Tag Archives: opera

Barcarolle by Offenbach

The Offspring and I were talking last night, about some of the loveliest arias in opera, and neither of us could remember the name of this one, so I looked it up [thank god for Youtube].

This glorious version is sung by two, young sopranos with amazing voices…and tiny waistlines! The days of girth are gone. đŸ™‚

As you listen to this video, please bear in mind that this is a rehearsal….

The mezzo with the warm, deep voice is Elina Garanca. The soprano with the soaring upper register is Anna Netrebko.

So happy to have found two new [to me] opera singers.




The SPAM folder ate my homework

I love my Opera email client, really I do, but the SPAM detection feature is vicious. It’s supposed to ‘learn’ what is and is not SPAM from what I do with the items in my inbox, so when I first installed it about a month ago [after the pc upgrade] it flagged  nothing as SPAM. Fair enough. Now though, it seems to be eating emails at random. Not happy Jan. đŸ˜¦

I would not have known what my SPAM folder was up to if not for this new course I’m starting tomorrow. For days now I’ve been checking my inbox 10 times a day for some important emails from the course providers, and getting quietly more uneasy with each day. Why were they not sending me the info. they had promised?

Imagine my surprise when I get a call today from the course providers wondering why I hadn’t responded to their emails.

Feeling totally flustered and guilty [had I somehow missed these all-important emails?], I finally thought to check my SPAM folder… and there they were. But they were in good company. As my eye scanned the list of supposed spam, I saw emails from friends who are in my contact list. That is not supposed to happen.  What the expletive deleted ?

So friends, neighbours, and fellow denizens of the internet, if I haven’t replied to your emails it’s because the SPAM folder ate them. đŸ˜¦

I’m scrambling to catch up with the things I should have done for my course, but as soon as that’s done I will scour my SPAM folder and unspam all of you. Promise.


My heart will go on – Vittorio Grigolo

Young, Italian, cute, and with a voice to die for. In this first video clip Vittorio sings the Celine Dion hit from Titanic. I still love this song so you’re just going to have to suffer!

And to provide a bit of contrast, the next video has him singing Nessun Dorma from the opera Turandot. You’ll recognize it as soon as it begins.

In case you’re wondering, it’s hot and I just don’t have the energy for anything more cerebral.



Turandot – Barbara Hendricks

Once upon a time there was a Princess called Turandot and she was a cold hearted bitch. She proclaimed that she would only marry the man who could solve three riddles that she set however the price of failure would be death. Despite Turandot’s cruelty many suitors tried to win her hand and died.

And then Prince Calaf came to her court incognito and fell in love with her. The Prince’s advisers and his serving girl Liu tried to talk him out of declaring himself but the Prince refused to listen. He truly was in love. Perhaps that was why he managed to answer all three riddles correctly, yet despite this Turandot still refused to marry him. The Prince released Turandot from her promise and said that he would be willing to die if she could guess his true name by morning.

Desperate to get the Prince out of her life Turandot and her minions turned the court upside down trying to discover the Prince’s true name. They found that the only person who knew the secret was the Prince’s own serving girl Liu but she refused to betray him. When Turandot asked Liu why she would not speak the serving girl finally admitted that she loved the Prince too much to betray him. Liu was tortured and when she thought she might break she killed herself rather than betray the man she loved.

This is not the end of the story but for me the death of Liu is the climax, at least in a musical sense, of the opera Puccini wrote about Turandot  and the Prince. Whether you love opera or hate it I defy anyone to hear this aria sung by Barbara Hendricks [as Liu] and not be moved by her glorious voice. It is not the kind of voice you may have heard in the past…and hated. Trust me, just for a few  minutes and listen

Puccini died before he could finish the last act so the death of Liu is the last thing he wrote and I believe it is one of the  most beautiful pieces of music ever written. The role of Liu requires a coloratura* soprano voice and Barbara Hendricks has one of the purest yet warmest coloratura voices I have ever heard. Her voice soars to the highest notes with effortless grace and makes dramatic sopranos sound like screeching harpies. I apologise to any true opera buffs out there but most sopranos really do sound awful.

Oh and I should mention that the opera was finished by someone else along the lines of what Puccini intended so the Prince eventually melts Turandot’s heart and they live happily ever after. Hrumph.



* coloratura soprano – is a type of operatic soprano who specializes in music that is distinguished by agile runs and leaps. The term coloratura refers to the elaborate ornamentation of a melody, which is a typical component of the music written for this voice. [wiki]




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