Here's one of Armida's famous and difficult arias - "D'amore al dolce impero." The vocal range, technique, control, and execution needed to sing this aria well is only possessed by the most well-trained and experienced sopranos, but this YouTube clip of Renee Fleming makes it seem effortless. Follow along with Renee and read these lyrics to "D'amore al dolce impero" from Rossini's opera, Armida .
Rossini's opera, Armida, is considered by many to be home of one of the most challenging soprano roles in operatic repertoire., and after listening to several of Armida's arias, it's easy to understand why. (I'll post one of Armida's arias with lyrics and translation for you to see what I mean.) Learn the story of Rossini's opera, Armida, in this opera synopsis.
Though I'm partial to Maurice Durufle's "Ubi caritas," I have been thoroughly enjoying Paul Mealor's that he composed for the royal wedding in 2011. Learn the Latin lyrics and English translation of Ubi caritas.
Here's a heartfelt love song sung by Hoffmann after he lays eyes upon the human-like mechanical doll from Jacques Offenbach's opera, Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Learn the lyrics to "Allons! Courage et confiance...Ah! vivre deux!"
Puccini's aria, "Quando men vo", sung here by the sublime Renee Fleming, is an exquisite romantic aria. In the opera's second act, Musetta tries to make her ex-lover jealous of her new relationship. However, when she complains of her broken shoe and her new lover runs off to have it fixed, she ends up in the arms of her ex. Learn the lyrics to this sweet aria, "Quando men vo."
Here's another aria sung by the beautiful gypsy, Carmen. Sung in the first act of Bizet's opera, Carmen, we learn that Carmen has no problem using her feminine ways to coerce men into fulfilling her wants and desires. Here she sings a song to her guard, enticing him to abandon his duties and take her to her friends inn near the walls of Seville. Learn the lyrics to "Près des remparts de Séville."
Here's an opera that has enjoyed a somewhat moderate amount of success - Jacques Offenbach's La Périchole. The opera has lived through several revisions after it was first premiered in 1868. Learn the story of La Périchole in this synopsis.
Based on the play by Oscar Wilde, Richard Strauss wrote the opera Salome in 1905. Due to the highly controversial nature of the opera's content, the opera was banned by several major opera companies. Despite its controversies, the opera was highly successful and is now standard operatic repertoire. Learn the synopsis of Strauss' Salome.
For the past week, I've been on a tea drinking kick. Thanks to my local specialty tea shop, I have a wide selection of black, green, and white teas sitting in my pantry waiting to be brewed and enjoyed. After sipping the last bit of Friday morning's white tea selection (silver tips to be exact, which was superb), I got the idea to research and learn about successful and prominent Asian classical composers. I'm happy I did, because I discovered a few composers of which I've never heard. Though my list is brief, this should give you a good starting point if you're looking to add to your classical music library. Here is my list of 5 famous Asian classical composers.
It may be wishful thinking, but now that warm weather has officially rolled in and taken stay and the flowers are in bloom I cannot get visions of summer out of my head. So to tide myself over for the time being, I thought I'd put together my annual list of summer classical music festivals. Though I'd like to list every single one, here are a handful of 2013 summer classical music festivals around the US that will surely be worth a visit.