High Note

Melodic Realism

by C. I. Roman. 0 Comments

Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer of some of the most prolific exponents of operatic realism whose popular works are the most often performed in opera history. Born on December 22, 1858 in Lucca Italy to a musical family, he joined the family business. Orphaned at the age of 5 the position held by his father was held for Giacomo in the church, anticipating his coming of age. In fact, his education was subsidized by the city of Lucca. By the age of 14 Puccini became the church organist. It ... read more

Melodic Intoxication

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Have you ever thought of how music drives our thoughts, and arouse our emotions? How can one song make us happy, and the next song make us sad? Why does a particular sound resonate in the human ear better than others? There is a deeper power in music that society may not initially recognize. “Music” is defined as an auditory communication of art through organized sound which affects both the physical and mental aspect of the body. It can leave an unspoken message resonating in the hearer’s ... read more

Phantasmagorical Production of Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (“The Tales of Hoffmann”)

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“The Tales of Hoffmann “is the final opera of Jacques Offenbach attempt to create a serious stage drama. A bittersweet mediation on love and literature, packed with captivating music. The opera basically dramatizes the three great romances in the life of the poet-hero Hoffmann (Vittorio Grigolo).  Hoffmann’s tales depict the struggle between human love and the artist’s dedication to his poetic work. In the end of the opera Hoffmann loses each of the women he loves but gains poetic inspiration, ... read more

Young Cast Brings La Boheme to Life

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Last Thursday evening I was pleasantly surprised by the Washington National Opera’s new staging of one of the most perfect and enjoyable operas ever written “La Boheme”. Puccini’s work presents limitless opportunities for every generation of singers. "La Bohème," is all about young artists in mid-19th century Paris -- six principal characters struggling to survive poverty, insecurity, illness and a harsh winter. It's an opera of heightened emotions, with timeless melodrama with just the ... read more

The Best Kept Secret of Germantown

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On Sunday, I had a very pleasant surprise when I attended a concert of the Trinity Chamber Orchestra under the musical direction and conductor of Richard Fazio. Dr. Fazio is originally from Pittsburg and received his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the Catholic University of America. Dr. Fazio served for five years as Artistic Director of The Metropolitan Bach Festival in Maryland. He was also the Music Director/Conductor for the Washington Savoyards and the Gilbert and Sullivan ... read more

Florencia in the Amazon

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Florencia in the Amazon is a contemporary Spanish opera in two acts by Daniel Catan. Inspired by though not directly the magical realism work Love in the Time of Cholera of Colombian Nobel Prize winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez. The libretto of Marcela Fuentes-Berain, tells the story of the famous operatic diva Florencia Grimaldi (Melody Moore) heading down the Amazon to sing once again the opera house of Manaos, with the hope that her performance will attract her lover Cristóbal, a ... read more

The Evil of Repressions and Hypocrisies

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The world around us is on fire as of late which makes me think that it is appropriate to speak about the opera Faust. The story of Faust has been told by both dramatists and composers. Marlowe and Goethe wrote great plays on the subject not to mention some thirty lesser dramatists who wrote lesser plays. Wagner composed a Faust Overture and Liszt did a cantata, Berlioz and Boito did operas but it is Charles Gounod that is easily the most popular and in many ways the best. Faust is an opera ... read more

The Music World Mourns the passing of Maestro Lorin Maazel

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Maestro Maazel died Sunday July 13th at his estate in Castleton Farms, Virginia of complications from pneumonia. He had been preparing to host his annual music festival that promotes the mentoring of young musicians. Maestro Maazel’s death came a month after he resigned from his position as music director of the Munich Philharmonic. During his career, maestro Maazel conducted an average of two concerts a week over the course of 70 years with more than 200 orchestras. Born in Paris on March ... read more

Love and a Fast Talking Salesman

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The Elixir of Love is a comic opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti with a libretto in Italian by Felice Romani. You’ll love this romantic comedy, with its fun cast of characters and gorgeous music. Nemorino (Stephen Costello) a simple peasant, falls hopelessly in love with Adina (Ailyn Perez a last minute substitute for Ekaterina Siurina), a beautiful, feisty and fickle landowner who also happens to be the most eligible bachelorette in town. Nemorino is sweet but completely broke and lacking ... read more

Vittorio Grigolo Solo Recital

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Vittorio Grigolo Solo Recital Carmen Ileana Román Accompanied by my beautiful daughter and a very close dear friend, on a windy Sunday afternoon at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City I was treated to the solo recital of the up and coming young tenor Vittorio Grigolo, accompanied by New Jersey native Vincenzo Scalera at the piano. Needless to say it was a wonderful experience to hear a repertoire of Italian favorites like “O Sole Mio” as well as classical favorites of composers ... read more