So honored to have the legendary soprano Diana Soviero return to AMPED UP. She is innately a wonderful artist, and I have such respect for the meticulous way she practices her craft.
She made the role of Cio-cio San one of her most important interpretations. She was dedicated to it for decades. Think of the experience her hundreds of performances banked. And now, she spends her professional life sharing her path with others. Her selfless generosity is so humbling.
In this episode she talks about her personal connection to Puccini, and how she carefully engineered the role. She also details how Cio-cio San relates to other significant characters. Here is a quick review:
*GORO- the marriage broker who connects this geisha to the visiting American sailor, Pinkerton;
*YAMADORI- a wealthy Japanese prince who is willing to marry Cio-cio San, in spite of her dedication to Pinkerton;
*SHARPLESS- the American consul to Nagasaki who advises Pinkerton to be cautious with the young Butterfly’s emotions, and must deliver the news of the sailor’s infamous return;
*KATE PINKERTON- Pinkerton returns with his American wife to take the child of Pinkerton and Cio-cio San back to the states.
Another point we touch on in this episode is the completely FAILURE the opera was at its premiere. It is a wonderful story I intend to share with you in its own episode. Its only a great story knowing how meaningful the work is to opera lovers across the world. This really is an amazing opera. I have conducted it more times than any other work. You can expect many more episodes about this emotional score!
There are two arias I feature from an album Diana made with the very fine conductor Joseph Rescigno. The first is the most famous aria from the opera, "Un bel di vedremo", and the aria that punctuates the finale of the opera, "Tu, tu, tu!". This is a wonderful album you can find on iTunes by clicking here.
There are two additional excerpts from the opera I feature in this episode. The first is the breathtaking 'Humming Chorus' and the second is the entrance of Prince Yamadori in Act II. Perhaps these are my two favorite musical moments in the opera. Perhaps....