Improving Memorization Technique for Opera

Memorization of music has always been something that I’ve struggled with. I think in part I’m not as good at it as many of my musical peers, and I also have study methods don’t lend themselves to memorizing. I don’t like tedious work where it’s difficult to see progression. Memorizing can be very intangible, where you’ve memorized something one day, only to have it disappear the next. While discussing singing with a friend recently, I noticed that she seemed to have a much better idea of the structure of her pieces that I do. This kicked off some inquiry and … Continue reading Improving Memorization Technique for Opera

Learning “Questa o quella”

I started working on this song a few weeks ago. It’s an aria from Verdi‘s Rigoletto. This opera itself has a rather interesting background (assuming we can trust wikipedia). Verdi was commissioned to compose the opera with the understanding of both him and his sponsor Piave that they risked censorship by the Austrian government. The Austrians controlled much of Northern Italy at the time and the opera was intended to be performed in Venice. The reason for this censorship was the libretto’s portrayal of the primary figure, a French king, as both an immoral figure and a womanizer. Such things … Continue reading Learning “Questa o quella”

Learning “Pourquoi me réveiller”

I’m working on learning this aria from an opera called Werther by Jules Massanet. It’s pretty gorgeous, so I thought I’d share a video of Pavarotti singing it. It comes at a point in the opera when Werther comes to see the woman he loves, but whom he can never be with. He proceeds to read her a French poem (which happens to be this song). She realizes that she returns his love, and they embrace shortly before he leaves the stage. Shortly thereafter Werther kills himself, distraught with the knowledge that he can never be with the woman he … Continue reading Learning “Pourquoi me réveiller”