By Henry W. Simon
A useful consultant for either informal opera lovers and afficionados, this quantity includes act-by-act descriptions of operatic works starting from the early 17th century masterworks of Monteverdi and Purcell to the trendy classics of Menotti and Britten. Written in a full of life anecdotal sort, entries comprise personality descriptions, old heritage, and lots more and plenty extra.
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Extra resources for 100 Great Operas And Their Stories: Act-By-Act Synopses
ACT III Scene 1 begins at midnight. Belmonte and Pedrillo, outside the palace, are ready to abduct Konstanze and Blondchen in the approved romantic fashion—that is, with ladders and serenades. They begin properly enough, and Belmonte gets away with his Konstanze. Unfortunately, it is a rather noisy business, and the jealous Osmin recovers from his drunken stupor just in time to catch the runaways. They are all brought in under guard; the Pasha is summoned; and the culprits are condemned to an immediate and hideous death.
A miserable band of Ethiopians is brought on, in chains, led by Amonasro, their King. He manages to instruct Aïda secretly not to betray his true identity; and when he is asked to speak, he says that Amonasro has been killed, and he is himself a simple warrior. With great dignity he asks for mercy. The priests are against this, but Radames and the populace plead for the prisoners. A compromise is reached: all will be freed but this warrior, who is their leader. He, it seems, is put under something like house arrest.
A silver veil is placed over Radames, and Ramphis presents him with a sword. The priest then intones a solemn prayer for the protection of Egypt’s sacred soil. ” ACT II Scene 1 On a terrace of the palace in Thebes, Princess Amneris reclines voluptuously on a couch. Her female slaves beautify her, the while singing the praises of Radames, who has led the Egyptian armies to victory. Further entertainment is supplied by a troupe of Moorish slaves, who execute an eccentric dance. Then follows the great scene between Amneris and her Ethiopian handmaiden, Aïda.
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