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At-Home Opera

Lots of free opera with English subtitles on offer as always this month. One excellent source is OperaVision. Just click HERE and then click any of them to see them. Popular highlights include ‘Carmen’ by Bizet, ‘The Magic Flute’ and ‘Don Giovani’ by Mozart, ‘La Bohème’ and ‘Turandot’ by Puccini and ‘La Traviata’ by Verdi.

Also there are the outstandingly good, free New York Met’s nightly performances. Each one is available to watch for one night and following day only. Click HERE and then scroll down and click on ‘Nightly Opera Stream’ half way down on the left side to watch that day’s offering. To see what’s coming up, (but don’t use that page to try to play them unless you want to pay for them) look a little further down for ‘Nightly Opera Streams; Upcoming Schedule’. Each will be available to watch for free via the ‘Nightly Opera Stream’ box any time ON THE DAY AFTER THE DATE SHOWN, from half past midnight until 11.30 pm. (That’s because they start at 7.30 pm in New York).

As a group, we’ll all try to watch the double bill of Mascagni’s Cavaliera Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci on Thursday, 18 Feb and then Verdi’s Il Travatore on Tuesday 23 Feb.

Cavaliera Rusticana is set in Sicily. She has an affair with him. He’s had an affair with someone else. She’s jealous of her so tells her husband about him. He challenges him to a dual and it all ends badly.

Pagliacci is set in a theatre. She has an affair with him. She refuses an affair with someone else who is jealous and so tells her husband about the original affair. He stabs her on stage; he tries to save her but gets stabbed too.
Both stories are suitably daft but the music is glorious and full of well-loved tunes

Il Travatore is a much more complex story. Briefly the old Count Di Luna gives his two young sons a locket. Manrico, still a youth, is carried off by the gypsy Azucena. Their father having died, young Count Di Luna is a rival with Manrico for the affections of Leonora. After many sensational adventures Manrico is caught and placed in a dungeon by the Count. To free him, Leonora promises to marry the Count, but then takes poison. The Count, finding Leonora is dead, orders Manrico to be executed. He then discovers from Azucena, who sees his locket, that Manrico, whom he has had beheaded, and was his long-lost brother.
So, more serious and a great classic but a similar gory ending.

We’ll meet on Zoom to discuss what we’ve watched at 10.30 am on 24 Feb and you’ll be very welcome to join us.