“. . . I often liken opera to the Olympics of singing; my voice teacher compares hearing a great singer fully in control of her instrument to watching a figure skater flawlessly execute a technical program. It’s absolutely thrilling. There is an athleticism to operatic singing that is truly stunning to behold. That a single human voice can project over a full orchestra and envelop an audience of 4,000 people without any artificial amplification; that we never rely on autotune to deliver a note-perfect performance; that we can sing higher, lower, faster, and longer than anyone else in the world—all while telling the greatest stories and giving life to the most intense human emotions. How is that not exciting? In my heart of hearts, I feel that if people really knew this, they wouldn’t dismiss opera as elitist or irrelevant or ridiculous. At its best, it is a perfect marriage of technical mastery, physical endurance, and artistic vision, and no amount of sexy costumes or high-concept set design can ever displace that.” — Chelsea Feltman.
Cecilia Bartoli: “Agitata da due venti” *HD*
Antonio Vivaldi Òperetta: La Griselda
The Beatles’ former press officer, who coined the term ‘The Fab Four’ to describe the band, has died.
Tony Barrow represented the band between 1962 and 1968 and also wrote sleeve notes for their early albums, as well as the strip cartoon for the Magical Mystery Tour booklet.
Mr Barrow died on Saturday night, aged 80, at his home in Morecambe.
He had also represented other Merseybeat acts such as Gerry and the Pacemakers and Cilla Black. [More]
From an article in the LA Times:
Barbra Streisand just turned 74, which may make her a grande dame to the generation in which she came of age and quite possibly a relic to a generation of millennials who may scarcely know her, except possibly as their grandparents’ Adele.
That is not an unfair comparison. You could say that Adele is the Streisand of our time, a performer who has the same stratospheric vocal talent Streisand has and draws on many of the same emotional wellsprings as Streisand. But one of the most notable things about Streisand is that there never was anyone like Streisand before Streisand. She arrived sui generis and rapidly proceeded to change entertainment as few performers ever have. [More]
An awesome video of Enrico Caruso singing “Santa Lucia.” Sheet music is available here.
Then of course, there’s tenor Mario Lanza.
And for fun, there’s Elvis Presley.
I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.
It’s hard to choose favourite memories of my time with George, there are so many but one that comes to mind was the time I brought the song ‘Yesterday’ to a recording session and the guys in the band suggested that I sang it solo and accompany myself on guitar. After I had done this George Martin said to me, “Paul I have an idea of putting a string quartet on the record”. I said, “Oh no George, we are a rock and roll band and I don’t think it’s a good idea”. With the gentle bedside manner of a great producer he said to me, “Let us try it and if it doesn’t work we won’t use it and we’ll go with your solo version”. I agreed to this and went round to his house the next day to work on the arrangement.
Read More: Paul McCartney on George Martin