Culture Up: Opera

Author’s Note: This will be a short post. I’m in the middle of a huge summer project. I apologize.

Opera isn’t so bad.  Sure, when you think of it you may of Bugs Bunny or large women with Viking horns singing long high notes.

Really, most of the stories we know and love originated as operas (but that’s a separate blog post).

Opera music can be tough to swallow.  It’s usually in another language and prone to sudden volume and pitch changes. Big voices and big emotions.  Which is why this will be a short post. I don’t want to shove too much down your throats at once. We’ll start simple and contemporary. Opera is sometimes best when it’s eased into.

“Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partirò)” by Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman

While not technically a song from a specific opera, “Time to Say Goodbye” is accessible, opera-y, and makes you feel darn classy by having it piped through your house.  If you’re wondering where you’d heard it before, you’re probably a fan of Will Ferrell movies – it was used in both Blades of Glory and Step Brothers.

 Nessum Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot

The aria begins at 3:22 in the video.

This is one of the more famous arias in opera, and I chose this specific video of it because of the emotion Gruffydd puts into his performance. That’s why people love operas.  It’s not just about technical skill and being able to hold a long note. It’s all emotion.  And emotions run high during this rendition of it.

Plus, it’s so dang adorable how supportive his friends are.

“Libiamo, ne’liete calici” from Verdi’s La Traviata

Be warned: the first couple seconds of the above video is the end of another song, so it’s a little scary when you first play it. Just keep going!

This is another famous song. It’s actually a drinking song and the title translates to, “Let’s drink from the joyful cups.”  This is definitely the kind of opera I’d play if I were cleaning the house and wanting to feel classy at the same time.

My apologies again for a shorter-than-usual post.  I myself am still getting into opera and only have a few songs that I really adore (see above).  I’m spending this summer cleaning out my late grandparents’ house and digitizing all their old photos, newspaper clippings, and historical-type documents.  All of this will eventually give way to a book (that I am also writing).  It’s a very exciting project, but it takes up all of my time.

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