Acting in opera

Published by DaWalrus in the blog DaWalrus's blog. Views: 100 often inferior.

I recently needed to review a couple of scenes from La Traviata. The scenes were famous enough, so that there were several versions of them posted you-know-where. (Hint: starts with a 'y').

The drinking song ( libiamo) is a duet by the heroine and a poor young fellow who is quite hopelessly in love. Why does the male singer often look like an overconfident buffoon! My guess is, he is a star, a great singer. Nobody else would be trusted with Alfred's role. He presents himself to the audience, and sings. He doesn't act. But he is perceived as expressing his love to the beautiful, popular lady. Hence the result.

A wonderful exception to this is Rolando Villazon in this beautiful performance with Anna Netrebko.

I can also mention another memorable scene from Boris Godunov, where a few street boys steal a coin from an insane beggar, snatch it out of his hand. In most cases, the beggar suggestively extends his hand with the coin to one of them. "Here, take that."
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