Download 100 Great Operas And Their Stories: Act-By-Act Synopses by Henry W. Simon PDF

By Henry W. Simon

A useful advisor for either informal opera fanatics and afficionados, this quantity comprises act-by-act descriptions of operatic works starting from the early 17th century masterworks of Monteverdi and Purcell to the trendy classics of Menotti and Britten. Written in a full of life anecdotal sort, entries contain personality descriptions, old heritage, and lots more and plenty extra.

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She, of course, is delighted; Aïda and Radames are filled with consternation; Amonasro tells Aïda that he still has hopes for their fatherland; and everyone else sings loudly and joyfully. It makes a grand concerted climax. ACT III The opening music suggests the scene vividly. It is a hot summer night on the banks of the Nile, near the Temple of Isis. A boat glides up, and the High Priest Ramphis and Princess Amneris step out and enter the temple; for it is the eve of her wedding to Radames, and she must pray.

Nelusko, arriving too late, sees what has happened, seizes some of the poisonous blossoms for himself, and dies contentedly in the arms of the woman he loved. Off-stage a chorus intones the beauties of love in the afterlife. Postscript for the historically curious: As all books on explorers tell us, Vasco da Gama was the leader of the first Portuguese expedition to reach India by sea. That was in 1498, and he had the assistance of an Indian pilot. Subsequently a second expedition under one Don Pedro Cabral (who accidentally discovered Brazil on the way) made the same trip, and left some Portuguese there to establish a factory.

Then, virtually in one season, as with Handel and Spontini, their works disappear from the stage, seldom if ever to be resurrected. Meyerbeer’s work has disappeared more slowly. It was at its height in popularity when the composer died (his last opera, L’Africaine, having its premiere a year after his death); and a season without Les Huguenots, Le prophète, Dinorah, or L’Africaine was still all but unthinkable for a great opera house in the time of our grandparents. By the middle thirties, however, he had completely disappeared from the stage of the Metropolitan and many other houses; and while he still is performed in the French opera museums and given an occasional revival in Germany, his vogue is long past.

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