It's Valentine's Day! We thought about some of our favourite romantic arias or duets for the holiday and discovered that picking romantic music isn't always so easy in opera!
Gianna Wichelow, Senior Communications Manager, Creative - My choice is less about sentiment, more about seduction: I’m a sucker for a bass-baritone voice. Ruggero Raimondi as Don Giovanni sings the serenade, “Deh vieni alla finestra” with that unique voice of his, redolent of dark, spiced chocolate. His “non esser gioa mia con me crudele” (Do not, my joy, be cruel to me) has a slight hint of menace. Of all the versions I’ve heard of this, he brings to it the greatest sense of the Don as a seducer. Watch it here.
Bearitone Bear, Social Media Engagement Officer - Anything from Walton's The Bear.
Claire Morley, Communications Assistant - For me, it’s a tie. The final duet in Der Rosenkavalier, “Ist ein Traum / Spür nur dich” when Sophie and Octavian are finally able to be together (and for me, nothing beats Barbara Bonney and Anne Sofie von Otter’s rendition here) is heavenly. And “Che farò senza Euridice” from Orfeo ed Euridice, especially when sung by countertenor Andreas Scholl, is heartbreaking in its simple longing for one’s beloved. Listen to it here.
Cameron McPhail, baritone, Ensemble Studio member - That's easy. My choice would be "Within this frail crucible of light" from The Rape of Lucretia, because when you're an opera singer and away from your wife on Valentine's Day, you're bitter, lonely and wish everyone was feeling like you! ;) Hypothetically!
Mireille Asselin, soprano, Ensemble Studio member - My favourite romantic aria is Susanna's aria "Deh vieni, non tardar" from Le nozze di Figaro because it isn't a straightforward love song. She is tormenting him while simultaneously expressing her love; she sings the most beautiful of love songs, without letting him know that it's for him. It's love and cruelty in one moment. It's complicated and beautiful - what could be more appropriate for Valentine's Day!
Danielle D'Ornellas, Digital Marketing Assistant - I'm a big sucker for "Celeste Aida", whether it's sung by Plácido Domingo, Franco Corelli or any other classic tenor. The first time I heard it live I definitely fell for Radames! Watch it here.
Aisha Talarico, Development Officer, Friends of the COC - I like "Prendi per me sei libero" from L’elisir d’amore. It’s short and sweet, she loves him but won’t let him know so she’s trying her best to convince him to stay even though shre can’t admit to him her true intentions. Opera romances are best when they are melodramatic and complicated ;) Watch it here.
Neil Craighead, bass-baritone, Ensemble Studio member - "Il core vi dono" from Così fan tutte. Even though the opera itself isn't the most romantic of themes, this music is incredibly beautiful.
Ali Kashani, Associate Director, Development - My favourite is Magda’s first aria from La Rondine: “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta”.
Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager - For pure romantic ecstasy, there’s nothing better than that quintessential “morning after” rhapsody “Depuis le jour” from Charpentier’s Louise. Watch this great rendition with French soprano Mireille Delunsch, go to 1:37:00 for the aria.
For anti-Valentine's Day, how about “Fuggi il traditor” from Don Giovanni in which Donna Elvira basically steals Zerlina out of the Don’s nefarious clutches and tells her to well, get lost if she knows what’s good for her! Here’s a great rendition with Kiri te Kanawa as Donna Elvira; Joan Rodgers as Zerlina and the incomparable Don, Sir Thomas Allen from a 1988 Covent Garden performance.
John Kriter, Communications Assistant, Creative and Volunteers - Porgy and Bess. “Bess you is my woman now”
Photos: (top) Bearitone Bear and friend; (middle) <l - r> Sandra Piques Eddy as Cherubino and Ying Huang as Susanna in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, 2007; (bottom) <(l – r)> Attilla Fekete as Pollione and Marianna Kuilkova as Adalgisa in the Canadian Opera Company's production of Norma, 2006. Photos: (top) Gianna Wichelow; (middle, bottom) Michael Cooper.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Appreciation / comments (0) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001