Ritorna vincitor! : Interpretation of an aria in the opera Aida by Verdi

University essay from Kungl. Musikhögskolan/Institutionen för klassisk musik


This examination essay is a study of the aria Ritorna vincitor! from the opera Aida by composer Giuseppe Verdi. The aim of this study is to address the vocal and interpretational questions that may arise while learning the aria. My work with this essay has included searching for information about Verdi, the opera Aida and the cultural, political and musical climate wherein the opera was born. I have also watched the opera and listened to several versions of the aria. I concentrated especially on the interpretations of Mirella Freni, Leontyne Price and Maria Callas. I also created a musical analysis of the aria. Throughout the process of writing this essay I have kept in my mind my own perspective as a singer. I have formed my study from the information I find useful in the process of approaching a new piece of music. The process of writing this essay has provided me with a lot of insight into the musical ideals and ideas behind Verdi’s work. Writing this essay made me aware of the dilemma of fulfilling the vocal expectations of the tradition and at the same time interpreting the drama convincingly. I have found a lot of useful material for a singer’s artistic development and all that I have learned will certainly come into use in my future vocal studies.

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