Thursday, June 20, 2013

Furtive lagrime, bollenti spiriti and other Opera Talk

Don’t be fooled by the Donizetti and Verdi arias references in our subtitle. Wolfie remains the dearest to our hearts, not the least because he brought this couple together at a random Manhattan dinner party, when a discussion started on possible modernizations of Così Fan Tutte… and since then it has been a wonderful New York operatic love story.

We are Allegri con Fuoco – for the non-Italian and non-musicians out there: “Fierily Joyful” or “Quick with Fire” (whether you take it literally in Italian or as the technical musical tempo). We adore opera as the only form of art that brings music, theater, poetry and history together, making us laugh, cry and exult, but also reflect, research and discuss. After many late night walks through the Upper West Side of Manhattan dissecting that evening’s show, we decided we might as well keep track of them as we go. And so, this is a forum for our New York-centric opera talk, although from time to time we also engage in operatic travel.

You will hear our two voices here. He (“Lui”) brings his literary background to each performance and is always keen to the narrative, philosophical and historical details in everything from the libretto and the music to the acting and the staging. She (“Lei”) has a fine-tuned ear for proper Italian and French articulation and is only satisfied if the singing moves her emotionally, provoking tangible visceral reactions, like watery eyes, dizzy exaltation and stomach aching sighs. Both Lui and Lei are increasingly open to modernizing productions of classical works so long as they remain true to their original core.

And so, in the words of Susanna:

Se udir brami il resto

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