Classical Music is for all Classes

May 1, 2013 — 16 Comments

Italian-Club

On 26th April 2013 I was invited to deliver a presentation to the Italian Club’s meeting at the RCS. Marcus Kitchen and I held a 45 minute talk and discussion revolving around early 19th Century Italian opera focusing on Ruggero Leoncavallo’s opera ‘Pagliacci’ and Pietro Mascagni’s opera ‘Cavallria Rusticana’.

We explained that during this period the opera attempted to represent the working class man, it moved from the grand lavish houses of the aristocracy in order to enable the music to be the people’s opera. They also shortened operas to one act. As opera didn’t remain this way I wonder why this alternative format failed to gain the momentum of support needed to carry it through to modern day audiences, this will require more investigation.

Coincidently today there was an article in the Guardian about China’s gift of a 1400 seat opera house to Algeria as an important symbol of Chinese-Algerian friendship, at the end of the article a couple of local residents didn’t feel the opera house was for them and considered it a waste of agricultural land.

Deanna Durbin died recently, it was announced today, aged 91. She was the favourite singer of my Great Grandmother who grew up in an orphanage, worked as a farmhand and then as a cleaner until she retired supporting my belief that beautiful music should be for everyone to enjoy.

16 responses to Classical Music is for all Classes

  1. 

    Another lovely piece Charlotte.

  2. 

    Thanks for following me, Charlotte! After his stint with Sons of the Pioneers, my father taught voice for 40 years at a university in North Carolina. Many of his students went on to opera houses all over the world. I’m glad to see you guys presenting this amazing art to a new generation.

    • 

      Hi Nancy

      I checked out your blog after one of your posts caught my eye and enjoyed reading through some of your articles. I checked out the website of the University of North Carolina and seems like an excellent place to study. It is because of committed teachers like your father that students like myself are able to develop and progress and reach are full potential.

      I was fortunate to come into contact with a wonderful vocal coach called Jayne Wilson when I was at high school. She introduced to the fabulous world of classical singing and opera in particular. The flamboyance and emotion of the opera so matches my personality and with her help I was able to work on my technique and performance and win a place at the Conservatoire Of Scotland in Glasgow to continue with my studies under my current teacher Kathleen McKellar Ferguson. Kath is a wonderful teacher who is helping me to understand the possibilities that lie ahead of me if I work hard and develop my style and technique.

      Have a wonderful weekend.
      Charlotte

  3. 

    I agree with your grandmother.

  4. 

    Great blog! Thanks for following me at indigoeuphoric. Keep up the good work 🙂

  5. 

    Wow – China’s gift of the opera house is COOL! My son could identify 7 different classical composers from their works by the time he was 4.5 yrs old. =) Friend said he’d be great dinner entertainmt LOL. You look lovely! Thank you for the follow. Will be in touch. Blessings!! Diana

  6. 

    I agree! I’ve had students from all walks of life and I always find it annoying that people’s tastes are pigeon-holed based on class or race!

  7. 

    Hi Charlotte. Thanks for liking and following my blog, and in so doing, introducing me to yours. Since I, personally, have little, if any talent in music, I feed my love of it by listening to others who do! Perhaps some day I will find a recording of yours, or will be in a neighborhood where I can catch you live!

    • 

      Hi Mary

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a message. I hope that will be lucky enough to travel and perform so you never know our paths might cross and you get to hear me sing. If no one can give you the name of the flower you should name it yourself 🙂

  8. 

    Exactly, music is for everyone to enjoy. It amazes me that my young six-year old likes and appreciates classical piano music.

  9. 

    Interesting opera info. I like your point that opera was changing from the aristocracy to the common folk.

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