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Shirley Verrett – “Amour viens rendre à mon âme” – “Orphée et Eurydice” – Ch. W. Gluck – 1968 by Luca

“Orfeo ed Euridice” (French version: Orphée et Eurydice; English translation: Orpheus and Eurydice) is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus, set to a libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi. It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing. […]

Maria Callas – “Habanera” – “Carmen” – Covent Garden – G. Bizet – 1962 – Dir. Georges Prêtre by Luca

Georges Bizet formally Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) was a French composer, mainly of operas. In a career cut short by his early death, he achieved few successes before his final work, “Carmen”, became one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertory. During […]

Shirley Verrett – “Samson recherchant ma presence” – “Samson et Dalila” – C. Saint-Saëns – The San Francisco Opera – Julius Rudel conductor – (1981) by Luca

Shirley Verrett (May 31, 1931 – November 5, 2010) was an African-American operatic mezzo-soprano who successfully transitioned into soprano roles i.e. soprano sfogato. Verrett enjoyed great fame from the late 1960s through the 1990s, particularly well-known for singing the works of Verdi and Donizetti. Born into an African-American family of devout Seventh-day Adventists in New […]

Edita Gruberova & Arleen Augér – “Se viver non degg’io” – “Mitridate, Re di Ponto” – Dir. Leopold Hager – (1987) by Luca

“Mitridate, re di Ponto” (“Mithridates, King of Pontus”), K. 87 (74a), is an early opera seria in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The libretto is by Vittorio Amadeo Cigna-Santi after Giuseppe Parini’s Italian translation of Jean Racine. Mozart wrote Mitridate while touring Italy in 1770. The musicologist Daniel E. Freeman has recently demonstrated that […]

Lorraine Hunt – “Ombra mai fu” – “Serse” – G. F. Händel by Luca

“Serse” (“Xerxes”, HWV 40) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frederick Händel. It was first performed in London on 15 April 1738. The Italian libretto was adapted by an unknown hand from that by Silvio Stampiglia for an earlier opera of the same name by Giovanni Bononcini in 1694. Stampiglia’s libretto was […]

Arleen Auger – “Piangerò la sorte mia” – “Giulio Cesare in Egitto” – G. F. Händel (London – 1724) by Luca

“Händel is the greatest composer who ever lived. I would bare my head and kneel at his grave”. ( L. v. Beethoven -1824) Most music lovers have encountered George Frederick Händel through holiday-time renditions of the “Messiah”‘s “Hallelujah” chorus. And many of them know and love that oratorio of Christ’s life and death, as well […]