Archive for Luciano Pavarotti

Una Furtiva Lagrima

Posted in Biographical, Opera with tags , , , , on December 2, 2014 by telescoper

Too busy for a proper post today so here’s a bit of music. On Saturday I had the pleasure of listening on BBC Radio 3 to a live broadcast of the opera L’elisir d’amore from Covent Gardens, one of my all-time favourite works. I definitely have a thing for the kind of Italian Bel Canto exemplified by the work of Gaetano Donizetti and this is one of his greatest; certainly his most performed anyway. One the surface it’s a light romantic comedy with a very silly plot involving a quack doctor and a fake potion, but it’s beautifully characterized and has considerable dramatic depth and wonderful music. I don’t mind daft operas, as long as they’re sufficiently daft to be true to real life…

Anyway, listening on the radio made me realise how long it has been since I went to see an opera live. Looking at the Covent Garden website to see if there were any more performances due, I saw the prices of the remaining tickets, which brough tears to my eyes. All of which brings me to the highlight of L’elisir d’amore, the Act III aria Una Furtiva Lagrima, one of the most famous and beautiful tenor arias in the entire repertoire. Here it is, sung by the late great Pavarotti. Enjoy!

Oh, and while I am on the theme of opera I’ll just mention that Maria Callas was born on this day in 1923. Happy Birthday, La Divina!


The Land of Song

Posted in Music with tags , , on April 18, 2009 by telescoper

I’m sure the Welsh get a bit fed up with everyone saying that they sing so beautifully. But the problem with cliches such as “The Land of Song” is that they are so often true. At Friday’s dinner in honour of Leonid Grischchuk we were treated to a solo rendition of the beautiful old love song Myfanwy in Cardiff Castle, but today I found a much better version featuring the excellent Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir. I think it’s a really wonderful version, but the thing that struck me most was how on Earth can a small farming village with a population of less than a thousand produce so many wonderful tenor voices?

Incidentally, the great Luciano Pavarotti, who died in September 2007, gave his first ever professional performance at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in Wales, in 1955. It was his success at this festival, with a small choir from Modena that made him decide to turn professional.