Tracy Dahl – Donizetti: DON PASQUALE, So anch'io la virtù magica, Arizona 2002, High D

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THE SONGBIRD: Canadian soprano Tracy Dahl was born in Winnepeg in 1961. She made her debut in Mantioba as Barbarina in 1982, then joined the Merola young singer’s program at San Francisco Opera, She sang Olympia there in 1987, followed by Oscar, Adele, and Lucia in subsequent seasons. Important debuts included Blonde at the Aix Festival, Adele at The Met (as a last minute substitute for an ill Barbara Kilduff), Offenbach’s Eurydice at Houston Opera, Oscar at Paris Chatelet, and Zerbinetta at La Scala. She has sung in contemporary works as well including the world premiere of “The Ghosts of Versailles” at The Met, and as Madame Mao in “Nixon in China” for productions in Houston, Colorado, Portland, and Vancouver. Dahl is a star in Canada: in 2017 she was awarded the Order of Canada, and she has appeared across the country in countless operatic and concert engagements. In fact, I heard her live as a pert Rosina in Vancouver in 2003!

THE MUSIC: In this selection, Dahl sings Norina’s aria from Donizetti’s 1843 comic opera “Don Pasquale” in a performance with Arizona Opera in 2002. “So anch’io la virtù magica” introduces the young widow Norina — a coloratura soubrette role. Norina is a mischievous prankster and her sly nature can be heard clearly in the music, such as the many short grace notes embedded into the melody, and a long exposed trill held over six measures. Dahl inserts a High D for an added thrill.

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