Opera Daily 🎶 — Community wisdom ✨  

Yesterday we asked the Opera Daily community what opera, singer, aria, or art song are you listening to today, to get your mind in the right place? What pieces bring you joy?

We received so many incredible selections. Today we’re sharing Part 1 of those selections, and on Sunday, we will share (a monster post!) with Part 2.

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🎧 Listen here:

The “Flower Duet” is a famous duet in Act I of Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé between soprano and mezzo-soprano. It is sung by the characters Lakmé and Mallika as they go to gather flowers by a river. Sabine Devieilhe and Marianne Crebassa are singing here. If it sounds familiar, the Flower Duet was used by British Airways in 1989 in one of their advertising campaigns.

“Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix”, an aria from Act II of Camille Saint-Saëns’s opera Samson and Delilah. It is known in English as “Softly awakes my heart”, or “My heart opens itself to your voice”. It is sung by Delilah as she tries to get Samson to reveal the secret of his great strength. We are listening to Jessye Norman sing the aria in a live concert from Lincoln Center.

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“O mio babbino caro”, an aria from Giacomo Puccini’s one-act opera Gianni Schicchi. “O mio babbino caro” translates to English as “Oh my dear papa”, and it is sung by Lauretta, who begs her father Gianni Schicchi (johnny-SKI-kee) to help her marry the man she loves, Rinuccio. The opera premiered in 1918 at the Metropolitan Opera, and it takes place in 13th century Florence and was inspired by an event that took place in Dante's Divine Comedy. We are listening to Maria Callas here.

Andrea Chénier is a verismo opera in four acts by the composer Umberto Giordano. So many incredible musical moments in this piece, but none more famous than “La mamma morta,” which is sung by Maddalena about how she lost everything. The title character Andrea Chénier, has some incredible moments too with “Un di all’azzurro spazio” and “Come un bel di Maggio.” Chénier’s character is torn between his political ideals and his aspirations for love. So much to say about this opera! Many tenors have taken on the title role—Mario Del Monaco, Franco Corelli, Carlo Bergonzi, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and José Carreras, to name just a few. Here is a full live version of the opera with Franco Corelli, Renata Tebaldi, and Ettore Bastianini from 1960. 

“Nessun dorma”, an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot. Luciano Pavarotti is singing here. Turandot occurs in ancient China, where Princess Turandot poses three riddles to any prince who dares to court her and commands the death of all who fail.

“Depuis le jour”, an aria from Act III of the French opera Louise by Gustave Charpentier. The character Louise sings here how her life has changed since moving in with Julien. She celebrates his love for her and her life, which grows better every day. We are listening to Leontyne Price sing the aria. Louise is Charpentier’s most famous work, and it took the composer ten years to finish.

Chants d’Auvergne is a collection of folk songs from the Auvergne region of France, arranged for soprano and orchestra by French composer Joseph Canteloube in the 1920s. The most well-known of Canteloube’s collection is Baïlèro. We are listening to the Spanish soprano, Victoria de los Ángeles sing that piece here.

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Thank you again for listening (and sharing),

Michele

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