On Now

Listen to the Stream
  • Musical Moment No. 3 6:19 Franz Schubert
    Paul Lewis, piano
    Buy Now
  • March 6:11 Ludwig van Beethoven
    Netherlands Wind Ensemble
    Buy Now
Playlist
Other MPR Radio Streams
Choral Stream
MPR News
Radio Heartland

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Blog Archive

January 2007
S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      


Master Archive

Contact Us

Purchase the Music

  • Buy the music you've heard on-air! Your purchase helps support our classical service.
    ArkivMusic

Services

Classical Notes

Classical Notes: January 3, 2007 Archive

Dante and Opera

Posted at 5:26 PM on January 3, 2007 by Rex Levang

According to this story from the BBC, an Italian composer is writing an opera based on Dante's Divine Comedy. As the story explains, Marco Frisina's opera will take the spectator on a musical journey from the inferno (rock and rave music), through purgatory (Gregorian chant), to paradise (suggested by "classical style melodies").

Interesting thing is, according to one theory, Dante has already been used as operatic source material -- by perhaps the most popular opera composer of all time, Giacomo Puccini. In this interpretation, Dante's scheme is reflected in Puccini's "The Triptych" ("Il Trittico"), which is made up of three one-act operas, seemingly unrelated. The first act is a brutal tale of despair and violence (that would be the inferno). The second shows a nun, Sister Angelica, torn between her earthly faults and her heavenly aspirations (i.e. purgatory). The last, "Gianni Schicchi," is a comedy -- if not a divine one -- with a message of happiness through love.

True or not true? Difficult to say. Meanwhile, the organizers of the Frisina opera are hoping to have it staged at the Vatican, and "Il Trittico" is due to be performed at the Met later this season. If nothing else, Dante, in the near future, is likely to be a more visible author on the horizon of opera lovers. . . .