February 2, 2007

Making Peace With Opera

Even though my dearest aunt is an opera singer, I used to be a bit of a reverse snob about opera, which seemed contrived and affected.

Twenty-odd years ago, though, I took a job that required a very long commute. I began to borrow books on tape (cassettes, then) from the library. A lot of Frederick Forsyth, I recall.

I also began to borrow operas, starting with The Marriage of Figaro. Mozart, of course, is highly esteemed, but still underrated.

In addition to being a staunch Roman Catholic and a fine writer, The Anchoress is an opera fan, especially for a Welsh signer named Bryn Terfel. She has also linked to scenes from the Paris Opéra production of Cosí Fan Tutte, also by Mozart. Beautiful stuff. Here's one of the early trios:

In this scene, the two young men bet against the old bull's cynical claim that "they all do it" (the title of the opera)--there are no faithful women. The plot's a bit contrived by our standards, but the music is to die for.

This could have something to do with my youngest's singing teacher saying she could be a coloratura soprano. But maybe not.

Life is short. Listen.

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