Love at first sight is not just a cliché of romantic comedies: more than half of all Americans say they’ve experienced it. Can this explain the timeless appeal of Puccini’s La Bohème? In this episode, host Rhiannon Giddens and her guests consider what love at first sight is really all about, sharing perspectives on the music, the history and, yes, the brain science. Plus, you'll hear tenor Vittorio Grigolo sing the complete aria "Che gelida manina" from the Metropolitan Opera stage.
Vittorio Grigolo started singing as a young boy, when the Italian press gave him the nickname Il Pavarottino (“The Little Pavarotti”). Today, he is one of the world’s leading tenors. He debuted as Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Met in 2010.
James Kuslan is a lecturer and writer on opera and culture. His writing has appeared everywhere from the pages of Opera News to the liner notes of Deutsche Gramophon records.
Dr. Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist who studies the brain systems that affect human social behavior. She holds positions at Rutgers University and the Kinsey Institute. She is also the Chief Scientific Advisor to Match.com.
Aria Code is produced by WQXR in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera. Our team includes Merrin Lazyan, Brendan Francis Newnam, Matt Boynton, Ricardo Quiñones, Ania Grzesik, Khrista Rypl and Matt Abramovitz. Original music by Hannis Brown.
Flower Power: Don José and Dangerous Love in Bizet's Carmen
Massenet's Werther: You've Got Mail!
Mozart's Queen of the Night: Outrage Out of This World
Verdi's Rigoletto: First Love, Wrong Love
Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment: Sailing the High Cs
Saint-Saëns’s Dalila: She's a Femme Fatale
Puccini's Tosca: I Offered Songs to the Stars
Verdi's Otello: We All Have Demons, But Sometimes The Demons Have Us
Verdi's La Traviata: Opera's Original 'Pretty Woman'
Welcome to Aria Code with Rhiannon Giddens
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