An Obscure Anniversary

. . . and I almost missed it. Today is the 200th anniversary of the death of Vicent Martín i Soler. He seems to be a mere footnote* today, but what I’ve heard of his operas (Una Cosa Rara and La Capricciosa Corretta on CD) was enough to convince me that it isn’t so much Mozart’s operas as classical opera in general that I like. Seeing Salieri’s Falstaff at Wolftrap and Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto on DVD helped. So why are these operas so rarely produced? It’s not as if Mozart’s mature operas are all that numerous. Anyway, to commemorate the occasion, I just played the overtures and a few arias from each of my CD sets. Now if only someone would record one or the other (or both!) on DVD, so I can follow the plot: I’ve never really been able to follow an opera well without seeing it, which makes listening to the CDs a frustratingly incomplete experience.

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*A literal footnote about a metaphorical footnote: Una Cosa Rara was a big hit just before Don Giovanni, so much so that Mozart quotes a bit in the banquet scene and has the Don say “Bravo! Una Cosa Rara”.

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