Happy Father’s Day!
Greetings from Glimmerglass!!! Michelle Johnson sings Aida in, you know, AIDA, here beginning on July 7!
Can’t stop listening to Francesco Merli (1888 - 1976), considered to be one of the greatest Otellos ever.
I’m going to start listening to more pre-war tenors, baritones, and basses. So much magic to be discovered!!
MY FAVORITE. This whole scene is just beautiful, beautiful agony. Tebaldi and DiStefano give EVERYTHING they have.
My favorite moments:
2:40 “LOOOOOORIS, mio ben ti conosco!”
4:25 Tebaldi yells “Ero paaaaazza!”
And, of course, the entire final scene beginning at 5:00 “E vano! E vano! La morte è qui!”
Is there ANY line in all of opera that is more heartbreaking than “Loris, riscaldami tu?” (This is one of those instances where the English translation strips the phrase of all of its beauty. “Loris, reheat me.” Loris, warm me up!” “Loris, I need your warmth!” Nope. Only the Italian will do!)
I’m in a FEDORA mood so here are a few scenes that RUIN me.
I first listened to this scene, score in hand, on an A train going to Washington Heights last summer. I was stunned. Tebaldi was Fedora and DiStefano was Loris. It’s another one of those plots that stretch the imagination, but there’s so much truth in the words and the music that the bigger picture is inconsequential.
Such a simple song.
Tatiana Troyanos IS one of the greatest American singers of the twentieth century. Her voice will always be relevant and timeless.
Yes, so it’s not opera. So what?
This is the kind of singing that I LOVE. I appreciate and enjoy technically perfect singing, but I LOVE broken voices that are full of raw, spontaneous, unbridled, steamy, devastating emotion.
What did Callas say?
“You must take [your] voice and break it up into a thousand pieces so that it will serve you in all the written phrases and expressions.”
“They were disturbed by this strange interpretation which made them work a little harder, made them feel a little more instead of saying “oh what a lovely voice, oh what a lovely note, oh, how nice. Oh, how pleasant. Well, let’s go home.” Anything that disturbs a person in the beginning creates a reaction.”
So in the end this post WAS about opera. I can’t help it, y’all!
“The purpose of technique is to free the unconscious.”
- David Mamet