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- New Year’s Resolutions? I’ve Only Got the One: Clean Up My Room December 23, 2018
- Mark Making, The Zen of Seeing, the Byzantine Monocondyle and the Seven Bridges of Königsberg November 30, 2018
- On the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice: Shanks, E., 100 Years Dead, Not Forgotten November 10, 2018
- Black Bean Dye and Black Bean Soup October 23, 2018
- A Titanic Love Affair, Horse Chestnut Husk Dye and Mordanting with Moses the Chemist October 15, 2018
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Category Archives: Opera
My titanic love affair has little to do with those 12 sprogs/pre-Olympian gods of Uranus, less still the ill-fated ship of that name. I’m in love with the oxalate of a mineral element, Titanium Oxalate (C4O8Ti) which is a new … Continue reading
At the moment I’m singing through Handel, 45 Arias from Operas and Oratorios which is a three-volume collection of sheet music edited by American pianist, composer, music editor and singing teacher Sergius Kagen and published by the International Music Company (New York). Continue reading
I had a first-time try last Friday at singing some of the songs from Hector Berlioz’ song cycle Les Nuits d’Eté (Summer Nights) the texts for which came from six poems composed by Theophile Gautier.
I’ve had a CD for some years of the song cycle recorded by the late great Janet Baker, so I was not entirely unfamiliar with it. I never thought at the time that I’d one day be singing it.
The theme of the cycle is love, its progress from innocence to loss and renewal. The second song of the cycle, Le Spectre de la Rose, began as a work for piano – Afforderung zum Tanz (Invitation to the Dance) – written, in 1819, by Carl Maria von Weber. Continue reading
I can sing, in a sling!
I had a go at this aria a couple of weeks ago. There are many versions on You Tube. I like this interpretation because it is excerpted from a staged opera and thus live rather than studio recorded, or performed as part of a recital; and Diana Damrau has such a meaty dramatic voice.
The Tales of Hoffmann is an opera in three acts composed by Jacques Offenbach. Elle a Fui … is Antonia’s aria from the second act. Its most famous aria is from act 3, Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour, sung by the character Giulletta. Continue reading
This is an excerpt from the 1996 film version of Jane Austen’s Emma, with Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) duetting charmingly with Frank Churchill (Ewan McGregor). The song is an English version of a Handel aria, Non Lo Diro Col Labbro. The English song wasn’t created, however, until 100 years after Jane Austen wrote Emma. Ah, well, poetic licence … Continue reading
An opera in four acts by Alfredo Catalani (1854-1893), La Wally presents a romeo-juliet situation in which our heroine – Wally – (short for Wallburga) is in love with Giuseppe, the son of an enemy of her father. It’s set … Continue reading
“It isn’t over till the fat lady sings”
I won’t get time to write tomorrow, so I’m doing it today. Tomorrow I have a singing lesson in the morning and then in the evening, a rehearsal for the concert on Saturday. In between, I’ll probably need to lie down … Anybody who thinks singing isn’t a physical activity, … wrong! I know, it isn’t over till the fat lady sings – there is this lingering image of sopranos as large ladies. Continue reading