I haven’t posted much about opera in these pages although it is a genre of music that I find quite enjoyable and something which I’ve enjoyed learning more about (but do recognize that I have a lot more to learn). Over the past decade or so I’ve listened to more opera than the other 4 or 5 previous decades combined and I’m sure there’s even more to come.
Like most explorations of music, your ear is the best place to start. By listening to a wide variety of types, and eras, and performers, you can start to develop your own sense of what you enjoy the most.
Here are a few selections from operas that I find immensely enjoyable. They stand well alone and can be a stepping stone to finding out more about the particular works. I’ve chosen arias sung by females (and no, they’re not at all fat) and will address their male counterparts in another post.
Enjoy and have a great weekend.
- “Song to the Moon” – from Dvorak’s “Rusalka”. Performed by Renee Fleming at the BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall. First performed in 1901 in Prague.
- “O Mio Babbino Caro” – from “Gianni Schicchi” by Puccini. Performed by Kiri te Kanawa. A comic one-act opera composed in 1918. This piece highlights Kiri’s beautiful voice extremely well.
- “Ombra Mai Fu” from Handel’s “Xerxes” (“Serse” in the original Italian.) as sung by Cecilia Bartoli. It is difficult to describe how beautiful this is and even more difficult to describe how good Bartoli is with this aria. I love the stage setting of the video also. For me, this would rank among the best arias I have ever heard.
- “Quando Me’n Vo'” – from “La Boheme” by Puccini. Song by Anna Netrebko at a recital celebrating thee 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. A beautiful piece of music also known as “Musetta’s Waltz”.
- “Regnava nel silenzio” – by Donizetti from the opera “Lucia di Lammermoor” composed in 1835. Sung by the late, great Maria Callas (1923 – 1977). This aria is a prime example of the power and range of Callas’ magnificent voice.