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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Kuda, kuda, vi udalilis

The young poet Lensky bids farewell to life in this beautiful aria from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.
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Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s best-loved opera, Eugene Onegin, is based on Alexander Pushkin’s verse novel of the same name. It provided Tchaikovsky with an opportunity to present everyday and authentic experiences on the stage, in contrast to the epic narratives that characterized much European opera of the time. After initial consternation that Tchaikovsky should set to music this pinnacle of Russian literature, Eugene Onegin quickly became a firm favourite with Russian audiences. Within a decade of its 1879 premiere it had been performed over one hundred times in St Petersburg.


Tchaikovsky’s deep sympathy for his heroine Tatyana is shown in the tenderness of her music. Her yearning string motif opens the opera and it gains full expression in her letter aria in Act I – one of the most intense solo scenes ever written for the soprano voice. In Kasper Holten’s production, the turbulence of Tatyana and Onegin’s youth is contrasted with the self-realization they gain in later life. The staging foregrounds the power of memory and the futile desire to rewrite the past.

Voi avete un cor fedele

In 1775 Mozart received a commission to write the substitution aria “Voi avete un cor fedele,” K. 217, for an unknown soprano in an Italian comic opera troupe passing through Salzburg. The aria, which was inserted into Baldassare Galuppi’s comic opera Le nozze di Dorina, was undoubtedly better suited to the unknown soprano’s voice than the original one. In this aria we see an early manifestation of the opera buffa style years before Mozart composed his Italian comic opera masterpieces - Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. Cecilia Bartoli sings.

Casta Diva

The priestess Norma leads her people in a prayer for piece. Sonya Yoncheva sings the title role in Bellini's masterpiece, with the Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Antonio Pappano, recorded September 2016. Find out more at

Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece Norma had its premiere at La Scala, Milan, on Boxing Day 1831. After a muted initial response the opera quickly became popular, and is now a mainstay of the repertory. Norma is perhaps most acclaimed as a vehicle for the lead soprano, most famously now by such 20th-century greats as Maria Callas, Montserrat Caballé and Joan Sutherland. Indeed, Bellini provides some astonishing vocal fireworks for his title character – most famously ‘Casta diva’, Norma’s Act I hymn to the chaste moon, and Act II’s ‘Dormono entrambi’, as she contemplates the unthinkable act of killing her children. But the opera’s dramatic potency rests in its breathtaking ensembles, most strikingly in Norma’s duets with Pollione and Adalgisa, the Act I trio ‘Vanne, sì: mi lascia, indegno’ and the blistering Act II finale.

This new production of Norma was The Royal Opera’s first in nearly thirty years. Directing is Àlex Ollé, of the Catalan collective La Fura dels Baus, reunited with the creative team behind his acclaimed production of Oedipe. They give Norma a contemporary setting against a backdrop of a cruel civil war, and focus on the opera’s exploration of the conflict between an individual’s own desires and those of her society – and of religion as a force for unity and for destruction.

Gia dagli occhi il velo è tolto

Bejun Mehta (countertenor) singing the beautiful aria "Gia dagli occhi il velo è tolto" from Mozart's Opera Seria "Mitridate, Re di Ponto".

Salzburg Fetival 2006; Conductor: Marc Minkowski with Les Musiciens du Louvre; Director: Günter Krämer

Già dagli occhi il velo è tolto,
vili affetti io v'abbandono:
son pentito, e non ascolto, che i latrati del mio cor. Tempo è omai, che al primo impero
la ragione in me ritorni;
già ricalco il ben sentiero
della gloria e dell'onor.