Parlando: The COC Blog

4/28/2014

Don Quichotte Listening Guide

By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager

Don Quichotte Listening Guide

Introduction

The two major names in French 19th-century opera were Giacomo Meyerbeer and Jules Massenet. Although Charles Gounod and Camille Saint-Saens made wider contributions to French music as a whole during this period (symphonies, chamber music, sacred choral works, etc.), their theatrical output was relatively small compared to the huge number of operatic successes Meyerbeer and Massenet had throughout their long careers. However, despite the popularity of these works during their lifetimes, they suffered a subsequent neglect which, in Massenet’s case, was especially true of his later operas including Don Quichotte (1910). However, changing tastes and reconsidered opinions have resulted in a new-found appreciation and popularity for Massenet’s treatment of Miguel de Cervantes’ epic 1605 novel Don Quixote. Its exploration of universal themes of age versus youth; fulfillment versus regret, and self-deception versus reality, lend it an eternal relevance and appeal.

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4/24/2014

The COC Celebrates Ben Heppner

 

Canadian Ben Heppner, one of the world’s finest dramatic tenors, has announced his retirement from the stage.

"After much consideration, I've decided the time has come for a new era in my life. I'm setting aside my career as an opera and concert singer.

I wish to thank the countless people who inspired me, supported me and encouraged me to embark on a fantastic journey over the past 35 years. A million thanks to those who hired me. Most importantly, I want to thank everyone who ever bought a ticket.

I'm really enjoying my time on CBC Radio as host of Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and Backstage with Ben Heppner, and look forward to what the future has in store." - Ben Heppner

 

Ben has excelled in some of opera’s most challenging roles, drawing worldwide acclaim for his beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship and deeply felt dramatic presence.

Audience members at the Canadian Opera Company’s recent productions of Tristan und Isolde (2012/2013 season) and Peter Grimes (2013/2014 season) would have witnessed this first-hand and were privileged to see Ben in two of his signature roles – Tristan and Peter Grimes – in what are now among his final stage performances.

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Posted by Meighan Szigeti / in Opera Appreciation / comments (1) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001