Exploring Opera

Not being a fan of opera, I was struggling while trying to write a blog commemorating Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He is recognized as one of the greatest classical music composers of all times. A child prodigy, he actually wrote his first opera at the age of eleven. While researching his life, my attention was drawn to the many myths surrounding his life: for example, he was not poisoned and listening to his music does not make one smarter. Those myths have been debunked.

More importantly, I pondered the question "How does one become interested in opera?" Is it more than goofy looking costumes and performers belting out foreign lyrics? (Sorry, opera fans - I haven't been converted yet.) I turned once again to our wonderful library collection for answers, and lo and behold, there it was - Opera 101: a complete guide to learning and loving opera! I hope to develop an appreciation for this dull, obscure form of entertainment and see it as the author sees it -  "a Broadway show on steroids".

Those who take the "opera plunge" may also come to enjoy the many classical CDs in the collection such as the 50 greatest pieces of classical music and Discover classical music. If you would like to read a sweet, sentimental story about Mozart, go to Overdrive and check out the audiobook called Mozart's starling about the little bird who was his constant companion.

Now, here's a fun excercise to warm all of you fellow opera newbies up: Mozart composed one of the lowest arias in the history of opera. (An aria is a self-contained musical piece for one voice in an opera.) It calls for a bass soloist to sing a low D (D2) which is the lowest note in opera. Listen to the following opera singers portraying the same character called Osmin from the opera Abduction from the Seraglio. Which one do YOU think does the best job of hitting that low D?

 

Bass Cage Match: Osmin's Low D!

Posted by JeannaW on December 29, 2020