Pietro Mascagni, "Risveglio"
Kathleen Felty, mezzo-soprano; Enrique Mazzola, piano

Mascagni brought out "Risveglio" ("Morning greeting") in 1890, a few years before his success with Cavalleria rusticana. Given the vocal extremes of that work, it's somewhat surprising that the composer uses a comparatively limited range of emotion in this song, which profits from real warmth of expression.

The singer has awakened to the sweet melody sung by a swallow. He wants to sing along with the bird, but unlike the swallow's expansive and soaring voice, his own will never reach his beloved's heart. The song mixes dignity with brief bursts of passion, and Mascagni emphasizes the bird's song by incorporating trills, little groups of fluttering 32nd-notes, and rippling arpeggios into the accompaniment.

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*** Ryan Opera Center Ensemble

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About the Ryan Opera Center

About the Ryan Opera Center

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center is Lyric's preeminent artist-development program that nurtures the talents of some of the most promising operatic singers and pianists of each generation. The program's Ensemble members earn their coveted spot by successfully auditioning among more than 400 artists worldwide. Its alumni are among the dominant names in opera today. Donor generosity ensures continued unparalleled training, performance experience, and professional readiness of Ensemble members. This highly competitive program, established in 1974, is honored to enjoy the support of acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming as Advisor, along with full-time staff Director Dan Novak, Music Director Craig Terry, and Director of Vocal Studies Julia Faulkner.

Photos: Kyle Flubacker