30-day opera

Entries from Thursday, March 28. 2013

Famous choral pieces

Thursday, March 28. 2013

Inspired by the 30-Day Opera Challenge done by Austin Lyric Opera, the staff at the Edmonton Opera has taken on a 30-question challenge of their own. 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 an open-ended question about what they would do if they could create, sing, conduct, etc., an opera. 
We welcome comments with your own opinion on the question, either on the blog or via social media.

What, in your opinion, is the most famous opera choral part, and why is it so recognizable?

Ha Neul Kim, company and stage manager: Libiamo, from La Traviata, or the Butterfly humming chorus.

Mickey Melnyk, stewardship officer: Verdi's Triumphal March in Aida represents victory on such a large scale. I believe this is grand opera at its greatest height, and therefore, probably makes it so famous. Also, more on a personal note, there is something really special about Borodin's Polovtsian Dances in Prince Igor, as it is such beautifully composed music for orchestra and chorus.

Jelena Bojic, director of community relations: Va, pensiero from Nabucco. It is Verdi's choral work of art, and it is often performed twice because it is so well liked. That was my graduation song so it brings back wonderful memories, and I am always tempted to sing along when I hear it.

Catherine Szabo, communications coordinator: I don't know if it's the most famous piece of opera choral work, but I love the chorus parts in Tales of Hoffmann, especially the drinking song and Kleinzach's tale — so much so that when I searched for it on the Internet, I was disappointed that with principals added, it was much less prominent. Staff here are extremely lucky that we get to hear all the pieces of an opera before it comes together — just the chorus rehearsing, just the principals rehearsing, and then the amazing magic they create together!