This glorious weather has inspired us to put together a list of our favourite arias to listen to this May. We hope you enjoy! Do let us know your thoughts or suggestions by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Un bel dì vedremo - Madam Butterfly (Puccini)
Soprano: Ying Huang
We are thrilled to be assembling a female, East Asian-led creative team to reimagine Puccini's masterpiece. Our production, performed by a diverse-led cast of talented singers and musicians, will open in January 2019 . Un bel dì vedremo (One fine day) is arguably Madam Butterfly's most famous aria. The shimmering orchestra and simple, minor melody of the opening are a musical marriage of hope and melancholy. This video is from Frédéric Mitterrand's 1995 film adaptation of the opera.
O Silver Moon - Rusalka (Dvorak)
Soprano: Renee Fleming
The heroine of Rusalka loses her power of speech (Little Mermaid, anyone?). With this imposed silence, the music is perhaps even more powerful. Right at the beginning of the opera, Rusalka, a water nymph, serenades the moon with undeniably *magical* music. The opening harp arpeggios are already otherworldly. And it just gets better. In this recording, Renée Fleming sings with the London Symphony orchestra under Sir Georg Solti.
Musetta's Waltz - La Boheme (Puccini)
Soprano: Julie Fuchs
This list couldn't be complete without Musetta's steamy waltz, performed here by Julie Fuchs at Opera de Nantes. We're bringing back our Olivier award-winning La Boheme! You can catch us at Deal Music & Arts Festival on Saturday 30 June and in Crawley's Hawth Theatre on Thursday 19 July.
Pour Man Ame Fille - La fille du régiment (Donizetti)
Tenor: Juan Diego Flórez
In preparation for our upcoming production of Maria Stuarda, we've been listening to lots of Donizetti. Lucky us. La fille du régiment was written towards the end of Donizetti's Parisian stay and quickly became a hit! As well as being jolly and beautiful, this aria is bloody impressive in its succession of high Cs, handled flawlessly here by Juan Diego Florez at Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice
Connais-tu le pays - Mignon (Thomas)
Mezzo Soprano: Teresa Berganza
Can you fall in love with a place? After listening to this exquisite aria, you might just think so. In the first act of Thomas' opera, Mignon sings of the home from which she was kidnapped as a young child. The music is evocative of sweet, innocent love. The great swells of the refrain will have you clutching your chest. We promise. This recording of Teresa Berganza, from a 1997 recital in Teatro Real de Madrid, reminds us why we do what we do.
Letter Scene – Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
Soprano: Ana Netrebko
The tenderness and frenzy of that First Love are captured perfectly by Ana Netrebko in this rendition of the famous Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin. In this aria, Tatyana, overcome with fevered passion, writes a letter to Onegin unleashing the force of her love. It's breathtaking. Our production of Eugene Onegin is touring as we write. Check out our calendar here.
Casta Diva - Norma (Bellini)
Soprano: Renee Fleming
Like Donizetti, Bellini (the composer, not the cocktail) was an Italian Bel Canto extraordinaire. Much of this aria's beauty is in Belllini's impossibly long and legato phrases embellished in true bel canto fashion. We've gone with Renée Fleming again because she's just so good.
Avant de quitter ces lieux - Faust (Gounod)
Baritone: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Dmitri Hvorostovsky superbly conveys this aria's emotional melange as he (Valentine) prays for his sister after being called off to war. It is said that Gounod wrote this aria as an imperminant insertion to satisfy the renowned baritone assigned the role at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. We're very glad he did. What a sing!