Metropolitan Opera – Italy
Sundays in September
Every Sunday afternoon in September, Stingray Classica broadcasts an Italian opera production by the New York Metropolitan Opera. Let yourself be enchanted by the exuberant works of three of Italy's greatest composers: Verdi, Bellini, and Donizetti. The opera series commences on Sunday, September 6, with a 2018 performance of Giuseppe Verdi's (1813–1901) La traviata. Montréal-based conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, as well as soloists Diana Damrau (Violetta), Juan Diego Flórez (Alfredo), Quinn Kelsey (Giorgio), Maria Zifchak (Annina), and Marco Antonio Jordao (Giuseppe). The following Sunday brings a 2017 interpretation of Vincenzo Bellini's (1801–1835) Norma, an extraordinary fusion of sublime melody, vocal wizardry, and dramatic power. On Sunday, September 20, Enrique Mazzola conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the New York Metropolitan Opera in a 2019 performance of Gaetano Donizetti's (1797–1848) La fille du régiment. The special concludes on September 27 with a special broadcast on a prestigious, exclusive club of Verdi aficionados: Gruppo Appassionati Verdiani - We love Verdi!
Verdi - La Traviata
Sunday, 6 September
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Choir in a performance of Verdi's (1813–1901) La Traviata. Among the soloists are Diana Damrau (Violetta), Juan Diego Flórez (Alfredo), Quinn Kelsey (Giorgio), Maria Zifchak (Annina), Marco Antonio Jordao (Giuseppe). Recorded at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York in December 2018. Verdi’s La Traviata survived a notoriously unsuccessful opening night to become one of the best-loved operas in the repertoire. Following the larger-scale dramas of Rigoletto and Il Trovatore, its intimate scope and subject matter inspired the composer to create some of his most profound and heartfelt music. With La Traviata, Verdi and Piave fashioned an opera from a play set in contemporary times—an anomaly in the composer’s long career .The title role of the “fallen woman” has captured the imaginations of audiences and performers alike with its inexhaustible vocal and dramatic possibilities—and challenges. Verdi’s musical-dramatic ability to portray the individual in a marginalized relationship to society keeps this work a mainstay on the world’s stages—according to popular lore, for the last one hundred years, there has been at least one performance of La Traviata somewhere in the world every single night.
Bellini - Norma
Sunday, 13 September
Bellini's (1801–1835) Norma is an extraordinary fusion of sublime melody, vocal challenge, and dramatic power. It examines an ageless and archetypal situation: A powerful woman compromises her ideals for love, only to find herself betrayed by her lover. The title role demands dramatic vocal power combined with the agility and technique of a coloratura singer. The opera is set in Gaul at the beginning of its occupation by the Roman Empire. Bellini was a Sicilian composer whose greatest gift was his extraordinary understanding of the human voice. His premature death at the age of 33, shortly after his opera I Puritani cut his meteoric career tragically short. Norma is perhaps the archetypal bel canto (from the Italian for “beautiful singing”) opera, a style of singing that flourished in Italy in the 18th and early- 19th centuries. Its principal features are beauty of tone, legato phrasing, and the delivery of florid ornamentation. Throughout the score, Bellini punctuates breathtaking melody with sharp moments of raw drama. The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Choir are led by Carlo Rizzi. Among the soloists are Sondra Radvanovsky (Norma), Joyce DiDonato (Adalgisa), Joseph Calleja (Pollione) and Matthew Rose (Oroveso). Directed by Gary Halvorson. Recorded at the Metropolitan Opera New York on October 7, 2017.
Donizetti - La fille du régiment
Sunday, 20 September
Enrique Mazzola conducts the orchestra and chorus of the New York Metropolitan Opera in a performance of Donizetti's (1797–1848) La fille du régiment. Among the soloists are Paul Corona (Hortensius), Stephanie Blythe (The Marquise), Kathleen Turner (The Duchess) and Yohan Belmin (Notary). Recorded in the Metropolitan Opera, New York on March 2, 2019. The opera is set in the Tyrol, a picturesque mountain landscape. The Met’s production places the action during the First World War. Donizetti’s score is a deft combination of jaunty military tunes (including some actual French regimental songs from the composer’s era), brisk comic numbers, enormously graceful ensembles and vocal solos, and sparkling arias. Donizetti composed about 75 operas, plus orchestral and chamber music, in a career abbreviated by mental illness and premature death. Apart from the ever-popular Lucia di Lammermoor and the comic gems L’Elisir d’Amore and Don Pasquale, most of his works disappeared from public view after his death.
Gruppo Appassionati Verdiani - We love Verdi!
Sunday, 27 September
In the “country of melodrama”- Italy - exists a very exclusive club consisting of only 27 persons, each of whom is named after one of Verdi’s operas. The club will not accept any more members than those 27, but a little boy strives to become one of them. Little Giacomo has absorbed “everything Verdi” and he is ready to stand the test. Yet, there is a fly in the ointment: He can only join the chosen few, if one of the existing members will pass away. This is a gripping, witty and suspense-packed story that will teach you a lot about Verdi along the way. Starring Irene Carra, Pietro Anelli, Noa Zatta, Ettore Scarpa and Giacomo Anelli. Directed by Mateo Zoni in 2017.