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To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi on Oct. 10, 2013, we asked some of the leading figures in Canadian opera circles to identify the most powerful operagasm in all of Verdi's operas. Our panelists:

1. Alexander Neef, general director of the Canadian Opera Company.

2. Lyne Fortin, soprano.

3. Timothy Vernon, artistic director of Pacific Opera Victoria.

4. Adrianne Pieczonka, soprano.

5. Richard Margison, tenor.

The term "operagasm" entered the classical music lexicon thanks to the excellent website by that name, where they define an operagasm as "the physical and emotional sensation experienced at the peak of operatic bliss."

There are multiple operagasms in each of Verdi's 30 operas, so narrowing it down is a challenge. View the gallery above to see which Verdi moments are guaranteed to leave you panting, drenched in sweat and reaching for the Marlboros.

Related:

Listen to Verdi's Requiem conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Music that moves me: Verdi's passion captivates Eleanor Wachtel

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5 toe-curling operagasms by Giuseppe Verdi

To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi on Oct. 10, 2013, we asked some of the l…

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onlytony
#1 posted by
onlytony
on Oct 09, 2013

methinks

should scenario

two and three

be switched

the music would surely

still speak the truth

as i listen

far below 

Derek Lindner
#2 posted by
Derek Lindner
on Oct 09, 2013

All excited I grabbed Simon Boccanegra at lunch to spin in the afternoon, I opened it up and low and behold Ernani was in the case. 1967 with Price-Bergonzi-Sereni-Flagello-Schippers.

I'm always moved by the end of Act 2 from the male chorus on, can I have a 10 min operagasm.

I have Boccanegra ready for tomorrow, then Rigoletto and Trovatore, all from this era.

Derek Lindner
#3 posted by
Derek Lindner
on Oct 09, 2013

Boccanegra spell checks as Buccaneer, hmmm interesting.

Derek Lindner
#4 posted by
Derek Lindner
on Oct 11, 2013

Is the Nobel Prize for Literature always given on Verdi's birthday.

"In the end it all depends on a libretto. A libretto, a libretto & the opera is done."

onlytony
#5 posted by
onlytony
on Oct 11, 2013

i still have not outgrown the pearl fishers duet

but rather than curl my toes

i let it all out

derek , i was told its the music

Derek Lindner
#6 posted by
Derek Lindner
on Oct 11, 2013

Boccanorgasm Cappuccilli-Ricciarelli-Domingo-Raimondi-Mastromei-Gavazzeni 1973

Plebe!Patrazi!Popolo beat out

Vilipeso, reietto & Sento avampar nell'anima

and Pardon, Amelia to the Introduzione is pretty sweet too.

I do love those 'Wagner horns' in Paolo! Mio duce

Derek Lindner
#7 posted by
Derek Lindner
on Oct 18, 2013

When Verdi was asked by a journalist if he, like Wagner, had a theory about the theatre, Verdi replied, 'Yes, the theatre should be full.'

Robert Rowat
#8 posted by
Robert Rowat
on Oct 18, 2013

Just catching up on this comment thread. Onlytony, if you like tenor-baritone duets, there's a good one in Verdi's Don Carlo. Derek, thanks for the Wagner-bashing. It always makes me smile (and I'm a Wagner fan, as you know.) My Verdi operagasm is the Amneris-Radames duet in Act 4 of Aïda.

onlytony
#9 posted by
onlytony
on Oct 18, 2013

tried it on for size robert although it didn t fit i found the singing richly masculine lovely .

for comparison i returned to the bjorling merrill duet of the pearl fishers and had great difficulty recalling the previous music.

p.s. the pavarotti ghiaurov version of the pearl fisher duet is wonderfully interesting

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