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See the chemistry of opera - The Galveston County Daily News: Health

September 28, 2016

Medical Discovery News See the chemistry of opera

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 12:25 am

The chemistry of an opera can fill an entire theater with its own type of sizzling electricity — the illicit desires of Richard Wagner’s star-crossed lovers “Tristan and Isolde,” the passionate seductions of Georges Bizet’s fiery “Carmen,” and the unrequited yearnings of Giacomo Puccini’s doomed “Madame Butterfly.” However, those feelings aren’t the only type of chemistry at play. 

The storylines of many operas involve poisons, love potions and even pharmacists. For Joao Paulo André, who saw his first opera during his third year of college and now works in the chemistry department of the University of Minho in Portugal, the science within such scenes was obvious. In a recent article for the “Journal of Chemical Education,” André divided operas into four categories: apothecary operas, operas of poisonous natural products, operas of the great poisoners of history and arsenic operas. 

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