A Love Duet by Monteverdi

The Italian opera L’incoronazione di Poppea was composed by Claudio Monteverdi in 1643. It portrays a story about the Roman Emperor Nero, his lover Poppea, the empress Ottavia and Ottone, a noble lord. When the queen, due to jealousy, orders the death of Poppea through Ottone, Love protects the victim. The two conspirators are then exiled by Nero, Poppea is crowned empress and once again love reigns.

The last aria in this opera is Continue reading

Scherza Infida — A Handelian Masterpiece

Scherza infida, an aria from the opera Ariodante,  is one of my favorite arias by Handel. It masterfully portrays the sadness and remorse of a deceived lover.

Ariodante is probably Handel’s most famous opera, along with Giulio Cesare and a few others. It is an opera seria in three acts, with music that intimately tells the tragic story. Unfortunately however, after it’s initial success (premiere in 1735 with eleven performances), Ariodante fell into obscurity Continue reading

Giovanni Pergolesi’s Resplendent Stabat Mater

Over the course of the centuries, throughout the Baroque, Classical and Romantic period, several composers have put to music the sacred words of the hymn Stabat Mater. The words to this religious piece were first written in the 13th century as a Catholic hymn to the Virgin Mary. Continue reading