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Thank you for reading (and listening),
Today we’re listening to…
“Ebben? Ne andrò lontana” a soprano aria from Act I of the Italian opera La Wally by Alfredo Catalani. La Wally contains your basic operatic premise of girl loves boy, girl’s father promises her to someone else, true love wins briefly, and then lovers die tragically. Maria Callas is singing the role of Wally and she lets her soul flow into the music. Heartbreakingly beautiful and otherworldly. She inhabits roles like very few singers in the past or present have done.
🎧 Listen here (5 minute listen):
La Wally (La-vah-LEE) is about a woman named Wally from a small town in the Austrian Alps. Wally is secretly in love with a man from another town who also happens to be the son of her father’s enemy. Her father ends up catching wind of her feelings and he demands that she either marry his friend or be forced to leave his house. Wally defies her father, leaves for the mountains and sings “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana”.
I will go alone and far
As far as the echo of the church bell,
There, through the white snow;
I will go, I will go alone and far
Through the golden clouds.
La Wally was first performed at La Scala in Milan on January 20, 1892. It is seldom fully staged in opera houses due to the difficulties of recreating the avalanche(!) in Act IV.
Maria Callas (rhymes with “palace”) was a Greek-American soprano. She was one of the most famous and most controversial opera singers of the 20th century. Her fans called her “La Divina” (“the divine one”).
Callas was an innovator and transformed her personal pain into something beautiful for the world to experience. She influenced the world of opera more than any other person during the 20th century.