Concert two: Tuesday 14 June 2011

Olga Kindler, Sasha Djihanian, Meeta Raval, Marcela Gonzalez and Wang Lifu. Photo © Brian Tarr

Last updated: 15 June 2011

The second of the four preliminary concerts took place on Tuesday 14 June and featured singers from England, China, Canada, Switzerland and Chile.

The winner of Concert two was Meeta Raval from England.

Programme notes are given below.

View a photo gallery from concert two.

Meeta Raval - England

Signore, ascolta! (Turandot) - Puccini

Calaf is one of many men to fall in love with the beautiful Chinese princess, Turandot. Suitors for her hand must correctly answer three riddles, or be put to death. The slave girl, Liù, is in love with Calaf, and begs him not to put his life at risk.

La mamma morta (Andrea Chénier) - Giordano

Maddalena, an aristocrat, is in love with the poet and activist Andrea Chénier. She appears before Gérard, the presiding officer at the revolutionary tribunal, who is in love with her. Maddalena sings of her mother's death as the mob set her house on fire. She offers herself to Gérard in return for Chénier's life to be spared.

How can I sleep ... At the haunted end of the day (Troilus and Cressida) - Walton

Cressida is a widow, soon to take her vows as a priestess. She has met the Trojan prince, Troilus, who has fallen in love with her. She cannot get to sleep as she can only think of him, his face and his voice, although she had sworn to live a life of quiet peace, never to love again. She admits to herself that love is awakening in her and surrenders to it.

Mercè, dilette amiche (I vespri siciliani) - Verdi

Duchess Elena is about to be married to Arrigo, a young Sicilian. They are both taking part in the 1282 revolution in Palermo against the French occupying forces. Elena thanks her courtiers for their gift of flowers and looks forward to her future happiness.

Wang Lifu - China

Hai già vinta la causa ... Vedrò mentr'io sospiro (Le nozze di Figaro) - Mozart

Count Almaviva thinks that he is meeting Susanna, his wife's maid, in the garden for a romantic tryst. But then he hears her whisper to her fiancé, his manservant, Figaro, that they have won their legal case, and can now get married. The Count is enraged that he should be forced to forgo his pleasure, and that he, an aristocrat, should be helpless to stop his servants rejoicing in their triumph over their master.

Der Tamboursg'sell (Sieben Lieder aus letzter Zeit No 2) - Mahler

The drummer boy of the title has deserted from the army and is afraid of the gallows. He bids farewell to his comrades, accompanied by a funeral march. The text comes from Das Knaben Wunderhorn, Brentano and Arnim's collection of Germany folk poetry.

Per me giunto ... Io morrò (Don Carlo) - Verdi

Don Carlo's great friend Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, visits him in the dungeons of the Inquisition to bid him farewell. Posa is carrying Don Carlo's papers, and is shot in the doorway of the cell. As he lays dying, he tells Carlo that he is happy to die, so that Carlo can continue his fight for Spain's liberty.

Sasha Djihanian - Canada

Da tempeste (Giulio Cesare) - Handel

Cleopatra has been captured by her treacherous brother, Tolomeo, but her lover Caesar liberates her before she is thrown into prison. Cleopatra sings of the battle that will follow, sure of Caesar's victory.

Ach, ich fühl's (Die Zauberflöte) - Mozart

Pamina, unaware that her lover Tamino has been placed under a vow of silence as part of an ordeal, thinks his silence means he no longer loves her. Heartbroken, she sings this plaintive aria, saying she does not want to go on living if he will not speak to her.

Me voilà seule ... Comme autrefois (Les pêcheurs de perles) - Bizet

Léïla, a beautiful priestess in Ceylon, must remain veiled and pray for the safety of the fisherman at sea. Alone in the temple, afraid of the dark and solitude, she realizes that she loves Nadir, the fisherman. She feels that he is close to her and is keeping her from harm.

Olga Kindler - Switzerland

Dich, teure Halle (Tannhäuser) - Wagner

Elisabeth joyfully greets the Hall of Song in the Wartburg Castle, which has been the scene of many of her beloved Tannhäuser's triumphs in singing competitions. She has heard that he is returning to the hall.

Il est doux, il est bon (Hérodiade) - Massenet

Salomé is searching for two people: her mother, who abandoned her at birth and the man she loves - the prophet Jean (John the Baptist) - who is the only person who understands her.

Ritorna vincitor! (Aida) - Verdi

The imprisoned Ethiopian princess, Aida, has found out that her lover, Radamès, has been chosen to lead the Egyptian army against her people. She is torn between her love for Radamès and the prospect of his triumph over her country. She begs the gods to take pity on her suffering.

Marcela González - Chile

Bel raggio lusinghier (Semiramide) - Rossini

Queen Semiramide is in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, waiting for the arrival of one of her generals, Arsace. She is in love with him and hopes they will marry, following many years of widowhood. She sings of her happiness as she anticipates their marriage.

Crudel, l'immergerò pria nel tuo seno ... Barbara! (Alcina) - Handel

In this trouser role, the young nobleman, Oberto, has been ordered by the sorceress Alcina to kill a lion. Just in time, he realises that the lion is his father, transformed by Alcina's magic. He rages at the sorceress, saying that she will soon be conquered and will wander through the forest, sad and confused.

Je veux vivre (Roméo et Juliette) - Gounod

Juliette is at a masked ball at her family home and her beauty has been much admired. In this graceful aria, often known as Juliette's Waltz Song, the young, high-spirited girl declares herself uninterested in marriage, saying she wants to live in a world of dreams.

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