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Showing posts from February, 2013

Lucia Di Lammermoor: Mad For Love?

For those of you who don't know what Lucia Di Lammermoor is, I will now tell you. Lucia Di Lammermoor is an opera by Gaetano Donizetti. It is based on a true story and a particular time in Scottish history. 
The story is rather bizarre. Lucia is in love with a guy named Edgardo. Unfortunately, Edgardo is, like in Romeo and Juliet, the family's enemy. Lucia also has a brother, Enrico, who really needs help in saving the family from destruction. In order to do that, he needs Lucia to marry another man. A man who is in the power to help Enrico save the family. Of course, Lucia wants to do none of this, but Enrico forces her. At the marriage, Edgardo comes. Do you still remember who Edgardo is? He's Lucia's lover. He comes and accuses her of being unfaithful because she gave him her troth before. He gets mad and leaves. Lucia and Arturo, her bridegroom, go into the bedroom and she kills him. She comes out covered in blood and a little bit crazy. Alright, she's very cr…

La Traviata: The Lost One Is Found

Don't miss San Francisco's 2013-14 season'sVerdi's La Traviata. The first cast includes Sonya Yoncheva, Saimir Pirgu, and Vladimir Stoyanov. The second cast includes Ailyn Perez, Stephen Costello, and Quinn Kelsey. Can't wait! Other SF Opera productions include  Boito's Mephistopheles, Picker's Dolores Claiborne, Verdi's Falstaff, Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Puccini's Madame Butterfly, The Barber of Seville for families, and Verdi's Requiem.

Character Analysis: Mario Cavaradossi

Mario Cavaradossi: painter, lover, and revolutionist.

Mario Cavaradossi is a character from Tosca. For those of you who don't know the synopsis, you can go here and read it. 
Cavaradossi As A Painter
Mario Cavaradossi worked as a painter in the church of Sant' Andrea, so he obviously had a job as a painter. Despite the fact that Cavaradossi's main function was that of a revolutionist, you first meet Cavaradossi while he is painting. I think that the reason for that is because he is in love with Floria Tosca and she is an artist as well. Two artists in love is very dramatic. Almost immediately after you get used to Cavaradossi being a painter, you find out that he is hiding an escaped prisoner. At this moment, you find out that Cavaradossi is much more than an artist. 
Cavaradossi being a painter makes his character much more interesting. (As if a revolutionist isn't interesting enough!) Why did Sardou make Cavaradossi such a 'multi-tasking' person? Cavaradossi&#…

The Prophet: What Others Think

This is the 'questions only' part an interview, taken on February 2, 2013, with Anna Seven about her thoughts on The Prophet by Alexander Pushkin. (Anna Seven is a painter. Check out her webpage here. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.) The full interview will be in the proceeding post.

Rubina Mazurka: Since you have read both the English and Russian version of the poem, does the translation depict the music of the language at its full strength? 
RM: I know that you are working on a series of paintings based on The Prophet. Why have you chosen this specific poem instead of many others by Pushkin?
RM: Every time I read this poem I find the part where the Seraph rips the poet's tongue out disturbing. Do you find any parts of this poem disturbing or peculiar?
RM: What do you think about The Prophet in general? Is Pushkin displaying his full strength through it? 
RM: Do you agree with Pushkin that this is the way prophets are born? Or that all types of artists are…

The Prophet

Here is a poem called The Prophet by Pushkin. A review on the poem will follow. The second stanza is the original text in Russian.

Athrist in spirit, through the gloom
Of an unpeopled waste I blundered,
And saw a six-winged Seraph loom
Where the two pathways met and sundered.
He laid his fingers on my eyes:
His touch lay soft as slumber lies,-
And like and eagle's, his crag shaken,
Did prophetic eyes awaken.
Upon my ears his fingers fell
And sound rose, - stormy swell on swell:
I heard the spheres revolving, chiming,
The angels in their soaring sweep,
The monsters moving in the deep,
The green vine in the valley climbing.
And from my mouth the Seraph wrung
Forth by its roots my sinful tongue;
The evil things in vain it babbled
His hand drew forth and so effaced,
And the wise serpent's tongue he placed
Between my lips with hand blood-dabbled;
And with a sword he clove my breast,
Plucked out the heart he made beat higher,
And in my stricken bosom pressed
Instead a coal of living…

Rigoletto: The Old Man's Curse

Verdi's stunning masterpiece Rigoletto has always been a favorite. The story, based on Victor Hugo's The Old Man's Curse or The King Amuses Himself, is heart-wrenching and tear shedding. Many people who enjoy the opera probably think that Victor Hugo wrote it just like that. The Duke ravishes Gilda and Rigoletto decides to avenge his daughter, but she ends up sacrificing herself instead. I myself have been pretty sure that that was how the original story went.

Now, that isn't exactly true. First of all, in Hugo's version the role of the duke is displayed as King Francis. Hugo's prototype was King Philippe and the play was banned because it discredited the king. After only one performance, the King forbid the play to be set. Hugo was upset, naturally. Verdi had the same problem: he wasn't allowed to call his opera The King Amuses Himself because this time it discredited noblemen such as the Duke. He wasn't even supposed to set it in France, so he chose M…

Anyone Need A Haircut? Figaro Is Back!

The Barber of Seville, (a.k.a. Figaro), has come to the San Francisco Opera. Music by Rossini, The Barber of Seville is a joyful story which happens to be the prologue to The Marriage of Figaro. The Marriage of Figaro takes place in the house of Conte Almaviva while The Barber of Seville takes place in the house of Doctor Bartolo. In The Barber, Rosina is not married to the count yet and she really wants to. Doctor Bartolo is her guardian but he wants to marry her to maintain her wealth. With the help of the cunning Figaro, the Count and Rosina outwit Doctor Bartolo.

There are two casts: Lucas Meachem as Figaro, Isabel Leonard as Rosina, Javier Camarena as the Count Almavia, Alessandro Corbelli as Doctor Bartolo, Andrea Silvestrelli as Don Basilio, and Catherine Cook as Berta. The second cast includes Audun Iversen as Figaro, Daniela Mack as Rosina, Alek Shrader as the Count Almaviva, Maurizio Muraro as Doctor Bartolo, Andrea Silvestrelli and Catherine Cook are in both cast sets. Gius…