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-   -   Opera-savvy folks: can you save my sanity & identify this snippet of melody? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=788757)

choie 03-30-2016 01:03 AM

Opera-savvy folks: can you save my sanity & identify this snippet of melody?
 
Argh. About a half-hour ago I started humming this melody--out of literally nowhere, since I wasn't listening to any music that reminded me of it. Thing is, I am having a total senior moment (okay, middle-age moment) and cannot figure out what the bloody thing is from. I can't even remember the beginning of it.

WARNING: VERY BAD SINGING FROM SOMEONE WHO HASN'T SUNG FOR REALSIES IN AT LEAST A DECADE, IS NOT WARMED-UP, AND ALSO HAS POOR PITCH. I apologize to every musician in the world for what you're about to hear, but I don't have an instrument handy so all I've got is my old-crone voice and Sound Recorder.

The snippet. Forgive me for the cringeworthy vocal. Esp. those of you who have perfect pitch, because I'm sure I'm flat as hell a lot of the time.

What I know (or think I know):

- The aria/solo/whatever is in a major key, and the first note I sing is the tonic. But in the section I'm singing, the piece begins a bunch of modulations starting with a move to IV, then to V. For example, I think the first note is either a B or B-flat (again: no perfect pitch-haver, me), and the first interval rises a seventh up to either A or A-flat before going down the scale to either E or E-flat.

- It's from an opera, 99.999999999% certain it's French, and a pretty well-known part of the opera, at that.

- The fact that it's French makes me strongly suspect (90% certainty) it's from either Carmen, Faust or (not likely) Tales of Hoffman.* I suppose there's a miniscule chance it's from Samson and Delilah, but I barely know that so it's even less likely than ToH.

* The reason I highly doubt it's Tales of Hoffman, although musically it would fit in there, is that I "hear" the libretto in French (though I can't remember any of the actual words, sigh). I don't know ToH very well in French except for Olympia's aria; my primary exposure to it was when we performed it in my high school, which we did in English. Carmen and Faust, however, I've sung in their original language.

- It's from a solo (or at least this portion of it is solo) but I don't think it's an aria--possibly the first half of a duet, or the beginning of a small ensemble moment?

- I think it's sung by a tenor; possibly soprano? Part of me feels as if I've sung it myself a kabillion years ago when I was a singer (and if so I'm even more embarrassed)--and I'm a soprano, or at least I was. But OTOH, I could've sung it while practicing just because it was pretty.

Okay, shutting up now. Help?

Two Many Cats 03-30-2016 08:49 AM

Well, the beginning sounds like Samson et Dahlila's "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix " but the latter part, not so much. Hope this helps. Link

MickNickMaggies 03-30-2016 08:58 AM

Final scene of Faust? 'Oui c'est moi je t'aime', 'Anges pures...'

choie 03-30-2016 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MickNickMaggies (Post 19220354)
Final scene of Faust? 'Oui c'est moi je t'aime', 'Anges pures...'

BINGO. Well done!!! Holy cow, I can't believe you got that from my poor rendition--which was even worse than I thought, since I got the beginning note and modulation completely wrong. You're good!

Dang, and it's not Faust who starts it after all, but Marguerite, which means I sang that part myself! Yipe. Last night I was homing in on "Anges Purs" for that very reason--we did the trio/finale in a concert during my junior year of high school--but completely blanked on anything before the "Anges Purs" part kicked in.

For anyone interested, I'll link directly to the beginning of 'Oui c'est moi je t'aime', with the part I was trying to remember showing up about 13 seconds later.

Bless you, thank you, and bravo (brava?) MickNickMaggies! And I'd better stock up on Ginko or something because I cannot believe I didn't remember something I actually frickin' sang myself. Oy.

Edited to add: Oops sorry, and thank you too, Two Many Cats!

MickNickMaggies 03-30-2016 10:04 AM

Faust is just about the only opera I know through and through (and a frequent earworm) so you got lucky!


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