Friday, April 11, 2008

Italy on the brain

Well, now that my recital is finished I can start to think about my summer in Piobbico, Italy!!!  I got my ticket today - so I guess it's official - I'm going!  I listened to a fantastic recording of Suor Angelica yesterday, starring Joan Sutherland & Christa Ludwig (LONDON label).  As I read through the score and listened I felt the deep emotion that Puccini hoped to convey.  The music paints a clear picture of the story line and even if you don't speak Italian, you can feel the mood of each scene.

Poor Angelica!  She is a young woman from a noble family who gives birth to an illegitimate baby boy.  In hopes of avoiding a huge scandal, Angelica is placed in a convent; her son taken away from her.  For seven years she serves and pays her penance in the convent, never hearing a word from her family.  Then finally one day, her aunt, La zia Principessa, comes to visit.  However she was not coming to "visit" Angelica but rather to have her sign over her inheritance to her sister who is to be married.  Angelica's aunt is cold and heartless; unsympathetic toward her.  Angelica begs her aunt for just a word about her son.  She has wondered about him for seven years.  Reluctantly and with little emotion, The Princess informs Angelica that two years previous, her son had become ill and died.  Angelica immediately becomes distrot and devastated.  Soon after her aunt leaves, Angelica decides to take her life so that she can be with her son in Heaven.  However, once she takes the poison, she cries out to The Virgin  Mary to save her soul because she realizes that suicide would send her to hell.  There is a miraculous light and as Angelica dies she sees a vision of her son approaching her.

This story is tragic and grabs at your heart.  The music is rich and full of drama.  I look forward to learning this role!

1 comment:

Mauree said...

Wow! That sounds like an incredible opportunity. I hope you learn a lot and have fun too!