Barber - Vanessa, April 28, 30, May 3, 5, and 7, 2011. Royal Theatre, Victoria, BC

Operas > Vanessa     Music     Synopsis     Composer


April 28, May 3, 5, and 7, 2011, at 8 pm
Matinée April 30 at 3 pm

The Music of Vanessa

Best-known today for his Adagio for Strings, Samuel Barber is a consummate writer for the human voice, and critics have compared his music to that of Puccini and Richard Strauss. With its lyrical vocal lines and cinematic score, Vanessa's stormy beauty is matched by music of surpassing warmth.

Erika (Act 1) Must the Winter Come so Soon?

Erika's touching, bittersweet aria is one of the highlights of the opera. Erika sings it near the very beginning of the opera, when hope has actually, briefly returned to the gloomy house where she and her aunt Vanessa live. But this melancholy aria foreshadows the tragedy to come.

Must the winter come so soon?
Night after night I hear the hungry deer wander weeping in the woods,
and from his house of brittle bark hoots the frozen owl.
Must the winter come so soon?
Here in this forest neither dawn nor sunset marks the passing of the days.
It is a long winter here.
Must the winter come so soon?

Susan Graham mezzo-soprano as Erika. BBC Symphony Orchestra. Leonard Slatkin.
Video by John Blanchard, of a park in New York.


Nick Reveles: Introduction to Vanessa

Nick Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education & Outreach for San Diego Opera and host of San Diego OperaTalk! provides a comprehensive introduction to Samual Barber and his opera Vanessa.

Watch onscreen, or go to Youtube and click on the Free Download link for offline viewing on your computer, iPhone or iPod.



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