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Jonathan Blalock Features 

“What I love most about opera is its transcendent power,” says American Tenor Jonathan Blalock

American tenor Jonathan Blalock is one of those opera singers who is not only a pleasure to listen to, but also a delight to talk to. The North Carolina native, who will soon be playing Beppe in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, was gracious enough to sit down with Opera Sense and answer a few of our questions about himself and his passion for opera. What is your earliest opera memory? When I was a sophomore in college I attended a production of La traviata in Chattanooga. It was a student dress rehearsal,…

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Le Nozze di Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro Mozart 

Five Facts to know about Mozart and Da Ponte’s The Marriage of Figaro

Here are five facts to know about The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), one of the greatest operas ever written. 230 years after its premiere, we are still talking about it, performing it, and relishing in its glorious sounds and characters. Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is based on a French play by the name of La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro (The Mad Day, or the Marriage of Figaro), written by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais in 1778. It is the second play in the…

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro composer Le Nozze di Figaro 

Overview – Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)

For me, opera begins with Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) – the first of three Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Lorenzo Da Ponte collaborations (the other two were Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte). Of course there were many operatic masterpieces before this 1786 work, even a couple by Mozart himself (Idomeneo and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, for instance), but there’s something special about Le Nozze, a work that has never been out of the standard repertory. Premiering three years before the French Revolution, Le Nozze…

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Recitative Mozart New to opera Recitative Rossini Verdi 

What is recitative?

You may have heard the term recitative when you hear people talk about opera, but what exactly is recitative? This is my definition of recitative – any semi-spoken, semi-sung non-repetitive part of an opera that advances the action. Typically, the earlier the opera is, the easier it is to distinguish between recitative and other operatic sections, such as arias or ensemble pieces. Don’t just take my word for it; listen to the great Leonard Bernstein talk about recitative… 00

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