I was a musician for a number of years before having the privilege of becoming Senior Pastor of Grace Church of Ridgewood. I began my studies as a baritone, but sang tenor much of my life. I enjoy most types of music but particularly am drawn to opera. Below are a few arias I've been working on, more as a hobby these days. Since it is mostly my family who will hear these - enjoy. If anyone else stumbles on this page - well, hopefully you'll enjoy as well.
Aria from Un ballo in maschera by Verdi. Loosely based on the assassination of King Gustav III, Sweden, in 1792. Due to political sensitivity, the opera is reset in Boston. Renato believes his wife Amelia had an affair with his friend Riccardo, the Governor of Boston (aka King Gustavo). He decides to kill his wife. She begs to see her child one more time. Then he decides Riccardo is the one who truly deserves to die.
The opera, Il Trovatore (the Troubadour) is a convoluted tale of unrequited love, mistaken identity and vengence. Count Di Luna loves Leonora who loves Manrico. Il balen del suo sorriso (The light of her smile), Act 2, is Count di Luna's love song to Leonora.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
PROLOGUE "Si puo"
Leoncavallo's opera, Pagliacci (clowns), is a play within a play. It is the story of a traveling drama group. Canio suspects his wife Nedda, of having an affair with Silvio. In a rage, he murders her during the drama. He concludes, "The comedie is finished." The opera opens with a prologue in which Tonio, acting as his dramatic character, Taddeo, tells the audience that this play is about real people and that actors have feelings too.
Alfredo Germont has fallen in love with Violetta, a woman with a sordid reputation. Giorgio Germont, Alfredo's father convinces Violetta to break off their relationship because her reputation threatens the marriage of his daughter. She reluctantly sends Alfredo a dear John letter. Alfredo is devastated. Giorgio comforts his son reminding him of his family and the province he came from.
NIUN MI TEMA
"Niun me tema" (that none may fear me) is the final aria in Verdi's great tragic opera, Otello. Otello has killed his wife, Desdemona, thinking she was unfaithful to him, only to learn that Iago had plotted the deception to bring him down. Otello sings this final lament and kills himself. This is a dramatic tenor role. It isn't a great leap from Verdi baritone to dramatic tenor, so I decided to try this. Notice the authentic crowd noises in the background. -:)