At Home - Opera
The Opera Group continues to ‘meet’ during Lock-down, but virtually…and will now also welcome any member of U3A who wishes to tap into our ‘At-Home’ programme. Operas are selected each month, from free performances on YouTube, and notified to all during the month, giving us the chance to view some or all of them in our own time. The programmes all have English subtitles, making it easy to follow the action. We share our views, comments and suggestions by emails forwarded to other group members or perhaps posted on this website.
We also meet 'live' on Zoom on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 10.30am. If you would like to join us, please email Alan Hobby by clicking the 'send a message' at top-right.
This month we have three operas.
The Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky (expires 5/11)
The story takes place in Saint Petersburg at the end of the 18th century. Herman loves Liza, a young woman above his situation who is engaged to Prince Yeletsky. Her grandmother is an old and mysterious Countess. In her youth she lived in France where she learned the secret of three winning cards, which she used to accumulate a considerable fortune. When Herman gets wind of this legend, his determination to discover the Countess' secret becomes muddled with his love for Liza, who he joins in her room that very evening. Little by little, the secret becomes an obsession and Herman seems willing to do anything to learn the winning formula. Unable to pry the secret out of the old woman, who dies of fright, Herman loses sight of his love for Liza, who commits suicide. He becomes engrossed in gambling, convinced he has learned the three winning cards from the Countess' ghost. . .
Orpheus and Eurydice by Gluck (expires 4/12)
Gluck‘s elegant eighteenth-century account of the Orpheus myth is filled with sublime melodies and numerous dance episodes.
The gods agree to let Orpheus rescue his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld, but there is a catch. To be together again, he must lead her out without turning to look back at her or explain the reason why, or she will be lost from him forever.
The Gambler by Prokofiev (expires 10/12)
Set in the fictional town of Roulettenburg in the mid-19th Century, The Gambler is a four-act opera that displays the dramatic highs and lows involved in the game of chance. At the centre of the story is Alexei, who is in love with The General's step-daughter, Pauline. All of the characters fall victim to the temptation of gambling, each one consumed by the obsession and greed that drives them.
And of course there are lots of others available on Operavision.
Click the links on the right to watch them.