Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, explores the greatest arias in the genre through a mix of workshops and archive footage.
Nothing pulls harder at the heartstrings than an opera aria – that pivotal moment when the action stops and the character draws us right into the heart of the drama, revealing his or her innermost feelings and thoughts. These are chances for the singers to show off, to wow an audience with some of the most famous music in opera. In this film, charismatic conductor and music director of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano, shares his selection of some of opera’s greatest arias. Pappano’s choices stretch across the full 400-year operatic canvas and feature some of the most ravishing and famous arias in the repertoire - from show-stopping Baroque to heart-stopping Mozart, the full-blooded Romantics to blood-curdling Verismo via Bel Canto pyrotechnics and new 20th-century techniques. Along the way, he identifies the various functions that arias perform in opera – from entrance arias, soliloquies and arias born of crisis to breathless declarations of undying love. Combining hands-on workshops featuring today’s international stars - such as Joyce DiDonato, Lucy Crowe, Bryan Hymel and Lawrence Brownlee - along with glorious archive of operatic legends including Placido Domingo, Gundula Janowitz and Piero Cappuccilli, Pappano shines a fresh new light on the precise characteristics – vocal, musical, psychological and dramatic – that transform these great theatrical moments into timeless masterpieces.