera. Toscanini recorded the prelude to Act IV of La Wally and the “Dance of the Water Nymphs” from Loreley in Carnegie Hall in August 1952 with the NBC Symphony Orchestra for RCA Victor.

Operas

  • La falce (“The Sickle”), Milan, 19 July 1875
  • Elda, Turin, 31 January 1880 (radically revised as Loreley)
  • Dejanice, Milan, 17 March 1883
  • Edmea, Milan, 27 February 1886
  • Loreley, Turin, 16 February 1890
  • La Wally, Milan, 20 January 1892

Symphonic works

  • Sinfonia a piena orchestra (“Symphony for Full Orchestra”), 1872
  • Il Mattino, sinfonia romantica (“Morning”, Romantic symphony), 1874
  • Ero e Leandro, poema sinfonico (“Hero and Leander”, Symphonic tone poem), Milan, 9 May 1885

today’s holiday: Baths of Caracalla


Baths of Caracalla

Originally designed as a social gathering place for men in third-century Rome, the Baths of Caracalla became the unusual setting for open-air opera in 1937. Held every summer in July and August, the Bath Operas feature grand Italian operas, as well as ballet performances produced by local and international dance companies. The events take place in the evening on one of the world’s largest stages—100 feet long and 162 feet wide. While the acoustics are far from ideal, more than 10,000 spectators generally fill the bleachers to enjoy this one-of-a-kind musical extravaganza. More… Discuss

Angela GHEORGHIU – O mio babbino caro – G Schicchi – Puccini


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Angela GHEORGHIU – O mio babbino caro – G Schicchi – Puccini

Angela Gheorghiu sings the aria “O mio babbino caro”, from Puccini’s opera ‘Gianni Schicchi
(Concert from the Lincoln Center, December 31th, 2005)

make music part of your life series: Ludwig van Beethoven – Fidelio Overture, Op. 72b


[youtube.com/watch?v=5apveLQugwk]

make music part of your life series: Ludwig van BeethovenFidelio Overture, Op. 72b

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fidelio (Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe: Leonore, or The Triumph of Married Love)[1] (Op. 72) is a German opera with spoken dialogue in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is his only opera. The German libretto was prepared by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, which had been used for the 1798 opera Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, and the 1804 opera Leonora by Ferdinando Paer (a score of which was owned by Beethoven).

The opera tells how Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named “Fidelio”, rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison.

Giacomo Puccini


Giacomo Puccini

Puccini was an Italian composer of operas and a leading exponent of the realistic, verismo style. Born into a family of musicians, he studied piano and organ in his hometown before entering the Milan Conservatory in 1880. His famous operas, which remain exceedingly popular to this day, include La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly. His death in 1924 is often cited as the end of grand opera. Complications from what experimental medical treatment hastened his death? More… Discuss

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Rossini – The Italian Girl in Algiers Overture


[youtube.com/watch?v=MN1KzE5zwac]

Rossini – The Italian Girl in Algiers Overture

Gioachino Rossini – Rossini – The Italian Girl in Algiers Overture (performed by US Army Band)

Gioachino Antonio Rossini (Italian: [d??oa?ki?no an?t??njo ros?si?ni]; Giovacchino Antonio Rossini in the baptismal certificate; 29 February 1792 — 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) and La Cenerentola and the French-language epics Moïse et Pharaon and Guillaume Tell. A tendency for inspired, song-like melodies is evident throughout his scores, which led to the nickname “The Italian Mozart”. Until his retirement in 1829, Rossini had been the most popular opera composer in history.

 

 

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Great Compositions/Performances: Angela Gheorghiu: “Quia respexit” (Magnificat) by Bach


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV3DwZBlx9c&list=PLjKj2KXwkeG2n_uBNAvnwcxv2FhR-eOwT]
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Magnificat en majeur, BWV 243 / in D major / in D-Dur

Aria : “Quia respexit humilitatem”

Angela Gheorghiu, soprano

Madrigal Chamber Choir Romania 
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Ion Marin , Marin Constantin
1998

 

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Arthur Sullivan – The Mikado – Overtur



Conductor: John Carewe
Orchestra: Nürnberger Symphoniker

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Great Compositions/Performances: Richard Wagner – Siegfried Idyll (Conductor: Sergiu Celibidache & Münchner Philharmoniker)



Great Compositions/Performances:  Richard WagnerSiegfried Idyll
Conductor: Sergiu Celibidache & Münchner Philharmoniker

Apart from the operas, Wagner composed a small number of pieces; this stems from his reluctance to conceive music which didn’t belong to the sacredness of the drama, fundamental expression of his thought.
The “Siegfried Idyll” is a symphonic poem for chamber orchestra, composed by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) as a birthday present to his second wife, Cosima, after the birth of their son Siegfried in 1869. It was first performed on Christmas morning, 25 December 1870, by a small ensemble on the stairs of their villa at Tribschen.
Wagner’s opera “Siegfried”, which was premiered in 1876, incorporates music from the Idyll. It was once thought that the Idyll borrowed musical ideas intended for the opera, but it is now known that the opposite is the case: Wagner adapted melodic material from an unfinished chamber piece in the Idyll and later incorporated it into the love scene between Siegfried and Brunhilde in the opera.

 

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Madama Butterfly – Vogliatemi bene – Jonas Kaufmann and Angela GheorghiuMadama Butterfly – Vogliatemi bene – Jonas Kaufmann and Angela Gheorghiu



Jonas Kaufmann and Angela Gheorghiu, Vogliatemi bene, from the recording sessions of the EMI Madama Butterfly in Rome, July 2008

Buy “Madama Butterfly, Act 1: Vogliatemi bene, un bene piccolino (Butterfly/Pinkerton)” on

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Maria Callas and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi sing the Miserere scene from Il Trovatore



Maria Callas and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi sing the Miserere scene from Il Trovatore. (Napoli, 1951)

 

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GREAT COMPOSERS/COMPOSITIONS: N. Rimsky-Korsakov – The Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite: Part I



The Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite from the Opera
by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
I. Tsar’s Departure and Farewell

  • Buy “Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tale of Tsar Saltan – Suite, Op.57 – 1. The Tsar’s departure and Farewell” on

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
NARK.jpg

File:Swan princess.jpgThe lengthy full title of both the opera and the poem is The Tale of Tsar Saltan, of his Son the Renowned and Mighty Bogatyr Prince Gvidon Saltanovich and of the Beautiful Princess-Swan.

Note: The name “Saltan” is often erroneously rendered “Sultan”. Likewise, another mistranslation of the Russian title found in English makes this a “legend” rather than simply a “tale” or “fairytale”.

Head of a man with dark greying hair, glasses and a long beardNikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov 

(Russian: Николай Андреевич Римский-Корсаков; Russian pronunciation: [nʲɪkəˌlaj ˌrʲim.skʲɪj ˈkorsəkəf]; 18 March [O.S. 6 March] 1844[a 1] – 21 June [O.S. 8 June] 1908) was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five.[a 2] He was a master of orchestration. His best-known orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade—are staples of the classical music repertoire, along with suites and excerpts from some of his 15 operas.Scheherazade is an example of his frequent use of fairy tale and folk subjects.

 

Rimsky-Korsakov believed, as did fellow composer Mily Balakirev and critic Vladimir Stasov, in developing a nationalistic style of classical music. This style employed Russian folk song and lore along with exotic harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements in a practice known as musical orientalism, and eschewed traditional Western compositional methods. However, Rimsky-Korsakov appreciated Western musical techniques after he became a professor of musical composition, harmony and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1871. He undertook a rigorous three-year program of self-education and became a master of Western methods, incorporating them alongside the influences of Mikhail Glinka and fellow members of The Five. His techniques of composition and orchestration were further enriched by his exposure to the works of Richard Wagner.

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GREAT PERFORMANCES: Angela Gheorghiu – Addio del passato – La Traviata



Angela Gheorghiu – Addio del passato – La Traviata (Giuseppe Verdi)
Angela Gheorghiu sings ‘Addio del passato’ from the opera ‘La Traviata’
at a concert in Brussels in 2004. Yoel Levi is the conductor.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Giuseppe Verdi
Verdi.jpg
 

La traviata (Italian: [la traˈvjaːta], “The Fallen Woman”[1][2]) is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La dame aux Camélias(1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. The opera was originally entitled Violetta, after the main character. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice.

Piave and Verdi wanted to follow Dumas in giving the opera a contemporary setting, but the authorities at La Fenice insisted that it be set in the past, “c. 1700”. It was not until the 1880s that the composer and librettist’s original wishes were carried out and “realistic” productions were staged.[3]

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Triumphal March from Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. Metropolitan Opera House,1989.

 

This day in the yesteryear: THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE OPENS WITH A PERFORMANCE OF FAUST (1883)


The Metropolitan Opera House Opens with a Performance of Faust (1883)

New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House is the leading US opera company. It opened in 1883 after having been founded by a group of millionaires who had failed to get boxes at the prestigious and exclusive Academy of Music. The “Met” soon outshined its rival and is now considered one of the world’s premier opera stages. Originally located at Broadway and 39th Street, it moved into the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1966. Who were among the Met’s founding millionaires? More… Discuss

 

Gioacchino Rossini – La Cenerentola – Overture



La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant) is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto was written by Jacopo Ferretti, based on the fairy tale Cinderella. The opera was first performed in Rome’s Teatro Valle on 25 January 1817.

 

Massenet – Seven Dances from Le Cid performed by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra



This is a live performance of Jules Massenet‘s Seven Dances from the second act of his opera “Le Cid” by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Darryl One. This performance took place at the Victoria Fine Arts Center on October 15, 2011.

 

Offenbach – Barcarolle , from ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’: Oh the Barcarolle!



From Wikipedia ,
Les contes d’Hoffmann (in English: The Tales of Hoffmann) is an opera by Jacques Offenbach. It was first performed in Paris, at the Opéra-Comique, on February 10, 1881.

The libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on three short stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann. E.T.A. Hoffmann himself is a character in the opera just as he often is in his stories. The stories upon which the opera is based are Der Sandmann,Rath Krespel, and Das verlorene Spiegelbild.
The opera contains a prologue, three acts and an epilogue. Offenbach did not live to see his opera performed, since he died on October 5, 1880, just over four months before its premiere. Before his death, Offenbach had completed the piano score and orchestrated the prologue and the first act. Since he did not entirely finish the writing, many different versions of this opera emerged, some bearing little resemblance to the original work. The version performed at the opera’s premiere was that by Ernest Guiraud, who completed Offenbach’s scoring and wrote the recitatives.
The Barcarolle

The most famous aria from the opera is the “Barcarolle” (Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour), which is performed in Act 2. Curiously, the aria was not written by Offenbach with Les Contes d’Hoffmann in mind. He wrote it as a ghost-song in the opera Les fées du Rhin (which premiered in Vienna on February 8, 1864 as Die Rheinnixen). Offenbach died with Les contes d’Hoffmann unfinished.

Ernest Guiraud completed the scoring and wrote the recitatives for the premiere. He also incorporated this excerpt from one of Offenbach’s earlier, long-forgotten operas into the new opera.

The Barcarolle has been incorporated into many movies including Life Is Beautiful and Titanic.