Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

I don’t do Opera

But this tune kills me, every time.


For Margaret Rose and her dear husband, Chic.

I’m up to the part in her book where she learns to fly.

The Pearl Fishers by George Bizet

The Pearl Fishers by George Bizet

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10 replies

  1. I don’t do opera either, but this one kills me as well. Like the Jussi Bjorling/Robert Merrill version best though.


  2. You do make me laugh Maggie! What a lovely thing to do for M-R, very touching!


  3. Yeah, this one is irresistible, especially when sung by these guys! Me, I do like some opera, but by far my favorite ones/parts are the fantastic, memorably beautiful numbers like this one. If you ever want to hear some similar pieces, there are some gorgeous ones in Don Carlos, Orphée, Gianni Schicchi and Lakmé, for example, that would likely appeal to you for similar reasons. Meanwhile, I’m sure there are plenty of opera alternatives that you do already enjoy! 😉


    • Hi Kathryn! I expect that I am familiar with some of the titles you offer.. Lakmé, for example. I think I’m what you’d call a “greatest hits” fan in the Opera department. It’s just that I don’t devote time to getting to know the names of the pieces.


      • I’m happy if I can remember my own name. Ha! 😉 We saw Schicchi and Pagliacci the other night (one of our “duties” as my husband is chair of the division that includes opera here at UNT), and I was reminded that I think Schicchi amusing but am glad it’s short, and that Pagliacci represents many of the things that I don’t appreciate in opera. It’s got a lot of rather tough vocal elements that only the best musicians can make sound really fabulous—and thus, despite its popularity in smaller or underfunded or young companies for being so short and full of over-the-top drama, is one of the worst choices for those same companies. The over-the-top part is a very challenging mix of dark, caustic irony and outright violence and villainy that hardly anyone can balance and burnish properly. And the central characters are a Commedia dell’Arte troupe of clowns and, while I would, personally, readily agree to the dark and exceedingly creepy potential of putting clown “hilarity” in a deeply disturbing setting, that too is very rarely accomplished. Ah, well: in the words of a fun song from a frothy frippery of an opera that I do like: “Chacun à son goût!” (à_son_goût) (From Die Fledermaus:



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