Sing willow, willow, willow

Both Rossini’s Otello and the opera by Verdi which supplanted it after seventy years of dominance of the operatic stage have a Willow Song, a beautiful aria for Desdemona just before she meets her sad demise. But there is more to this particular willow than meets the...

Violets – the oldest of operatic plants

There are many instances of violets in opera, but those celebrated in this Opera garden article are mentioned by a nymph in the first scene of Peri’s Eurydice and are therefore the very first operatic violets, since Peri’s piece of 1600 is the earliest surviving opera...

Squashed Carnations at Aguas Frescas

Vedeti i garofani! “Just look at these carnations” moans Antonio, the gardener on the estate of Count Almaviva at the castle of Aguas Frescas in the country outside Seville. At this moment of horticultural crisis for Antonio, the plot of Mozart’s opera Le Nozze di...