Skip to main content

The Most "Villainy" Operatic Villain

After doing some intense research on operatic villains I decided to make my own list of operatic villains and figure out which one of them is the most "villainy". I have decided to extend this list into a few blogposts instead of simply narrowing it down to the worst of the worst.

(Also, Mesphistopheles from Faust is NOT going to be on this list because it's not fair for all the other mortal villains. He lies on a totally different level of Villain and none of the other guys can compete with him. Sorry to all you Mephisto fans.)

This is Part 1 of my Operatic Villain posts, with the least evil characters featured.

Luca Pisaroni as Count Almaviva
Count Almaviva from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
Just a jealous husband. He literally has nothing better to do than to suspect his wife of infidelities, while he himself runs after any hoop skirt that passes by. I'm sorry if you don't know the plot of The Marriage of Figaro because it's absolutely AWESOME. Unfortunately I'm not motivated enough to summarize it in this blogpost, so google it or something. What's the worst thing he does? I'd say that sending a 13 year-old boy to army camp merely because you're way too jealous of your wife is kind of nasty. He's just a kid who is discovering life and sending him away because you consider him a threat to your marriage is silly. At least Cherubino should feel proud that Count Almaviva considers him a worthy opponent!

Mariusz Kwiecen as Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni
Controversial. Very controversial. I found so many different opinions of Don Giovanni's evilness. (Once again, Mozart's operas are too complicated plot wise for me to go through the trouble of trying to explain them in a comprehensible way. Google is your best friend.)

From one side, Don Giovanni is pretty bad. Despite his seemingly harmless behavior, he basically stripped several noblewomen of  the honor they carried and then added insult to injury if they called him out on it. From the other side, they fell for him themselves. He abused Leporello when he burned the midnight oil and forced his servant to stand guard outside in the cold while he "entertained" himself. Pretty bad. Zerlina's sexual assault is a little shaky because from what I gather it's not a given that he actually tried to do anything violent. Or maybe he did, I don't know. Wasn't there, sorry.

Personally, I wouldn't put Don Giovanni on this list. Compared to the endeavors of the Duke of Mantua, this guy is innocent. He didn't kidnap anyone, and the only man he killed was in a dual initiated by the Commendatore himself. 

Marco Vinco as Don Alfonso
Danielle De Niese as Despina
Don Alfonso and Despina from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Cosi fan tutte 
Nah! One was an old man with nothing better to do than take advantage of other's stupidity while Despina was desperate to have her revenge on her mistresses who got more luxuries than she could even wish for. Not evil at all. The two couples were to blame for everything that happened. 

Count di Luna from Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore
Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Count di Luna
He's not that bad, right? I'm not sure he should even be on this list, but society pressures me into including him so here you are.
He desperately loves Leonora, but she's a weirdo who loves a gypsy troubadour, Manrico, who also happens to be Count di Luna's long lost brother! Manrico's so-called mother, Azucena, accidentally burned her own baby instead of a noble baby when she was avenging her mother's death. What? Count di Luna can't seem to get his useless army of soldiers to catch Manrico and Leonora, who manage to escape from him every single time. The power of true love? And then the count finally captures Manrico when he gets Azucena; and then he wants Leonora to give herself to him in exchange for Manrico's life, but she poisons herself instead. Running to Manrico, she tells him that he is free to go and he accuses her of being unfaithful but when she starts dying realizes that she literally gave her life for him and decides to stay in jail instead of running off. When he is executed, Azucena tells Count di Luna that Manrico was, in fact, his brother, and he believes her! What? Why? And while di Luna laments that now he'll have to live on while his brother and love are dead, Azucena cries out Mother, you are avenged! So where is the count's crime of evilness in this? All he was doing was protecting his family name and trying to get his crush to like him back, right?

Check out Part 2 


Popular posts from this blog

Opera gala time: Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra under Eduard Topchjan

The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, performing at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, under the baton and artistic direction of Maestro Eduard Topchjan, never ceases to impress its summer audiences with the exceptionally entertaining and high-quality performances given. Featuring baritone David Babayants, soprano Ani Yorentz, tenor Liparit Avetisyan, soprano Hasmik Torosyan, bass Vazgen Gazaryan, and baritone Gianpiero Ruggeri, the Opera Gala produced an unforgettable effect upon the audience.
The program included selections from Leoncavallo, Gounod, Tchaikovsky, Mascagni, Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti.

The spectacular gala opened with Gianpiero Ruggeri’s stunning performanc of Si puo? Si puo? Signore! Signori!, Tonio’s prologue from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Not only was the actual content of Tonio’s Prologue an ideal stage-warming number, it also manifested Ruggeri’s intriguing acting and smooth vocal production.

Next on the program was Ani Yorentz…

The Last Judgement: Verdi's Masterful Requiem and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel

On September 14, 2017, the Armenian National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiarian performed Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem, but with a visual twist of murals from the Sistine Chapel, done by Michelangelo. The pictures were projected by "innovative technologies of the future" which allowed to create a "three-dimensional reproduction of the images of Michelangelo's masterpieces". Conducted by San Francisco-born conductor Konstantin Orbelyan Jr. (nephew of the famous Armenian conductor Konstantin Orbelyan), soloists soprano Marine Deinyan, guest mezzo-soprano from the USA Eleni Matos, bass Hayk Tigranyan, and tenor Sargis Aghamalyan performed Verdi's Requiem in this new realization of the stunning centerpiece of classical music. The visual effects were created by Italian stage and visual director Paolo Micciche. In Micciche's own words, "[t]he music of Verdi's Requiem has the same dramaturgy and rhythm as the great frescos by M…

Pianist Hrant Bagrazyan in Concert: In Memory of Professor Igor Yavryan

On July 19, accomplished classical pianist Hrant Bagrazyan gave a summer piano recital at the beautiful venue of the Komitas Museum-Institute, a "museum in Yerevan, Armenia, devoted to the renowned Armenian musicologist and composer Komitas", in memory of Professor Igor Yavryan, who passed away earlier this summer on June 16. Professor Yavryan was Bagrazyan's teacher and mentor.

"He helped me love and appreciate classical music and shaped me as a musician", wrote Bagrazyan. "Without him I wouldn't become a pianist."

The house was completely full, even with the necessity of adding several extra chairs to the rows in order to fit everyone who showed up for the performance. This is not surprising considering the high quality of the performance given.

The stunning program consisted of Komitas'  Six Dances, Johannes Brahms' Sonata No. 3 Op. 5 in f minor, Arno Babajanian's Six Pictures, and Maurice Ravel's Reflections. 

Komitas wrote th…