OPERA – ENRICO AND GIOVANNI
Why is it that an American Woman has such an interest in two somewhat different Italian tenors as Enrico Caruso and Giovanni Cavaliere? Is it their musical background or something else? I find their approach to their talent and range of voice unique to themselves, and yet while performer’s such as Caruso and Pavarotti are no longer with us and we have their recordings, a new and fresh talent like Giovanni Cavaliere also appeals to a younger audience and helps bring a new influx of people into the world of opera that would not have even given it a chance. Rare is the performer with the caliber of Giovanni Cavaliere that can touch you to the very core of your being even bringing you tears of joy.
Enrico Caruso – was born on the 25th of February, 1873 in Naples, Italy, and was the third of seven children. Enrico briefly studied music with the conductor Vincenzo Lombardini. His first source of income was singing serenades. He was an Italian tenor, who sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas, appearing in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic. Caruso also made approximately 290 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920. All of these recordings, which span most of his stage career, are available today on CDs and on You Tube as well. Caruso made his operatic debut on March 15, 1895 at a back street theatre in Naples. After a two-year stint on the South Italian circuit he auditioned for Giacomo Puccini in the summer of 1897. Puccini was looking for a leading tenor for a performance of ‘La Boheme’ in Livorno. Puccini was so impressed with the range and tone of the young Caruso’s voice, that he reportedly mumbled in awe, “Who sent you to me? God himself?” After an unfriendly reception of his performance in Naples, Caruso vowed to never sing in Naples again. In May 1902, Caruso made his debut at Covent Gardens in a production of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” in the role of the Duke of Mantua. Then with the assistance of banker Pasquale Simonelli, he went to New York. He performed for the Met the next eighteen seasons, making 607 appearances in 37 different operatic productions. He was the first recording star in history, who sold more than a million records with his 1902 recording of ‘Vesti le giubba’ from ‘Pagliacci’ by ‘Leoncavallo’. His voice had a combination of the full baritone-like character with the smooth and brilliant tenor qualities. His range was broadened into baritone at the expense of the higher tenor notes, Caruso never sang the high C, and often transposed in order to avoid it. He was a master of interpretation, having a rare gift of portamento and legato, and a superior command of phrasing. His legendary 1904 recording of ‘Una furtiva lacrima’, by Gaetano Donizetti and is used in many film soundtracks.
Caruso is considered to be the greatest operatic tenor of all time, and was the first opera star to make best-selling recordings, beginning around 1903, which are still in print to this day. His signature role was Canio, the traveling clown in “I Pagliacci”. He starred in many of the great Italian operas–some in their US premieres–at the old Metropolitan Opera House, many times under the legendary Arturo Toscanini. He appeared with some of the most famous operatic sopranos who ever lived, and was the first tenor whose name became familiar to people who seldom listened to opera.
He was frequently cast opposite singer/actress Geraldine Farrar at the Metropolitan. Between the two of them, they were the biggest box-office combination the company had during the first two decades of the 20th century. Caruso became the Metropolitan Opera’s greatest superstar between his debut with the company in November, 1903 (Duke of Mantua in “Rigoletto”), and his last performance with them on Christmas Eve, 1920 (Eleazar in Halevy’s “La Juive”). This speaks volumes of how popular and wellreceived he had become in the United States and North America. During those years he appeared on every Met opening night except one, in 1906, when personal circumstances forced him to cancel. Quite arguably the first real superstar of recordings, Caruso was the man who truly put the recording industry in America on the map, and who helped establish the Victor label as a power within that industry. His many recordings, some with modern orchestral accompaniment dubbed in, and continue to sell well to this day, almost 100 years after the first of them were recorded.
An interesting note that I found that as a young man in Naples, he fell in love with a local girl whom he wanted to marry. The girls’ father deemed him too low class to marry his daughter, stating that Caruso would never amount to anything as an opera singer. A few years later Caruso proved that father wrong becoming the most famous singer in the world, making him quite a wealthy man.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6625 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. He was pictured on a 22¢ US commemorative postage stamp in the Performing Arts series, issued 27 February 1987 (104th anniversary of his birth). Enrico Caruso passed away on the 2nd of August 1921 in his hometown of Naples, Italy due in part to complications from pneumonia. He is buried in Naples as well.
I have been quite fortunate to discover another great operatic tenor who hails from Naples, Italy as well, by the name of Giovanni Cavaliere. Another interesting fact is that just like Caruso; Giovanni was also born on the 25th of February, but naturally much later than Caruso. His talent is unmatched, along the lines of Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, among others. I dare say that his vocal talent has something different from these big names, his voice is so powerful and at the same time quite penetrating that shakes the walls of the rooms where I have heard him, and shook even the core and some people shed tears of joy during the audizone in which I was invited. He was playing a few pieces of opera, Verdi’s Otello, or Puccini’s Turandot. We heard him sing the Neapolitan song, ‘O Sole Mio’; I have never felt so much power and beauty of tone wrapped up all in one person. At the same time his theater acting involves a whirlwind of emotions to which it is difficult to escape even for those
who have never witnessed the live singing of a tenor. I saw with my own eyes, including myself, acne people out of the hearing with tears in their eyes and a heartfull of satisfaction. He is equally comfortable in the execution of works of Puccini, Verdi, religious forms in music (Ave Maria) for his unique musical style. He takes on a role and makes it his own. While in Italy he already has a following, a history of theatrical debuts as the IDA, we eagerly await his return to the United States (where he sang at the United Nations in 1998). What strikes me most of Giovanni Cavaliere, is his youth and his seamless physical fitness. We have always been accustomed to seeing the Tenors of history rather than in the flesh, also for the physiological need of the acoustic resonance of the body. Well this Tenor combines a perfect physique with a powerful and harmonious voice. Some experts call it a perfect “Verdi tenor”; his voice so powerful and heroic allows him to play Otello as a few others ever have. There is much love and joy with Giovanni. No matter how many times I listen to him and even being in his presence I always look forward to seeing him again and anticipate more excellent yet outstanding music.
Some of Giovanni’s Theatrical Performances include:
- AIDA OF GIUSEPPE VERDI. WITH SOPRANO MARIA DRAGONI
- AIDA GIUSEPPE VERDI THEATRE CALDERON OF MADRID
- REGOLA V. BELLINI BY M. DRAGONI
- ACCORDANCE WITH K. PELLEGRINO
- TURANDOT GIACOMO PUCCINI, WITH M. DRAGONI
- CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA WITH I. D’AMICO VOICES FOR PHILADELPHIA
- WITH LUCIANO PAVAROTTI ENRICO CARUSO, COMPETITION FINALIST
- IN NAPLES NEW YORK CONCERT FROM THE PALACE OF THE UNITED STATES
- OF AMERICA FOR THE UNITED NATION, ONU.
THE YOU TUBE CHANNEL OF GIOVANNI CAVALIERE
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a work combining both text and musical score in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery and costumes and may include dance. Performances are given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or musical ensemble.
Opera is part of the Western classical music tradition and got its start in Italy at the end of the 16th century and soon spread through the rest of Europe: operas in the 1760s. Today the most renowned figure of late 18th century opera is Mozart, who began with opera “seria” but is most famous for his Italian comic operas like The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi fan tutte. The first third of the 19th century saw the high point of the bel canto style showcasing works created by Rossini, Bellii and others that are still performed today.
It also saw the advent of the Grand Opera with works of Auber and Meyerbeer, while the late 19th century has been labeled “golden age” of opera, led and dominated by Wagner, and Verdi. The popularity of opera continued through Italy and contemporary French to Puccini and Strauss in the early 20th century. Thanks in part to the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso became known to audiences beyond the circle of opera fans. Operas were also performed on (and written for) radio and television.
The words of an opera are known as the libretto (“little book”). Some composers, such as Richard Wagner, have written their own libretti; while others have worked in close collaboration with their librettists, e.g. Mozart and Da Ponte. Traditional opera consists of two modes of singing recitative, plot-driving passages sung in a style designed to imitate and emphasize the inflections of speech and aria in which the characters express their emotions in a more structured melodic style. Duets, trios and other ensembles often occur, and choruses are used to comment on the action. The word opera means “work” suggests that it combines the arts of solo and choral singing, declamation, acting and dancing in a staged spectacle. Opera did not remain confined to court audiences for long. In 1637, the idea of a “season” (Carnival) of publicly attended operas supported by ticket sales emerged in Venice.
Before such elements were forced out of opera seria, libretti had featured a separately unfolding comic plot as sort of an “opera-within-an-opera.” One reason for this was an attempt to attract members of the growing merchant class, newly wealthy, but still less cultured than the nobility, to the public opera houses. These separate plots were almost immediately resurrected in a separately developing tradition that partly derived from the commedia dell’arte, a long-flourishing improvisatory stage tradition of Italy. Just as intermedi had once been performed in-between the acts of stage plays, operas in the new comic genre of “intermezzi”, developed largely in Naples in the 1710s and ’20s, were initially staged during the intermissions of opera seria. They became so popular, however, that they were soon being offered as separate productions. Opera seria was elevated in tone and highly stylized in form, usually consisting of secco recitative interspersed with long arias. These afforded great opportunity for virtuosic singing and during the golden age of opera seria the singer really became the star.
A common trend throughout the 20th century, in both opera and general orchestral repertoire, is the use of smaller orchestras as a cost-cutting measure; the grand Romantic-era orchestras with huge string sections, multiple harps, extra horns, and exotic percussion instruments were no longer feasible. As government and private patronage of the arts decreased throughout the 20th century, new works were often commissioned and performed with smaller budgets, very often resulting in chamber-sized works, and short, one-act operas. Another feature of late 20th century opera is the emergence of contemporary historical operas, in contrast to the tradition of basing operas on more distant history, the re-telling of contemporary fictional stories or plays, or on myth or legend. The Metropolitan Opera in the United States reports that the average age of its audience is now 60. Many opera companies have experienced a similar trend, and opera company websites are replete with attempts to attract a younger audience. This is part of a larger trend of greying audiences for classical music since the last decades of the 20th century.
Smaller companies in the US have a more fragile existence, and they usually depend on a “patchwork quilt” of support from state and local governments, local businesses, and fundraisers. Nevertheless, some smaller companies have found ways of drawing new audiences. In addition to radio and television broadcasts of opera performances, which have had some success in gaining new audiences, broadcasts of live performances in HD to movie theatres have shown the potential to reach new audiences. Since 2006, the Met has broadcast live performances to several hundred movie screens all over the world. A subtle type of sound electronic reinforcement called acoustic enhancement is used in some modern concert halls and theaters where operas are performed. Although none of the major opera houses “…use traditional, Broadway-style sound reinforcement, in which most if not all singers are equipped with radio microphones mixed to a series of unsightly loudspeakers scattered throughout the theatre”, many use a sound reinforcement system for acoustic enhancement.
I recently discovered a great operatic tenor from Italy, Giovanni Cavaliere. His talent is unmatched, along the lines of Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, among others. I dare say it has something different from these big names, her voice, her powerful and at the same time penetrating voice that shakes the walls of the rooms where I have heard, and shook even the abs and some people cry during the audizone in which I was invited. Was playing a few pieces of opera, Verdi’s Otello, or Puccini’s Turandot. We heard him sing the Neapolitan song, O Sole Mio I have never felt so much power and beauty of tone all together. At the same time his theater acting involves a whirlwind of emotions to which it is difficult to escape even for those who have never witnessed the live singing of a tenor.
I saw with my own eyes, including myself, acune people out of the hearing with tears in his eyes and a heart full of satisfaction.
He is equally comfortable in the execution of works of Puccini, Verdi, religious forms in music (Ave Maria) for his unique musical style. While in Italy he already has a following, a history of theatrical debuts as the IDA, we eagerly await his return to the United States (where he sang at the United Nations in 1998).What strikes of Giovanni Cavaliere, is its youth and its the seamless physical fitness. We have always been accustomed to seeing the Tenors of history rather than in the flesh, also for the physiological need of the acoustic resonance of the case body. Well This Tenor combines a perfect physique for a powerful voice and harmonious. Some experts call it a perfect “Verdi tenor”, his voice powerful and heroic allows him to play Othello as a few others.
CLICK HERE TO SEE IN THIS YOU-TUBE STREAMING :
CLICK HERE TO SEE IN THIS YOU-TUBE STREAMING :
AIDA OF GIUSEPPE VERDI. WITH SOPRANO MARIA DRAGONI
AIDA GIUSEPPE VERDI THEATRE CALDERON OF MADRID
REGOLA V. BELLINI BY M. DRAGONI
ACCORDANCE WITH K. PELLEGRINO
TURANDOT GIACOMO PUCCINI, WITH M. DRAGONI
CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA WITH I. D’AMICO VOICES FOR PHILADELPHIA
WITH LUCIANO PAVAROTTI ENRICO CARUSO, COMPETITION FINALIST
IN NAPLES NEW YORK CONCERT FROM THE PALACE OF THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA FOR THE UNITED NATION, ONU.