Soprano Opera Quotes

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Opera is when a tenor and soprano want to make love, but are prevented from doing so by a baritone
George Bernard Shaw
Why was there never an opera that ended with a soprano who was free?
Alexander Chee (The Queen of the Night)
Who are you? Where do you fit into poetry and myth? Do you know who I think you are, Ramsay? I think you are Fifth Business. You don't know what that is? Well, in opera in a permanent company of the kind we keep up in Europe you must have a prima donna -- always a soprano, always the heroine, often a fool; and a tenor who always plays the lover to her; and then you must have a contralto, who is a rival to the soprano, or a sorceress or something; and a basso, who is the villain or the rival or whatever threatens the tenor. "So far, so good. But you cannot make a plot work without another man, and he is usually a baritone, and he is called in the profession Fifth Business, because he is the odd man out, the person who has no opposite of the other sex. And you must have Fifth Business because he is the one who knows the secret of the hero's birth, or comes to the assistance of the heroine when she thinks all is lost, or keeps the hermitess in her cell, or may even be the cause of somebody's death if that is part of the plot. The prima donna and the tenor, the contralto and the basso, get all the best music and do all the spectacular things, but you cannot manage the plot without Fifth Business! It is not spectacular, but it is a good line of work, I can tell you, and those who play it sometimes have a career that outlasts the golden voices. Are you Fifth Business? You had better find out.
Robertson Davies (Fifth Business (The Deptford Trilogy, #1))
Compared to you,” said the Klavar soprano, “humans are joyful rosebushes bouncing through the stars. If you ever stopped napping long enough to escape Earth, you would sweep across this galaxy like nothing before, an endless wave of carnage. You would hunt our worlds one by one and ruin everything we’ve built. Only your laziness protects us.” Capo hopped down off the railing. She lifted her tail in the air haughtily and glanced back over her furry shoulder. “Most likely,” she purred. “Best keep mum, don’t you think? Wouldn’t want to wake us u
Catherynne M. Valente (Space Opera (Space Opera, #1))
These things matter to me, Daniel, says the man with six days to live. They are sitting on the porch in the last light. These things matter to me, son. The way the hawks huddle their shoulders angrily against hissing snow. Wrens whirring in the bare bones of bushes in winter. The way swallows and swifts veer and whirl and swim and slice and carve and curve and swerve. The way that frozen dew outlines every blade of grass. Salmonberries thimbleberries cloudberries snowberries elderberries salalberries gooseberries. My children learning to read. My wife's voice velvet in my ear at night in the dark under the covers. Her hair in my nose as we slept curled like spoons. The sinuous pace of rivers and minks and cats. Fresh bread with too much butter. My children's hands when they cup my face in their hands. Toys. Exuberance. Mowing the lawn. Tiny wrenches and screwdrivers. Tears of sorrow, which are the salt sea of the heart. Sleep in every form from doze to bone-weary. Pay stubs. Trains. The shivering ache of a saxophone and the yearning of a soprano. Folding laundry hot from the dryer. A spotless kitchen floor. The sound of bagpipes. The way horses smell in spring. Red wines. Furnaces. Stone walls. Sweat. Postcards on which the sender has written so much that he or she can barely squeeze in the signature. Opera on the radio. Bathrobes, back rubs. Potatoes. Mink oil on boots. The bands at wedding receptions. Box-elder bugs. The postman's grin. Linen table napkins. Tent flaps. The green sifting powdery snow of cedar pollen on my porch every year. Raccoons. The way a heron labors through the sky with such a vast elderly dignity. The cheerful ears of dogs. Smoked fish and the smokehouses where fish are smoked. The way barbers sweep up circles of hair after a haircut. Handkerchiefs. Poems read aloud by poets. Cigar-scissors. Book marginalia written with the lightest possible pencil as if the reader is whispering to the writer. People who keep dead languages alive. Fresh-mown lawns. First-basemen's mitts. Dish-racks. My wife's breasts. Lumber. Newspapers folded under arms. Hats. The way my children smelled after their baths when they were little. Sneakers. The way my father's face shone right after he shaved. Pants that fit. Soap half gone. Weeds forcing their way through sidewalks. Worms. The sound of ice shaken in drinks. Nutcrackers. Boxing matches. Diapers. Rain in every form from mist to sluice. The sound of my daughters typing their papers for school. My wife's eyes, as blue and green and gray as the sea. The sea, as blue and green and gray as her eyes. Her eyes. Her.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
Barbara took her accustomed place by the door but as the singing began Margerit beckoned her over to her side. "I haven't been following much except that it's all ancient Greeks and battles and such. What's happening now?" Barbara knelt beside her and leaned close to whisper so as not to disturb the rest of the party. A brief synopsis of what had gone before took up the time while the chorus escorted the principles to the centre of the stage. "I haven't seen this performance before," Barbara added, "but I imagine this will be the grand love duet." As the soprano began, she concentrated on the stage to follow the opening phrases. The chorus had abandoned the field to the principles who faced each other against a backdrop of fluted columns. "O! What strange fate is mine!" Barbara paused as the signature line was repeated several times. "I loved you in the guise of Mars, but now I am betrayed by Venus. The iron in your glance turns soft beneath my touch. I am undone. O Venus, you are cruel to mock me so." It continued on in the same vein until it was the mezzo's turn. Her lyrics ran much parallel with the soprano's. With less concentration required, Barbara ventured a glance to see Margerit's reaction. Margerit turned at the same moment and their eyes met as Barbara whispered Ifis's lines. "O! What a strange fate is mine! In the guise of Mars I love you but now as Venus I'm betrayed. The Iron in my soul turns soft beneath your touch." Unconsciously, Margerit placed a hand on hers where it lay on the arm of her chair. "Fire runs through my veins - I am undone." Fire indeed ran through her veins. Her hand burned sweetly where Margerit touched it and she dared now take it back. Her voice grew husky. "Why do the gods mock me with desire I cannot sate?" Their eyes were still locked and Margerit's lips had parted in a little "o" of wonder. "O Venus, have mercy on one new come to your shrine." When the soprano joined again for the duet, Margerit breathed along with her, "O! What strange fate is mine!" With effort, Barbara wrenched her gaze away.
Heather Rose Jones (Daughter of Mystery (Alpennia, #1))
Anyways, the guys try to be cool. They just lie there and groove, but after a while they start hearing - you won't believe this - they hear chamber music. They hear violins and cellos. They hear this terrific mama-san soprano. Then after a while they hear gook opera and and a glee club and the Haiphong Boys Choir and a barbershop quartet and and all kinds of wierd chanting and Buddha-Buddha stuff. All the whole time, in the background, there's stil that cocktail party going on. All these different voices. Not human voices, though. Because it's the mountains. Follow me? The rock, it's TALKING. And the fog, too, and the grass and the goddamn mongooses. Everything talks. The trees talk politics, the monnkeys talk religion. The whole country. Vietnam. The place talks. It talks. Understand? Nam - it truly TALKS.
Tim O'Brien
At some point the listener will lose track of the words altogether and it is then—especially when a single note is held for an impossibly long time, until finally there is a break just before the end, when the singer gasps silently for breath—that Poizat says people start to cry. Listeners sense that the singer’s voice had almost broken free of language, and at the same time they know that the voice can never break out of language. After the soprano catches her breath and sings the tonic note, the opera goes on in ordinary human language. Poizat thinks only angels can sing and still not make sense; if human singers could actually move outside of language the result would be a wild scream ing, something dangerously close to insanity. According to Poizat, all true opera lovers feel this, even if it’s unconscious, and all true opera lovers cry. Ordinary pole-faced opera fans do not understand that when the coloratura sings, it’s not a human voice they are hearing, but “the angel’s cry.
Elkins James
Manaus is famous for its hulking Amazonas Theater, an opera house built of Italian marble and surrounded by roads made of rubber so the carriage clatter of late arrivals wouldn’t interrupt the voices of Europe’s best tenors and sopranos.
Greg Grandin (Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City)
ethnic groups, but to say that we don’t divide each other into races would be to ignore thousands of years of human history. Not to mention the fact that white people drive a car like this: Fig. 3 While black people drive a car like this: Fig. 4 Despite increasing globalization and intermarriage, or “miscegenation,” there are still distinct and important differences between members of the different races. Since the subtlety and scope of those differences are far too complicated to be helpful to us in everyday life, we employ certain heuristics, or “stereotypes,” to better understand and more comfortably interact with those different from ourselves. Like the Maori. Such stereotypes are sometimes controversial, because they can oversimplify the differences between individuals. Every person is different, and it is rare for someone to fit a stereotype perfectly. Except for so-called “walking stereotypes,” like Carson from Queer Eye.2. Others don’t have any of the characteristics ascribed to their race in such stereotypes. It’s an imperfect science at best. For example, just because the Maori are, in general, lazy, selfish, and long-winded, that does not mean that noted Maori opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa is any of those things. In fact, she is only two of them, because she is a soprano, and sopranos tend to be very succinct. Even so, stereotypes can be very useful in our everyday social interactions and decision-making. They are actually a kind of survival instinct—a crude form of received inductive reasoning that can help us make snap judgments in situations where we don’t have all the facts. When entering into a business deal with someone of Roma descent, for instance, I am very careful of my possessions. Knowing the stereotype that gypsies are tramps and thieves,3. I am able to better protect myself when coming into contact with them,
C.H. Dalton (A Practical Guide to Racism)
They’d done a good job with the head, the great drooping lips and meaty cheeks. The soprano sang to the head for close to half an hour. I looked over at Boris. He was tapping on the floor with his foot. His pants had ridden up and the sock on his right foot—a thin black nylon sock—had slid into his shoe. There was about a two-inch space of exposed fleshy ankle. I reached down, carefully, slowly, and pulled up Boris’s sock. Boris looked over at me but didn’t care, and soon—without much explanation—the opera ended.
Sabina Murray (A Carnivore's Inquiry: A Novel)
In the early '90s a beautiful young Russian soprano who loved music was studying opera at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. She told us how despite her single-minded focus on developing her voice, her teachers thought that perhaps, at best, one day she could sing in a chorus somewhere. But the soprano wasn't going to let her teachers' low opinion of her stop her from achieving her goal. While becoming a part-time janitor may not seem like a brilliant career move for an aspiring opera star, she took a job mopping floors at St. Petersburg's Kirov Opera, the greatest opera company in Russia. Still working hard in the conservatory, she earned the chance to audition for the Kirov and was accepted into the ensemble. During rehearsals, when the lead singer became ill, the stage director asked the soprano if she knew the part. "Of course I knew it", she told us. "I knew all the parts. I was ready." She had worked hard; she had worked smart by putting herself in the right place at the right time. And she performed well. Her once-skeptical teachers never could have imagined the career that the soprano, Anna Netrebko, would go on to have, becoming an operatic superstar and the reigning diva of the twenty-first century.
Camille Sweeney
He listens to opera with the volume up all the way. When the sopranos sing, I stay away from the windows.” —Hannah, Dayton, OH
Merry Bloch Jones (I Love Him, But . . .)
Poizat says opera lovers cry because they dimly sense that singing is an attempt to escape from words. Language is like a prison house, he thinks, and the singing voice is like a dove trapped inside: the voice wants to float free, without having to mean anything. In every great aria, Poizat observes, there is a moment when the voice—especially a woman’s voice, especially a soprano— begins to do amazing things, warbling and trilling, flying up to impossibly high pitches, falling through cascades of arpeggios and grace notes. The words that are sung are under incredible tension: a single syllable can be pulled and stretched so that it seems to go on forever.
Elkins James
In the West, castrati are known to history not for their political influence but mainly for their vocal peculiarities. In addition to removing the power to procreate, the castrating operation retards the deepening of the voice, and leaves the eunuch a soprano. From Constantinople the practice spread of using eunuchs in choirs. In the eighteenth century Handel’s operas featured castrati, who then began to dominate the opera scene, sometimes requiring composers to write in parts especially for them. Until the early nineteenth century castrati sang in the papal choir in Rome. The Italian practice of castrating boys to prepare them to become adult male sopranos did not end till the reign of Pope Leo XIII in the late nineteenth century.
Daniel J. Boorstin (The Discoverers)
If you are all set for an enjoyable weekend then simply head towards the magnificent Her Majesty’s Theatre! The popular London Westend theatre is running the award winning London show, The Phantom of the Opera with packed houses. The show has already made its remarkable entry into its third decade. The blockbuster London show by Andrew Lloyd Webber is a complete treat for music lovers. The popular show has won several prestigious awards. The show is set against the backdrop of gothic Paris Opera House. The show revolves around soprano Christine Daae who is enticed by the voice of Phantom. The show features some of the heart touching and spell binding musical numbers such as 'The Music of the Night', 'All I Ask of You' and the infamous title track, The Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom of the Opera is a complete audio visual treat for theatre lovers. In the year 1986, the original production made its debut at the Her Majesty's Theatre featuring Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Sarah was then wife of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. The popular London musical, The Phantom of the Opera went on becoming a popular show and still London's hottest ticket. The award winning show is a brilliant amalgamation of outstanding design, special effects and memorable score. The show has earned critical acclamation from both the critics and audiences. The show has been transferred to Broadway and is currently the longest running musical. The show is running at the Majestic Theatre and enjoyed brilliant performance across the globe. For Instance, the Las Vegas production was designed specifically with a real lake. In order to celebrate its silver jubilee, there was a glorious concert production at the Royal Albert Hall. The phenomenal production featured Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess as Phantom and Christine. If you are looking for some heart touching love musical the Phantom of the Opera is a must watch. With its wonderfully designed sets, costumes and special effects, the show is a must watch for theatre lovers. The show is recommended for 10+ kids and run for two hours and thirty minutes.
Alina Popescu
As with most thoughtful natures, Odo's first disillusionment was to come from discovering not what his God condemned, but what He condoned. Between Cantapresto's coarse philosophy of pleasure and the refined complaisances of his new confessor he felt the distinction to be one rather of taste than of principle; and it seemed to him that the religion of the aristocracy might not unfairly be summed up in the ex-soprano's cynical aphorism: "As respectful children of our Heavenly Father it behoves us not to speak till we are spoken to." Even the religious ceremonies he witnessed did not console him for that chill hour of dawn, when, in the chapel at Donnaz, he had served the mass for Don Gervaso, with a heart trembling at its own unworthiness yet uplifted by the sense of the Divine Presence. In the churches adorned like aristocratic drawing-rooms, of which some Madonna, wreathed in artificial flowers, seemed the amiable and indulgent hostess, and where the florid passionate music of the mass was rendered by the King's opera singers before a throng of chattering cavaliers and ladies, Odo prayed in vain for a reawakening of the old emotion. The sense of sonship was gone. He felt himself an alien in the temple of this affable divinity, and his heart echoed no more than the cry which had once lifted him on wings of praise to the very threshold of the hidden glory — Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuae et
Edith Wharton (Edith Wharton: Collection of 115 Works with analysis and historical background (Annotated and Illustrated) (Annotated Classics))