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Seattle Opera Podcast

Apr 15, 2020

In this series of podcasts, Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean gives listeners a taste of nine different types of traditional opera. Verismo was a late nineteenth-century reaction against the excesses of the great tradition. The aim was immediate, powerful, realistic opera, with post-Wagnerian music of titanic passion setting stories about simple, everyday, relatable characters. The vogue for verismo dominated opera as the older art form gave birth to the cinema. Leoncavallo’s masterpiece Pagliacci (1892) serves as a well-known example of verismo; Il tabarro (1918), by Puccini, isn’t so well-known but is every bit as great.

Musical examples on the podcast drawn from Seattle Opera recordings of Andrea Chenier, 1996, conducted by Steven Mercurio; La bohème, 2007, conducted by Vjekoslav Sutej and starring Karen Driscoll and Philip Cutlip; Turandot, 2012, conducted by Asher Fisch and starring Antonello Palombi; the 1953 EMI Classics recording of PAGLIACCI conducted by Renato Cellini; and the 1956 EMI recording of Il tabarro conducted by Vincenzo Bellezza and starring Tito Gobbi and Margaret Mas.

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