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Audio Demo, September 2016

Those of you who have perused my website in addition to reading my blog may have noticed the conspicuous absence of any sound samples (I do claim to be a singer, right?). I designed and launched my website over the summer (when I had time), but have only just now been able to begin the process of adding demos.

It has taken me a while to build and polish a package of entry-level dramatic arias for audition purposes. Now that my upper extensions are getting more consistent, I have started the recording phase of Operation 5 Arias and a C.

This past month my brilliant coach and I knocked out some audio tracks to give me something to use while we prepare to make video demos later this fall.

For anyone unfamiliar with these arias, I've written some notes below:

Du bist der lenz is sung by Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre (1856). Wagner also wrote the libretto for this opera, the second of the four operas in the Ring Cycle. The story is adapted from Norse mythology.

Sieglinde sings "Du bist der lenz" to profess her love for Sigmund - her twin brother whom she's just met (but it's cool since they're both half deity - offspring of the god Wotan and a mortal woman).

In questa reggia is from Puccini's Turandot (1924). Puccini died before this work was finished; it was completed by Franco Alfano in 1926. The libretto is by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni.

The title character may have been based on the Mongolian warrior princess Kuthulun, by way of François Pétis de la Croix's 1710 Book of Asian Tales and Fables, and plays by Carlo Gozzi and Friedrich Schiller.

Anyways, in the aria, Turandot tries to dissuade prince Calaf from seeking her hand in marriage, warning him that if he answers any of her 3 riddles incorrectly he will be executed. She explains that her extreme courtship policy is vengeance for her ancestor, Lou-Ling, who was brutally treated when her kingdom was invaded and overthrown.

Santo di patria is from Verdi's Attila (1846). The libretto is by Temistocle Solera and Francesco Maria Piave, and is based on the 1809 play Attila, König der Hunnen (Attila, King of the Huns) by Zacharias Werner. After her father is killed and she is taken as a prisoner of war by Attila the Hun, Odabella brags to him that Italian women regularly kick ass and take names on the battlefield (unlike his Hun women, who are useless crybabies). Turns out he's into strong women, so he asks if he can give her a token of his affection. She says that she wants her sword back so he gives her his. She takes the exchange as a divine omen that vengeance will be hers.

*edited to add - At the end of October my coach and I were experimenting with "Suicidio!" from Ponchielli's La Gioconda. We happened to get a good take of it in a coaching and it is now my starter in auditions!

Suicidio! is from Amilcare Ponchielli's opera La Gioconda (1876). The libretto is by Arrigo Boito, and the story is based on Victor Hugo's 1835 play Angelo, Tyrent of Padua.

At the end of the opera - after her mother has been taken prisoner, she has helped her boyfriend reunite with his ex, and knows she will be forced to be with a man she does not love - Gioconda decides to commit suicide. She prays that she will be able to rest peacefully in death.

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