Russian operas are quite spectacular! Many of them are based off of famous novels or writings by your favorite Russian authors, such as Tolstoy and Pushkin. The video(s) that I have chosen to share with you all come from Prokofiev's War and Peace. As you can imagine, this is an extremely long opera. Some opera companies produce this show in two parts because it would be at LONG night at the opera if it were presented all at one time.
This particular scene is the death of Prince Andrei, sung by Russian baritone, Dmitri Hvorostovsky. The role of Natasha is played by soprano, Irina Mataeva. Andrei is wounded and on his death bed. Natasha comes to visit him. They declare their love for each other as he dies in her arms. If you listen closely, you can hear the Prince's heartbeat being conveyed by an offstage women's chorus (which adds a fantastic dramatic effect to the scene). In part two (around the 3.50 mark), you'll hear a waltz theme. That same waltz was played at the beginning of the opera when Andrei and Natasha first meet at a ball. (I know I've vaguely scratched the surface on the actual story, but I didn't have enough time to read the whole thing before posting this blog! :)
I hope you enjoy it!
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94oFPJNCo-k&feature=related
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOa7bR1bcMo&feature=related