Voce di Donna

Well, here I enter the blogosphere and join the hundreds of others sharing what I think about the world, about music, and about life. I thought I would begin by discussing the title I’ve chosen for my blog – “voce di donna”. “Voce di Donna” is the title of an aria from Amilcare Ponchielli’s only immortal opera, La Gioconda. As far as immortal goes, I must admit I hadn’t heard of the opera or the composer before listening to a wonderful recording of Denyce Graves singing “Voce di Donna.” The opera is still performed regularly, especially in Italy. The aria is sung by an “archetypal mezzo-mother” according to the liner notes from Denyce Graves’ CD “Voce di Donna” (on amazon here). The character is unnamed, but is called “la cieca”, literally, “the blind woman”. La Cieca is accused of witchcraft in the second act of La Gioconda, and later saved by Laura, an aristocratic lady. La Cieca sings “Voce di Donna” (“voice of the lady”) as humble and sincere thanks for Laura’s kindness. I was touched by the old woman’s gratitude as she gives up her rosary as a thank-you gift. La Cieca’s gift begins a theme that continues throughout the opera as the character’s lives intertwine. La Cieca’s daughter, Gioconda, later saves the lives of two people and gives up her own life because of the kindness shown to her mother. As I briefly researched the story, I enjoyed seeing how far a small kindness went, as Laura’s action in saving the old woman later saved both her own life and the life of her lover. So, I chose “voce di donna” in honor of an aria of thanks which (in the story) gives rise to wonderful things for the Donna. I hope that the voice of this lady will not be idle or useless drivel, but will be something of worth that I will be proud of and others will enjoy. 🙂

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