My Favorite Sopranos, Part 2: Anna Moffo

Hello..? I don’t know how to start the post with! So,,, Hi!!

I hope you’re doing fine. Well I’m not!

Anyways, I wanted to introduce you to the amazing soprano Anna Moffo.

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Absolutely gorgeous looking, once again proving that life isn’t fair because she was beautiful and she could sing very well at the same time. I hope I can also be as perfect like her but let’s face it. WAKE UP MINNIE!!!

To briefly introduce her..

Anna Moffo was born in an Italian family in Pennsylvania. After graduating high school, she turned down an offer to go to Hollywood and instead she chose to go to a music institution in Philadelphia. She received a scholarship to go to Italy to complete her studies in Rome. She later studied voice privately in New York City. Anna Moffo made her official operatic debut in 1955 in Spoleto(a city in Italy). She soon appeared on Italian television which made her career take off. She had a glamorous career but it eventually caused a serious vocal impairment in 1968, which she never recovered. And she passed away at the age of 73, from a decade-long battle with breast cancer. (Source: Wikipedia)

I have to say, personally for me Anna Moffo had the most purest voice I’ve ever heard so far. In the theatre world, there’s a saying that you can tell how that person is by just listening to their voices and looking how they act on stage. In my opinion, I think it’s true. Whenever I listen to Anna Moffo’s singing, I could tell how pure and naive she is. It’s my personal assumption but I feel that she was a very nice person with a great compassionate heart. That’s just how I feel. Whenever I want to listen to “Depuis le Jour” from the opera Louise , I can’t help myself. I feel absolutely happy.

Down below is the link of her live perfomance. Enjoy her beautiful presence in the video! Oh man, I’m listening to the song as I write and it already made me smile. Her singing this song makes me feel like I’m in love.

Have a wonderful evening, people!!

 

 

 

Little thoughts about my Singing Lessons

I remember it was at the end of 2015, I’ve just finished a musical production “A Funny thing that happened on the way to the Forum” in my college. I was playing the main role Philia. At that time I didn’t have much training so I didn’t know how to fu**ing sing this one song which eventually wasn’t even part of the show. And there was also a very rude girl who wanted the role that I was playing and she would look down upon me when I wasn’t able to sing the song. I was instantly pissed and I was determined to get some singing lessons. I was also not trained and very insecure. That’s why I decided to find a singing teacher. 

I’m not writing this to promote my singing teacher or anything, I just wanted to share something that I felt today. 

Anyways I was looking for a singing teacher and I was asking around and I was also looking online. There was a website called Thumbtack and you can look up people of what kind of services that you’re looking for. There were a lot of people offering me to be my singing teacher. They introduced themselves and they informed me with their hourly rates blah blah blah. It’s just my opinion but everyone was talking about themselves. They mentioned their awards, performing in shows like this and that blah blah blah. 

But there was this one person who asked about me. It was my singing teacher. He asked me where I’ve performed the musical production. I wanted to find someone who’d care about me and after dealing with my talking over the phone phobia, I finally found my guts to call him. 

He’s been my singing teacher ever since! I think the phrase “to each their own” fits well in this case because he was what I needed. Someone who really cared about me. He’s my therapist every week lol. 

It’s been over a year since I’ve been taking singing lessons from him. I still didn’t overcome a lot of my problems when I’m singing. For instance breathing;; when I’m nervous I tend to not breath which makes me sound like a squeaking child lol. But it helps me, seeing Larry(my singing teacher) every week. Sometimes the lessons make me feel like out of this world and sometimes it’s just deep shit hell. 

Recently it’s been deep shit hell but it was because I wouldn’t let go and just breathe. It’s hard to explain but what I’ve learned about singing is that the most important thing about singing is

  1. Breathing 
  2. Words
  3. Note

I’m going to get through this slump by practicing and hopefully I get over the breathing phase. Ughhhhhh if it was that easy just like that. 

But I’m not going to give up. This means the world to me. It makes me so happy singing opera arias and broadway music etc. I think that’s the most important thing. That you love something so much you don’t care if you’re good or not, you just keep going. That’s what singing means to me, I might not be amazingly talented and might not be able to hit the right notes and sound terrible. 

But I love doing it. 

So good luck to me and I wish me luck!


Oh and ps! Later on I realized why he was interested where I performed the musical production “A Funny thing that happened on the way to the Forum” because he worked with the creator of that show Steven Sondheim. Steven Sondheim even wrote my singing teacher a recommendation which later on got him the job in Hartford University. Pretty cool eh? 

It’s amazing what life brings you sometimes. I’m so lucky to have him in my life. 

The day that I fell in love with Opera 

It was a summer day in 2016, (I know it seems like I’m making such a big deal out this but this means a lot to me!!) I was in my room doing absolutely nothing. Around that time, I have found myself getting bored with pop music and whatnot, I wanted more. I wanted something that I could be content with emotionally. I’ve been wanting to listen to music that touched my soul, that I can real lose myself into.

So I was browsing through my phone, amazon prime music more like lol, and then I looked at Maria Callas’s album. I remember which album it exactly was. It was “Casta Diva – 50 Best Maria Callas – The Greatest Classical Music Ever!”.


I don’t remember how I began to select the song but I just decided to listen to “Vissi d’arte” from the opera Tosca. And oh my GOD……..

I did not know that I could even feel that way. After listening to the song, I was just speechless. That moment was so special to me. I cried from the overwhelming emotions and how sad Maria Callas sang this song and from that moment I just couldn’t stop listening to the song and other songs that Maria Callas sang. It was like magic. A tsunami of emotions came to me unexpectedly and it was the most special feeling in the world.

I simply decided to listen to Maria Callas that day because I remember my best friend/former roommate Eri who’s a violinist, used to listen to Maria Callas singing in La Traviata and she would say “Oh Maria, why are you so good..” and I was always wondering why it was so great. I just sat next to her while she was listening to it. I didn’t know at that time that I would realize what she meant at that time. file_001

Now I listen a lot of Maria Callas’s recordings. She’s not perfect and some people don’t like her sharp, piercing voice. But still personally, I think she is the Queen of bel canto. Coming from a theatre background, her singing is not only singing. She puts her soul into these songs and she doesn’t just sing those notes. She’s living it by meaning every single word that she is saying.

The link below is one of my personal favorites of her and also the best example of her living the song. She is the absolute best.

Maria Callas – Puccini – O mio babbino caro

My all time favorite female soprano!! Part 1

Oh myyyyy .. I can’t wait to introduce this amazing female soprano today!! 

The soprano that I’m going to share today is the divina Leontyne Price.leontyne_price_color_by_jack_mitchell

Oh my gosh I am so so so so so excited to share about my absolute favorite! There’s more artists that I would like to share this and I wanted to write about other sopranos also but I decided to write about them separately.

To abbreviate Leontyne Price’s biography; she was born and raised in Mississippi (Yes people she’s from the South! Take it or leave it), she started her music education in a church then went to high school and was an outstanding pianist then she went to college with the idea of becoming a music teacher. But the faculty of Oak college convinced her to change her focus to Voice. She was offered and finished a full scholarship education in Julliard and she had her debut in a musical in Broadway. Afterwards she had her opera stage debut in San Francisco opera house and that’s when her opera career has officially started.

When I first heard her sing “Vissi d’arte” from the opera Tosca, I was blown away from the grace of Leontyne Price’s voice.. I could feel such grace in every breath that she took and oh man oh man, she is so classy. I didn’t hear any rushes in almost every song that she sang. She’s a diva when she took her time and the performances itself were breathtaking.

Anna Moffo –

Opera “Salome” with my Mom

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On December 28, 2016 my mother and I decided to watch an opera. We were originally planning to watch Mozart’s The Magic Flute… But since it was the end of the year season there were no student tickets available for that show.

So we had a choice. Rather to watch a contemporary opera Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin, or watch Richard Strauss’s Salome. I am a person who’s a little skeptical about contemporary opera after my conversation with one of my closest friends.. Therefore Salome it was!!

Oh and I forgot to mention that my mother came to New York City just to visit me, and it had been 2 years since we’ve seen each other in last December 2016. I wanted to take my mother somewhere special in New York and since her daughter was able to get tickets at a cheap price, my mother was more than happy about going to the Metropolitan Opera House with me.

Since I am a very ignorant person with opera I had to do a little research about what the opera Salome was about. But luckily my academic adviser from my college educated me with a brief story-line.

The opera Salome’s time sets around when Jesus was born. The priest of the King Herod’s became a very influential person and King Herod feared the priest so the king decided to lock the priest in prison. Salome, the stepdaughter of King Herod was a very beautiful attractive princess. Everyone fell in love with her. But Salome fell in love with the priest who denied her completely. So she decides to seduce her stepfather King Herod to do anything for her. And since he promised Salome to do anything for her, he has no choice but to order a death sentence to the priest which he was very reluctant about. But he gave the order and priest was dead. Salome was happy that she could finally kiss the priest with his chopped head and that is the most famous part for this opera.  

I was upset that I couldn’t really listen to Salome’s singing  because it wasn’t as loud to reach my ears to the back of the orchestra. It was interesting for me to watch a soprano doing the seduction choreography and strip completely for 5 seconds on stage. YES. COMPLETELY. Oh and also, my mother fell asleep during the show. Salome is not a long show, it’s about an hour and a half. So when I heard someone snore I said to myself, ” Who the f*ck is snoring?!!?” and turns out it was my mom.. So I gave her a slight slap to wake her up and and she chuckled realizing that she was asleep.

The songs were not familiar to my ears. For me it was eccentric and eerie for me. It felt like the songs were developing into a climax and in the midst of it, it stopped. I was like WHAT?! What about the good part?! Both my friend and my singing teacher said that once I get used to it, I’ll probably fall in love with it. Well I guess I’ll like it eventually. Maybe I’m not just ready for it. After all it’s only been a year since I fell in love with opera.

So for now, I’ll just keep on listening to my Puccini for now!:)

Thank you once again Metropolitan Opera, for a memorable night for me and my one and only mother.  

 

My Top 10 Female Arias

I am an opera fan. I am but I don’t really know a lot about it. I consider myself a very ignorant person about classical music/opera. However, nothing can stop me from loving it!!

So to be honest, I really hope people will read my post and recommend me more and more arias that I can listen to. That’s the whole reason why I started this blog!!!! To learn more, and to communicate with other opera lovers out there!!

Anyways the list was so hard to make because I have so many other favorites.
Oh and the reasons why I chose these 10 is because I love opera arias that ends and has a Kaboom and a BANG! That’s why most of my favorite arias are super famous, and mostly from the Verismo (a post-Romantic operatic tradition associated with Italian composers) era.

That’s why I think I can’t really find interest in some of the contemporary operas(ex Richard Strauss and etc). I put the youtube links for every aria so, enjoy!

1. Vissi darte Tosca by Puccini 

2. Sì. Mi Chiamano MimiLa Boheme by Puccini

3. Ecco, respiro appena –Adriana Lecouvreur composed by Francesco Cilea 

4. Chi il bel sogno di Doretta – La Rondine by Giacomo Puccini

5. O Silver Moon, “Song to the Moon” – Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák 

6. Les tringles des sistres tintaient –Carmen by Georges Bizet

7. Pace, pace mio dio La forza del destino by Giuseppe Verdi 

8. Depuis Le JourLouise by Gustave Charpentier, Pierre Perret

9. Una voce poco fa – Il Barbiere Di Siviglia by Gioachino Rossini

10. Quando me’n vo soletta La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini 

For me, finding the beauty of opera is like opening my eyes after being blind for a long lonely time. That’s why I hope in the future I will be able to love and appreciate the beauty of German operas and Russian opera and so on. But for now these are what I love the most.

 

Once again “The Lion King”

I know that this is not an opera show but I ran out of materials to write about so…. and operas are expensive for a broke college student. But I’ll try my best to bring opera into my posts!

I decided to post about the Broadway show “The Lion King”!

I’ve received a free ticket to go see “The Lion King” by participating a  “How to Standout” theater internship workshop. I was so thankful for the free ticket. These babies cost a lot so I was definitely going. Honestly, I think the only benefit for being a theater student is to get free tickets like these.

All I had to do was go to the box office the day before the show to secure my ticket. And yes I got a spot. The person who handles the tickets almost gave me 2,, but his co-workers stopped him (Damn it!!).

Anyways, it wasn’t my first time to watch the show. I’ve watched it last year in the summer (with someone I would not like to remember anymore). It was amazing, I cried 3 times during the whole show. However watching the show this time, wasn’t so great like the first time.

I just love the fact that human beings can make something so beautiful, watching shows like this makes me proud for being a human being, because we have the possibility to make something so beautiful and beyond. I think that is why I fell in love with theater in the first place. It’s about people, and together we create something beyond.

Watching the show made me realize that I prefer opera over Broadway shows. It’s not because I think opera is better than musicals, no. It’s because there’s nothing other than opera that makes me feel a certain way. When I’m listening to “Vissi d’arte” from Tosca, I can’t help myself because the music and the singing and the meaning overwhelms me. That is why I absolutely love love love opera.

And watching “The Lion King” made me realize again for my love for opera.

PS: I like to post my outfit that I wore to watch the show. I’m not that into myself but that was an amazing picture because it made me look so thin. But honestly, those photos are for me to remember!