What's it all about?
Salome, the opera by Richard Strauss is based on the 1896 play by Oscar Wilde, but the story is much older. The original story is a Biblical tale about an obedient and unnamed princess (later known as Salome), her mother Herodias, her stepfather Herod, and their prisoner, John the Baptist. In the original story, Herodias bears a grudge against John the Baptist, Herod is infatuated with his stepdaughter, and Salome is a pawn. When Herod asks Salome to entertain him with a private dance, Salome obliges and requests the head of John the Baptist as a reward to deliver to her mother.
In Oscar Wilde's play and Strauss's adaptation, Salome is the tale of an emotionally disturbed princess who falls in love with Jochanaan (John the Baptist), a prisoner in her stepfather's palace. When Jochanaan spurns her affections and insults her, Salome swears that she will kiss his lips someday. Herod proposes that Salome dance for him, and recognizing an opportunity for reward, Salome agrees. Once his request is satisfied, Herod promises to give her anything she desires, and Salome requests the head of Jochanaan. Herod obliges and watches, horrified, as Salome kisses the disembodied head. Shocked and superstitious, Herod immediately calls for her death.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Salome / comments (0) / permalink
Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucia di Lammermoor is a bel canto opera by Gaetano Donizetti, inspired by Sir Walter Scott's gothic novel, The Bride of Lammermoor. The tale is a gothic romance between two children of feuding families, but the story is more Macbeth than Romeo and Juliet.
The beautiful Lucia Ashton lives a sheltered life with her controlling brother Enrico in a crumbling mansion. The young, naive Lucia is a slip of a girl, held captive in the family home and still mourning the recent passing of her mother. The one bright spot in Lucia's life is her secret relationship with the handsome Edgardo, and their plan to get married. Unfortunately, Lucia's brother has a different future in mind for her, intending to pair her off with a rich nobleman instead.
Enrico's dark obsession with his sister and his distaste of her choice of bridegroom leads him to forge a note about Edgardo, convincing Lucia that her lover is unfaithful. The unsuspecting Lucia agrees to marry the wealthy Arturo for the betterment of the family's finances and reputation. Unfortunately, with Lucia's fragile mental state, this proves to be an unwise decision.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Lucia di Lammermoor / comments (0) / permalink
Recently we were inspired by an interesting article in The Grid TO about taking children to live performances, and it begged the question, what was your first live opera? Read on for some of our answers, and share your own experiences in the comments!
Nikki Tremblay, Assistant Ticket Services Manager - I remember my first operas vividly, it was the night before my interview for this job at the Hummingbird Centre, October 2001; Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung. These two productions clinched my desire to work here. I loved Bluebeard's Castle and fell in love with Erwartung. Both were so modern and full of tricks and mind games.
Andrea Salin, Associate Ticket Services Manager - My first live opera was a student dress rehearsal of Boris Godunov at the Hummingbird Centre in 2002.
Cameron McPhail, Ensemble Studio Member - I'm slightly ashamed to confess that my first live opera was Don Giovanni, but I was singing the role in Prague; so I guess I had great seats! I hadn't been to an opera before which was probably why I agreed to do it in the first place. In hindsight, I might have sung something different as my first role, or at least gone to see a few first – the downside of business school!
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Appreciation / comments (1) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001