Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Elina Garancha: Habanera by Georges Bizet from Carmen

Habanera ("L'amour est un oiseau rebelle") from Act I of the French opera CARMEN by Georges Bizet. Listen as the great mezzosoprano of our time, Elina Garancha sings Habanera:


video

More on Habanera by Georges Bizet and his opera "Carmen" in my other blog; this one with the Toreador Song.

Role :
Carmen, a gypsy

Voice Part :
mezzo-soprano
Fach : lyric mezzo|dramatic mezzo

Setting :
A square in Seville

Range :
D4 to F#/Gb5.
Tessitura :
D4 to D5

Synopsis :
After appearing out of the cigarette factory, Carmen seductively sings about love and its unpredictable actions.

English Translation:

Love is a rebellious bird
That nothing can tame,
And it is simply in vain to call it
If it is convient for it to refuse.
Nothing will work, threat or pleading,
One speaks, the other stays quiet;
And it's the other that I prefer
He said nothing; but he pleases me.
Love! Love! Love! Love!


Love is the child of the Bohemian,
It has never, never known any law,
If you don't love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!


The bird you thought to surprise
Bat its wing and flew away;
Love is far away, you can wait for it;
If you wait for it no more, it is there!
All around you, quickly, quickly,
It comes, goes, then it comes back!
You think to hold it, it avoids you;
You think to avoid it, it holds you!
Love, love, love, love!


Love is the child of the Bohemian,
It has never, never known any law,
If you don't love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!

Elina Garancha sings CHANSON BOHÉMIENNE (Gypsy Song)

Music Reading Made Easy

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Maria Callas - Habanera by Georges Bizet from CARMEN (prelude included)

Habanera ("L'amour est un oiseau rebelle")
from Act I of the French opera CARMEN by Georges Bizet

Please, observe Maria Callas during first 2 minutes of prelude... she just stands there but somehow totally dominates the stage, but sheer presence of her persona... and then... she sings... amazing, truly amazing performance of La Divina:

video

More on Habanera by Georges Bizet and his opera "Carmen" in my other blog; this one with the Toreador Song  but let us now go back to Maria Callas and Habanera.
Role : Carmen, a gypsy
Voice Part :
mezzo-soprano Fach : lyric mezzo|dramatic mezzo

Setting :
A square in Seville

Range :
D4 to F#/Gb5.
Tessitura :
D4 to D5

Synopsis :
After appearing out of the cigarette factory, Carmen seductively sings about love and its unpredictable actions.

English Translation:

Love is a rebellious bird

That nothing can tame,
And it is simply in vain to call it
If it is convient for it to refuse.
Nothing will work, threat or pleading,
One speaks, the other stays quiet;
And it's the other that I prefer
He said nothing; but he pleases me.
Love! Love! Love! Love!

Love is the child of the Bohemian,
It has never, never known any law,
If you don't love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!

The bird you thought to surprise
Bat its wing and flew away;
Love is far away, you can wait for it;
If you wait for it no more, it is there!
All around you, quickly, quickly,
It comes, goes, then it comes back!
You think to hold it, it avoids you;
You think to avoid it, it holds you!
Love, love, love, love!

Love is the child of the Bohemian,
It has never, never known any law,
If you don't love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me, I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!
If you don't love me,
If you don't love me, I love you!
But, if I love you,
If I love you, keep guard of yourself!

Maria Callas Biography.

Toreador Song sung by Ruggero Raimondi

Enjoy in this great performance!! MORE about CARMEN and this great aria in my other post.


Ruggero Raimondi:

video

Votre Toast, Toreador Song English Translation.

Toreador Song, Votre Toast by Dmitri Hvorostovsky 

Music Reading Made Easy

Carlos Alvares: Toreador Song (translation) | CARMEN by Georges Bizet

"Gentlemen, there are no difficulties or problems. This opera is a scherzo with a fatal conclusion!" -Richard Strauss to the orchestra at the first rehearsal of "Carmen"
Toreador Song ("Votre toast je peux vous le rendre")
from Act I of the French opera, Carmen by Georges Bizet
Libretto : Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy


Carlos Alvarez:

video

"CARMEN" premiered in Paris on 3 March 1875, but was almost withdrawn after its fourth or fifth performance, and although this was avoided, ultimately having 48 performances in its first run it did little to bolster sagging receipts at the Opéra-Comique. Near the end of this run, the theatre was giving tickets away in order to stimulate attendance. Bizet died of a heart attack, aged 37, on 3 June 1875, never knowing how popular Carmen would become.

Watch and listen the legendary Ruggero Raimondi's rendition here.

Role
: Escamillo, a toreador
Voice Part : baritone
Fach : dramatic baritone
Setting : The inn of Lillias Pastia
Synopsis : Escamillo, a great bullfighter, sings of his adventures in the bullring.

English Translation:

Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre, Escamillo's aria from Carmen

Your toast, I can give it to you
Sirs, sirs, for along with the soldiers
Yes, the Toreros, can understand;
For pleasures, for pleasures
They have combats!
The arena is full,
it is the feast day!
The arena is full, from top to bottom;
The spectators, losing their heads,
The spectators began a big fracas!

Grow to a furor!
Because it is a celebration of courage!
It is the celebration of people with heart!
Let’s go, on guard! Let’s go! Let’s go! Ah!
Toreador, on guard! Toreador, Toreador!
And dream away, yes, dream in combat,
That a black eye is watching you,
And that love awaits you,
Toreador, love awaits you!
And dream away, yes dream in combat,
That a black eye is watching you
And may love await you,
Toreador, love await you!

All of a sudden, it is silent
Ah, what is happening?
More cries! It is the moment!
More cries! It is the moment!
The bull throws himself out
Bounding out of the Toril!
He throws himself out! He enters.
He strikes! A horse rolls,
Dragging a picador,
Ah, Bravo! Bull! The crowd roars!
The bull goes, he comes,
He comes and strikes again!
Shaking his banderillos,
Full of fury, he runs!
The arena is full of blood!
They save themselves, they pass the gates
It is your turn now. Let’s go!
On guard! Let’s go! Let’s go! Ah!
Toreador, on guard! Toreador, Toreador!
And dream away, yes, dream in combat,
That a black eye is watching you,
And that love awaits you,
Toreador, Love awaits you!
And dream away, yes, dream in combat,
That a black eye is looking at you
And that love awaits you
Toreador, love awaits you!
And dream away, yes, dream in combat,
That a black eye is looking at you
And that love awaits you
And that love awaits you.
Toreador, love awaits you!
Love! Love! Love!
Toreador, Toreador, love awaits you!

Votre Toast, Toreador Song by Dmitri Hvorostovsky 





Monday, July 27, 2009

Nessun Dorma from Turandot by the Three Tenors

Spectacular version of the famous Nessun Dorma from "Turandot" by Giacomo Pucini. The Three Tenors; Placido Domingo, José Carerras and Luciano Pavarotti:


video

More on this famous aria with Nessun Dorma English Translation and another version, Nessun Dorma by Luciano Pavarotti is here.




Giacomo Puccini Turandot Synopsis


Nessun Dorma by Luciano Pavarotti | Turandot

The first performance of the Opera in three acts, TURANDOT was held at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 25 April 1926 and conducted by Arturo Toscanini. This performance included only Puccini's music and not Alfano's additions, the most famous being exactly this, "Nessun Dorma" ("I will win").

Nessun dorma - (Completed after Puccini's death)
, from Act III of the Italian opera, Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto : Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni

Here is a magnificent Luciano Pavarotti's rendition, live in Paris:


video


Role : Calaf, the "Unknown Prince"
Voice Part : tenor
Fach : dramatic tenor/heldentenor
Setting : The gardens before the walls of Peking
Synopsis : A herald has just announced that no one will sleep in the Peking until the Calaf's name is known to the Princess under pain of death. Calaf, who knows that he has agreed to be killed if Turandot learns his name before the morning, is not worried. He is sure that he will be the only one to reveal his name to the Princess and this only after morning has come and the Princess has consented to be his wife.

Nesun Dorma English Translation:

No one sleeps! No one sleeps!
You too, O Princess!
in your chaste room
are watching the stars which
tremble with love and hope!
But my secret lies hidden within me,
no one shall discover my name!
Oh no, I will reveal it only on your lips,
when daylight shines forth
and my kiss shall break
the silence which makes you mine

(no one shall discover my name!
And we will have to die!)

Depart, oh night!
Fade away, you stars!
At dawn I shall win!


Giacomo Puccini Turandot Synopsis

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rigoletto by Giussepe Verdi - The Famous Quartet (Anna Netrebko, Elina Garancha)

Operatic masterpiece in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, "Rigoletto" was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo.

Full synopsis of "Rigoletto" could be found here.

Listen and watch the famous Quartet from the Rigoletto:


video


The Quartet:

One of the finest examples of ensemble writing in all of opera occurs in Act III of. The stage is set so that the two characters inside the inn (the Duke and Maddalena) are unaware of the two characters outside (Gilda and Rigoletto). The audience gets a side view, with a clear visual differentiation of the double scene. Maddalena, the sister of the assassin Sparafucile (who has been hired by Rigoletto to murder his nemesis the Duke) has enticed the Duke to the inn. Outside, Rigoletto has brought Gilda to see what a horrible two-timing cheater he is. They peer into the tavern from the outside. After an introductory section consisting mostly of musical dialogue over a catchy orchestral melody (Ex. #11), the quartet proper begins.
The opening segment belongs entirely to the Duke--"Bella figlia dell'amore" ("Beautiful daughter of love") (Ex. #12a). It is a soaring, legato phrase that expresses his new found love for Maddalena.

Maddalena responds coquettishly in a staccato phrase that takes no more than a measure to express (Ex. #12b).

Gilda's voice, from outside the inn, responds immediately, starting on a high note and descending rapidly, with 2 short breaks in her phrase (Ex. 12c). She is beginning to realize that she is being betrayed.
Maddalena and Gilda repeat their phrases and the 4th member of the quartet, Rigoletto, then adds his voice to the ensemble saying in effect, "I told you so" (Ex. 12d).

The 4 voices now merge, but maintain their individuality throughout. Notice in the next example (Ex. 13) how the Duke and Maddalena alternate their lines of flirtation, while Gilda and Rigoletto, the uppermost and lowermost voices sing parallel rhythms in contrary motion.

Later in the quartet, Gilda has breathless, 2-note phrases; Maddalena laughs on 1 pitch; the Duke is still soaring with a legato phrase and Rigoletto holds up the bass of the harmony with 16th notes alternating with a long sustained C (Ex. #14). The four voice parts, individual not only in melody and rhythm, but also in the type of emotion expressed, add up to a quartet which is remakable in its psychological differentiation among the characters and yet at the same time, a unity of great power and persuasiveness.

Verdi - Rigoletto / Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, Edita Gruberova, Victoria Vergara, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Riccardo Chailly



Elina Garancha (as Carmen), Anna Netrebko.

Should you wish to hear legendary performance of La donna e mobile by Enrico Caruso, just follow the link.

La Traviata (Brindisi) w. Maria Callas & Francesco Albanese

La Traviata, the Brindisi song (Libiamo ne'lieti calici) with Maria Callas (biography) and Francesco Albanese:

video

NOTE
: More on "Brindisi", La Traviata and Giussepe Verdi, with the Drinking Song aria English translation and the cheerful version with Anna Netrebko (video) is in my other blog post.

Maria Callas Biography series is here.

Music Reading Made Easy

La Traviata by Giusseppe Verdi: The "Drinking Song" (Brindisi Translation)

"Libiamo ne' lieti calici", the famous "Brindisi" or "Drinking Song" from La Traviata de Giussepe Verdi. Arugably one of the most famous operas ever written, story of a fallen Violetta is based on "The Lady of the Camellias" by Alexandre Dumas, son.

The premiere, on 6th March 1853 in Venice's La Fenice, was the utter failure! Afterwards Giusseppe Verdi wrote to his friend Muzio what has now become perhaps his most famous letter: "La Traviata last night a failure. My fault or the singers'? 250 years later we still enjoy the beauty of Verdis' music.

I love this cheerful version, performed in Baden-Baden, with Anna Netrebko (soprano - Russia), Elina Garanca (mezzo-soprano - Latvia), Ramón Vargas (tenor - Mexico), Ludovic Tézier (baritone - France)

video
More on this Famous Aria:

Role: Alfredo Germont, a young man in love with Violetta
Voice Part: tenor
Fach: lyric tenor
Setting: A late-night party at the house of Violetta Valery Range : Has not been entered yet. Synopsis : Alfredo is convinced by Gastone and Violetta to show off his voice. He sings (as this title suggests) a drinking song. English translation is below.
               


English Translation:

Let us drink from the goblets of joy
adorned with beauty,
and the fleeting hour shall be adorned
with pleasure.

Let us drink to the secret raptures
which love excites,
for this eye reigns supreme in my heart...

Let us drink, for with wine
love will enjoy yet more passionate kisses.
With you I can spend
the time with delight.

In life everything is folly
which does not bring pleasure.
Let us be happy, fleeting and rapid
is the delight of love;
it is a flower which blooms and dies,
which can no longer be enjoyed.

Let us be happy, fervent and enticing words summon us.
(Be happy... wine and song and laughter
beautify the night;
let the new day find us in this paradise.)
Life is nothing but pleasure,
as long as one is not in love.
Don’t say that to one who does not know it.
That is my fate...

NOTE: Do not miss Maria Callas's version of Brindisi here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mozart, the God of Music -- The Queen of the Night aria by Lucia Popp

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Magic Flute" is an opera in two acts composed in 1791 to a libretto by Emanuel Schikander. The Magic Flute was premiered in Vienna, Austria, on September 30, 1791 with Mozart conducting it. Can you IMAGINE THAT??, listening to the opera conducted by the Mozart himself?

Arguably the most famous aria from The Magic Flute is "The Queen of the Night" performed by great Lucia Popp (excuse a mistake in video when it says Bartoli, this is unmistakingly Lucia Popp's voice. Enjoy:

video
More on this Fabulous Aria:

Role : The Queen of the Night,
Voice Part : soprano
Fach : dramatic coloratura
Setting : A magical forest
Range : D4 to F6Tessitura : A5 to A#/Bb6

Synopsis : The Queen of the Night laments that her daughter Pamina has been abducted by King Sarastro. She promises Tamino that if he rescues her, he can marry her. English translation below.

English Translation:
O tremble not, my dear son.
You are innocent, wise, and pious;
A youth such as you
Must do his best
This deeply troubled Mother's heart to comfort.

To suffer I have been selected,
For my daughter is gone from me;
Through her has all my fortune been lost,
A scoundrel has fled with her.
Still I see her trembling
With fearful shaking,
Her frightened quaking,
Her timid effort.

I had to see her stolen from me,
Ah, help! Ah, Help!
Was all she said.
Alone, in vain was her entreaty,
For my help was too weak.
You, you, you, will go to set her free,
You will the daughter's savior be.

And should I see you as victor,
May she be then forever yours.