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Mar 12, 2023Liked by Opera Daily

It was Pavarotti's sensational performances in this role that electrified New York audiences and led to his being called "The King of the High Cs" in reviews. Given his career trajectory many don't know that much of his early career was in the Bel Canto repertoire, often paired with Joan Sutherland (one of the queens of this repertoire) where he brought dramatic vocal weight to it unlike that of singers considered "normal" in it such as Rockwell Blake, Mr. Brownlee, or Juan Diego Florez. I was privileged to hear Mr. Brownlee sing Rossini's Barber of Seville at the Lyric Opera in Chicago the fall of 2019 before COVID canceled everything. A terrific night of singing.

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Mar 13, 2023Liked by Opera Daily

Since its American debut in New Orleans on March 7, 1843, the appeal of Gaetano Donizetti’s "La Fille du regiment" in the 21st century surely has more to do with its lovely bel canto music than its improbable plot. It’s a complicated love story, inside a convoluted libretto, with surprising plot twists, and where the protagonist Tonio, and an entire regiment of soldiers, show their softer sides. Had the opera premiered in 1943, rather than 1843, it surely would have been much darker. A bunch of soldiers adopting abandoned infant Marie, and then rearing her as one of their own, has a faint echo of Rome’s founding myth about Romulus, Remus and the she-wolf who nurtured them as babies. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romulus_and_Remus). What a marked contrast here to the images of soldiers in Donizetti’s "Roberto Devereux", Bizet’s "Carmen", Verdi’s "Nabucco", Puccini’s "Tosca" and perhaps other operas featured in past "Opera Daily" posts. Plot aside, it was a joy to listen to Lawrence Brownlee and Luciano Pavarotti sing “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!” (a.k.a. "Pour mon âme”). This line appeared in the Wikipedia entry about Pavarotti, debuting as Tonio: “Luciano Pavarotti broke through to stardom via his 1972 performance alongside Sutherland at the Met, when he leapt over the “Becher's Brook” of the string of high Cs with an aplomb that left everyone gasping." Not for nothing do they call this aria "the Mount Everest for tenors” with its eight high Cs (and a ninth inserted, but not written). Last but not least, true Donizetti fans might want to check out his website : https://www.donizettisociety.com/index.html.

P.S. Look at me! I'm becoming conversant in opera😆! To paraphrase the rapper Drake, "I started at the bottom, now I'm here!" 🎼

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Pretty Yende is my new opera queen. Thankful to my girlfriend who introduced me to her music LAST WEEK, and now Opera Daily has featured another of her wonderful performances.

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