OPERA LINKS Feb 15, 2014
1.Today's inevitable Valentine-y opry links theme:
luuuuhve. Let's see. .
.they met about ten minutes before this. She came in to get her candle
lighted and wound up with her heart aflame! Two people meet, introduce
themselves, then declare their
undying love. In fifteen minutes. Just like life. Hard to think of a better
pairing than Jussi Bjorling and Victoria de los Angeles. Here is the duet,
"O Soave Fanciulla" ("O beautiful girl in the moonlight") from Puccini's "La
Puccini luuuhve wonderment, with Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna.
This is one of those Puccini moments---possibly the greatest of its
kind---where you can only mutter, "Oh my God," such is the staggering beauty
of it. The all-too-brief quartet with chorus from "La Rondine," ("The
while on "La Rondine," here's another lovely thing to swallow. (Pun alert!
Pun alert! You'll have to translate the title.) An old Opry Links fave, as
is Gheorghiu. How did Puccini write this stuff? Maybe it was the cigars.
They do facilitate concentration. "Doretta's Glorious Dream."
la notte placida"---"The night was still and quiet"---has a welling,
yearning piquancy seldom equaled in my (limited ) opera experience.
here is that great luuhve aria, "Sei il primo, l'ultimo, il mio tutto. . ."
From the opera, "L'amore senza limiti," by Barone Bianco. Here sung by the
composer himself, in a duet with Luciano Pavarotti. (Anybody who can tell me
what Pavarotti is singing?)
darem la mano" ('Give me thy hand, oh fairest"), from Don Giovanni, by the
man who never wrote a wrong note. Luuhve, genteel and restrained. Who said
opera singers have to wail?
you're out there, wondering, where are the tenors? And why don't you ever
show clips of Jonas Kaufmann? Wonder no more. Cavaradossi paints his love's
portrait. "Recondita Armonia," from "Tosca." "Hidden Harmony."
are all kinds of luuhhve, of course, so why exclude paternal? Here is
perhaps the most heartbreaking moment in all opera, in which Wotan, king of
the gods, parts from his daughter, Brunhilde. She didn't follow daddy's
orders, see, but realizes
the orders were the bidding of her evil stepmother (gee, why do I identify
with this?), and acts on her own in what she believes her father's true
beliefs were. This all has to do with rescuing a couple in love, who happen
to be brother and sister, but we'll leave that in the ambiguous morality of
mythology for now. Instead of simply stripping Brunhilde of her goddess-ness
and abandoning her to the mortal world, Wotan, the old softy, is persuaded
to first surround her with a magic fire that only the greatest of heroes
would brave in order to rescue her. So here is maybe the greatest Wotan
ever, Hans Hotter, in an old black-and-white clip. "Wotan's Farewell and the
Magic Fire Music," from "Das Rheingold," by Wagner. And Wagner's "Ring"
cycle, as the great conductor and scholar James Conlon will tell you, is all
about the redemptive power of love---as are, really, all of his operas.
Surprise, surprise. "Leb wohl,du kunhes, herrliches Kind!" "Farewell, you
for all the many people who have listened to each one of these Opry posts
today, but are just to shy to to click "like" (I know there are thousands of
you), here is the emperor of operatic love declarations, that will never be
surpassed, "Che Gelida
Manina" ("How cold your little hand is") from Puccini's "La Boheme." Nothing
else written captures the hope--"la speranza," which happens to get the
biggest note of the aria---of luuhve more than this. And yes, this is what
happens minutes before Rodolfo and Mimi declare their mutual love in "O
Soave Fanciulla," which was our first Opry link today. I tried singing this
to various women long ago, but, sad to say, it did not have the desired
impact. And I don't know of a better rendering than this one: