Sunday, January 4, 2009

Being Inspired by Others

Mozart's "Soave Sia il Vento" - Così Fan Tutte, Glyndebourne 2006


Linda S. Socha said...

BEAUTIFUL....As is your blog and your posts

judith ellis said...

Thanks, Linda. Do come again... soon.

jdwi said...

Judith....Am very happy you came across my photographs, and am thankful as well that I was able to explore your site. Regards, JDWI.

judith ellis said...

Your photos are lovely, JDWI, for their simple theme. Thank you.

Regina Daniels said...

Beautiful voices. I know very litle about opera other than the fact that its performed in a different language. Can you enlighten me on the background of this piece?

judith ellis said...

I'm glad you like this piece, Regina. It is one of my favorite pieces from one of my favorite operas by one of my all-time-favorite composers, Wolfgang Amadeus WMozart.

This trio, Soave il Vento is from Cosi Fan Tutte, a comedic opera (opera buffa), and is found in the opening scene of the opera.

Wikipedia on Cosi Fan Tutte:

Scene 1: A coffee shop

Ferrando and Guglielmo (two officers) claim that their fiancées (Dorabella and Fiordiligi, respectively) will be eternally faithful. Don Alfonso joins the discussion and lays a wager with the two officers, claiming he can prove in a day's time that these two women (like all women) are fickle. The wager is accepted: the two officers will pretend to have been called off to war; soon thereafter they shall return in disguise and attempt to seduce each other's lover. The scene shifts to the two women (they are sisters) who are praising their men. Alfonso arrives to announce the bad news: the officers have been called off to war. Ferrando and Guglielmo arrive, brokenhearted, and bid farewell (quintet: Sento, o Dio, che questo piedo è restio—"I feel, oh God, that my foot is reluctant"). As the boat with the men sails off to sea, Alfonso and the sisters wish them safe travel (trio: Soave sia il vento—"May the wind be gentle"), then Alfonso, left alone, rails against the fickleness of women (arioso: Oh, poverini, per femmina giocar cento zecchini?—"Oh, poor little ones, to wager 100 sequins on a woman").

Mozart is always a nice invitation to opera. By the way, not all operas are sung in foreign languages. I have performed pieces by Virgil Thompson and Benjamin Britten which were written in English.

One need not have to understand every word of an opera to understand what's going on; the music and drama tell a powerful story. There are also subtitles used now in many opera houses.

I'll have to tell you stories of my experiences in some of the most wonderful opera houses in Europe as a college student listening to rehearsals with the greatest singers and conductors of our time. Memorable!