Inspired by the 30-Day Opera Challenge done by Austin Lyric Opera, the staff at the Edmonton Opera have taken on their own 30-day challenge. Each week, we'll post answers from staff members about various aspects of opera, whether it's their favourite aria, an opera house they'd like to visit or their opinion on a genre. We welcome comments about your own take on the question, either on the blog or via social media.
Name your favourite duet, and why it's your favourite.
After noticing a trend with Lakme being named often, we asked the same question on social media. Not surprisingly, Lakme was mentioned, but we also had some out-of-the-box thinkers, including mentions of Scherzano sul tuo volto from Rinaldo ("because no one wrote duets like Handel"), Creuse and Jason's duet from Charpentier's Médée, the duet scene Signor deh non partire from Monteverdi's Incoronazione di Poppea, Nocturne at the end of Le Roi Malgré Lui, the duet between Don Jose and Escamillo in Carmen, and of course the flower duet in Lakme. Here's the other thoughts our staff had to share ...
Ha Neul Kim, company and stage manager: The flower duet in Lakme, because it's so famous. Also, the Pearl Fishers' duet — such a beautiful piece.
Michael Spassov, artistic administrator and chorusmaster: The final scene of Eugene Onegin — it's an incredibly powerful confrontation between two people who love each other and can never be together. It's amazing music.
Jelena Bojic, director of community relations: The flower duet from Lakme and Belle Nuit in Hoffmann. Both are so beautiful and moving. Last year we performed the flower duet at Opera al Fresco, and in the Devonian Botanic Gardens among all the gorgeous flowers, it was one of the nicest things I've heard!
Amanda MacRae, education and community outreach coordinator: My favourite duet is the flower duet from Lakme. It's beautiful and what made it my favourite was hearing Cathy Daniels and Iren Bartok sing it at the Devonian Gardens at last year's Opera al Fresco.
Mickey Melnyk, Stewardship Officer: Ah quelgi occhi, qual occhio al mondo from Puccini's Tosca. It's a beautiful love duet between Tosca and Cavaradossi. The subject of passion and the arts resonates with me very much, and this was my first Puccini opera.