Opera Singer

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Easter Bunny Sunday!

So on this happy day, we thought hard and quick about what Easter Sunday means to us.  Of course, the character of Santuzza in her duet with Turiddu when she wishes him to have a “bad Easter” in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana comes first to mind.  Why, might you ask does she do this?  It is in the heat of passion and rage that she accuses him of an affair with Lola and denounces her love for him in the same breath.  Her last resort is to hit him where it hurts, his beliefs.  The music, exquisite.  The text, important to the story.  The moment, pure drama.

But that is not all, we understand that Easter Sunday is so much more than drama, story, and religious beliefs.  It is about historical reflection, honoring tradition, and about being true to yourself in your personal passions, whatever shape that might take.   It is a time when we can listen to the beauty of music and let go of all else.  Whether in a church singing glorious music or walking through the park on a sunny afternoon with your loved ones.  It is certain that no other composer than Bach does this for us, and brings us closer to such a reverie. 

On Good Friday, 11 April 1727, during the vespers service in the Tomaskirche in Leipzig, Johan Sebastian Bach’s Matthäus-Passion was performed for the first time.  It is perfectly clear that the composer knew this work would change music history.  Because, even more so than in his St John Passion, the St Matthew Passion voices not only a story of divine truth but also and above all a deep sensation of human suffering the undertones of which can be recognised by many.  Due to recent events, many performances of this special work have been dedicated to the victims and their families.  Specifically, at the Brussels International Music Festival (http://www.klarafestival.be/en/content/st-matthew-passion-bach).  While I was visiting Zurich this past week, I had the pleasure to attend a performance of Bach’s BWV 244 in full at the TonHalle Orchester (http://www.tonhalle-orchester.ch/en/) on Thursday surrounded by an appreciative and pensive audience.

Here is an excerpt of tenor’s Nicolai Gedda, performing “Ich will bet mine Jesu wachen” from Matthäus-Passion.

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This Easter, we encourage you to think about your passions, your loves, whatever makes you happy, and go after it. Like author and activist Howard Thurman says, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

For us, it’s easy, we sing.

~ Jennie

Translation found at:  http://www.gbt.org/music/St_Matthew_text.pdf 

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Good evening all,

I saw the one and only, Plácido Domingo, last night in I due Foscari at La Scala and waited to meet him backstage.  It was a wonderful night to hear him sing live, but also to be in his presence and have the opportunity to tell him how much I admired him.  I had attended the press conference for the opera a few weeks ago in which he shared clips of his past performances (Hear sample here).  It was awe-inspiring to hear him speak because you can just tell how much love he has for his art and for the people around him, listening intently to his every word.  So, of course, it is only natural to pick him as today’s crush. 

Though instead of a traditional opera aria, this piece is from a Zarzuela!  It is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that is similar to operetta.  It alternates between spoken and sung scenes incorporating operatic and popular song, as well as dance, as seen in this particular song.  Dressed in Spanish folkloric costume, Maestro Plácido sings the tenor aria, “Te quiero morena”, from El trust de los tenorios by Carlos Arniches (1866-1943) and Enrique García Álvarez (1873-1931), in which he proclaims to the object of his desire: “I love you, dark-haired girl, I love you!”… Listen for the familiar trills that are typical in Spanish music, and in opera, then wait for the big finish with the orchestra and the high note (not that high for Mr. Domingo) at the end to capture the lighthearted, yet dramatic, theme.



With a modern twist: Blondes may have more fun, but you’ll never forget a brunette… If this doesn’t get you in the mood to get in the kitchen, cook some paella, and serve up a pitcher of sangria, there are about 25 other songs on the list that should do it.

(Click for more…)

Happy Sunday! Olé!





Today is a cause for celebrations!


We excitedly have a few fun announcements to make.


1. We were featured on Classical Singer‘s Auditions Plus blog today!   You can read the article here: http://www.auditionsplus.com/blog/?p=3251

The article excerpts one of our very first posts, TRUE DIVAS10 ways you know you are being TOO operatic in your everyday life (in which you know you are a true #DIVA)… 



2. Joma Music Group, who produced “Flowers Falling” by Anastasia Tillett & Tais Szilagi, sent our review of the duet into the world of Twitter.  If you missed the review, you can read it here: http://jacopera.com/2016/02/13/opera-unplugged/

Make sure you listen to the duet on Soundcloud:


I guarantee that your soul will benefit from hearing that serene tune.


3. Last, but certainly not least, we have a birthday girl!  The “A” in JACOPERA, our very own Anastasia Rege, is celebrating her birthday today.  Ana, I promise to sing  you an operatic “Happy Birthday” when I see you on Friday, but for now, a “Happy Birthday” in the JACOPERA colors will do.  Tanti Auguri, diva!

Buona notte, tutti,