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- 08/19 Addicts Symphony
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- 07/14 Classical at the casino - ka-ching?
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- 06/04 Frühbeck de Burgos to retire
- 06/03 Budapest Orchestra Has Bows Seized
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A pair of Gioachino Rossini’s earliest operas are featured on this week’s Opera House: La Scala di Seta and Il Signor Bruschino.
Premiered in 1812, La Scala di Seta (The Silken Ladder) is nowadays largely remembered for its famous overture. Giulia (soprano Luciana Serra) has secretly married Dorvil (tenor William Matteuzzi), but her guardian, Dormont (tenor Oslavio di Credico), wants her to become the wife of Blansac (bass-baritone Natale de Carolis), with whom Giulia's cousin Lucilla (mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli) is in love. Every night Dorvil comes to Giulia by climbing a silken ladder to her window. Through a misunderstanding, the servant Germano (bass Roberto Coviello) gives Blansac the impression that Giulia is waiting for him that night. Lucilla discovers this intrigue and finds herself a hiding place from which she can surprise them. Germano does the same, and so, last but not least, does Dormont, who ends up surprising Lucilla, Germano and Blansac. At first there is outrage, but then Dorvil and Giulia appear and admit to be being married. They are forgiven by Dormont, who also gives his blessing to the marriage of Lucilla and Blansac.
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Gabriele Ferro conducts the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna in this live 1988 Fonit Cetra recording, CD number 2003.
Here’s tenor William Matteuzzi singing Dorvil’s aria “Vedrò qual sommo incanto,” with its high F!:
First performed in Venice in 1813, Il Signor Bruschino was the last of Rossini’s one-act farces. Its overture is famous for Rossini’s instruction to the violinists to strike the strings with the wood of the bow. The plot takes place in 18th-century Italy. On the death of his father, Florville (tenor Frank Lopardo) tells Sofia (soprano Kathleen Battle) that he is finally in a position to marry her. But Gaudenzio (bass Samuel Ramey), the young woman's guardian, has already promised her to someone by the name of Bruschino (tenor Octavio Arévalo), whom no one has ever heard of. When he discovers that Filiberto (bass-baritone Michele Pertusi), an innkeeper, is holding Bruschino until he pays his debts, Florville, posing as Bruschino, goes to see Gaudenzio. But then Bruschino senior (bass Claudio Desderi) arrives and, not surprisingly, is not fooled by Florville's impersonation of his son. Everyone else, however, thinks he is pretending not to recognize Bruschino the younger because the young man's conduct is so unseemly. Bruschino senior then discovers Florville's hoax, but when he learns that this is the son of Senator Florville, an implacable enemy of Gaudenzio, he joins in the conspiracy, recognizes Florville as his own son, and consents to his marrying Sofia. When Gaudenzio realizes he has been tricked, he has no choice but to give in and accept the fait accompli.
Ion Marin conducts the English Chamber Orchestra in this 1993 Deutsche Gramophon recording, CD number 435865.
From a 2007 performance, here’s soprano Solange Siqueroli in Sofia’s aria, “Ah! Donate il caro sposo”:
Please join me next Thursday, September 11th, for a twin bill of Spanish operas, Manuel de Falla's La Vida Breve and Enrique Granados's Goyescas. In La Vida Breve (Life is Short), Salud (Maria Rodriguez) is in love with Paco (César Hernández), a young man, who doesn't bother to tell her he plans to marry a woman from a higher social class, leading to her death. Goyescas, inspired by the stereotypical young men and women of the majismo movement, was based on a series of six paintings from Francisco Goya's early career. Singing principal roles are Davide Damiani (Paquiro), Francesca Franci (Pepa), Raffaella Angeletti (Rosario), and Yikun Chung (Fernando).
The WCPE Opera House is heard every Thursday evening at 7 o’clock in the Eastern time zone on 89.7 FM in central North Carolina, and we’re streamed online at http://www.theclassicalstation.org.
— W. Robert Chapman, Host of the WCPE Opera House
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Recently, we spoke with Suzanne Rousso, Artistic Director of The Mallarme Chamber Players about American Mavericks. The September 7 concert features identifiably American music written for string quartet, clarinet and piano, composed by Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, Karel Husa, and John Duffy.
Visit our online Classical Calendar for more information!
The Metropolitan Opera Announces the 2014-15 Season
The Met’s 2014-15 Season Will Feature 26 Operas, Including Three Met Premieres, In Six New Productions and 18 Revivals!
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