Saturday, March 14, 2009

I *heart* opera

I feel like writing something, but I don't know what.

I was listening to the Met's radio broadcast this afternoon. This is my first season doing that and already I'm starting to get a bit sad about the end of the season. That may not be until April twenty-fifth, but I'm still feeling it. Today's opera was Rusalka by Dvorak, which is one that I'd never heard before. It's sort of a Little Mermaid-type story--click here for the Met's synopsis. It's also one of those where a main character cannot speak to another character (which also happens in two other operas that the Met performed this year: Mozart's The Magic Flute--Tamino and Papagino can't speak to Pamina as part of a test of Tamino's love--and Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice--Orfeo can't speak to Euridice as he's leading her out of the Underworld).

Tomorrow is the Met's 125th anniversary gala (which starts at 7:00 PM ADT/6:00 PM EDT and will be streamed live via Real Player) and according to a feature on the anniversary minisite called The Met by the Numbers, my favouritist (how third grade does that sound?!) opera, La Bohème, has been performed a whopping one thousand, two hundred and eight times! It doesn't say when the first Met performance was, but that's still really impressive. I can't help but think about all those hankies and kleenexes (I always cry at the end of that opera--it's so beautiful and terribly sad at the same time).

I just read down the list (which names twenty-five operas--coincidence?), and most of them are ones that I know at least one piece from (numbers are up-to-date as of today):

  • *La Bohème (#1: 1,208 times; I know the whole thing)
  • Aïda (#2: 1,103; the ballet music from Act III and the Triumph March)
  • La Traviata (#3: 952; the overture and Libiamo)
  • Carmen (#4: 945; anything that's in Suite #1 or Suite #2)
  • *Madama Butterfly (#6: 830; I know the whole thing--though not back-to-front like I do La Bohème)
  • *Rigoletto (#7: 821; Questa o quella and La donna è mobile)
  • Faust (#8: 733; the Jewel Song)
  • Cavelleria Rusticana (#10: 665; the Intermezzo Sinfonico)
  • Lohengrin (#11: 618; the Prelude to Act III)
  • *Il Trovatore (#12: 607; the Anvil Chorus)
  • Il Barbiere di Siviglia (#13: 574; about half of it plus the overture)
  • *Lucia di Lammermoor (#14: 580; all of it)
  • *Die Walküre (#15: 518; the Ride of the Walkuries)
  • Don Giovanni (#16: 510; all of it, particularly the piece that's featured in Amadeus)
  • *Tristan und Isolde (#18: 455; Liebestod)
  • Le Nozze di Figaro (#19; 441: the Overture)
  • *Die Zauberflöte (#21: 392; the Met's Family Production, which is shorter than the original opera)
  • Roméo et Juliette (#23: 322; the Balcony Scene)
  • Otello (#24: 314; the Ballabile)
*Played during the 125th season.

Now, as to who'll actually read this list (besides me) is anyone's guess. Nonetheless, I feel an iTunes playlist coming on--which I'll burn to a CD. I don't have all of them (like Questa o quella, which I love; or Libiamo--although I have it on DVD).

So who's up for an opera-fest?

Guess I found something to write about after all.

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