Italy

#SCS 4.03.16

So, today’s Singer Crush Sunday is short and sweet because of the electrifying excitement from the success of our diva this week (check out Kara Smoot, here).

We had to, just had to, feature two greats: the soprano Montserrat Caballé and mezzo-soprano Marylin Horne singing the Barcarolle from Les contes d‘Hoffman, “Belle nuit ô nuit d’amour” by Jacques Offenbach.  In this concert edition, circa 1990 (thankfully, the over-sparkled singer fashion of the time has changed since), the divinas both come out hand in hand swinging and smiling ready to sing.  The delight and pure joy is of course, timeless, and as you can hear is contagious to the audience. 

Believe me when we say that though there maybe reports of “diva tendencies” backstage, this is generally how we react to other singers onstage, and off!  

With one look: “it’s time to PLAY!”

 

Goodnight, fellow Divas and Divini. Until next week! 🙂

#SCS 3.6.16

SUNDAY!!!

We love singers here at JACOPERA and we love traditional, golden era singers. The pick this week is Teresa Berganza’s “O del mio dolce ardor” from Christoph Willibald Gluck’s little-known opera, “Paride ed Elena”. The aria is also listed in Schirmer’s Library Of Musical Classics of Twenty-Four Italian Songs And Arias Of The 17th And 18th Centuries. A book that most every classical singer would have opened around the time of their first voice lesson. This particular song holds special meaning for those learning and it has a simple quality in the vocal line that draws you in to want to know more. “Oh, desired object of my sweet ardor, the air which you breathe, at last I breathe.” While listening take a look at the sky, think of what you love most, and where it takes you.

With a modern twist: A love note was passed in class prior to Valentine’s’ Day, however, the intended note was not for the one reading, but for the one it was passed to… you cry to your mother and she says, honey, you can’t hurry love.

Ah young love, or any love for that matter, always longs for more.

Summer (Opera) Lovin’

Last spring, Christina approached me and said, “let’s take an epic trip to Italy this summer.” I thought about it and responded, “Let’s take an epic trip to Italy, sing opera, and attend a program that will help further our careers.” So, we started researching the many opportunities for aspiring opera singers to choose from on YAP tracker, a well-known listing service for opera and classical music auditions. After reading through each listing located in Italy and trying to pinpoint what was financially attainable, we found a program we were interested in, but were not prepared for the response we received from the director. When I asked if there were scenes or full operas being performed in the program, I was shocked that the response focused more on the current state of opera.

Here is an excerpt:

[The program is] actually a mixture of opera and American musical theatre. In your studies, you might have noticed that American music is more popular in Italy than Italian opera. Unfortunately, only about five percent of Italians continue to listen to opera…a similar statistic to the U.S. This program is built to equip singers for this new opening market by featuring “legit” musical theatre numbers and continued training in Italian music.

Now, we have absolutely nothing against musical theater or “American music” as stated because honestly we both started from that background. But our intent was to go to Italy to perform Italian opera, and practice the language in a place closely related to the art form’s origins, not to prepare for a “new opening market,” and work with someone who doesn’t fully believe that opera can stand on its own. I find myself having to continually defend opera to myself, others, and jarringly now to this director. Has everyone given up on opera? (more…)