Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eclectic Jukebox 2/21/08

Tito Gobbi — "Credo in un Dio crudel" from Verdi's Otello

Sorry, another multiple video entry. I only really got into opera after college, but Verdi's Otello is one of my favorites, and I'm seeing it again tonight. This is one of my favorite arias, as Iago explains his "belief in a cruel God." The video's a bit out of synch here, but Tito Gobbi really sells the juicy deviltry of the piece. A translation is here. Opera buffs might enjoy comparing it to Mephistofele's "Son lo spirito che nega" ("I am the spirit who says no") from Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele, since Boito wrote the librettos for both operas. (Alas, I could not find an English translation of the Mefistofele piece online. I actually worked on the Verdi aria a bit in college, but was far too shy at the time to commit to the unabashed melodrama of the piece.)

Renée Fleming — "The Willow Song" from Verdi's Otello

I just couldn't pass up this performance of one of Otello's signature arias. A translation is here. Fleming's voice is simply gorgeous as well as nuanced, and I appreciate her acting in this clip, too. She's completely present, and that helps her fully inhabits this piece musically as well.

Eclectic Jukebox

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