Maria Callas - La mamma morta





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Uploaded on Jul 23, 2010

La mamma morta (They killed my mother) is an aria from the 1896 opera Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano. It is sung by the role of Maddalena di Coigny (soprano). . . This video is best viewed at 720p on a full screen. All lyrics are included in Italian and in English.

A very brief summary of the plot:

The story takes place during the French Revolution. The title of the opera is also the name of the main character, André Chénier, a poet and believer in love and freedom. The story opens at the château de Coigny where Maddalena, a countess, is having a party which Chénier attends. These are the two major roles.

The third major role is Gérard, a servant, who secretly loves Maddalena. Gérard later joins Robespierre's Reign of Terror. Eventually, Chénier and Maddalena fall in love. Gérard, who moves up in the ranks, has Chénier (who opposes the reign of terror) arrested but arranges for Maddalena to be spared. Unfortunately for Gérard, Maddalena chooses to die with Chénier rather than live without him. They are both sent to the guillotine.

The opera is obviously more complicated than this brief synopsis but this is the gist of it. "La mamma morta" is also sung by Maria Callas in the 1993 movie, "Philadelphia" with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. The scene where Hanks listens to and interprets this aria is phenomenal and contributed to earning him an Oscar for his role in the movie.

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