Bravi per tutti... Michelle !!!

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Tanti piu !!!!

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Opera Daily

Cant believe its a year - amazing. I have over the year enjoyed your recommendations, especially as I know very little about Opera - but I do know what I like listening to, Maria Callas - Habenera but a recent and new discovery also was Dmitri Hvorostovsky - the Toreador Song - wow, such presence, lit up the stage with the powerful boom of his voice, was so sad to hear that he is no longer with us but thankful that he was introduced. Wonderful effort Michele, looking forward to the next year!

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Aug 1, 2021Liked by Opera Daily

My Opera Consciousness Nearly One Year Later

How did I miss out on opera for so long? After all, as a child, I grew up surrounded by music. My mother had played the piano from an early age and throughout her entire life. My father grew up in the church and learned to sing there. As an adult he performed in our church choir, and was in demand as a singer at weddings and funerals. We had such an incredible array of music influences. It was as though Mama and Daddy threw everything at us musically, knowing that something was bound to stick.

They were right. My siblings and I all loved singing, listening, dancing and performing music. My older brother and I gravitated toward percussion instruments. He played the conga drum and bongos. I was not disciplined enough to stick with piano lessons, but found my groove with Latin percussion. I was happy to keep the beat to the salsa music I’d come to love with my maracas, claves, guiro and cowbell My younger siblings built their careers as performers upon a solid foundation of violin, cello and piano lessons. Strongly influenced by rock and roll and jazz, my younger brother became a guitarist who performed both as a band founder and a band member. One of my sisters followed in his footsteps, not only playing guitar and singing in coffee houses, but also composing and arranging music.

My other sister, however, took our youthful exposure to opera to a higher level. She was blessed with a beautiful soprano voice, which she and our mother cultivated early on with voice lessons. The two of them formed a special bond around classical music in general and opera in particular. She is the sister with whom I once dashed into the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco for Standing Room Only tickets. She somehow managed to meet and be photographed with many of the world’s most famous opera stars, backstage or in person in venues at home and abroad – Luciano Pavarotti, Shirley Verrett, Jessye Norman, among others

This sister introduced me to Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez, singing the aria "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana" from Alfredo Catalani's opera "La Wally" in the film “Diva” (1981, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0273061/). She continues to guide me along the paths of opera appreciation she has been on for a very long time.

A week ago she introduced me to Derek Lee Ragin, the Black countertenor (“Rompo i lacci” from “Flavio”, HWV 16 G.F.Händel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHABC58sGjo) and to Polish soprano Ewa Malas-Godlewska (“Ah! Mio Cor!” from “Alcina” G.F.Händel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfCNTR-13Ok). I had no knowledge of them, nor that they created the soprano arias, for another of her favorite opera films “Farinelli”** (1995, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109771/)

Exposure to good music at an early age, attending a few full operas and awareness of some of opera’s most famous arias primed the pump for this pandemic period, when opera became a choice and a constant in my life. Opera Daily has ignited my passion for opera in a way I never anticipated. Listening, reading and research these past few months have changed my relationship to this art form, and changed me for the better. I am still only skimming the surface, but I know that opera, like all great art, has given me deeper insights on my own lived experiences and a renewed appreciation for the universality of human feelings and experiences.


*Händel-Werke-Verzeichnis: The HWV thematic catalogue serves as the modern numbering system for Handel's compositions. For example, Handel's Messiah is numbered as HWV 56. The HWV numbers range from 1 to 612, however they do not represent a global date-ordering of composition; i.e. HWV 1 is not Handel's first work, nor is HWV 612 his last.


**Farinelli (Italian pronunciation: [fariˈnɛlli]; 24 January 1705 – 16 September 1782)[a] was the stage name of Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi (pronounced [ˈkarlo ˈbrɔski]), a celebrated Italian castrato singer of the 18th century and one of the greatest singers in the history of opera.[1] Farinelli has been described as having soprano vocal range and sang the highest note customary at the time, C6. – Wikipedia

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