What was your firstopera? What opera would you recommend to someone who had never been to the opera before?We asked these questions on the radio, and David Kennedy of Charleston, WV wrote in and shared his thoughts.
My first opera wasTosca. Puccini's masterpiece has it all: dastardly villain (Scarpia), star-crossed lovers (Tosca and Cavaradossi), political intrigue (the advance of Napoleon’s army), and of course an ending with a twist.
The music, I feel, is the most passionate of any opera. Who has not felt a spine tingle as the last chord is played just as Tosca vows to confront Scarpia before God at the conclusion of the final act? Who can hold back a tear as Cavaradossi sings his last aria "E lucevan le Stelle"?
There are other wonderful operas, of course: Barber of Seville, Marriage of Figaro, La Boheme - to name just a few - but Tosca will always be my first and favorite.
Tosca is a great opera to introduce the uninitiated into the world of opera. It is relatively short as operas go. It has a relatively simple plot combined with a clearly evil villain, two elements that contribute to the success of any popular modern play or movie.