Wednesday, March 18, 2020

OPERAWISE: Opera Seria

In this series of podcasts, Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean gives listeners a taste of nine different types of traditional opera. Opera seria, traditional Italian serious opera, developed in the mid-1600s and lasted into the early 1800s. Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar), an opera from 1724, is a great masterpiece and an examplar of the genre; another is Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (aka Orphée et Eurydice, aka Orpheus and Euridice, 1762/1774).

Musical examples on the podcast include:
  • Prelude from Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Mark Minkowski (Archiv 1999)
  • “Cantiam, Lucano” from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Della Jones and Mark Tucker with the City of London Baroque Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox (Virgin Classics 1988) 
  • “L'angue offeso” from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Anne Sofie von Otter and Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Mark Minkowski (Archiv 2002) 
  • “Ombre, larve” from Gluck’s Alceste, Kirsten Flagstad and Geraint Jones Orchestra conducted by Geraint Jones (Decca 1956) 
  • Recitative example from Vivaldi’s Ercole sul Termodonte, Topi Lehtipuu and Rolando Villazón conducted by Fabio Biondi (Virgin Classics 2009) 
  • Overture from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Mark Minkowski (Archiv 2002) 
  • “Prest’omai” from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Marijana Mijanović and Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Mark Minkowski (Archiv 2002)
  • “Domerò” from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Derek Lee Ragin and Concerto Köln conducted by René Jacbos (Harmonia Mundi 1991)
  • "V’adoro, pupille” from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Magdalena Kožená and Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Mark Minkowski (Archiv 2002)
  • "J’ai perdu mon Eurydice” from Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, Maria Callas and Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, 1961
  • Seattle Opera’s 2015 production of Semele conducted by Gary Thor Wedow. 
Stay tuned for another podcast introducing another kind of opera next week!