Sunday, September 9, 2012

Still one of my favorites: Part II

As I mentioned in yesterday's post regarding Mozart's comic opera, Cosi fan tutte, although this opera was premiered in Vienna on 26 January, 1790, its first English performance didn't occur until May of 1811, when it opened at the King's Theater in Covent Garden (now the Royal Opera House), with Nancy Storace's common law husband, John Braham, singing the lead tenor role of Ferrando. Braham, who is considered the greatest tenor England has ever produced, was described as having a smooth, velvety, clear, tone that could illicit extreme emotion from his listeners. A short, stocky, man of Jewish heritage, John Braham, was orphaned at the age of eight and kept himself alive on the streets of London by selling pencils. He would sing out a chant to the wealthy passers-by and by doing so, he was discovered by a Jewish opera singer who took him in and sent him to the Synagogue in London to be trained as a descant singer. From there, he was taken in by a wealthy Jewish family, who later sent him to Bath to study with the famous castrato, Vinanzio Rauzzini, who had been Nancy Storace's voice instructor when she was a child.

You can read even more about this fascinating man in Nancy's life by reading the second of my So Faithful a Heart novels, When Love Won't Die: The Continuing Story. It is published in a special edition which includes the first book The Love Story of Nancy Storace & Wolfgang Mozart, in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The tenor aria Un'aura amorosa, from Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, is performed here by tenor Topi Lehtipuu. 

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