How-To

Aria guides: La donna è mobile

Aria guides: La donna è mobile

Probably in large part due to Pavarotti himself, this aria is in that upper echelon of the canon that's recognizable in the mainstream. This aria a dance, somewhat of a ditty; it would almost be fluff, if not for the Duke spewing some old-school chauvinist views on women.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Stride la vampa

Aria guides: Stride la vampa

Azucena, the gypsy woman with an obvious PTSD situation over having accidentally thrown her own baby in a fire several years back. The crackling fire triggers the memory, and Azucena sings "Stride la vampa" ("The flames roar").

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata

Aria guides: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata

Rigoletto sings this aria at the moment he learns that his boss's goons have kidnapped his daughter, Gilda. He begs them to give her back, in a crazy sweep of drama that starts at enraged and ends at desperation.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Pace, pace, mio Dio

Aria guides: Pace, pace, mio Dio

Leonora sings this from the cave she's been living in lately, hermiting away from things like botched elopements and family curses. This marathon aria is certainly one to work on closely with your trusted teachers and coaches.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Mab, la reine des mensonges

Aria guides: Mab, la reine des mensonges

This aria is a ballad to Queen Mab, a mysterious fairy creature that gets into one's dreams; it's a breathless bit of excitement that sets up Mercutio as Roméo's outgoing, affable friend, so when he meets his end later in the opera, the loss sinks in deeply.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Vecchia zimarra

Aria guides: Vecchia zimarra

This aria from the final act of La bohème is two pages of what's stunning about a great bass. Colline, the philosopher among his band of bohemians, is doing his part after Mimì shows up at his apartment, looking for his friend Rodolfo and dying of tuberculosis. He decides to pawn his coat to help pay for a doctor, and because he's a philosopher, the decision is a weighty one

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Voi, che sapete

Aria guides: Voi, che sapete

"Voi che sapete" is about puberty, becoming girl-crazy, and involuntary bodily functions that are fun but also difficult to hide. It's one of those Mozart arias that seems simple, but demands a lot in the details. With your teacher and coach, this Aria Guide can help Cherubinos-to-be get started:

Jenna Simeonov
An opera librettist's quarantine film picks

An opera librettist's quarantine film picks

"Probably my favorite comedy. No matter how many times I see this movie, I can’t help but laugh my ass off. I will go anywhere for Melissa McCarthy."

Jenna Simeonov
6 out-of-the-box gigs for singers to consider

6 out-of-the-box gigs for singers to consider

The most important thing to remember is being active on all social media platforms - it is super important right now to have an online presence so that people can see and respond to you. It’s also the easiest, fastest and a free way to advertise for any gigs!

Donna Maurer
Aria Guides: Vedrai, carino

Aria Guides: Vedrai, carino

The plot thickens when we consider that Zerlina nearly left Masetto for a tryst with the Don, and pouted her way out of getting caught by basically daring Masetto to spank her for being bad. This current aria can be taken as genuine love from Zerlina, or it can be a gross display of emasculation, the operatic equivalent of saying, "Aw, did Masetto get a boo-boo?"

Jenna Simeonov

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