Opera is full of the supernatural. Stages are haunted by devils, demons, witches, and ghosts. Dissonant chords and eerie instrumentation often accompany these spirits, creating a creepy, spooky atmosphere. These moments add a chillingly exciting dimension to the already often-hair-raising art that is opera. For Halloween, I pulled together a few ghost scenes for your enjoyment.
Let's start off with MacBeth. The new king has had his best friend murdered, only to have his ghost (who no one else can see) turn up in the middle of a banquet. There really is no surer way to spoil a party! Of course, everyone around him thinks he has simply lost his mind.
Next up, The Queen of Spades. In this scene, the ghost of the Old Countess appears to a restless Hermann, and seeking revenge, tells him the secret of the winning cards. That doesn't really end up working out too well for him in the end, though.
The Turn of the Screw is a straight-up ghost story from start to finish. Here is a taste of bits and pieces of the whole opera:
And finally, what post about operatic ghosts would be complete without the Commendatore scene from Don Giovanni? There really is nothing I can say about this except watch and enjoy!