RIP Luciano Pavarotti: 1935-2007

A Master has passed… RIP Luciano Pavarotti….

I really encourage everyone who sees this to watch this video. Regardless of what your perceptions of Pavarotti (or opera) are, the goosebumps will come, trust me.

Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma”…

Love for the Maestro around the blog world (this will grow throughout the days)…

The Official Web Site of Luciano Pavarotti.

La Boheme, Acts III and IV

Cristina Gallardo-Domâs
Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, soprano who plays Mimi in this performance (I’m not sure which character / opera the photo is from).

And so here we have Acts III and IV of La Boheme. I’m glad to see some enthusiasm about the recent opera posts. I’ve had these arias going through my head all week. The cool thing about opera – and I’ll lump classical music into this observation too – is the history behind it. La Boheme debuted in 1896. Isn’t it pretty amazing to consider that people like you and me have been enjoying these arias for the last 111 years? Think about some of the classical composers. Their music has been touching people for hundreds of years. Hundreds. What a legacy to leave behind.

The crazy thing is that people a couple hundred years from now will be looking back at our era with the same historical perspective and amazement. There will be some kid in the year 2307 hearing Hendrix, Miles, Dylan, Prince, and Springsteen for the first time. And Sanjaya of course (I hope you all did your part and voted tonight). Something tells me that a religion will soon form based on the life’s work of the Great Sanjaya. It is beyond our control, I’m afraid. For now, we vote. Sanjaya will not be stopped.

So enjoy Act’s III and IV. I’ll have to track down a performance of Madame Butterfly for some near future opera action.

La Boheme

February 3, 2007
Metropolitan Opera, New York City

–Act III: At the toll gate —
Ohe, la, le guardie! Aprite!
Sa dirmi, scusi, qual’e l’osteria
Mimi! Speravo di trovarvi qui
Marcello. Finalemente!
Mimi e una civetta
Mimi e tanto malata!
Donde lieta usci al tuo grido d’amore
Dunque e proprio finita!

–Act IV: Back in the garret —
In un coupe?
O Mimi, tu piu non torni
Gavotta! Minuetto! Pavanella! Fandango!
C’e Mimi!
Vecchia zimarra, senti
Sono andati? Fingevo di dormire
Che avvien? Nulla. Sto bene

Metropolitan Opera Choir and Orchestra
Conductor: Carlo Rizzi

Cast:

Marcello (baritone) – Dwayne Croft
Rodolfo (tenor) – Marcello Giordani
Colline (bass) – John Relyea
Schaunard (baritone) – Aaron St. Clair Nicholson
Benoit (bass) – Paul Plishka
Mimì (soprano) – Cristina Gallardo-Domâs
Parpignol (tenor) – Meredith Derr
Alcindoro (bass) – Paul Plishka
Musetta (soprano) – Susannah Glanville

La Boheme, Act I and II

La Boheme Original Poster

Did anyone else develop an interest in opera – and La Boheme in particular – after seeing the movie Moonstruck? I sure did. The 1987 movie, featuring Cher and Nicholas Cage, is still one of my all time favorites. It’s amazing how music can affect the overall experience of a film. The music of Giacomo Puccini defines Moonstruck. Because of the movie, La Boheme (and opera) entered my life.

The story of La Boheme is centered around the love between Rodolfo (a poet) and Mimi (a seamstress). No happy ending here. Mimi succumbs to tuberculosis at the end. But it’s quite a journey – stunningly powerful, beautiful, and heartbreaking at the end. See this Wikipedia article for a full synopsis of the opera.

The performance here comes from earlier this year at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera. Here are Acts I and II. III and IV will be coming in a few days.

If you’re hesitant to try this out, at the very least download “Si sente meglio?” (track 7) through “O soave fanciulla” (track 10). Listen to them all the way through. Rinse. And repeat.

La Boheme

February 3, 2007
Metropolitan Opera, New York City

— Act I: In the four bohemians’ garret —
Questo Mar Rosso mi ammollisce e assidera
Pensier profundo!
Legna!
Si può?
Io resto per terminar l’articolo di fondo
Chi è la?
Si sente meglio?
Che gelida manina
Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì
O soave fanciulla

— Act II: Quartier Latin —
Aranci, datteri, caldi i marroni!
Chi guardi?
Viva Parpignol! Parpignol! Parpignol!
Oh! … Essa! … Musetta!
Quando men vo soletta per la via
Chi l’ha richiesto?

Metropolitan Opera Choir and Orchestra
Conductor: Carlo Rizzi

Cast:

Marcello (baritone) – Dwayne Croft
Rodolfo (tenor) – Marcello Giordani
Colline (bass) – John Relyea
Schaunard (baritone) – Aaron St. Clair Nicholson
Benoit (bass) – Paul Plishka
Mimì (soprano) – Cristina Gallardo-Domâs
Parpignol (tenor) – Meredith Derr
Alcindoro (bass) – Paul Plishka
Musetta (soprano) – Susannah Glanville

Nessun Dorma

If a human being can watch and listen to Pavoratti sing Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” and not be affected and moved, I’d like to know. I don’t think it’s possible.

If one – count one – person expresses interest, I’ll post an entire performance of La Boheme at NYC’s Metropolitan Opera House from earlier this year. Something about ol’ Puccini gets to me. Who’s up for it?