Neapolitan Folk Music and Opera

Feb 12, 2020 307

If you look at the song list on any popular opera tenor album, you’ll notice that along with the standard opera favorites (Una furtiva lagrima, Che gelida manina, E lucevan le stelle) there are often Neapolitan folk songs mixed in, that are obviously not taken from any stage production. Songs like ‘O sole mio, Torna a Surriento, for example.  

So what gives? Why do these folks songs always seem to make their way onto serious opera albums of selected arias? As it turns out, there are a few key players in the history of music who have contributed to this phenomenon. Let’s have a look…

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