From: Friday, 29th July 2011
To: Friday, 12 August 2011
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First performed at La Scala in Milan on 20 January 1892.
30 July 2011
Catalani’s La Wally is an opera best known for just one aria – the strange and hauntingly beautiful “Ebben! Ne andrò lontana,” - but it’s far from being a one-hit wonder. It’s full of great tunes and fine vocal opportunities, while dramatically leaving something to be desired. The finale is an alpine avalanche, which is never going to be easy to carry off, no matter how stylized the staging.
Alfredo Catalani was a near contemporary of Puccini’s. Only four years separate them and they even came from the same town, so rivalry was inevitable. It was Catalani’s premature death at the age of 39 that prevented an all out battle between the composers, with his operatic triumph preceding Manon Lescaut by only a year. Puccini had hardly got started by then.
Catalani’s librettist was none other than Luigi Illica who was soon to change his allegiance to Puccini an...
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