Various Artists - Best of Opera / Various

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The first volume of the Naxos selection of operatic excerpts includes music ranging from Mozart to Puccini. The first of these composers is represented by the famous aria of the Queen of the Night from The Magic Flute. Mozart had settled in Vienna, independent of a patron and of his father's guidance, in 1781. Ten years later, after variable successes, his fortunes seemed about to take a turn for the better. In 1791, the year of his death, he w rote two operas, the coronation opera La clemenza di Tito for Prague and the German Singspiel Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) for a suburban theatre in Vienna. The latter was still running at the time of his death in early December. The opera, imbued with Masonic symbolism and with a libretto by the actor-manager Emanuel Schikaneder, who took a leading comic role in the work, deals with the ordeals and initiation of Tamino and his earthier companion, the bird-catcher Papageno, into the mysteries of enlightenment and his final union with Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night. In the first act of the opera the latter appears to Tamino, seeking his help in the rescue of her daughter from Sarastro, whom she brands as evil, although it later transpires that he is the leader of the enlightened band into which Tamino is eventually admitted. In Der Hölle Rache she declares, in brilliant coloratura, her enmity to her former consort Sarastro.

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Various Artists - Best of Opera / Various.

1) Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg: Ov - Polish Nrso/Johannes Wildner
2) Aida: Ritorna Vincitor! - Maria Dragoni
3) Il Trovatore: Manrico?... Di Quella Pira - Daniela Longhi/Maurizio Frusoni/Jozsef Mukk/Budapest Festival Chor
4) Cosi Fan Tutte: Come Scoglio - Johanna Borowska
5) Thais: Meditation - Janos Selmeczi
6) Manon Lescaut: Sola Perduta Abbandonata - Miriam Gauci
7) L'elisir D'amore: Una Furtiva Lagrima - Vincenzo la Scola
8) La Traviata: Follie!... Sempre Libera - Monika Krause
9) Die Tote Stadt: Gluck Das Mir Verbleib - Katarina Dalayman
10) Die Zauberflote: Dies Bildnis Ist Bezaubernd Schon - Herbert Lippert
11) La Cenerentola: Nacqui All'affanno - Ewa Podles
12) Pagliacci: Bell Chorus - Slovak Phil Chor
13) La Gioconda: Cielo E Mar - Thomas Harper
14) Alceste: Ombre Larve - Teresa Ringholz
15) Carmen: Act 3: Entr'acte - Czecho-Slovak Rso/Alexander Rahbari
16) Cavalleria Rusticana: Mamma Quel Vino E Generoso - Thomas Harper

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