Its big singing melody, as famous as any in music, grows more insistent until a single repeated note seems to carry the weight of the entire tragedy.
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In the opera, the intermezzo marks the end of the Easter church service against which the story has been unfolding, but the underlying intensity suggests that the drama is far from over. In , with the premiere of Manon Lescaut, Puccini also became a new name to reckon with. Manon Lescaut was not his first opera — both its predecessors, Le villi and Edgar , had floundered at the box office — but it was his earliest great success, and the first in a series of his exceptionally popular stage works.
With its dark mood — the brooding opening for solo strings is particularly haunting — and urgent melody, it is a masterpiece of implied action. Boito was already composing an opera on the Faust legend when he met Verdi for the first time in Boito finished the score in , but after the premiere at La Scala the next year, which was a historic fiasco — only the Prologue was well received — he revised the opera extensively.
A new version of Mefistofele was finally staged at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna in The Prologue in Heaven — the title comes directly from Goethe — is all the more powerful for its dazzling unconventionality.
The Prologue is in four connected sections. In the opening scene, echoing trumpet calls accompany a chorus of angels singing in praise of God; their broad and noble theme, later repeated to great effect, anchors the entire Prologue. In the second part — a roguish, swaggering scherzo — Mefistofele appears and addresses God directly, wagering that he can win the soul of Faust.
Speaking through a chorus mysticus, God accepts.
Mefistofele vanishes as a chorus of cherubs begins a song of celestial joys. Finally, a grand complex of massed choruses — penitent women, cherubs, the heavenly host — resumes the song of praise, rising in waves to a dazzling climax. Museo Teatrale La Scala , Milan. Bridgeman Images. Visit CSO. Phillip Huscher is the program annotator for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Related November 9, From earliest childhood, Hicks and design have been intertwined.enter site
Allegra Hicks Creates a Bohemian Chic Home in Naples, Italy
Having a glass-top Le Corbusier dining table meant that she and her sister couldn't kick each other under the table or swing their legs. Graduating with a degree in art and design from Politecnico di Milano, she headed to Brussels to study decorative painting before moving to London, where she married and eventually divorced British architect and designer Ashley Hicks.
While raising their two daughters, Angelica and Ambrosia, she set up an eponymous studio specializing in rugs, fabrics, furniture, and home accessories, eventually branching out into filmy caftans and tunics. Working closely with Hicks was Mottola's architect uncle, Paolo Cattaneo.
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Based in Turin—where he recently helped restore Del Cambio, a glamorous gilded-and-mirrored restaurant in business since —Cattaneo is a master of clean-cut elegance, which his nephew's home was lacking. A light and airy feeling has taken over.
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Segmenting the space are more Hicks carpets—two blue, one green and blue, all abstract—hosting sculptural vintage chairs and tautly tailored sofas and banked by tightly packed bookcases. French doors access a shaded terrace overlooking Naples's patchwork of red-tiled roofs.
The view from the master bedroom, however, is far from ideal in Hicks's opinion, its sole window framing the building's courtyard. So she wrapped the walls in a transporting artificial vista of her own invention: a silk tapestry depicting that most classic of Neapolitan scenes, an umbrella pine with Vesuvius in the background and the bay all around.
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That needlework extravaganza is one of several elements that reflect Hicks's newly adopted base. She shuttles between Naples and London. The copper-top dining table was produced in the Italian city, as were the living area's lightweight nesting tables with hand-beaded surfaces and the so-called curiosity tables encasing rows of butterfly specimens.
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Naples has not only enriched Hicks's personal life but also expanded her professional footprint and opened up sunny new avenues of inspiration.
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