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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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Why do women die in opera?

It's a good question. And in less that one week La Traviata will start at ROH. Violetta is one of the women in opera who dies. And this led to the question put by Martin Kettle in this very well documented BBC 3 program. Listen and try to give your own explanation.
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What are they paying for? Why does society blame them? Why do they have to sacrifice themselves in order to keep the head up? But the music during the death scene or right before the suicide is so beautiful. Are the composers cruel persons? The poor woman has a slow, slow death and the "swan song" is usually present. Think of Violetta or Mimi. Then we have suicides (Tosca and Cio Cio San) and even murder (Carmen and Lulu).
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Where would opera be without dead women? Associate editor of the Guardian and opera fanatic, Martin Kettle, considers the fact that, be it through suicide, murder, asphyxiation, drowning, execution, consumption, leaping off a balcony or dying in an avalanche, when it comes to the most popular tragic operas, to a disconcerting extent it's the sopranos, and occasionally the mezzos, who get the chop.
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Listen to singers Natalie Dessay and Christine Rice, director Catherine Malfitano, director David McVicar, ENO music director Edward Gardner, The Royal Opera House's director of opera Elaine Padmore and scholars Peter Conrad, Susan McClary and Margaret Reynolds, considering the social, historical, political and artistic contexts in which to understand the dying operatic heroine in canonical operas including La Traviata, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Carmen, Manon, Tristan and Isolde, the Flying Dutchman, Tannhauser, Gotterdammerung, Salome, Elektra and Lulu.
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