“Young soprano Elizabeth Gentner…has a supple, full-bodied voice perhaps better suited for a larger venue, but displayed a confidence and command of comedy unusual in a performer at such an early stage in her career.” ~Kathleen Whalen, Daily Republic Correspondent
Happy Birthday to Victor Borge! #TodayInOpera Victor Borge, Meet @TheMuppets
#TodayInOpera Gustave Charpentiers opera Louise, premiered in Paris in 1900. Here is Leontyne Price singing “Depuis le jour.”
Franco Corelli sings “E lucevan le stelle” from Puccini’s Tosca
This is the aria, sung by the man, from the opera.
It can bring me to tears before the clarinet finishes its first few notes. I know every word, every note and every breath. I’ll never sing this, myself. I know how this story ends. I know how it started. It makes me cry, every time.
He’s a painter and a political rebel, she’s the reigning operatic superstar of her time and they love each other. She’s absurdly jealous. He’s dangerously impulsive. They know the flaws and joys of being genuinely in love with a real person. A corrupt politician throws the lover’s world into chaos because of his own lust. The lovers are threatened with torture, rape and murder. He’s locked in a cage awaiting his own execution, and he sells his last material possession to send her a letter.
You see, he thinks he’s lost her… That moment is the most telling. That singular moment when he thinks he will never see her again. That’s how you know what he really thinks, what he really feels… Well, at least, that’s what the storybooks say….
The suspended agony, the revelry in the moment is something uniquely operatic. In “real life” this is a breath, a fleeting memory. In operatic theater, this is beauty, pain, pleasure, hope, loss, anger, irony, desire and so much more. These conflicting sensations vibrate the air in suspended animation for performer and audience alike to feel. We hear our very humanity ringing in the air.
This and other moments like it are why opera has been my life’s work. It gives us more than the 3 dimensions that life offers us regularly. Opera demands that time itself hold still, while we revel in awe at Love.
I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Enjoy what you have and who you have and revel in your own fleeting moments.
This clip is how I fell in love with the voice of Marilyn Horne. I was learning this duet for a concert. I had heard her sing in recordings many times before. However, this recording is how I became familiar with the depth and versatility of her artistry! Happy Birthday Maestra!
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This is another headshot from Lauren Schierloh Photography. This shoot was just a couple weeks before I left on my grand adventure!
After my audition yesterday, I went out to explore Milan. The obvious first destination for any opera singer is La Scala. Well, when I got there they had just closed for the afternoon. So I was forced to wait a bit for my first entrance to La Scala. I found a nice pizzeria in the Galleria and had a nice leisurely lunch with the one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while.
It gave me a little time to daydream as about my future life as a traveling international opera star. The daydream is not that far off from my current reality of traveling and singing. The big differences come with the accommodations and the longer stays in a city, as well as a difference in purpose from desperately finding work, to enjoying making music. Rather than a local hostel and the occasional discount hotel, my imagination upgrades my travels to 5 star hotels and furnished flats with more time working on performances and less time on auditions.
The real difference between fantasy and really isn’t the core of what I’m am trying to accomplish. While my fantasy is lovely, I can live without the creature comforts and still make my dreams come true!