Furtive lagrime, bollenti spiriti and other Opera Talk

Don’t be fooled by the references to Donizetti and Verdi arias 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 worship opera as the only art form 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 NYC-centric opera talk, with a special eye of regard for the city's hyper-active and exciting independent scene. Whenever we can, we also engage in opera-tourism travels.

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 is gut-stirring and moves her emotionally, provoking tangible visceral reactions, like watery eyes, dizzying exuberance, goosebumps and frissons. Both Lui and Lei are increasingly open to modernizing productions of classical works so long as they don't betray the original narrative core or ignore the libretto.

And so, in the words of Susanna:

Se udir brami il resto

Image credit: silhouette of the scene "Voi che sapete che cosa è amor"
from the cover of the 1950 von Karajan / Wiener Philarmoniker recording of
Le Nozze di Figaro 
(released November 11, 1997  
℗ 2010 Classical Moments)
Credits:  The image used to represent Lei & Lui on the side bar of the blog was adapted from an Opera Pacific poster for The Marriage of Figaro by Rafal Olbinski.  The photograph displayed on the background of the blog was adapted from a picture of  " A full house, seen from the reas of the stage, at the Metropolitan Opera House for a concert by pianist Josef Hofmann, November 28, 1937" (author unknown; source: National Archives and Records Administration).

Legal: Any third party copyrighted material – such as photos, linked videos or quotes – is included on the blog as and deemed to be "fair use", for the purpose of promotion, review and/or critical analysis. Any material will be removed immediately at the request of copyright owner(s).