When we started class today, we spoke about the music in Turandot. We spoked about how the music was very Italian but, in Liu’s scenes and during transitional scenes, Puccini hinted faux-Chinese motifs. I realized Liu’s aria was different from the rest of the music but I didn’t think that it was very Chinese and it wasn’t meant to be. I went into the opera knowing that they were representing a story but not trying to reenact it. I think opera is about telling a story not trying to get every detail exact. I feel that opera is more about the story and not so much about where or when the particular story is supposed to take place.

My mother and I, as I have mentioned, will be seeing Aida later next month. I went on Youtube to listen to a few songs from the opera and from what I have listened to, there are hints of faux-Egyptian music (there are hints of generalized snake charming music). It is done in a similar fashion to how Puccini hinted at Chinese motifs or Bizet hinted at Spanish motifs. It doesn’t consume the whole song but, if you listen attentively, you can hear it.

I quite enjoyed Professor Sirotta’s visit. I found it very interesting that he was able to remember his first musical experience and that led him to create the piece we’ll be hearing on Sunday. I found the history of the piece interesting as well, how he began working on it in 1992 on the computer, actually started and finished the score in 1998, and in 2010 voiced the piece and made a full computer orchestra recording. I think it’s amazing that he stuck with the song for that long and he still wants to revise some parts after all these years.

-Amber G