Spotlight: 40 Sopranos Take on the Queen of the Night

At the bottom of this blog entry, you will find one of my favorite opera videos on YouTube: a strung-together compilation of 40 singers performing the famous coloratura passage of Mozart’s aria “Der holle rache kocht in meinem herzen” from The Magic Flute. It’s an absolutely fascinating gamut for many reasons; for one, you can see how greatly the sets and costumes of this opera vary among productions. The second reason why this video is so cool lies in how each soprano sings the piece in her own way. You’ll find that some are far better than others, almost comically so. I encourage all of you to watch the video and comment with your most and least favorite interpretations. In the meantime, I’ll be making some notes regarding things to look out for and reflections of my own opinion. Happy vengeance-boiling!

0:22 I had no idea that someone actually tried to make a film of this opera.

0:34 Lucia Popp seems to be a favorite among viewers.

1:01 The famous Sumi Jo.

1:15 That hair…it’s just…

1:27 Watch how Edita Gruberova loses her necklace near the end!

2:09 The late Cristina Deutekom, also an audience favorite.

2:21 I’m not used to Natalie Dessay singing this kind of role. I tend to picture her more in the Romantic era.

2:53 Uh…why is this even part of the video?! She’s not even singing it at tempo.

3:21 I don’t know who she is, but she’s wearing the same costume as Natalie Dessay. Haha!

3:49 The girl playing Pamina in this looks like Maria from WEST SIDE STORY and is really milking the hand gestures.

3:59 American flag dress. That is all.

4:51 Joan Sutherland…I named my Sydney Opera House Barbie after her.

5:04 I hate the set design of this one with a fiery passion, no pun intended.

5:19 The conductor here fulfills every hilarious stereotype you can come up with.

5:33 One of the best! Luciana Serra for all the Zauberflote win.

5:47 This is June Anderson playing the “original” role as seen in the movie AMADEUS.

6:00 Whoa, something went wrong here.

6:29 This poor girl had to wear the strangest costumes and makeup…

6:42 Oh, Florence…

7:32 That animation is gonna give me nightmares.

8:14 Am I the only one who can’t appreciate Roberta Peters? I sort of feel guilty for that.

8:41 Who knows what’s going on here, but I think this singer is amazing! Who is she?!

9:20 And save the best for last! You go Diana Damrau!

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