Ok Ok…..so what is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say the word “Opera”? It’s probably a comical scene with crazy looking people singing things you can’t understand in a very high screechy voice…..was I right? 🙂
Many of you know that I’m studying music at Skagit Valley College, specifically piano and voice. This past fall my voice teacher asked me what I thought of participating in an opera workshop where we would perform at the end of the quarter. Let’s just say….my perception of opera was pretty similar to what I described above, but I thought “Hey! Why not. It would expand me vocally and would give me an opportunity to try something new.” So I said yes! I wasn’t really sure what lay ahead but I knew it would be a fun experience that I would probably never get again. My teacher gave some music to work on and I began working away. Probably the most difficult thing was learning the German words! I had the privilege of singing in a Quintet with some wonderful singers who also happen to be my classmates. I was also able to sing a lovely Italian aria. Not too long after I began to work on the pieces I had the opportunity to see a “real” opera for the first time and I was not only enthralled by the amazing talent, I was inspired. Inspired to take on the challenge wholeheartedly and do my very best to make it beautiful.
I thought it would be fun to put the videos of the performances and the translations below. I hope you enjoy it!
The first piece I sang was an Italian Aria called “Ch’io mai vi possa” from Handel’s opera
Ch’io mai vi possa from “Siroe” by Handel
Do not believe, O dearest eyes,
Not even in jest will I deceive you.
You were and are my love’s flame
And you will be, dearest eyes,
My true love so long as I live.
The second song was a quintet from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute. The translation may enlighten you to what’s actually going on in this scene.
Hm! Hm! Hm! Hm!
Alas I’m powerless to help you. The spell is strong and I am weak. I cannot tell how I can help you. The spell is strong and I am weak. I don’t know how to help you speak. The spell is strong and I am weak.
The Queen of Night has ordered me to break the lock and set you free.Papageno
Now Papageno’s free to chatter!
But falsehood is another matter.
Your place is at the Prince’s side, he’ll be your guardian and your guide.
Three children will soon be here to guide you, through doubt and fear they’ll stay beside you. To keep you safe and lead the way, when they command you must obey.
Three children will soon be here to guide us, through doubt and fear they’ll stay beside us…