Friday, January 05, 2007

But He's Swedish!

Back in early December a new training log appeared on the EliteFS web site. Go read and laugh and be impressed. Then check out her stats and pics on her site and be more impressed.

Also at EFS, Dave Tate writes about Ore0s. Best quote: " Never pull the damn thing apart and dunking is totally out of question. I am not EVEN going to discuss why."

Since my hard drive died and I lost all my music, and since my cd collection is back in Toronto, I went to the local public library to find something to listen to. I'm on an opera kick. I've always liked opera, thanks to the influence of my mom, who played opera records in the house when I was a kid. One of the cds I got from the library is a compilation of tenors, and I called my mom to find what she knew about them.
Me: "Do you know anything about Jussi Bjoerling?"
Mom: "Sure, he's the first tenor I listened to."
Me: But he's Swedish!
Let me explain: I'd always assumed that my mom got into opera because she lived in Libya while that country was under Italian control. Mom speaks Italian and likes Verdi operas so I fully expected that the first tenor she listened to would be Italian. Nope. Turned out that she got into opera when she was sixteen and living in Israel, and one of her friends was studying music. My mom hates being in a position where she doesn't know a lot about a subject, and so she started researching and listening. (I'm exactly the same, by the way. I hate being in a conversation and not being able to contribute facts to the discussion.)

All this is a leadup to this site and its lovely opera podcasts. I found it accidentally by googling for "Di quella pira", which is an aria in Verdi's Il Trovatore. I was playing the Pavarotti version in the car this morning and wanted to know more about it before I decide which one to buy. One of the podcasts features twelve versions of that aria, and another features an additional 25. An embarrassment of riches. :-) I'm listening to them as I type this.


At 9:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not an opera fan, mostly due to ignorance, but I do have Le Nozze di Figaro with the Berlin Opera and The Mikado on CD. Hm, both comic operas, I'm sure that says something about me. I have, however, known TWO professional opera singers in my life (both sopranos) which I think is a little weird. What are the odds?

I meant to say on the last post: I had to move your link - you're such an inspiration to me I can't categorize you as a "mere" blogger! You're definitely in the guru category.

At 7:33 PM , Blogger Mich said...

M@rla - I love the Mikado. (Now I'll be singing about the flowers that bloom in the spring all day.) There was a Canadian Stratford festival production in 1984 that was televised, and I have to get my hands on the dvd. I can't imagine anyone except Richard McMillan as Pooh Bah. If you like the Mikado I'd suggest The Gondoliers next. McMillan played Don Alhambra del Bolero in that one, and it was hilarious. Here's an excerpt:

"Lord Chancellors were cheap as sprats,
And Bishops in their shovel hats
Were plentiful as tabby cats--
In point of fact, too many.

Ambassadors cropped up like hay,
Prime Ministers and such as they
Grew like asparagus in May,
And Dukes were three a penny.."


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