Eight Arias

for soprano and piano from the opera Artemisia

Susannah Self

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for soprano and piano from the opera Artemisia

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Composer Susannah Self
Year of Composition 2020
Duration -

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-ss1ea1


Last year I composed a new opera, Artemisia, for North Sea Opera for performances in summer 2020.The opera is about Artemisia Gentileschi, the Italian Renaissance painter. Sadly, the performances of Artemisia were cancelled due to the pandemic. However it then occurred to me that that sopranos of different ‘fachs ‘who are looking for contemporary repertoire especially by a woman composer might enjoy singing these
arias in a concert or examination. Each aria is composed very much with the idea of showing off the singer. As in North Sea Opera, conservatoires and opera companies often have a profusion of sopranos so I composed eight arias in Artemisia for the roles:

Artemisia Gentileschi, the Renaissance painter.
Zelda, the Abbess and cook of a convent in Renaissance Venice.
Enrica, the singing teacher at the convent.
St Catherine.
Artless, a modern painter.

I hope you enjoy singing these arias. In the tradition of Verdi and others I feel it is valid to release arias ahead of the opera being performed in its entirety. I also feel a connection to Peter Maxwell Davis’s concept of Eight Songs for a Mad King although in this instance the music I have composed is lyrically conceived for classically trained singers. I hope that when the crisis has passed that their publication will lead to opera companies and colleges discovering Artemisia and performing her story. This publication is dedicated to the Renaissance singer and composer Barbara Strozzi.