Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prepare for OITP

Per a request on Facebook, here's a guide to most of the music you'll hear this Saturday at Opera in the Park. Get excited and know your stuff!

Gioachino Rossini: Overture from Il Viaggio a Reims
  • Premiered in 1825, this is Rossini's last opera in the Italian language and features music considered his most grand. The plot revolves around a group of guests at an inn en route to the coronation of King Charles X of France, for whom the work was written.
  • About / Video
Rossini: "Una voce poco fa" from Il Barbiere di Siviglia
  • Premiered in 1816, Il Barbiere di Siviglia--based on Beaumarchais's comedy--remains Rossini's most popular work (the Overture alone has appeared in countless commercials). This aria is sung by sweet and saucy Rosina upon her entrance. She is the object of both Dr. Bartolo and Count Almaviva's affection, and it is only with the help of Figaro that she ends up with her true love in the end.
  • Lyrics / Video
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Champagne Aria and "La ci darem la mano" from Don Giovanni
  • Mozart's 1787 masterpiece is based on the legend of the amoral womanizer Don Juan. Throughout the opera he celebrates his seductions, though in the end he faces harsh judgement.
  • Champagne Aria: Lyrics / Video
  • "La ci darem la mano": Lyrics / Video
Giacomo Puccini: "Recondita armonia" from Tosca
  • One of Puccini's most popular works, Tosca premiered in 1900. The opera follows the singer Floria Tosca and the painter Mario Cavaradossi as their love is interupted by misplaced jealousy, political intrigue, one really evil dude and ultimately death. "Recondita armonia" is Cavaradossi's early aria that compares a painting of Mary Magdalene he is working on to the beautiful Tosca.
  • Lyrics / Video
Giuseppe Verdi: "O patria mia" from Aida
  • This is Verdi at his most spectacular, in 1871. Here's the Wikipedia plot overview: "Aida, an Ethiopian princess, is captured and brought into slavery in Egypt. A military commander, Radames, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the Pharaoh. To complicate the story further, Radames is loved by the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris, although he does not return her feelings." Aida's Act III aria "O patria mia" is sung as she waits to meet with Radames for their escape.
  • Lyrics / Video
Verdi: "Io morro" from Don Carlos
  • Originally written in French in 1867, the Italian version of Don Carlos did not premiere until 1884. This is Verdi's longest opera: unwinding the problems that ensue when the son of the King of Spain (Don Carlos) falls madly in love with his stepmother can take a while. The aria "Io morro" is sung by Rodrigo, a confidante of Carlos, as he dies for his friend.
  • Lyrics / Video
Georges Bizet: Seguidilla and duet, Flower Song, and Toreador Song from Carmen
  • As our press materials advertise for next season, this is Bizet's classic tragedy of love and lust in Seville. The 1875 opera-comique contains perhaps some of the world's best known melodies. As for the plot, well, let's see: gypsy girl Carmen successfully seduces corporal Don Jose (with the Seguidilla), then bullfighter Escamillo (Toreador Song) and Jose (Flower Song) both have their shot at seducing Carmen with mixed results. Hearts are tortured, knives fly, bandits, bulls, jealousy...it's wonderful.
  • Seguidilla: Lyrics / Video
  • Flower Song: Lyrics / Video
  • Toreador Song: Lyrics / Video
Pietro Mascagni: "Innegiamo" from Cavalleria Rusticana
  • Marking the beginning of verismo opera in 1890, Mascagni's one-act Cavalleria set the stage for Puccini's dominance in the following decades. Set in a small Sicilian village on Easter morning, "Rustic Chivalry" traces the betrayal of two lovers that ends in a deadly duel. "Innegiamo" is the beautiful Easter hymn at the center of the opera, sung by the betrayed peasant girl Santuzza and villagers.
  • About / Video
Richard Wagner: Overture, Senta's Ballad, and the Act III Chorus from The Flying Dutchman
  • Where to begin with Wagner? Loathed for his anti-semitism, hailed for revolutionizing opera. The debate over whether or not we can collectively separate the music from the man is still raging. Putting all that aside, in my book there is no overture more rousing than that for The Flying Dutchman, one of Wagner's early works from 1843. Fingers crossed the stormy music is not matched by the weather! Click, read, watch, listen and decide for yourself.
  • About / Video: Overture / Video: Senta's Ballad
As for the rest of the program, you can look forward to:
  • "Be my love" from The Toast of New Orleans (Brodzsky/Cahn)
  • "Vilja" from The Merry Widow (Lehar)
  • "So in love" and "Wunderbar" from Kiss Me, Kate (Porter/Bennett)
  • "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera (Webber/Hart)
  • "Stars" from Les Miserables (Schonberg/Boublil)
  • "You'll never walk alone" from Carousel (Rodgers/Hammerstein)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You picked the absolute BEST for the "Barbiere" clip! I'm a huge JDD fan. I see you already have the 2010 date scheduled - I will make a point to come to Madison to see this. Also coming to Carmen - toi toi toi!