Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pure Happiness

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.

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Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

I just couldn't make it to the high note. The end of the carriage ride was all I could take.

But it is spring again! It's actually strangely warm here in Ohio. Today we turned the air conditioning on in the car. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 78. The bulbs are starting to peep up. Hostas are too, and I noticed today that the clematis has small green leaf buds.

1:18 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Awww, the big note comes right at the end! But sometimes you've got to work your way into opera; I only got into it 2-3 years ago. It sounds as if your Spring is a bit advanced over ours - I haven't seen any hosta yet, and my clematis is still two brown, dried-up twigs. But they're predicting a high in the upper 60s for Tuesday, so maybe we'll see some plants waking up soon.

8:02 am  
Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

I'll see you your Canada Geese and raise you seven robins! I saw them on the verge of Hunt Club road, all feeding together. I've never seen that many male robins together at once.

9:21 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Much nicer than the sure sign of spring that greeted us this morning: an overwhelming odour of SKUNK outside, and a lot of little skunky footprints leading from our backyard and around to the front! The animals are coming out of hibernation, so next will be the raccoons and then the woodchucks.

2:59 pm  

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