Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Trump Sides with the Kremlin, Against the U.S. Government.

(If that isn’t sitting in the lap of Treason, I don’t know what is.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Aria from Ponchielli's La Gioconda:  "Cielo e mare"


TAO said...

I would recommend Pavarotti singing Puccini's Nessum dorma from the Opera Turandot

That is one song that hits me every time....

Shaw Kenawe said...


That is among my favorites.

As this aria is.

"Cielo e mare" translated from Italian means "sky and sea."

The Malcontent said...

For the FIRST time in my adult life, I have found something that you have said/done the has make me proud.

TAO said...

Oh, and I am sure that making THE MALCONTENT proud is a very high priority for Shaw!

Now, why doesn't THE MALCONTENT go off and return the favor by doing something to make Shaw proud?!

One good turn deserves another don't you think?

TAO said...


I have a very limited collection of Opera records/CDs....

While I have absolutely no idea what they are saying I can sing along with each and everyone of them!

They can empower you with just raw emotion and or bring you to absolute tears...

It is true music!

The Malcontent said...

Excuse me Mr. MAO, but I know more about Opera than you will EVER know .. Opera is a subject about which I am extremely knowledgeable . I have what is known as a mini subscription to the Metropolitan and go to about 4-5 performances every year . As for Luciano Pavarotti who is every Opera lovers favorite, I have been fortunate to have seen him perform 4 times. I even have his Nessun Dorma as my cell phone ring tone.

But I'm sure that YOU are more interested in Michale Jackson.

dmarks said...

I have to say I've never listened to Pavarotti before, so my knowledge and appreciation is nothing compared to that of Tao, Shaw, and Malc.

But I decided to listen to this clip..... and yes, it is quite good.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Well, Mr. Malcontent Smarty Pants,

Not only did I see Pavarotti perform at the met in Mozart's Ideomeneo years ago, but I've also attended performances by Placido Domingo [who is as good, if not a better musician]. I attended many performances in Boston when the Met used to go on the road to various cities, and I attend performances of Boston Lyric Opera every chance I get.

FROM WIKI: "Mr. Pavarotti was perhaps the mirror opposite of his great rival among tenors, Mr. Domingo. Five years Mr. Domingo’s senior, Mr. Pavarotti had the natural range of a tenor, exposing him to the stress and wear that ruin so many tenors’ careers before they have barely started. Mr. Pavarotti’s confidence and naturalness in the face of these dangers made his longevity all the more noteworthy.

Mr. Domingo, on the other hand, began his musical life as a baritone and later manufactured a tenor range above it through hard work and scrupulous intelligence. Mr. Pavarotti, although he could find the heart of a character, was not an intellectual presence. His ability to read music in the true sense of the word was in question. Mr. Domingo, in contrast, is an excellent pianist with an analytical mind and the ability to learn and retain scores by quiet reading."

I also was fortunate to attend a performance at "La Scala" in Milan where I heard Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci and Puccini's "Il Tabarro," two one-act operas. Pagliacci is usually coupled with "Cavaleria Rusticana," a two act opera, and when played in opera houses together, they're referred to as "Cav" and "Pag."

My mother and father were born in Italy, and growing up we always heard opera--my father listened to the Met every saturday afternoon, and knew the stories that the operas were based on. Most Italian cities and small towns all, at one time, had an opera house--Venice has 35! In the 19th century, opera was to Italians of all classes and ages what baseball is to Americans.

Since I understand Italian, I can usually understand what the performers are singing--if their diction is good. But I've also read most of the Italian repetoire's libretti. And yes, TAO, the stories are convoluted and melodramatic. But one doesn't go to the opera for the story. You go for the music and to hear the sublime voices--and also ballet.

Years ago I made a Verdi pilgrimage while in Italy. I visited the town where he was born, Roncoli-Verdi, then went to Bussetto, where he studied music and met his first wife, then on to Saint Agata, his villa that he shared with his lover, Giuseppina Streponi, after his wife and children tragically died. Eventually he married Giuseppina, and the legend is that his opera, "La Traviata" is loosely based on her life.

In the evening, I visited the hotel in Milan where "il maestro" died and where, while he was dying, the city fathers ordered all the streets to be covered in hay so that the rumble of the horse-drawn wagon wheels would not disturb the dying Sig. Verdi.

I love all of his operas and the Italian repetoire, but I have to admit that I believe the most perfect opera ever written is Mozart's "La Nozze di Figaro."

Shaw Kenawe said...

PS. I had "O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi" sung by Anna Netrebko as my ring tone on my phone, but when I got a new phone last spring, I couldn't find where to repurchase it. If Malcontent can point me to where I can get opera tones for my ring tone, I will forgive him for being such a smarty-pants and boorish crank to my commenters.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I should have typed "Venice HAD 35 [opera houses].

The Malcontent said...

Shaw Kenawe said...
Well, Mr. Malcontent Smarty Pants,

Not only did I see Pavarotti perform at the met in Mozart's Ideomeneo years ago, but I've also attended performances by Placido Domingo [who is as good, if not a better musician].

Smarty pants Huh!
OK, I guess I can be a "smarty pants" at times.

Anyway about Domingo being good, if not a better musician?
A better "Conductor" yes. But that's where it ends.. As a singer, he's not even in the same league.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Domingo has a voice that is powerful and dolce at the same time. He started out as a baritone and through dint of hard work and training became a tenor--an unusual feat.

I love his voice, and I love Pavarotti's. They are different tenors, and both are sublime.

Domingo said he and Pavarotti had risen through the opera ranks together, and they established a solidarity over 40 years that defeated any attempts by critics to put one on a higher pedestal than the other. If there was any competition, both benefited, he said.

DOMINGO: "I think the career of Luciano was bigger because I was there, as a friendly rival. And I think my career was bigger because he was there also, as the friendly rival."

and this:

Domingo’s virtuoso powers lure crowds to Verona Festival Gala
Placido Domingo, one of the greatest tenors of his generation, is the star attraction at Verona’s 87th Opera Festival, which also features revivals of “Carmen,” “Aida” and “Turandot.”
15 Jun 2009 / Bloomberg

PS. I visited Modena, Pavarotti's home town.

Had a fabulous meal there, got lost, and visited a lot of chiese!

TAO said...

Well, I am going to say that I know nothing about Opera...

But I am sitting here enjoying my boxed set of Maria Callas mono...on a turntable.

...and I enjoy every note which isn't bad for a guy who lost a good portion of his hearing at three years of age and is suppossed to wear hearing aids...

Annoying things! Life is nicer when it is quieter!

Shaw Kenawe said...


Maria Callas is considered the greatest soprano who ever lived.

I'm so glad you enjoy her voice.

I own a couple of dozen complete operas, and several "highlights" of operas.

I visited the "Figaro House" in Vienna where Mozart composed "La Nozze di Figaro," which, as I stated, I believe is the most perfect opera written.

You can access almost any opera or aria on the net. I have stored in my favorites that has the complete libretti of all operas.

I gotta go find that, although I may have lost in in the process of installing new software.

Enjoy Maria. She certainly was a rare talent, and a Diva in the grandest sense of the word.

(I visited her grave in Père Lachaise cemetary in Paris.)