Archives for posts with tag: opera

Dramatic irony is one of those storytelling techniques we all learn about in high school, and I haven’t thought about it much since then – except to enjoy it, when it’s used effectively, and even then, I don’t sit there and think, “This is a really great example of dramatic irony.”

But I’ve been thinking a lot about dramatic irony this week. This afternoon, on CBC Radio 2‘s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, I’ll be presenting Lucrezia Borgia by Gaetano Donizetti. It’s a paragon when it comes to the tension and emotional impact that dramatic irony can confer. Especially when the incredible Edita Gruberová is in the title role.

For it’s the music which amps up the power of Donizetti’s plot line (which he adapted from a play by Victor Hugo, which in turn describes a fictional episode in the life of the real historical figure, Lucrezia Borgia.)

Usually, when the audience is in on something (as is always the case with dramatic irony) it has been well and duly tipped off: for example, in Romeo and Juliet, we all know Juliet’s not dead; she’s merely taken a sleeping potion, even if the rest of the characters (save the friar) are unawares.

But in the Prologue of Lucrezia Borgia, it’s never revealed to the audience that Gennaro’s long-lost mother is in fact Lucrezia. Sure, it’s blatantly obvious, if you’re paying attention. It may as well have been written into the script. But it wasn’t, and this creates an opportunity for Donizetti to tell you with the music. When Lucrezia first spots Gennaro asleep by the side of the canal in Venice, the tenderness with which she sings is unmistakable. It’s unconditional, maternal love. Donizetti captures her restraint, too, in the music: she can’t tell Gennaro when he wakes and tells her about his long-lost mother. And Donizetti captures her anguish too.

A mere reading of the plot doesn’t impart the effectiveness of this particular example of dramatic irony. The story itself isn’t what impresses. Here, it’s all about the music. A kind of musical irony – shall we call it operatic irony? (Or, perhaps better – melodramatic irony.)

In Gruberová’s voice, it’s all the more heartrending. If you’ve the opportunity to watch it, I highly recommend the documentary “The Art of Bel Canto”, all about the ageless Gruberová, and the amazing operatic career that has already spanned four decades. Towards the end of the above clip from this doc, there’s an example of just how powerful the end of Lucrezia Borgia can be in her hands.

 

This Saturday, on CBC Radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, I’ll be presenting a Canadian Opera Company production of Georges Bizet’s Carmen, starring soprano Rinat Shaham.

Photo by Michael Cooper, COC

Carmen is an opera that’s impossible not to love (in my opinion). It’s not for nothing it’s one of the most popular operas of all time. And Carmen herself is a big part of that. She’s a powerful woman, irresistible, independent, bewitching, someone who meets every challenge head-on. Someone who loves the spotlight.

On the show, I’ll be taking a look at the Carmen archetype by paying tribute to singers who embody Carmen’s spirit: singers like Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Loretta Lynn, and, especially to be remembered this year, the late Lhasa de Sela.

Lhasa passed away on Jan 1, 2010 in Montreal, much too young, after a battle with breast cancer. I was in Montreal that week and it felt like the city itself sensed the magnitude of the loss: it snowed for 40 hours straight – true, not an uncommon occurrence in Montreal in winter – but there was a palpable hush, as if Montreal’s musical soul was taking a moment to acknowledge the tragic loss of one of its most talented daughters.

Hope you can join me, Saturday, November 20th, starting at 1pm  (1:30 NT, 2 AT) on CBC Radio 2 across Canada or online from wherever you are at cbc.ca/radio2.

When I was a kid, like many kids, the stories I loved best were the ones with talking animals, from Louis the swan in The Trumpet of the Swan, to the rabbits in Watership Down, to a certain frog named Kermit. There’s something undeniably magical about looking at the human world through the eyes of animals.

Now that I’m all grown up, I’ve noticed that apart from being fantastic and enchanting, and, well, anthropomorphic, all those stories have something else in common. They all somehow manage to strike at something deeper about nature and humanity and the cycle of life. (Yes, even Kermit.)

I loved all those stories, but I had one clear favourite: Fantastic Mr Fox, by Roald Dahl. But long before Fantastic Mr Fox was a glint in Roald Dahl’s eye (much less Wes Anderson’s), another talking fox was at the heart of another story, a story for grown-ups: The Cunning Little Vixen, the opera by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček.

It’s just as enchanting and just as powerful, and I’m lucky to get the chance to present it this Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, August 21, on CBC Radio 2, in a production from Florence with the glorious Isabel Bayrakdarian in the starring role. I’ll also be celebrating the life of the late Australian conductor and Janáček champion, Sir Charles Mackerras, who died this past July.

This Saturday, August 14th, I’ll once again have the pleasure and the privilege to fill in for the inimitable Bill Richardson on Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on CBC Radio Two.

This week’s featured opera is L’Étoile, or The Star, by 19th-century French composer Emmanuel Chabrier. It’s been a fun opera to get to know – and although it’s mostly remained obscure since its premiere in 1877, it seems to have gathered steam over the past decade with productions popping up all over the place. It’s light and frothy; the characters have ridiculous names, there are mistaken identities and plot twists of all kinds, and lots of pretty tunes.

Metformin canada order Metformin without prescription buy Lisinopril online with a debit card order cheap Lisinopril online buy Lisinopril diet pills order Metformin without a prescription Metformin online order Alli wholesale buy metformin offshore no prescription fedex buy Cytotec prescription Maxalt generic 10mg buy Maxalt online no prescription uk buy Maxalt 10mg canada Maxalt online pharmacy purchase rx metformin without cheap finpecia no rx finpecia without a perscription buy Lisinopril cheap without prescription safety order Prednisone Prednisone on line order Prednisone overnight delivery buy Prednisone overnight no rx Prednisone purchasing Prednisone online without prescription purchase no perscription Prednisone buy discount Prednisone line Prednisone with free fedex overnight medikament Prednisone canada Prednisone purchase Prednisone cod next day delivery ordering Prednisone over the counter best buy Prednisone buy generic Prednisone online Prednisone non prescription for next day delivery purchase Prednisone over the counter cod overnight Prednisone overdose buy Prednisone no prescription low cost Prednisone purchased online without prescription purchase Prednisone without buy Prednisone money buy where can i buy Prednisone online Prednisone no prior script purchase rx Prednisone without buy Prednisone overnight where can i purchase Prednisone without a prescription Prednisone buy fedex cheap order rx Prednisone order Prednisone cheap overnight Prednisone online prescription order Prednisone without a prescription overnight shipping uk order Prednisone next day delivery on Prednisone saturday Prednisone non prescription for next day delivery buy cheap Prednisone on line Prednisone cod online orders order no prescription Prednisone cheap Prednisone by money order Prednisone buy fedex no prescription seroquel buy seroquel in canada order seroquel canada buy seroquel without doctor seroquel online australia seroquel purchase without prescription cheap online pharmacy for seroquel how to get seroquel buy seroquel australia seroquel 50mg tablets Finpecia purchase overnight delivery buy Lisinopril in the uk order Cytotec pay pal online without rx buy 100 mcg Cytotec best place order Clomiphene Metformin purchase buy Maxalt with a visa buy Requip no prescription buy discount cytotec online buy online Seroquel 25 mg (buy cytotec toronto|Cytotec order online|buy Cytotec with a mastercard|where can i purchase Cytotec without a prescription|Cytotec bestellen|buy Cytotec paypal without rx|where to purchase generic Cytotec online without a rx|purchase Cytotec visa|Cytotec on line|Cytotec cheap mexican|buy cheap fedex Cytotec|Cytotec generic|buy Cytotec pay cod|buy Cytotec with no prescription) (purchase cytotec without a prescription overnight shipping|buy Cytotec line|Cytotec fedex no prescription|order Cytotec overnight cheap|what does Cytotec look like|Cytotec buy cod|where to buy Cytotec without a prescription|buy online rx Cytotec without|Cytotec online buy saturday delivery|where to purchase generic Cytotec online without a rx|buy genuine Cytotec|what is Cytotec|Cytotec no prescription|Cytotec to buy) (purchase cheap cytotec cod free fedex|buy Cytotec cheap online|purchase Cytotec without prescription|buy Cytotec online cheap|how to buy Cytotec online without a rx|Cytotec citrate|order Cytotec for cash on delivery|order Cytotec on line|buy Valacyclovir and Cytotec|Cytotec mexico|Cytotec rezept|buy Cytotec without prescription|how to order Cytotec online without prescription|buy cheap fedex Cytotec|order buy Cytotec online|buy cheapest Cytotec|Cytotec generic|Cytotec espana) (purchase cytotec online without prescription|purchase generic Cytotec online|buy Cytotec no perscription cod|buying Cytotec online without rx|buy Cytotec discount|no prescription Cytotec cod delivery|purchase online prescription Cytotec|where can i buy Cytotec|where to purchase generic Cytotec online without a rx|Cytotec order|buy no online rx Valacyclovir|buy discount Cytotec on line|buy Cytotec cod|order rx free Cytotec|best Cytotec online pill) (buy 100 mcg cytotec|Cytotec tablets|online prescription Cytotec|where can i buy Cytotec|prezzo Cytotec|overnight Cytotec without a rx|Cytotec non rx fedex overnight free|buying Cytotec over the counter|online pharmacies Cytotec|Cytotec orderd online without prescription|buy Cytotec no prescriptions|purchase Cytotec visa without prescription|best Cytotec online pill) (prescription cytotec|buy Cytotec without rx from us pharmacy|Valacyclovir prescription order|purchase Cytotec without prescription to ship overnight|generic Cytotec online|purchase online rx Cytotec without|buy Cytotec c o d|purchase Cytotec without a rx online|online pharmacies Cytotec|Cytotec side effects|Cytotec online no rx overnight|buy Cytotec usa) (buy cytotec on line|purchase Cytotec no prescription cheap|buy Cytotec cheap without prescription|where can i purchase Cytotec without a prescription|online Cytotec|where to purchase generic Cytotec online without a prescription|Cytotec tabletten|how to order Cytotec online without prescription|overnight Cytotec without a rx|Cytotec online|cheap Cytotec usa|purchase Cytotec free consultation|where to buy Cytotec online|buy Cytotec visa) (buy cytotec without a rx overnight delivery|buy Cytotec legally|purchase cheap Cytotec online|purchase Cytotec without rx needed|Cytotec|where to purchase generic Cytotec online without a prescription|where can i buy Cytotec online without a prescription|buy Cytotec in england|order Cytotec amex online without prescription|Cytotec capsule|what is Cytotec|Cytotec buy fedex) (generic cytotec cost|buy Cytotec free consultation|order Cytotec no rx|buy Cytotec online cheap|Cytotec uk sales|Cytotec bestellen|Cytotec citrate|purchase Cytotec online without rx|buy Cytotec without prescription|Cytotec free consultation fedex overnight delivery|Cytotec prices|buy Cytotec where|buy Cytotec pills in toronto|buy cod Cytotec|Cytotec online no prescription) (cytotec non prescription for next day delivery|purchase cheap Cytotec cod free fedex|comprare Cytotec generico|cheap generic Cytotec|buy in Cytotec uk|Cytotec delivered overnight|purchasing Cytotec without a script|buy on line Cytotec|buying Cytotec|Cytotec online consultant|Cytotec cheap|buy Cytotec mastercard|Cytotec free consultation fedex overnight delivery|where buy Cytotec|cheapest place to buy Cytotec|buy Cytotec online without rx|Cytotec to buy|order generic Cytotec|order prescription free Cytotec) buy requip online with no prescription requip order Requip overnight buy cheap Requip 0,5mg Requip generic online requip generic 0,5 mg order Requip uk Arimidex online no prescription 1 mg requip generic buy ordering Arimidex online without a precription (buy cytotec in the uk|how to buy Cytotec without a prescription|buy Cytotec cheap online|buy Cytotec amex online|buy discount Cytotec|buy Cytotec doctor prescription|Cytotec mexico|buy Cytotec 200mcg|purchase Cytotec online without prescription|buy herbal Cytotec|Cytotec buy online|buy next day Cytotec) (cheapest cytotec available online|buy Cytotec without rx from us pharmacy|Cytotec by mail|fedex Cytotec overnight without a prescription|buy Cytotec toronto|buy Cytotec Online|buy cheap Cytotec online free consult|buy Cytotec us|buy no online rx Valacyclovir|buy Cytotec in mo|buy generic Cytotec|free fedex delivery Cytotec|buy generic Cytotec pills|buy online Cytotec|Cytotec buy fedex) (buy cytotec online without prescription|buy Cytotec line|Cytotec apotheke|Cytotec online prescription|online Cytotec purchase|comprar Cytotec generico|where can i buy Cytotec online|Cytotec tabletten|Cytotec overnight cod|order Cytotec online next day delivery|buy Cytotec 100 mcg|how to order Cytotec online without a prescription|buy Cytotec without a rx|Cytotec overdose|buy Cytotec without rx needed) (cytotec prescription|order Cytotec online|no rx cod Cytotec|Cytotec usa|Cytotec mexico|purchase Cytotec without a rx online|buy discount Cytotec line|buy Cytotec online no prescription|buy Cytotec in england|buy Cytotec us|purchasing Cytotec with overnight delivery|order no prescription Cytotec|Cytotec with repronex|Cytotec espana) (cytotec with repronex|Cytotec cod next day delivery|buy Cytotec once a day|purchase Cytotec online no membership overnight shipping|Cytotec citrate|purchase Cytotec usa cod|buy Cytotec now|Cytotec tabletten|buy cheap fedex Cytotec|Cytotec overnight without rx|order no prescription Cytotec|buy Cytotec shipped cod) buy cheap requip online requip online no prescription 0,5 mg order requip uk order requip online overnight shipping requip in usa buy requip 0,5mg arimidex cheap on online buy requip no prescription needed requip in usa cheap generic arimidex no prescription generic Seroquel without prescription canada buy Arimidex without a prescription buy Requip no prescription uk cheap Requip buy Requip in uk ordering Requip online buy cheap generic Arimidex online canada pharmacy no prescription buy arimidex from the uk non prescription Requip arimidex tablets 1 mg no prescription australia Requip online without prescription Requip no prescription needed order Arimidex mastercard requip generic no prescription ordering Requip online where can i buy requip over the counter buy requip buy requip over the counter buy arimidex store can i get Requip without a prescription? Requip to buy in canada arimidex rx cheap Arimidex overnight delivery Arimidex no prescription needed purchase cheap online prednisone maxalt online pharmacy purchase Premarin overnight delivery