Re: Tempesta's Dream: Chapters 13 through 18
Chapters 13 -14
In Chapter 13, we get a look into the somewhat secretive past of Alfredo. Without giving too much away, the choice of the opera he was scheduled to sing at La Scala will come back and play a role in the novel later on.
In Chapter 14, Alfredo finally hears that voice. I believe Alfredo has put off hearing him for fear of finding out Giovanni is wasting his time pursuing a career, and will lose his new companion who comes to visit him and discuss, listen and learn about opera. But I think, with Giovanni pleading, he finally agrees to hear that voice. I also believe that thanks to the Maenza brothers, his own faster, and his own years of singing, Giovanni already possessed the voice. What he needed was confidence and a break. Opera history is filled with singers who learned the craft without attending actual music schools or full blown professional teaching. Mario del Monaco and Mario Lanza are great examples.
I will admit I love the part when Giovanni sings "A te, o cara" from I Puritani by Vincenzo Bellini and Alfredo stops playing the piano, dumbfounded by the sound. The aria is from the bel canto (beautiful song) period of opera which is known for it's long lines, melodies and perfect legato. Here is a clip of that aria, which, technically is a killer, as it has a lot of exposed high, high notes. Juan Diago Florez is one of the best tenors today singing this aria.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAYxfkzwTHY
In the early 70's, this opera and this aria, in particular, put Pavarotti and Sutherland on the map with some very famous performances. There is no video of Pavarotti singing it, but tons of recordings. Check those out as well.