Category Archives: Opera

Juan Diego Flórez sings Granada

Peruvian operatic tenor Juan Diego Flórez sings Granada, the famous Mexican song written in 1932 by Agustín Lara. The song is about the Spanish city of Granada, the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain; and has become a “standard” in music repertoire.

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Pavarotti sings La Donna È Mobile

The “king” Luciano Pavarotti sings “La donna è mobile” as Il Duca di Mantova in the screen movie “Rigoletto” (1983) based on Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera with the same name (1851).

“La donna è mobile” (The woman is fickle) is the Duke of Mantua’s canzone from the beginning of act 3 of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigoletto (1851). Composed between 1850 and 1851, Verdi’s Rigoletto is a twisted tale of lust, desire, love, and deceit. The inherent irony is that the Duke, a callous playboy, is the one who is mobile (“inconstant”). Its reprise towards the end of the opera is chilling, as Rigoletto realizes from the sound of the Duke’s lively voice coming from within the tavern (offstage), that the body in the sack over which he has grimly triumphed is not that of the Duke after all: Rigoletto had paid Sparafucile, an assassin, to kill the Duke but Sparafucile deceived him by killing Gilda, Rigoletto’s beloved daughter, instead.

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John Rawnsley sings Largo al factotum (Il barbiere di Siviglia)

One of the best versions of Rossini’s “Largo al factotum” from “The Barber of Seville”. Sung by British baritone, actor and opera singer John Rawnsley.

“Largo al factotum” (Make way for the factotum) is an aria from The Barber of Seville (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) by Gioachino Rossini, sung at the first entrance of the title character; the repeated “Figaro”s before the final patter section are an icon in popular culture of operatic singing. The term “factotum” refers to a general servant and comes from the Latin where it literally means “do everything.”

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“O Sole Mio” from three great tenors

Three versions of the famous Neapolitan song “O Sole Mio”: Enrico Caruso, Jussi Björling, and Luciano Pavarotti.

“O sole mio” is a globally known Neapolitan song written in 1898. Its lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro and the melody was composed by Eduardo di Capua. There are other versions of “‘O sole mio” but it is usually sung in the original Neapolitan language. ‘O sole mio is the Neapolitan equivalent of standard Italian Il sole mio and translates literally as “my sunshine“.

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