Tag Archives: Aria

Catalogue arias

The catalogue arias of late eighteenth-century Italian opere buffe focus on lists; subjects may include enjoyable activities, foods, things for sale, or types of people (by nationality, social rank, occupation, personal qualities, and so on).

Their progress often involves shorter and shorter syntactic units: Sentences give way to phrases, then to one- or two-word groups, accelerating the rate of accumulated information—the comic frenzy is actually built into the text itself. This textual compression often involves two rhetorical devices: asyndeton (omitting conjunctions) and anaphora (beginning successive lines or phrases with the same word).

This according to “Catalogue arias and the ‘catalogue aria’” by John Platoff, an essay included in Wolfgang Amadé Mozart: Essays on his life and his music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 296–311).

Above, Lorenzo da Ponte, author of the celebrated catalogue aria Madamina, il catalogo è questo, from Mozart’s Don Giovanni; below, Luca Pisaroni does the honors.

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Filed under Classic era, Humor, Opera

Coloratura tuba

Much vocal music has been transcribed for tuba, but little is available for advanced-level players. Coloratura opera arias offer material that would be challenging for more experienced tubists, and these types of arias are much less text-dependent than other kinds of vocal music.

This according to Guidelines for transcribing coloratura opera arias for tuba, with transcriptions of three arias by Vivaldi, Gluck, and Delibes by Robert Lynn, a 2005 dissertation for Ball State University.

Above, a performance by TubaDiva (Jennifer Paradis-Hagar); below, Alessandro Fossi performs Musetta’s aria “Quando me’n vo” from Puccini’s La Bohème.

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Filed under Curiosities, Instruments, Opera