The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: New University Opera season will offer popular Puccini (with the aria “O mio babbino caro”) and Menotti works

May 24, 2010
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By Jacob Stockinger

Here is something to look forward to over the summer: the University Opera will perform three operas next year.

In the fall will be two one-act operas from the trilogy by Puccini: the sentimental tragedy “Suor Angelica” (less popular) and the comedic “Gianni Schicchi” (the more popular opera that has the wonderful and heart-breaking aria “O mio babbino caro” that has become a standard repertoire piece that is known world-wide).

Then in the spring, the student company will perform Gian Carlo Menotti’s rarely staged “The Consul,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1950.

The opera company, led by William Farlow (below) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 11 years, has earned a loyal following in Madison, a devoted following that often leads to three sold-out performances of each production.

Don’t take my word for it.

Here is a review, in case you missed it, of the company spring production of Donizetti’s bel canto opera “Maria Stuarda” (below) that appeared in Isthmus:

Want to whet your appetite?

Here is Dame Kiri te Kanawa singing “O mio babino caro”:

If you go to YouTube, you can also hear other versions, including one by the legendary Maria Callas, although her singing in this aria strikes me as shrill and hard/

Here is an aria from Menotti’s “The Consul” with the legendary Renata Scotto:

And here is the Lullaby from “The Consul”:

If you want more information about University Opera, here is a link to its homepage at the UW Madison School of Music:

Unfortunately, no dates are listed yet. As soon as they are, I will let you know.

What do you think of these specific operas in themselves and as choices of University Opera’s 2011-12 season?

And what do you think of the University Opera productions in general?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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