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In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

DR. VON LYRIC: A Serenade to, for, and by Don Giovanni

May 8, 2015 11:48:00 AM
By BLO Staff

The
Don has been charming audiences (and perhaps causing slight anxiety)
over the past weeks at the Shubert Theatre. One of his many seductive
strategies is his lovely serenade at the beginning of Act 2. It is not
completely without guile or deception or some inherent badness (nothing the Don does, is) - he is after all pretending to
be his servant, has just played a cruel trick on the vulnerable Elvira, and is soon to ruthlessly beat up the innocent Masetto - but for the
moment he's all sexy
melody.

"Ecco
ridente" from THE BARBER OF SEVILLE (Rossini)
Another serenade - perhaps more inherently sincere - although
interestingly the singer (Count Almaviva) is pretending to be the
student Lindoro much as Giovanni is disguising his own aristocratic
station by pretending to be his servant Leporello.

The "Siciliana" from CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA (Mascagni)
Yet another lovely serenade... but which has deadly repercussions. Turiddu sings to his mistress Lola. Perhaps a somewhat foolish public act
which seems to brazenly announce to all (including Lola's husband) what is
going on - and leads to a violent Sicilian conclusion.


From FAUST (Gounod)
A nasty mocking serenade by Mephistopheles to the vulnerable Marguerite who has
been seduced (and soon will be abandoned) by the reckless Faust.
 
"Serenade"
from SCHWANENGESANG (Schubert)
Perhaps the most familiar of non-operatic serenades performed (exploited?) by The Three Tenors.
Harlekin's
serenade from ARIADNE AUF NAXOS (Richard
Strauss)
A
more traditional serenade... à la Watteau. 

Susanna's 4th Act serenade from THE MARRIAGE OF
FIGARO (Mozart)
One of Mozart' s most beautiful arias and one of his most subtle dramatic
conceits.  Figaro, Susanna's very recent husband, is hidden and is consumed
with raging jealousy when he overhears what he thinks is a passionate love
song directed at the lecherous Count Almaviva by his wife. Susanna
knows that Figaro is there listening and as she slyly seems to ostensibly
address the Count, she pours out her deep love for her new husband... the
orchestral sounds of plucked strings seem to echo the
throbbing heartbeats of her deeply loving (and faithful) heart.
 

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