The sun is out, the temperatures are creeping up … it’s almost summertime in Boston! We can hardly wait. To celebrate, here are 5 of our favorite summer moments in the operatic canon. Break out the sunscreen!
Puccini’s Tosca is set amidst the heat, the passion, and the political intrigues of Rome. Based on Sardou’s play La Tosca, the story takes place on June 17, 1800, coinciding with the historical Battle of Marengo, which provides an important plot twist to the fictional tale. Get swept away in the summer sun with opera’s ultimate diva and her artist-lover, filmed on location in Rome:
A commedia dell’arte troupe performs in a small Italian town during the Feast of the Assumption (August 15) – but their personal drama quickly overtakes everything onstage. Mascagni’s verismo classic riveted audiences and horrified critics with its violent, passionate depiction of everyday people. Passions run hot in the summer sun!
AKHNATEN – HYMN TO THE SUN
For an ethereal, meditative experience, check out the “Hymn to the Sun” from Akhnaten by Philip Glass. A prayer and reflection, this beautiful piece showcases the countertenor voice to otherworldly, transcendent effect:
PORGY AND BESS – SUMMERTIME
From the American opera classic Porgy and Bess, Gershwin’s poignant and bittersweet lullaby of summer has been reimagined in musical styles from jazz to pop to country, and many more – but we’re still partial to one of the opera greats, Kathleen Battle, and her version!
CARMEN – HABANERA
While not explicitly set in summer, who can listen to Bizet’s sultry melodies and not experience the heat of Seville? We’ve picked Carmen’s iconic first aria, the Habanera, to get your summer started: