Lyric Family Favorites: December 18
This week, Hanukkah draws to a close, and today marks one week until Christmas Day. We’re celebrating this festive season with music, of course, and the amazingly talented members of the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble have more than enough good cheer to go around. This week, we share a Christmas song from the birthplace of opera. “Tu scendi dalle stelle” is one of the most popular songs to sing around the holidays in Italy, and the Italian soprano Maria Novella Malfatti has delivered a heartwarming performance.
Plus, learn about the first opera written about Hanukkah, hear first-year Ryan Opera Center tenor Lunga Eric Hallam perform “Buya,” check out our weekly streaming picks, and watch the final episode of Breaking Down the Score.
The Miracle of Hanukkah
An old story gets a new treatment
American composer and conductor Victoria Bond wished for an opera about Hanukkah for many years before finally writing one herself. See how she adapted the ancient story for the stage in this 2016 article from WFMT.
Lunga Eric Hallam sings “Buya”
Written by South African composer Mbeki "Dikela" Mbali
In an excerpt from Lawrence Brownlee & Friends: The Next Chapter, first-year Ryan Opera Center tenor Lunga Eric Hallam sings an arrangement of the Zulu folk song “Buya,” about a nostalgic lover who longs for his beloved, Nomvula, to return to him.
Week of December 21: Streaming opportunities
Find a perfect opera stream for your holiday enjoyment
Sit down with some hot cocoa, a warm fire, and classic operas from our friends at The Royal Opera House, The Metropolitan Opera, and Houston Grand Opera this week.
Breaking Down the Score: Attila with Maestro Enrique Mazzola
Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila comes to a dramatic close in this epic finale. When our title character finds his reluctant fiancée Odabella, his prisoner Foresto, and the Roman General Ezio conspiring together, he immediately realizes that he has been betrayed. Roman soldiers arrive as Odabella takes her revenge, killing the mighty conqueror with his own sword.
Music is the universal language of mankind.”