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Opera on Ice!

This year's Olympics have featured some gorgeous figure skating routines set to some of the most famous classical music ever written. Here are a few skating routines, some recent and some gems from the past, that showcase the inherent drama of opera.

Opera_on_Ice

The Sochi Olympics have featured some gorgeous skating routines set to some of the most famous classical music ever written. Here are a few skating routines, some recent and some gems from the past, that showcase how well the drama and passion of opera translates to the ice.  

Michelle Kwan brought the crowd to its feet with a dramatic interpretation of Puccini's Tosca at the 2004 U.S. National Championships.

 

Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the reigning couple of ice dancing, waltzed to selections from Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus in 2011. 

 

Katarina Witt was the winner of the "Battle of the Carmens," when both she and American Debi Thomas skated to music from Bizet's Carmen at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary.

 

Canadian Patrick Chan, the silver medalist in Sochi, used music from Puccini's La Bohème for his long program last season.

 

Ekaterina Goordeeva and Sergei Gringkov, one of pairs skating's greatest couples on and off the ice, brought the overture from Rossini's The Barber of Seville to life in this program from 1989.

 

Kristi Yamaguchi channeled Cio-Cio San with this routine set to music from Puccini's Madama Butterfly from 1994.

          


Photo credits: Associated Press

(Lyric Opera of Chicago does not own copyrights to any of the above videos.)

 

Swinging Sidelines – MADAMA BUTTERFLY’s Patricia Racette & Stefano Secco

Soprano Patricia Racette and tenor Stefano Secco are internationally renowned singers, beloved for their signature roles of Butterfly and Pinkerton in Puccini's classic Madama Butterfly, which runs from January 11-26 at Lyric Opera. However, what you might not know is that both of them share passion for music beyond opera—namely in the worlds of cabaret and jazz.

Patricia Racette and Stefano SeccoWe all know soprano Patricia Racette and tenor Stefano Secco as internationally renowned singers, beloved for their signature roles of Butterfly and Pinkerton in Puccini's classic Madama Butterfly, which runs from January 11-26 at Lyric Opera.

However, what you might not know is that both of them share passion for music beyond opera—namely in the worlds of cabaret and jazz.

Patricia Racette is one of the world's most in-demand sopranos—singing Butterfly, Tosca, Violetta, Mimi, Musetta, Marguerite, and more in houses around the world. Before she began her operatic career, however, she fully intended to study vocal jazz at the University of North Texas, but was told her voice was better suited for opera. Though she fell in love with opera and has a thriving career, she has always held on to her first love. She gives regular cabaret performances and released a cabaret album, Diva on Detour, in January 2013. The album was recorded with pianist Craig Terry, Racette's frequent recital partner and music director of Lyric's own Ryan Opera Center.  

With standards like "Get Happy," "The Man that Got Away," "I Got Rhythm," and "La Vie en rose," the album showcases Racette's sultry and seductive lower register. Critics have raved about the album and her live cabaret shows, with Theater Mania's Brian Scott Lipton calling it nothing short of "a demonstration of artistic brilliance."

Chicago audiences got to experience Racette’s love of torch songs firsthand last June, when she performed at Ravinia with Craig Terry. Here's Racette talking about this passion project with snippets of her singing from the album.

 

Italian tenor Stefano Secco, making his Lyric debut as the notorious cad Pinkerton, came to love music through jazz-particularly the recordings of John Coltrane, Max Roach, and Gene Krupa.  He played in a rock band in high school and earned a diploma in percussion. Even after turning his attention to opera (which he fell in love with after hearing "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto at a party!), he still maintains his percussion prowess. Here he is in action at the Blue Note in Milan, from a performance with harpist and frequent collaborator Cecilia Chailly.

 

Pictured above: Patricia Racette and Stefano Secco. (Racette photo courtesy the artist. Secco photo courtesy IMG Artists)

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Insider's Guide to MADAMA BUTTERFLY

Insider's Guide to Madama Butterfly. Watch Sir Andrew Davis, Renée Fleming, and Anthony Freud discuss Puccini's masterpiece, listen to audio previews, and more!

Patricia Racette and Stefano Secco assume the roles of Butterfly and Pinkerton when Puccini's Madama Butterfly returns to Lyric January 11-26. Experience the love, loss, and ultimate sacrifice of this deeply romantic tragedy.

Plot synopsis.

Read an article about Lyric's new production.

Further reading: "The Obi and the Dagger: Tradition plays a powerful role in the world of Puccini's Cio-Cio-San" by Geraldine Otani Grine and Director's Note.



Music director Sir Andrew Davis, creative consultant Renée Fleming, and general director Anthony Freud discuss Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly:



Madama Butterfly Discovery Series

Puccini’s East-meets-West heartbreaker is one of the most popular operas of all time. Amanda Echalaz (Cio-Cio-San), James Valenti (Pinkerton), and conductor Marco Armiliato discuss how this early 20th century blockbuster engages us on many different levels. Moderated by dramaturg Roger Pines.

Download (right click and "Save Target As" / "Save Link As")

Madama Butterfly Audio Preview

Music director Sir Andrew Davis shares the synopsis and excerpts from Puccini's masterpiece. Recordings used by permission of EMI Classics.

 

Madama Butterfly Commentary

Madama Butterfly 
by Giacomo Puccini

© 2013/14 Lyric Opera Commentaries 

Original sound recordings of musical excerpts used by permission of EMI Classics. All rights reserved. Post-production services provided by Mark Travis, Producer.

 

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