Author Topic: mothers in opera  (Read 15587 times)

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Lilas Pastia

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2007, 12:49:49 PM »
Yes, I was going to suggest Sieglinde...

Interesting that in Eric's Opera (P+M) both parents are deeply ineffectual - symbolic of a stultified state, I suppose, in this case.

What country are you referring to? ;)

Obviously, Suor Angelica is a very good mother!

Offline Anne

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2007, 01:53:56 PM »
I'm sure this will make everyone so pleased.  The mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors is a very good loving mother.

Offline knight66

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2007, 02:07:05 PM »
What about the mother in Il Trovatore?

This is the mother who throws a baby onto a bonfire! Probably needs a call from social services.

I have never heard the Menotti, I will take your word for it and she can be added to the list of good mothers, though again, the opera is not really about her.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Anne

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2007, 02:17:14 PM »
Mike
"This is the mother who throws a baby onto a bonfire! Probably needs a call from social services."

LOL!  I couldn't think of any others.  Does that excuse me? 

Lilas Pastia

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2007, 02:25:04 PM »
Another verismo mother: Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana. A peach of a role for an ageing mezzo. She doesn't get to sing a lot, but still has pivotal scenes, and is still standing as the curtain falls (there are lots of casualties in italian opera) :D.

Offline knight66

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2007, 02:49:05 PM »
Yep, she is one of the two that the Met folk came up with in answer to the question.

Mike
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Lilas Pastia

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2007, 03:10:19 PM »
One "missing mother" that famously gets mentioned is Aïda's

Quote
" AMONASRO
     Una larva orribile
     Fra l'ombre a noi s'affaccia.
     Trema! le scarne braccia...
 
     AIDA
     Ah!
 
     AMONASRO
     Sul capo tuo lev`o...
 
     AIDA
     Padre!
 
     AMONASRO
     Tua madre ell'`e...
 
     AIDA
     Ah!
 
     AMONASRO
     ... ravvisala...
 
     AIDA
     No!
 
     AMONASRO
     Ti maledice...
 
     AIDA
        (nel massimo terrore)
     Ah no! ah no!
     Padre, piet`a! piet`a!
 
     AMONASRO
        (respingendola)
     Non sei mia figlia!
     Dei Faraoni tu sei la schiava!"

This is probably a dramatic baritone's juiciest moment in all opera.

Wendell_E

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2007, 03:11:49 PM »
In Andrea Chénier, Maddalena tell Gérard that her mother died while saving her.

Fidès in Le Prophète is a good mother, and a major role.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2007, 03:16:31 PM »
True. A Horne specialty.

Wendell_E

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2007, 03:20:38 PM »
Then there's Handel's Rodelinda.  True, she does tell the villain she'll marry him only on the condition that he kill her young son Flavio in front of her, but you didn't ask for a perfect mother.  And the kid's still alive at the end (and the villain isn't).

Lilas Pastia

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2007, 03:22:58 PM »
Well, how about a combo: Handel's Solomon, in the famous Judgment Scene: the good and the bad harlot, one a real (good) mother, the other a fake (bad) one!

Offline knight66

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2007, 03:23:41 PM »
The figures are going up; so not all these women have gone to the bad.

I have never heard more than a couple of arias from Le Prophète.

I think we now have about eight decent mothers from the whole cannon, not many at all.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline knight66

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2007, 03:26:18 PM »
Well, how about a combo: Handel's Solomon, in the famous Judgment Scene: the good and the bad harlot, one a real (good) mother, the other a fake (bad) one!

Is Solomon an Opera? The harlots only take up one scene from the entire work. The 'good' one shows bad judgement in forming a friendship with the evil one. So, another mother who needs a visit from social services and probably the child will really have to go into care.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

uffeviking

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2007, 03:32:02 PM »
Does it have to be a mother with a singing role, or is it acceptable if she is being talked about and praised? I am thinking of Parsifal's mother; great story being told about her by Kundry.

Wendell_E

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2007, 03:32:48 PM »
Another Handel one:  Agrippina succesfully schemes to put her son Nero on the throne.  Of course, the historical Agrippina was later put to death by Nero.  How sharper than a serpent's tongue...

I'd bet that Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera's a good mom.

Elvira Griffiths in An American Tragedy.

La Cieca in La Gioconda.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2007, 03:58:08 PM by Wendell_E »

Offline knight66

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2007, 10:30:36 PM »
Well, I have been running it like it was my list, which of course it is not, but continuing in my role of arbiter....

I do think the mother has to have a major singing part.

I have seen Gioconda, but had to look it up to remind myself of the plot...and what a plot!
http://www.operatoday.com/content/2006/07/ponchielli_la_g.php

They all have a very busy time in that opera! Boito crafted the libretto, it reads like 12 people have had a hand in the plotting. Yes, I believe Gioconda's mother goes into the 'good' box.

An American Tragedy is a new one on me....do tell in what way this mother fits our bill?

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Wendell_E

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2007, 01:25:08 AM »
An American Tragedy is a new one on me....do tell in what way this mother fits our bill?

At the opening of the opera, we see Elvira Griffiths, a missionary, leading her son Clyde and his siblings in a hymn. The rest of the opera takes place many years later.  Clyde Griffiths has murdered his pregnant girlfriend and is awaiting trial.  Excerpts from the synopsis at the Met's website:

Quote
Elvira arrives and asks to see Samuel [Clyde's uncle, a rich and influential man] in private. She begs him to come to the courthouse and show his faith in Clyde. Samuel replies that in paying for nephew’s defense, he has done all he can.

In Clyde’s jail cell, Elvira visits her son, who continues to protest his innocence. Elvira compares his sufferings with Christ’s, saying he must bear his cross, but adds that if he tells the truth about his change of heart, the jury will understand....

[After Clyde is convicted] Elvira comes to pray with him, he confesses at last that he could have saved Roberta. Elvira, weeping, reminds him that the mercy of God is equal to every sin. As Clyde approaches the electric chair, his youthful self joins him in his old childhood hymn.

Dolora Zajick created the role of Elvira at the operas premiere.  You can read the whole synopsis here:  http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/history/stories/synopsis.aspx?id=114

Offline knight66

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2007, 01:57:50 AM »
Wendell, I think we would have to say she qualifies, thanks.

The roll call so far of the good ones...tell me if I have missed your's out.

Butterfly, though killing yourself and leaving an orphan to a wastrell father and an unknown step-mother does not look like a smart move.
Cornelia in Julius Caesar
Alice in Falstaff
Marie in Wozzeck
Bystrouška in Cunning Little Vixen
Mila in Osud
The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, providing she gets good air time???
Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana
Fidès in Le Prophète
La Cieca in La Gioconda
Elvira Griffiths in An American Tragedy
Militrissa in "The Tzar Saltan" EDIT, see further down, can't keep saying 'no' to val.

Total 12.

Pending
Matka

Mike
« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 04:52:39 AM by knight »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline val

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2007, 03:07:56 AM »
Angelica, in Puccini's Soror Angelica is a touching mother.

And in Die Soldaten, die Countess de la Roche is a very intelligent and nice person, when she offers her help to the poor Marie.

Let's not forget the most fertile father/mother of all operas: the Husband in Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias.

Offline knight66

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Re: mothers in opera
« Reply #59 on: April 23, 2007, 03:24:56 AM »
Angelica, in Puccini's Soror Angelica is a touching mother.

And in Die Soldaten, die Countess de la Roche is a very intelligent and nice person, when she offers her help to the poor Marie.

Let's not forget the most fertile father/mother of all operas: the Husband in Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias.

Val, You are playing some wild cards here.....

"Suor Angelica...
The story is set in a convent towards the end of the 17th century. Sister Angelica has been in the convent for seven years at the bidding of her aristocratic family. Despite her life of prayer she cannot forget the child she had from an illicit relationship which led to her retirement from the world. She is very excited when her aunt the princess comes to visit her and have her sign a document concerning the division of the family estate. During their conversation her aunt coldly tells Angelica that her child has died. Angelica weeps, invoking her son. In desperation in the evening she distills a poison and drinks it, but as she is dying she prays to the Blessed Virgin who appears, surrounded by light, pushing a child in front of herself."

She reads to me as a waste of space, she is mother biologically and by longing...but as was said in another context, "Just sitting your arse on a purple cushion, does not make you a king!"

Countess de la Roche is not Marie's mother, her own does not register in the piece.....so, nup.

"the most fertile father/mother of all operas: the Husband in Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias."

"Act II The curtain rises to cries of "Papa!" The husband's project has been a spectacular success, and he has given birth to 40,049 children in a single day. A visiting Parisian journalist asks how he can afford to feed the brood, but the husband explains that the children have all been very successful in careers in the arts, and have made him a rich man with their earnings. After chasing the journalist off, the husband decides to raise a journalist of his own, but is not completely pleased with the results."



Ah, yes, right...I am thinking not, though it was ingenious to put that one forward. He/She was certainly fecund.

Nice try, any more up your sleeve?

Mike

« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 03:29:29 AM by knight »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.