View Poll Results: Which opera with sleepwalking do you prefer?

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  • Verdi's Macbeth

    4 50.00%
  • Bellini's La Sonnambula

    4 50.00%
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Thread: Favorite Opera with Sleepwalker

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Default Favorite Opera with Sleepwalker

    Now here are two very different operas with sleepwalking as part of the plot.

    I know, its an apples to oranges comparison, but which do you prefer?

    Verdi's Macbeth where "A doctor and a servant observe the Queen as she walks in her sleep, wringing her hands and attempting to clean them of blood (Una macchia è qui tuttora! / "Yet here's a spot"). She raves about the deaths of both Duncan and Banco, and even about the deaths of Macduff's family, and that all the perfumes of Arabia would not clean the blood off her hands: all are things that the horrified witnesses would never dare to repeat to any living man."

    or

    Bellini's La Sonnambula where "She enters the room, walking in her sleep, all the while calling for Elvino and asking where he is. Realising that her nocturnal wanderings have given rise to the story of the village phantom, Rodolfo is about to take advantage of her helpless state. But then he is struck by her obvious innocence and refrains. ... [Later] the sleeping Amina walking across the high, dangerously unstable mill bridge... All watch as she relives her betrothal and her grief at Elvino's rejection [because she was found in Roldolfo's room sleeping], taking the withered flowers in her hand. (Aria: Amina Ah! non credea mirarti / sì presto estinto, o fiore / "I had not thought I would see you, dear flowers, perished so soon".) Then as she reaches the other side safely, the distraught Elvino calls to her and she is taken into his arms."

    For those further interested in the sleepwalking aspect, here is an article,

    Sleepwalking in Italian Operas: A Window on Popular and Scientific Knowledge on Sleep Disorders in the 19th Century

    Then there is another opera that is very obscure: Il Sonnambulo' by Michele Carafa. Here is an article about it,
    ‘Il Sonnambulo' by Michele Carafa: A Forgotten Romantic Opera with Sleepwalking

    Now if all that doesn't put you to sleep, nothing will.
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Nov-30-2018 at 02:16.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dr. Shatterhand's Avatar
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    Default

    Ernest Bloch's Macbeth.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFuller View Post
    Ernest Bloch's Macbeth.
    If not so obscure, I could put it up against Michele Carafa's Il Sonnambulo.
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Nov-30-2018 at 02:46.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dr. Shatterhand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    If not so obscure, I could put it up against Michele Carafa's Il Sonnambulo.
    Or Lully's Atys, where the dramatic high point of the opera is the hero falling asleep. (Joining the audience.)

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    I did discover from reading the link I posted that Carafa's sleepwalker is more like the one in Macbeth with murder on his hands. I think I will stick with Bellini.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  7. #6
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    These two arias have nothing in common one goes from being bananas, being happy again, the other one ending up, well you know what happens.
    Theatre, a forum for public debate, an arena for cathartic spectacle and somewhere for vain bitchy people to show off in front of big crowds!

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  9. #7
    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Verdi

    like....really? name me ONE other opera where a full sized dramatic soprano voice goes up to a pianissimo Db6? the demands of this role are truly incredible. so many moments stop you in your tracks, like this one sung by Birgit Nilsson

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  11. #8
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    There is a story behind the famous 58 studio Verdi Heroines recording, Maria had sung the sleepwalking song nearly perfect for recording and upon replay she was happy and ready to approve for final release but producer Walter Legge insisted she do another take and try to capture the dark psychological undercurrents, to peer over the dark abyss where the mind should never go and expect to return intact......

    The result is a performance that almost defies description......amazing!

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Nov-30-2018 at 20:43.

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  13. #9
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    What a loss for EMI not to have made that complete Macbeth with Callas and Gobbi.

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  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    There is a story behind the famous 58 studio Verdi Heroines recording, Maria had sung the sleepwalking song nearly perfect for recording and upon replay she was happy and ready to approve for final release but producer Walter Legge insisted she do another take and try to capture the dark psychological undercurrents, to peer over the dark abyss where the mind should never go and expect to return intact......

    The result is a performance that almost defies description......amazing!

    Here's Callas's break down of the scene but with illustrations from the live De Sabata recording of 1952. Personally, I think this is one occasion where 1958 Callas trumps 1952 Callas. Rescigno adopts a slightly slower speed, which gives her time to delve even more deeply into its dark centre.

    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  17. #11
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Yes GM Maria was in very good voice that day in 58 for studio recording, latest Warner remaster offers maximum fine detail of sound and Maria is able to be rested between songs and do re-takes giving us these definitive performances, I had not heard that complete interview before of sleepwalking scence and hoped my post was not just spreading a mythical Callas story I had read about somewhere
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Dec-01-2018 at 15:41.

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