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Seattle Opera Podcast

Apr 29, 2020

In this series of podcasts, Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean gives listeners a taste of nine different types of traditional opera. Opéra comique, a native French form of lower-brow musical theater, features spoken dialogue, catchy tunes with easy-to-sing refrains, and middle-class values. Many of the opéra-comiques still performed today (including Carmen, The Daughter of the Regiment, and Beatrice and Benedict, as well as opéra-comique derivatives such as Faust and The Tales of Hoffmann) deal, sentimentally or ironically, with a way of life and a value system which now belongs mostly to ancient history.

Musical examples on this podcast drawn from Seattle Opera recordings of Carmen, 2019, conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti; Beatrice and Benedict, 2018, conducted by Ludovic Morlot; Les contes d’Hoffmann, 2014, conducted by Yves Abel and starring Leah Partridge, Alfred Walker, and Tichina Vaughn; La fille du régiment starring Spiro Malas, Monica Sinclair, Joan Sutherland, and Luciano Pavarotti and conducted by Richard Bonynge (Decca 1967); Richard Coeur de Lion starring Michel Trempont and conducted by Edgard Doneux (EMI Classics 1956); and Faust, starring Victoria de los Angeles and Boris Christoff, conducted by André Cluytens (EMI 1953).

Stay tuned for another podcast introducing another kind of opera next week!