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Thread: 5 Minutes to Make You Love Opera

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Jonas Kaufmann - E lucevan le stelle
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Katia Ricciarelli, Sherrill Milnes, Giuseppe Giacomini-Il Trovatore-Trio Act I,"Tace la notte"
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Luciano Pavarotti - Ah mes amis - Live at the Met 1972
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Sonya Yoncheva "La Traviata" Addio del Passato
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Luciano Pavarotti: Puccini - La Bohème, 'Che gelida manina'
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Tatiana Troyanos - Eboli - O don fatale (Don Carlo)
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Luciano Pavarotti - Vesti La Giubba - I Pagliacc
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Fiorenza Cossotto sings "Nel giardin del bello" from Giuseppe Verdi's "Don Carlo"

    Tebaldo - Judith Forst
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Massenet: Werther - Pourquoi me réveiller (Jonas Kaufmann)
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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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  19. #56
    Senior Member Macbeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuoksu View Post
    It saddens me to admit, that if you want to get someone into Opera in under 5 minutes, especially these days, this kind of stuff above is the only way. Show them something glamorous, pretty and "easy"/light ie. Netrebko, Garifullina etc. No one would learn to appreciate Flagstad in under 5mins nor do they want to.
    Although I know why you say this is "easy", that's nevertheless some goddamned good music! Lakmé in its entirety is gorgeous and can be the most bourgeois opera ever, it's easy to see what sort of audience it was aimed to, and why it sold so well, but after more than a hundred years, it is its musical quality what remains.

    Let's not forget that when composed, all of these works were popular entertainment. On the other hand, any approach as a newbie to any kind of knowledge, specially something as dense as classical music, has something of childish and naïve at the beginning, so even if it's difficult not to be disappointed at people's choices, it's only logical that attention is first drawn to so called "easy" pieces, or works that have been so succesful that you got sick of them long ago.

    From my personal experience, the main two "gates" to opera are Puccini and Mozart. And the arias that never fail to make friends ask what it is they're listening to are, the second aria of the Queen of the Night, Madama Butterfly's "un bel di vedremo", "nessun dorma" (this one ALWAYS followed by this short conversation: "Wow, what's this??" "Turandot" "WAT?" "Turandot, that's the title of the opera, and the aria, which is what you call a song in opera is called nessun dorma, because those are the first words of..." at this point I'm perceiving poker faces, so I stop "...never mind" they say )
    Then also some pieces that people assume to be opera because there are voices and stuff, say Carmina Burana (eyes rolling), Schubert's Ave Maria (which for some reason they always want to listen performed by Callas (?)... and then Queen of the Night )... and so on.

    But, to be fair, I'd say that Mozart and Puccini are very good first steps into opera, because Mozart combines Mozart's sublime genius to the absolute beauty of line that you can find also in italian bel canto, but not being romantic, lacks some of the dramatic flavour that we, as aficionados, love so much, while makes beginners question what are they listening to, and let's say "scares" them off.
    And Puccini, while being very dramatic, is also very modern, and so close to a "cinematographic" sensitivity, hence close to nowaday's tastes. As much as I love Strauss' operas, I don't think those make for an easy start, as it doesn't cast away the "screaming fat people" cliché.

    Oh! And there's always Carmen, of course.

    From there, if they are still interested, you can introduce them to Verdi, and if they don't run away, then they'll be prepared to appreciate anything.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Beverly Sills - Chacun le sait ( La fille du regiment - Gaetano Donizetti )
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post



    Tatiana Troyanos - Eboli - O don fatale (Don Carlo)
    Whilst this aria didn't introduce me to opera, it was certainly the one that took me to the next level. More specifically it was Agnes Baltsa on a live radio relay from Vienna in 1990, where she brought the house down. I wish I still had the cassette recording I made.

    Anyway, here she is, in a studio recording with Karajan
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpuFJs3nQU8

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Andre Gretry - L'amant jaloux (1778) - Aria for Leonore - "Je romps la chaine" (Sumi Jo)
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    LA CENERENTOLA - GIOACHINO ROSSINI
    Angelina: Joyce DiDonato
    Don Ramiro: Juan Diego Flórez
    Dandini: David Menéndez
    Don Magnifico: Bruno De Simone
    Tisbe: Itxaro Mentxaka
    Clorinda: Cristina Obregón
    Alidoro: Joan Martín-Royo
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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