Garanca sings a series of arias from operas depicting powerful women, particularly passionate scenes that display the versatility and range of the voice and her capacity to project a sense of the dramatic context.|
Mascagni’s Santuzza bewails her fate, Turiddu’s infidelity, to her mother. “I’ve lost my honor,” she cries. Lola and Turiddu have betrayed me, and I weep.
Cilea’s The Princess of Bouillon anguishes whether her lover will remain loyal and visit her this night. Her thoughts range over a series of opposites, fire and ice. Every sound promises his return but then disappoints. She prays the stars guide him to her.
Berlioz recounts the fatal love of Dido for Aeneas. She has already
contemplated her suicide and funeral pyre, so she bids farewell to both her love and her city of Troy. Her life has run its course.
Verdi’s Eboli recalls the desire of Mohammed, the Moorish king, to embrace a new love, thus rending all “veils” to reveal true love. The King gladly renounces his present queen so he may share the throne with his new object of desire.
Saint-Saens’ Delilah plans her erotic vengeance upon the Daanite Samson, whose physical might has dismayed the Philistines. She alone, using her feminine wiles, may subdue Samson and make him her slave. Tomorrow, Samson will lie in chains.
Mussorgsky depicts the existential boredom of Marina, who only now has found a new hero in Dmitri, who will avenge her on the murderer Boris Gudonov. Marina basks in her future power as tsarina, dazzling and beguiling her subjects to do her bidding.
Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur self-reflects on the frailty of her life, seeing herself as a chosen instrument of Fidelity to the people whom she loves. With the prospect of Death looming, she finds a contradictory power in her vulnerability.
Massenet has Herodias recount her fateful meeting with John the Baptist, who called her “Jezebel” and blamed the many evils of the land on her doing. Herodias reviles the Baptist, demanding his head of Herod, reminding him of the illicit vows they had exchanged when they became lovers near the Tiber.
Thomas’ Mignon recalls the happy days of past love, idealized in her memory of the countryside, rife with nectar, golden fruit, and red roses. To follow her lover into this idyllic springtime and enchanted cottage would be bliss, but fate has degreed otherwise.
Verdi’s Preziosilla overhears the martial call to arms, the chance for valor and courage, crowning her lover’s wounds with honor. “Victory conquers all hearts for the soldier.”
Ponchielli’s Laura begs for protection from the Virgin Mary, since her life is threatened in dire circumstances.
Massenet’s Charlotte shares her tears over Werther, claiming their release unburdens her soul so that her heart may not break.
Leoncavallo’s Musette must leave her Marcello, so she writes a letter to be delivered by a porter, expressing her sad state, materially
Saint-Saens’ Anne Boleyn contemplates her good fortune, to be Queen, a glorious fate rife with power that might still allow for a personal life and love.