Queen of the Night

I've done a little digging on YouTube to share the wonder that is Diana Damrau with you, should it be that you have never heard her before, but the clips are sadly lacking. The clips are almost exclusively of her Queen of the Night (Mozart's Die Zauberflöte) from various productions, a role which she has apparently taken on extensively. Here is the best one of the lot.

If you don't know, the role of the Queen of the Night is a notorious soprano-killer. Many sopranos hate the role because it wreaks havoc with their voices. "Der Hölle Rache", the "revenge aria", (the piece below) has within it high Fs. Four of them. And countless other notes that are way, way above the staff. Added to that some incredibly difficult passages and you have a piece that rarely gets performed well. And she is spot on in this clip. She is one of my favorite Queen of the Nights, and I think I may need to buy the DVD! (Supposedly it is from a performance from Covant Garden in 2005 and is, or will be available commercially.) She will also return to the Met next year to sing both roles of Pamina and Queen of the Night! (But not at the same time, sillies.)

The dialogue goes on for a little bit in the clip before the start of the aria, but if you let it play you will see she is a great natural actress as well. (Pamina is her daughter; the Queen of the Night first accuses her of being a traitor (abandoning her for her father, Sarastro) and then orders her to kill him. The Queen of the Night is more than a little crazy, and Damrau does her well.)


At 5:29 PM, Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

Since you're an opera fan in NYC, have you ever been to an 'Opera on Tap' event? I heard about it on NPR and it seems really fun:

Thanks for the clip!


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