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What is an aria in opera and where to see it in Rome

Time suspended: what is an aria in opera?

 

Stop, take a break and listen. Time, as we know it, freezes in its flow and offers us an expanded moment. It welcomes us and in it all the power of music is released. What is an aria in opera? It is precisely this suspension in the flow of history, of the recitative: a single voice piece articulated in stanzas. Imagine, in the middle of the 19th century many composers built their operas on the basis of a sequence of arias, thus favoring the various intimate manifestations of the characters to the detriment of the story (this is the triumph of the bel canto).

 

What is an aria in opera: the solitude of the singer

 

When we ask “What is an aria in opera?” we have to side with the performer, who is often alone in front of the audience. But the real problem isn’t the performance itself, for if a tenor or soprano is chosen or accepts the role for which the tune is intended, he or she certainly has the vocal qualities to sing  it. The real problem lies in the intimacy of the character that the artist must convey to the public. This is what the soprano Sonya Yoncheva had to say about the difficulties of an aria in opera: “The aria is an intimate moment, and the difficulty comes precisely from this impression of being completely naked in front of the public. […] They are also very famous melodies, so people expect supreme quality.”

 

 

What is an aria in opera, examples: 1) “Va’ pensiero “

 

One of the most famous arias in opera in the history of Italian opera and beyond, “Va’  pensiero,” is a choral aria, also known as the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves”. This aria, written in 1842 by Giuseppe Verdi, is found in “Nabucco,” and is the song of the lost freedom of the Hebrew people. In general, it is the song of the freedom of oppressed people, such as the Milanese, to the era of the composition of the opera, under Austrian domination.

 

What is an aria in opera, examples: : 2) « E lucevan le stelle »

  

What is an aria in opera for voice alone? “E lucevan le stelle” is the perfect example. Indeed, this aria in opera is a tenor aria, which can be found in Giacomo Puccini‘s “Tosca.” It is a journey through the memories of the painter Mario Cavaradossi, before his execution at Castel Sant’Angelo. He desperately recalls his love affair with Tosca.

 

Now you know what an aria in opera is, where to find it?

 

Has a certain curiosity got hold of you? After this brief introduction to what is an opera aria, now you want to hear one live, admit it! Well, come to Rome and at the Church of St. Paul’s Within the Walls the I Virtuosi dell’opera di Roma Orchestra will offer you an incredible journey through the most famous opera arias in the history of classical music. Treat yourself to a thrilling experience and buy your tickets.