Classical Music at the Library, Opera Edition

soundsOpera is one facet of classical music in which I’ve never indulged. I’m a patient man, but I don’t have the endurance for a composer like Wagner, whose Ring Cycle lasts roughly eighteen hours (seriously). And then there are the over-the-top melodramatic beltings, the proverbial fat ladies singing, which seem ridiculous to me. That isn’t to say that opera is trivial; you’ll find many devotees. Like those freaks on NPR’s Opera Quiz who are able to identify an aria by hearing half a note. So, yes, I’m not exactly the biggest fan of opera.

I say “not exactly,” because behind those warblings, you’ll find some great classical music. Take for example, Verdi Without Words, an arrangement of his best-known themes by former Cincinnati Pops conductor Eric Kunzel. Even for the uninitiated, you are likely recognize the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore, which is often parodied in popular culture (just think of Looney Tunes). And then there’s “La donna è mobile,” whose melody has become for many the epitome of Italian opera. My personal favorite piece is the “Egyptian March” from Aïda.

Put on your Viking helmet complete with horns for the Overtures and Preludes from the operas of Richard Wagner (pronounced vahhhg-ner, not wag-ner). Sure, the man’s legacy isn’t exactly without tarnish, but the music is brilliant and you won’t be subjected to eighteen hours of Germanic mythology in song form. Who can’t resist banging their head to The Ride of the Valkyries? A favorite from this album is the Prelude from Act III of Lohengrin, which puts me in the mood to be heroic.

Until next time–may your personal rite of spring not be riotous.

SqKSlrmPxYKKKKQBRRRQAUUUUAFFFFABRRRQAUUUlMZVPSuabHf6fSukY4UmucPB5NdaMj5+ f/kaLdvWzlH/AI+lfSQB5yefXFeCsM+IYWB4FpIPzdf8K+giwyRk/WtTAjwD74p+CD9akz2qYEZ6 1mMQ+nerFR5qzXObCU6iiszQKKKKQBRRRQAUUUUAFFFFAHzD4iKDQLsyEhNnzEHmtnRyX0CxJOSY E5P0FZfiH/kB3OUDjbyh6N7V0WmOraHaMEEYMKYUDheBxXp9D9d/5hl/i/Q9pT7gq9WdH9xec8Vo 1wM/KHuFFFFZmIUUUUAFFFFABRRRQAUUUUAFFFFABXm2oX9tpdhNe3cgjghUszV6TX4samH8Za+m lQ7xo9hIJLuYYxNIDxGD/M/Wvp6UFJ67Lc8qcrLTc6L4f6ZIljfa/eQCO+1q4a6YEfMkfRFz9Ofx r9hajAAAAGAOgFSVyVJucnJm0Y8qsFFFJXiHeLRRRSAKKKKACiiigAooooAKKKKACiiigAooooAK KKKACiiigBmKfRRTEFFFFIYUUUUAFFFFABRRRQAUUUUAFFFFABRRRQAUUUUAFFFFABRRRQAUUUUA FR45qSimAUUUUgIyM0+lopgFFFFIAooooAKKKKAEpKdRTAbSYFPooAiwPQU7A9KfRTAiwCOgpMD0 FTUUAMwKj2j0FT0UARYHoKbtHoKnooASkxTqKQDMCo9o9B+VT0UwINo9BUexT/CPyq3RTEUdiEY2 r+VNMaHqin8K0KKdxFHYn91fyp2xf7o/KrlFFwKmxcY2j8qTYoGNo/KrlFFxlPYufuj8ql2j0FT0 UgIsD0FRbVH8I/KrVFAFfaB2H5UbQeoH5VYooAo7E4+VePapNq4xtH5Vaop3AplFPVR+VVjFGeqK ceorVoouIy/Kj/uL+VSeWn9xfyrQop3YHPfZ4f8AnjH/AN8ipRBEOkSD/gIrcoq7szsjG8mLGPLT /vkVIIowchFz06Vq0VN2VYxzDEW3GNM+u0VCYIWBDRIQeoKjmt6ii7Cxh+RFjHlJj02iqotoAMCG MAdtorpqKq7IsjA8iHj90nH+yKzxaWwORbxA/wC4K6+iquxWRy32W3Gf3EXzdfkHNILW3HSCIf8A ABXVUUczFZHMfZoNwbyY9w77RUH2S2/594vX7grrqKfM+4cqONNpbMcm3iJ9SgqL7Fa7dv2aLb6b Biu3oquZ9yeVdjhRZWgGBbQ/98Crv2W3znyIs/7grraKXM+4cq7HGGztmGGt4iB2KCsz+z7Lj/RI eOnyCvRqKrml3I5Y9jzYadZAAC0h4GPuCpP7Ps8Y+yw4/wBwV6LRV88u5PJHscMbK1brbRHt9wVT On2ZUL9liwOnyCvRaKnml3K5Y9jzT+zrIH/j1h6Y+4Ks/YLMjH2WHH+4K9Cop80u5PJHseXjTbIH ItYs/wC6KjbTLFs5tYuevy16pRV88u5HJHseTtpdixBNrHwMDinf2ZZcf6NHx0yK9Wopc8u5XJHs eVnTLIkE2sWQMfdqFtLsWIJtkyK9aop88u4uSPY8oGmWQAAt0wOntSDTLIZ/0dOTnmvWKKXPLuPk j2PHm0qxckm2TninHSrA/wDLrH+Vev0Vpzy7kckex5GdLsSMfZ04rN/siywR5JGfRz/jXt1FHPLu Lkj2PEDpFltVfLI29CHOf51Y/smyzzDnr1Y9/wAa9noqeeXcrkj2PHv7KstxPk5J9WP+NH9lWQII hwR6Mf8AGvYaKfPLuLkj2PEjpFkesRz0zvb/ABqUaVahQoEoA6Ylb/GvaKKv2k+5PJHseH/2RZ44 WQe/mN/jTP7ItOOJQR6SsP617nRVe0n3F7OPY8G/se0H/Pb/AL/N/jT/AOyLXbtzNjOT+9bn9a92 op+0n3F7OHY8KGkWqhgPNwTn/Wtx+taP9l2vmCQq5Yesh/xr2Si