Culture Magazine

"Mother, Do You Think They'll Drop the Bomb?"

By Superconductor @ppelkonen

Felicity Palmer as Klytaemnestra in Strauss'
Elektra at the Met. Photo by Marty Sohl.
© 2009 The Metropolitan Opera

Five Operatic Mothers, 'cause it's that day.
Here at Superconductor, time is occasionally taken to celebrate important holidays. And today is Mother's Day. My own Mom isn't here for it anymore, but I think of her, and play with the Il Trovatore music box that I got her a few years ago. It plays the Anvil Chorus when you open it, and I use it as a nice place to store my headphones on the coffee table. Happy Mother's Day, readers, and I hope you don't find the following list to be TOO snarky.
1) La Cieca from La Gioconda by Almacore Ponchielli
Who is she?
The blind mother of the title character in La Gioconda. She gets arrested by the evil Barnaba, who later unceremoniously drowns her (offstage) in the Orfana Canal.
Who's her kid?
The titular La Gioconda, a Venetian ballad-seller drawn into a web of intrigue. Since the heroine sacrifices her love for Enzo in order to save her mother's life, this might be the ultimate Mother's Day opera.
What does she want for Mother's Day?
Swimming lessons.

Mother's Day: Erda (Ortrun Wenkel) and Wotan (Donald McIntyre) discuss Brünnhilde in Act III of Siegfried.Footage from the Bayreuth Festival, 1980 © 2000 Universal Classics 2) Erda from Das Rheingold, Siegfried by Richard Wagner
Who is she? The Goddess of the Earth in Wagner's Ring. Erda appears in two operas, first to warn Wotan of the dangers involved in keeping hold of the Ring. He later seduces her (what a guy) and she gives birth to Brünnhilde, the title character in Die Walküre and heroine of the story.
Who's her kids? Brünnhilde, and the Norns, who only appear in Götterdämmerung. Wagner geeks know that the other eight Valkyries are never explicitly stated to be Erda's daughters.
What does she want for Mother's Day?
Peace and quiet.
3) Azucena from Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi
Who is she? The gypsy stepmother of Manrico, the titular troubador.
Who's her kid? That's where it gets complicated. See, she kidnapped an infant, Garcia, from the castle of the Count who had burned her mother at the stake. She threw the baby on the smoldering pyre, but then realized that she had killed her own child. She raised the noble child (now "Manrico") as her son.
What she wants for Mother's Day
New glasses.
4) Klytaemnestra from Elektra by Richard Strauss
Who is she? The matriarch of the House of Atreus and one of the scariest roles ever written for a mezzo-soprano. Klytaemnestra is haunted by guilt and sleepless, terrified that Orestes will come back and take revenge on her for killing her husband Agamemnon.
Who's her kids? Elektra and Orestes, both determined to extract revenge on her for murdering their father with an axe in his bathtub. Nothing's easy--just ask Jocasta.
What she wants for Mother's Day?
Homeowner's insurance.
5) La Comtesse de Coigny from Andrea Chenier by Umberto Giordano
Who is she? Mother of Maddalena de Coigny and French aristocrat. She is the subject of the Act III aria "La mamma morta", made famous by Maria Callas (and by a lip-synching Tom Hanks in the movie Philadelphia.)
Who's her kid?
Maddalena is the heroine of Giordano's opera, which opens with the Countess hosting a ball at her country estate. Unfortunately, the French Revolution breaks out, followed by the Reign of Terror. Heads are going to roll, including hers. She is the subject of "La mamma morta", the most famous aria Giordano ever wrote.
What she wants for Mother's Day
A nice vacation--maybe in Quebec?



You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • DusitD2 Khao Yai: Romance in the Hills

    This week we escaped the relentless heats of Thailand’s lower lands, with a stay in Khao Yai, a region not far from Bangkok, which... Read more

    11 hours, 30 minutes ago by   Allanmwilson
    DESTINATIONS, EXPAT, TRAVEL
  • Experience Mexico City From the Top of a Bus

    Experience Mexico City From

    Mexico City is a fascinating and beautiful place to visit.   Everywhere you go there are artworks, murals and sculptures to enjoy as... The post Experience... Read more

    12 hours, 49 minutes ago by   Imogenl
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • Experience Mexico City From the Top of a Bus

    Experience Mexico City From

    Mexico City is a fascinating and beautiful place to visit. Everywhere you go there are artworks, murals and sculptures to enjoy as the Mexican's seem to reall... Read more

    12 hours, 49 minutes ago by   Imogenl
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 – Daily Updates – Day 32 – Alan Young

    Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 Daily Updates Alan Young

    Latest news, Multiday News, Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 - Daily Updates - Day 32 Daily Diary Wednesday 19th July ... Read more

    13 hours, 18 minutes ago by   Abichal
    OTHER SPORTS, OUTDOORS
  • Matcha Azuki Mochi Buns

    Matcha Azuki Mochi Buns

    (basic bread recipe adapted from cook kafemaru)Ingredients:110g Blue Jacket Bread Flour40g Blue Jacket Cake Flour1 Tbsp matcha powder1/2 tsp instant yeast1/4 ts... Read more

    13 hours, 36 minutes ago by   Cathysjoy
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Rebel Role Model Podcast with Cynthia Smoot

    Rebel Role Model Podcast with Cynthia Smoot

    Nancy Coblenz or Rebel Role Model with OSC's Cynthia Smoot (May 22, 2017) Rebel Role Model is a new podcast featuring interviews of everyday disruptors... Read more

    The 20 July 2017 by   Ohsocynthia
    DESTINATIONS, LIFESTYLE
  • Movie Review: ‘War For The Planet Of The Apes’

    Movie Review: ‘War Planet Apes’

    Movie Review: 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' Plot: Two years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his tribe of apes... Read more

    The 20 July 2017 by   House Of Geekery
    ENTERTAINMENT, TV & VIDEO