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The derivation of the word "coloratura" is evident.  In music, the word refers to the elaborate ornamentation used in singing.  The voice attempting this musical coloration must be agile and flexible so as to be able to handle the elaborate trills and runs and decorations. There are few things more demanding in music, and, for the non-opera lover, there are few things more annoying than these vocal gymnastics, most often of a coloratura soprano.  It is the sort of thing that has been parodied and poked fun at for a long time.  However, coloratura singing, when done correctly, is thrilling as a display of virtuosity as well as a dramatic element in an opera. Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" is probably the best vehicle to illustrate this and we will have an opportunity to hear that opera this Saturday on the Los Angeles Opera broadcast. Singing the challenging role of the title character will be one of the new generation of outstanding singers, Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova.  Her recent performances have elicited rave reviews, one describing her as "a phenomenon that must be heard to be believed."  We invite you to tune in this Saturday for her performance in "Lucia di Lammermoor".

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