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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Arrigo Boito, birthday boi...

Better known as a top notch librettist than a composer of Italian Opera was Arrigo Boito in a lot of ways, today's birthday boy.  Responsible for the libretti for Verdi's final operas, Otello and Falstaff, it's his opera Mefistofele I find most interesting.

It's huge and often unwieldy, but it has some very fine moments, with some of the most impressive opening scenes in opera.  There's also gorgeous music for all lead roles, including a rather famous soprano aria, incredible chorus work and one thrilling final scene.

As far as the final scene goes, you'll be hard pressed to find a better one than the one above, featuring one of the greatest exponents of the title role ever, the devilishly gorgeous, Sam Ramey.

I've chosen two other highlights to feature in this brief tribute, the afore mentioned aria sung by Renata Tebaldi, and the glorious finale to the Helen of Troy scene from the recording with Montserrat Caballe and Luciano Pavarotti.

After listening to these you'll wish like me, that this gorgeously flawed gem would be performed more often.  Tebaldi's recording of 'L'altra notte...' is nothing short of heart-stoppingly tragic, the 'O Incantessimo' of Caballe and Pavarotti nothing short of ravishingly beautiful.


#OnThisDay #HappyBirthdayMaestro #HappyBirthday #Opera #Verdi #Mefistofele  #ItalianOpera #Tebaldi #Pavarotti #Caballe #SamRamey

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