Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let's brush up on OPERA facts!

The word opera comes from the Latin word Opus. It literally translates into “work of art.”

• Mozart composed his first opera, Bastien und Bastienne, at the age of twelve.

• Richard Wagner’s The Ring Cycle is the world’s longest opera, clocking in at a lengthy 14 hours – not counting intermissions!

• Jean-Baptise Lully (1632-1687) invented the conductor’s wand, although it began as more of a staff, rather than the baton we know today. In a twist of fate, Lully hit his foot with the staff while conducting. His foot became gangrenous, ultimately killing him.

• The Sydney Opera House has its own opera written about it, called The Eighth Wonder.

• The Paris Opera House was built on top of an underground lake and stream. The lake and seven levels of underground cellars and passageways inspired Gaston Leroux's gothic romance The Phantom of the Opera. Today, Parisian firefighters use the lake to practice swimming in the dark.

• The first recording of El Gato con Botas, conducted by Antoni Ros MarbĂ , was nominated for a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. You can buy it from iTunes through The New Victory site here.

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