What crosses one’s mind if confronted with the terms “Italian song” and “Italian art song”? Well, titles like O sole mio and Torna a Surriento are for sure common connotations, as well as Mamma or Incantesimo. Sure, the first two are Neapolitan songs, and the latter are
Before the advent of discography, songs were rarely included by opera singers in their repertoire but they made exception for folkloristic songs especially in Germany, Russia and England, which were deemed suitable for concerts and refined salons.
A supremely gifted mezzo-soprano can make a career out of singing the the great Verdi mezzo roles – Azucena in Il Trovatore, Eboli in Don Carlo, and Amneris in Aida. Eboli presents a an especially challenging role for the singer who portrays the spurned princess.
‘Ella giammai m’amò’ (from Don Carlo) is the most moving and poignant aria that Verdi, or for that matter anyone except perhaps Mussorgsky, ever wrote for a bass. King Philip controls half the world, but his family and his church defy him. He’s made one of life’s greater mistakes – he’s married a much younger woman.
Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) Born into an aristocratic family, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was educated at a naval college in St. Petersburg and sailed the world as a naval officer. While still a naval officer, he was composing music and was part of a group
Saint-Saëns – like Berlioz, is one of a rare breed – a French composer who does not owe his success to opera. His father was a civil servant who died from consumption when the boy was only a few months old which meant that he was brought up by his mother and his Great-Aunt and it was she who encouraged his musical talent. He was a child prodigy in every sense and soaked up knowledge like a sponge. By the time he was three he had learned to read and write and by the time he was eight he had some mastery of Latin and was well on his way to being a multi-faceted intellectual. He Saint-Saëns – like Berlioz, is one of a rare breed – a French composer who does not owe his success to opera. His father was a civil servant who died from consumption when the boy was only a few months old which meant that he was brought