Happy Valentines Day!

Frequently I will ask a student to name a song or a piece of music that really touches their soul and

makes them want to dance. Depending on age they may or may not be able to verbalize their choice. But I can see what really moves them when I play a piece of music. If they like the sound they immediately begin to dance and their faces light up. Once, I asked my ladies class to bring in a cd of their very favorite songs; something that really “moved” them. We had everything from gospel to Elvis. It was a fun night!

Choosing favorite songs for me is challenging because the list is endless. But I can tell you one of my MOST favorite songs of all time. It is one of the most powerful, passionate songs I have ever heard. I have heard it sung by many professional opera singers but my favorite artist is Andrea Bocelli. His rendition of “Nessun dorma” puts the p in “passion”! I am speechless and transported to the heavenlies every time I hear this Italian song. Yes, every time! Every time!

“Nessun dorma” is an aria from the final act of Puccini’s opera “Turandot” and one of the best-known tenor arias in all opera. My husband, Steve, has sung in this production with Nashville Opera on several occasions but he is a baritone/bass. “ Nessun dorma” is a love song. A prince falls in love with the beautiful but very cold Princess Turandot. Any man who wishes to wed the princess must first answer her three riddles; if he fails to answer correctly he will be beheaded. In the aria the prince expresses his triumphant assurance that he will win the princess. Trust me, it is intense. He LOVES the princess.

I am sure you can easily find this on YouTube or simply ask Alexa to play the song by Andrea Bocelli. If I designed Valentine’s I would try to capture the essence of this sound and story on a card. The song is often heard on television and in movies. Several years ago our senior advanced level ballet class did their recital dance to this song and, in my opinion, it is was one of the most beautiful and successful dances ever presented by TDS. My sister-in-law, who is the choral master for Nashville Opera, came one evening and educated the ballet class on the story and the essence of the music. It was a beautiful experience from start to finish.

So, if you are looking for a new idea for Valentine’s dinner perhaps adding this Italian love song to the experience would be enjoyable. Or if you would simply like to add a new sound to your musical repertoire I would highly suggest Bocelli’s “Nessun dorma”. It is so beautiful, so moving, so Italian, and so Valentine’s Day!


Jimmi Lou

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