I'm not that crazy about tenors, really. Partly it's because the deeper baritone voice sounds sexier and more natural, but it's also because a lot of the tenor roles in opera are heroic, but also pretty dumb. I mean, Don Carlo - he couldn't reason his way out of a concrete funnel. But this guy. THIS guy! Nicolai Gedda. His voice is so wonderful, it just makes me want to dance.
And this role of Chapelou he's singing here was his debut role at the Royal Opera House, Stockholm, when he was about 27. This particular song, is called The Test of Tenors because it contains the highest note ever written for a tenor voice - a high D. Imagine what people must have thought when they first heard this young tenor, singing THIS song! Hardly anyone can sing it, it's so difficult. I have a recording of him singing it in the original French, and he goes almost twice as fast, but this German version is also very good, despite the lip-synching, which never looks quite right in opera. It's odd that operas are translated into lots of different languages for performance before foreign audiences, but seldom English. It just doesn't sound right for opera, though it's not as if it's an unsingable language. We have hymns, and Handel's Messiah, and even English Ballad Operas, after all. Maybe the tradeoff is that English has the great American musicals instead - there's nothing quite like that in any other language.
I decided to post this because despite the late-day snow we've had, this has been a happy day - I saw the first Canada geese flying overhead this morning, so that means this is really it. It's really spring.