Friday Fun: Ah, C’est Ainsi (Orphée aux Enfers – Offenbach)

This is the opera which introduced me to Natalie Dessay, and her amazing combination of comic acting and brilliant coloratura singing.  Offenbach’s version of Orpheus in the Underworld is a complete parody both of the original myth and of Monteverdi’s opera of Orpheus – he even uses musical signatures from Monteverdi when Orpheus is requesting Eurydice back from Jupiter on Mount Olympus.

Continue reading


Friday Fun: Les oiseaux dans la charmille (The Doll Aria) – Offenbach

Time for a final fling with opera before we plunge into Advent and my annual Advent Calendar for the next few weeks!  Today’s aria is a favourite of mine, because you can do so much with it, and because it contains so much potential for humour, pathos, and creepiness.  This version contains all three of those aspects…

Continue reading