As Sini Mononen writes in her column Talking of stalking, in the history of opera female characters are often raped and very frequently killed. To be fair, violent death in opera has been endured by men and children too, sometimes even by crowds of people at once.
Violence has been depicted and addressed in Finnish opera in the 2000s at least in Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater, Heinz-Juhani Hofmann’s Ihmissydän (Human heart) (sexual violence against a child) and Maailmatappaja (World killer) (serial killing), Peter Lång’s Learning to Shout (football hooliganism), Veli-Matti Puumala’s Anna-Liisa (infanticide) and Lotta Wennäkoski’s Lelele (sexual slavery).
FMQ put together a playlist of opera scenes in which or as a consequence of which a woman dies. These clips are from various times and periods in the history of Western music, but the end result is always the same.
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
Featured photo: A scene in the 2013 production of the Bluebeard's Castle (Bartók) at the Finnish National Opera. Photo: Sakari Viika.