4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Wagner takes Lohengrin beyond Star Wars and Gladiator and Indiana Jones

And other moments that stirred my cold tiny heart

Carmen just before she throws the ring at Jose.
Carmen just before she throws the ring at Jose.

I was watching an NFL game while scrolling through Instagram stories when I came across a clip of the Act Finale from Verdi’s La Traviata. Violetta implores Alfredo to love her as she departs for Paris, leaving him behind. Violetta’s line, “Amami Alfredo”, never fails to stir my cold tiny heart. It is a great moment in opera that isn’t technically an aria, duet, ensemble, or chorus.

Video:

"Amami Alfredo," La Traviata

Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon
Salzbourg 2005

Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon Salzbourg 2005

It got me thinking about other great moments in opera that fall outside the traditional forms. What better way to end the year and start a new one than to review a few of these moments.

Video:

Georges Bizet - Carmen, act 4

1978 -   Carlos Kleiber - Conductor                                                            Chor der Wiener Staatsoper

1978 - Carlos Kleiber - Conductor Chor der Wiener Staatsoper

The death of Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen is more than a great moment in opera. It is a great moment in the entirety of Western Civilization. Far from being a simple story about a love triangle gone wrong, Carmen hinges on the conflict between tyranny, Don Jose, and liberty, Carmen. The great moment comes when Carmen flings Jose’s ring at him with the word “tiens”, “take it.” At that point, you know it’s not going to end well for her.

“Tiens” comes at the 8:20 mark.

Video:

Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883): "Lohengrin"

Vienna, 1990. Placido Domingo (Lohengrin), Cheryl Studer (Elsa), Rober Lloyd (Heinrich), Dunja Vejzovic (Ortrud).

Vienna, 1990. Placido Domingo (Lohengrin), Cheryl Studer (Elsa), Rober Lloyd (Heinrich), Dunja Vejzovic (Ortrud).

Act II of Wagner’s Lohengrin is dripping in great moments yet there is one that defies belief at the top of scene five. In the fourth scene, Ortrud, the baddie, has been bullying Elsa and shaking her trust in Lohengrin. It isn’t looking good but then Lohengrin and the King arrive. The music is already at a10 but Wagner takes it to another level at this point. No composer does this better than Wagner. When you think he can’t possibly go any further, he exceeds himself.

This moment is musically more dramatic and powerful than anything that has ever happened in any movie ever made. It eclipses Star Wars and Gladiator and Indiana Jones combined.

The great moment begins at the 2:09:00 mark.

Video:

Franco Corelli in Tosca - "Vittoria! Vittoria!"

Teatro Regio di Parma, January 21, 1967

Teatro Regio di Parma, January 21, 1967

Sometimes a great moment in opera coincides with a great singer of opera. Such is the case with the text “Vittoria!”, in the second act of Puccini’s Tosca. The artist Cavaradossi is being tortured by Scarpia, the head of the police in Rome. During the scene, news of Napoleon’s victory is announced and Cavaradossi brings the point home by singing “Vittoria” on a high B-flat.

It is a great moment no matter who is singing it. When the tenor is Franco Corelli at a live performance in Parma, Italy from 1967, you have what might be the greatest all-time moment of opera.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The sometimes unpredictable path to motherhood

Andra Day, Price of Dope, Sully Band, Adam Gnade, Augustana
Next Article

El Cajon Olaf Weighorst forgeries, Reader author's parents killed

Cali cartel smuggler on Harbor Drive, postal detectives busy in San Diego, robbery part of Mission Beach life, my crimes started in O.B., Teamster leader killed, the Amanda Gaeke mystery
Carmen just before she throws the ring at Jose.
Carmen just before she throws the ring at Jose.

I was watching an NFL game while scrolling through Instagram stories when I came across a clip of the Act Finale from Verdi’s La Traviata. Violetta implores Alfredo to love her as she departs for Paris, leaving him behind. Violetta’s line, “Amami Alfredo”, never fails to stir my cold tiny heart. It is a great moment in opera that isn’t technically an aria, duet, ensemble, or chorus.

Video:

"Amami Alfredo," La Traviata

Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon
Salzbourg 2005

Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon Salzbourg 2005

It got me thinking about other great moments in opera that fall outside the traditional forms. What better way to end the year and start a new one than to review a few of these moments.

Video:

Georges Bizet - Carmen, act 4

1978 -   Carlos Kleiber - Conductor                                                            Chor der Wiener Staatsoper

1978 - Carlos Kleiber - Conductor Chor der Wiener Staatsoper

The death of Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen is more than a great moment in opera. It is a great moment in the entirety of Western Civilization. Far from being a simple story about a love triangle gone wrong, Carmen hinges on the conflict between tyranny, Don Jose, and liberty, Carmen. The great moment comes when Carmen flings Jose’s ring at him with the word “tiens”, “take it.” At that point, you know it’s not going to end well for her.

“Tiens” comes at the 8:20 mark.

Video:

Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883): "Lohengrin"

Vienna, 1990. Placido Domingo (Lohengrin), Cheryl Studer (Elsa), Rober Lloyd (Heinrich), Dunja Vejzovic (Ortrud).

Vienna, 1990. Placido Domingo (Lohengrin), Cheryl Studer (Elsa), Rober Lloyd (Heinrich), Dunja Vejzovic (Ortrud).

Act II of Wagner’s Lohengrin is dripping in great moments yet there is one that defies belief at the top of scene five. In the fourth scene, Ortrud, the baddie, has been bullying Elsa and shaking her trust in Lohengrin. It isn’t looking good but then Lohengrin and the King arrive. The music is already at a10 but Wagner takes it to another level at this point. No composer does this better than Wagner. When you think he can’t possibly go any further, he exceeds himself.

This moment is musically more dramatic and powerful than anything that has ever happened in any movie ever made. It eclipses Star Wars and Gladiator and Indiana Jones combined.

The great moment begins at the 2:09:00 mark.

Video:

Franco Corelli in Tosca - "Vittoria! Vittoria!"

Teatro Regio di Parma, January 21, 1967

Teatro Regio di Parma, January 21, 1967

Sometimes a great moment in opera coincides with a great singer of opera. Such is the case with the text “Vittoria!”, in the second act of Puccini’s Tosca. The artist Cavaradossi is being tortured by Scarpia, the head of the police in Rome. During the scene, news of Napoleon’s victory is announced and Cavaradossi brings the point home by singing “Vittoria” on a high B-flat.

It is a great moment no matter who is singing it. When the tenor is Franco Corelli at a live performance in Parma, Italy from 1967, you have what might be the greatest all-time moment of opera.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Love in Little Haiti

“We didn’t grow up with electricity. We didn’t grow up with food.”
Next Article

Targets: The Bogdanovich-Corman connection

It’s impossible to ignore the amount of thought and resourcefulness enmeshed in every frame
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close