Friday, June 11, 2004

Indulging in Opera, Part One

In the mail yesterday arrived my copy of Bryn Terfel singing Wagner arias. Selections on this album are from "The Flying Dutchman," "The Master Singer of Nuremberg," "Tannhauser," and "Parsifal." The liner notes are quite good as they give a snapshot of the operas in question and show a connection between all of the characters featured. In this collection, we are dealing the imperfect hero seeking redemption.

This is the first step in my efforts to better appreciate Opera as an art form. Many critics would say that Wagner represents essentially the last stage of evolution before the art form begins to change into operetta and musical theater. So, as with so many aspects of my life, I am beginning bass-ackward.

I must admit how stirring and dramatic and powerful Wagner's orchestrations are. They remind me of what the soundtrack to a thunderstorm should be. It also becomes clear to me why Hitler would find this music inspiring to his vision of a new Germany. But that's beside the point.

So here's a thank you to the Meisterlehrer Cacciaguida for his most useful notes. More updates as I learn the music...

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