Saturday, October 25, 2014

At 66, Kathleen Battle Continues To Float Gorgeous High Notes


A video of soprano Kathleen Battle from last evening's performance in Philadelphia of "Underground Railroad: An Evening of Spirituals" proves she still has plenty to sing about with that famous lyric voice. The project started a couple of years ago, inspired by Peter Gelb when he was still at Sony, and has toured ever since. "Legendary soprano Kathleen Battle's newest program celebrates the roots of African-American music and freedom via the Underground Railroad. Battle's sumptuous voice takes flight in this evening of enchanting music, featuring favorite and meaningful spirituals, hymns, and musical majesty. Although Battle's luminous soprano voice has graced the world's great opera houses and concert halls, there is a special place her heart for the songs and spirituals of the African-American journey. In this moving evening, Battle and acclaimed pianist Cyrus Chestnut explore the music that expressed the suffering and salvation of enslaved Africans as they found their way to freedom." [Source] Read an exclusive interview about the concert here and how Peter Gelb inspired the project here. Watch the soprano sing "Fix Me" after the jump.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mahler Gets Appearance In "Birdman" Scene Featuring Naomi Watts

The new film Birdman, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, has original music composed by Antonio Sanchez playing throughout the film. Additional classical music is added to several scenes including works by Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Rachmaninoff and John Adams. The real standout scene comes when Lesley (Naomi Watts) is emotionally thanking Riggan (Michael Keaton) for the opportunity of making her Broadway debut in his new play. At this point, the character of Riggan is starting to unravel and things seem as though they are imploding. The vocal line that starts under the scene is "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" (I am lost to the world) from Gustav Mahler's Rückert-Lieder. A full translation of the piece can be found here and a performance by Violeta Urmana (the artist used in the film) is after the jump. "Riggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called 'The Birdman' had recently turned down a third installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new retelling of a classic Broadway dramatic play called What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs - a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the dress rehearsal. Does Riggan have a hit on his hands or will he even make it to opening night?" [Source]

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Berg And Sartre Inspire New Online Horror Film By Existentialist

"A mysterious contagion plagues humanity. Its symptom: lust, confusion, and madness. It spreads like an airborne aphrodisiac crushing any hope for a containment or cure. In Chicago, the newly infected terrorize the streets. Two young women find themselves trapped in an absurd nightmare of violence and chaos. As they escape the two discover other survivors and unlock a secret that may be the key to their very survival...or is it? Inspired by Alban Berg's Lulu and Sartre's No Exit, Scent is a blood-tingling twist on the horror genre that re-defines reality and the experience of the cinema." [Source] Stars of the film include Di Billick, John Byrnes, Elisa Dei and George Ginakakis. The film was released on the internet in the USA on October 1, 2014. Visit the official website here to watch the whole film. A trailer is after the jump.

Aprile Millo Photographed By Herb Ritts At Elizabeth Taylor Wedding

Ms. Millo can be seen on the left of the Herb Ritts
 photo behind hair-dresser José Eber.
In 1991, Aprile Millo sang for the wedding of Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky. The soprano had just made her debut in Boito's Mefistofele at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She sang "Ave Maria" at the Neverand Ranch as helicopters swirled overhead during the ceremony. "It was the eighth – and final – trip she would ever make down the aisle. And now, for the first time, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation has released photos of Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky's lavish 1991 wedding at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch exclusively to People. This inside look commemorates People's Oct. 21, 1991, cover story on the biggest and most media-saturated wedding in Hollywood history. (Remember, this was in the days before weddings like George and Amal Clooney's and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's.) In the photos, the blushing, bronzed bride is dressed in a pale yellow $25,000 Valentino gown (a gift from the designer). She is seen with her groom – her seventh (she married Richard Burton twice) – and with her close friend, Jackson, who hosted the wedding for 160 high profile guests on his 2,700-acre Santa Ynez Valley, California, estate." [Source]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Take A Tour Of Spain Based On Birthplaces Of Great Sopranos

Deciding where to travel in a foreign country can become a daunting task with all the landscapes, museums, architecture, restaurants, and concert halls. It seems natural to put an operatic twist on the itinerary when looking for adventure. Why not let the birthplaces of famous sopranos (and some mezzo-sopranos) dictate the destination? Let's start in the country of Spain. With all the flamenco dancing, bullfights, and beaches, this culture is muy caliente! "Spain has an extraordinary artistic heritage. The dominant figures of the Golden Age were the Toledo-based artists El Greco and Diego Velázquez. Francisco de Goya emerged in the 18th century as Spain's most prolific painter and he produced some wonderfully unflattering portraits of royalty. The art world in the early 20th century was influenced by a remarkable group of Spanish artists: Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí, ambassadors of the artistic culture in Spain. Spain's architecture ranges from prehistoric monuments in Minorca in the Balearic Islands, to the Roman ruins of Merida and Tarragona, the decorative Lonja in Seville, Mudéjar buildings, Gothic cathedrals, castles, fantastic modernist monuments and Gaudí's intricate fabulist sculptures in Barcelona. They are all representative of the culture of Spain. Another example of culture in Spain is the invention of the Spanish guitar, which was invented in Andalusia in the 1790's when a sixth string was added to the Moorish lute. It gained its modern shape in the 1870's. Spanish musicians have taken the humble guitar to dizzying heights of virtuosity and none more so than Andrés Segovia (1893-1997), who established classical guitar as a genre. Flamenco, music rooted in the cante jondo (deep song) of the gitanos (gypsies) of Andalusia, is experiencing a revival. Paco de Lucia is the best known flamenco guitarist internationally. His friend Camarón de la Isla was, until his death in 1992, the leading light of contemporary cante jondo. In the 1980s flamenco-rock fusion (a.k.a. 'gypsy rock') was developed by the likes of Pata Negra and Ketama, and in the 1990s Radio Tarifa emerged with a mesmerizing mix of flamenco and medieval sounds. Bakalao, the Spanish contribution to the world of techno, emerged from Valencia." [Source] So why not add opera to the highest cultural contributions in Spain? Time to see the country as the famous opera singers would have experienced it while growing up. The tour begins after the jump.

Oscar De La Renta, Friend Of Opera And Sopranos, Is Dead At 82

 
Night at the Opera: de la Renta attending 
Anna Bolena at the MET in 2011.
"Óscar Arístides de la Renta Fiallo (July 22, 1932 – October 20, 2014) was a Dominican fashion designer. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, De la Renta was trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo, he became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers to dress Jacqueline Kennedy. An award-winning designer, he worked for Lanvin and Balmain; his eponymous fashion house continues to dress leading figures, from film stars to royalty, into the 2010s. De la Renta is particularly known for his red carpet gowns and evening wear." [Source] The designer was always a fixture at the Metropolitan Opera as an audience member and supporter. Today's most established sopranos in the opera world are often photographed wearing the designer's creations. "'I’m a woman, and I love it so I enjoy dressing up,' says Netrebko, who attends fashion week in New York and Paris, when possible, and was excited about a recent encounter with designer Oscar de la Renta. 'I was very honored to meet him — I’m always shopping at his stores. To me, his clothing is art, which I can’t stop collecting.'" [Source] Other famous sopranos to wear his gowns include Renée Fleming, Ailyn Pérez, and Angela Gheorghiu. Some of these fashionable gowns, as well as some that just seem operatically inspired, can be seen after the jump.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Opera Inspires Chefs on Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen" For Fox

The October 15, 2014, episode of Hell's Kitchen on the Fox network had 12 chefs competing in the following challenge: "The teams must create Italian opera-inspired dishes and go head-to-head against a member of the other team.....The team that earns the most points from Chef Ramsay and guest judge Chef Celestino Drago will win a $3,000 shopping trip and VIP dinner at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, while the losing team will prepare the squid for the next dinner service. Later, during the dinner service, teams will prepare Italian dishes for VIP guests, including members of the Italian Consulate. After nerves in the kitchen lead to two major mistakes and one team is kicked out of the kitchen, both teams will have to present teammates for elimination. Find out who will move on and who will be kicked out for good." Each chef chooses a singer that is holding a scroll with some opera related title on the front (opera titles, characters, arias or songs often sung by opera singers) with a related food item on the back. One
chef selects another to go up against in the kitchen and then that chef chooses the singer to reveal the dish they will be cooking for in the competition. Although it looks more like the singers are performing in a Madrigal Dinner, the entire concept is clever. Watch the full episode by clicking here. [Source, Source]

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Maria Callas Sampled 24 Years Ago In Enigma Electronic Recording

Synthesized Immortal: Maria Callas
"MCMXC a.D. ('1990' in Roman numerals followed by an abbreviation of 'Anno Domini') is the first studio album from the electronic music group Enigma, headed by Michael Cretu. Recorded at A.R.T. Studios in Ibiza, it is one of the first albums to be recorded on a computer's hard disk drive. Released in 1990 on Virgin Records, the album reached number one in 41 countries including the UK. It peaked at number 6 in the United States, and remained on the Billboard 200 for 282 weeks...."[Track 3] 'Callas Went Away' is a tribute to the opera singer, Maria Callas. Chirps from electronic birds at the beginning, mixed with a slow beat and sounds of a piano leads to Sandra's whispers and ends with some samples of Callas singing the aria 'Werther! Qui m'aurait dit /Ces lettres!' from the opera Werther by Massenet." The track was written by Curly M.C. [Source] "Michael Cretu (Romanian: Mihai Crețu pronounced [miˈhaj ˈkret͡su]; born May 18, 1957, Bucharest, Romania) is a Romanian–German musician. He is also known as Curly, MC or Curly M.C. because of his fair curled hair (creț means 'curly' in Romanian). His peak musical activity was with the Enigma project, which was mainly based in Germany. He has collaborated with
Composer Michael Cretu aka Curly M.C.
many musicians along his career, including his ex-wife Sandra Lauer (Sandra Cretu from marriage in 1988), musician Peter Cornelius, guitarists Manfred Thiers and Jens Gad, Frank Peterson, David Fairstein (Fabrice Guitad), D.J. André Tanneberger (from the A.T.B. Music Project), Peter Ries, Bernt Moehrle, singer Ruth-Ann Boyle, and Andru Donalds, who produced the single Mishale in 1995. In 2002, Crocodile-Music, Cretu's management company, stated that 100 million Cretu-produced records had been sold worldwide. By the year 2008, Michael Cretu's Enigma project had sold over 50 million studio albums according to his official site. He owns A.R.T. Studios, a recording studio facility located near the resort on the Balearic Islands, where he lived with his wife and their two teenagers, Nikita and Sebastian. He and Sandra divorced in 2007. Cretu has been reported as living in Germany since that time....Cretu was born to a
Cover art for the 1990 recording by Enigma
Romanian father and an Austrian mother in Bucharest. His uncle, Ion Voicu, a Romanian violin-player and former director of the Bucharest Philarmonic, told Michael's parents that he had talent in music and as such, he studied classical music at Liceul Nr. 2 in Bucharest in 1965 and in Paris, France, in 1968. He later attended the Academy of Music in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1975 to 1978, attaining a degree in music. Cretu was taken on as a keyboard player and producer for Frank Farian." [Source] Watch the Enigma video for "Callas Went Away" and listen to Maria Callas sing the complete 'Letter Scene' from Werther, after the jump.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Metropolitan Opera Launches Short Films Series During HD

"The Met will expand its visual arts initiatives with a new series of short films, Gallery Met Shorts, in which celebrated visual artists use animation, video, and film to create original artworks set to music from operas in the Met’s current season. Each short film will be shown in movie theaters around the world during the intermission of a corresponding live performance from the Met’s Live in HD series, which is now seen in 69 countries. The first short, set to music from the Act I finale of Verdi’s Macbeth, is by artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari as part of their ongoing Toiletpaper project, which also includes the irreverent art magazine of the same title. Their film will be shown at intermission of the live transmission of Macbeth, which stars Željko Lučić in the title role and Anna Netrebko as his ruthlessly ambitious wife, on Saturday, October 11 at 12:55 p.m. ET." [Source] Watch the short film, and
see more video stills, after the jump. Pierpaolo Ferrari (1971) was born and raised in Milan where he developed his passion for photography and art. Since 1994 he specialized in advertising photography, collaborating with all major agencies like BBDO, McCann Erikson, DDB, Saatchi and Saatchi, Cheil Communication, Thompson and Wieden & Kennedy, working for brands like Nike, Audi, Mercedes, Vespa, Campari, BMW, Motorola, Sony, Rayban, Alfa Romeo, Heineken, MTV, Samsung, Biennale of Venice. His portrait for Campari has been chosen for the cover of Archive Magazine and he is one of the top 10 ranked photographer in the magazine. In 2006, with Federico Pepe, he realized Le Dictateur, a luxury art magazine, publishing personal artworks for best artists and photographers from all over the world. Currently he directed the
latest commercial for Emporio Armani and is now shooting celebrities for Uomo Vogue. He has received numerous awards from all the major festivals worldwide for many of his campaigns. Maurizio Cattelan was born in Padua, Italy, in 1960. Cattelan, who has no formal training and considers himself an "art worker" rather than an artist, has often been characterized as the court jester of the art world. This label speaks not only to his taste for irreverence and the absurd, but also his profound interrogation of socially ingrained norms and hierarchies, subjects historically only available to the court fool. Early in his career, Cattelan unleashed his mockery on figures in the art world. For Errotin, le vrai Lapin (1995) Cattelan convinced gallerist and notorious womanizer Emmanuel Lapin to wear a giant pink rabbit
costume shaped like a phallus to Cattelan's gallery opening. In 1998 a volunteer paraded around SITE Santa Fe donning an oversized papier-mâché caricatural Georgia O'Keefe costume; the same year, a similarly comical Pablo Picasso guise welcomed visitors to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Cattelan united humor with the macabre in his installations of taxidermy animals. The creatures were configured in absurdist narratives, like a post-suicide squirrel in Bidibidobidiboo (1996), as well as disarmingly familiar scenarios, like dogs curled up on the floor or perched on their haunches, seemingly still alive. In the late 1990s, Cattelan began to create hyper-realistic figural sculptures. The artist repeatedly employed his own image in works of self-mockery and self-effacement such as Mini-me (1999) and La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi (2000). Indeed, nobody was exempt from Cattelan's critique. In La Nona Ora (1999), a wax
replica of Pope John Paul II is seen struck down by a meteor and pinned to a red carpet. In Him (2001), a small simulation of Adolph Hitler kneels on the floor. Ave Maria (2007) reveals a line of saluting arms extending from the wall, recalling the fascist fervor that led to the Holocaust. In the more reverent, mournful piece All (2007), a series of marble sculptures that uncannily resemble dead bodies covered in sheets line the gallery floor. Solo exhibitions of Cattelan's work have been organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1998), Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (2000), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (2001), Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2001-3), P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York (2002), Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (2003), Musée du Louvre in Paris (2004), Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2008), and The Menil Collection in Houston (2009). His work has also been featured in Venice Bienniale (1993, 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2003), L'hiver de l'amour at the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris (1994), SITE Santa Fe (1997), Manifesta 2 (1998), Istanbul Bieniali (1998), Kunsthalle Basel (1999), Whitney Biennial (2004),
Traces du Sacré at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (2008), and theanyspacewhatever at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2008). A retrospective of Cattelan's work opened in the fall of 2011 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Cattelan also founded The Wrong Gallery in 2002, a store window in New York City that allowed for a freedom of art interventions he found lacking in the commercial galleries. Cattelan lives and work in New York and Milan. [Source, Source]

Anna Netrebko "Vier Letzte Lieder" Rendition Available On DG

"Rund 1200 Mal hat Richard Strauss die Staatskapelle Berlin (bzw. die damalige Königlich Preußische Hofkapelle) dirigiert. Von 1908, als er mit der Leitung der regulären Symphoniekonzerte des Orchesters betraut und zudem zum Generalmusikdirektor befördert wurde, bis zu seinem offiziellen Abschied von der Staatsoper 1919 stand er an der Spitze des Berliner Musiklebens. Bach und Händel hat er ebenso zur Aufführung gebracht wie die Wiener Klassiker, die Romantiker von Berlioz bis Brahms, aber auch Zeitgenossen wie Reger oder Mahler. Und nicht zuletzt waren es auch seine eigenen Werke, denen er sich immer wieder widmete, auch in den 1920er und 1930er Jahren, in denen er als gern gesehener Gast zur Staatskapelle kam. Am 11. Juni 2014 jährte sich der Geburtstag von Richard Strauss zum 150. Mal. Nicht allzu weit entfernt von diesem Datum erwies die Staatskapelle Berlin ihrem ehemaligen Chefdirigenten die Ehre – in einem Benefizkonzert zugunsten der Sanierung des Opernhauses Unter den Linden, das mit Strauss’ Entwicklung so eng verbunden ist. Mit Anna Netrebko und Daniel Barenboim engagierten sich dabei zwei Künstler, die in der Welt der klassischen Musik eine ähnlich herausragende Position einnehmen wie Strauss sie seinerzeit besaß. Eine Hommage an einen großen, durchaus umstrittenen Komponisten: Der eindrucksvolle »Schwanengesang« des 84-Jährigen, die Vier letzten Lieder, erklang am 31. August 2014 in der Berliner Philharmonie gemeinsam mit Ein Heldenleben, der monumentalen Tondichtung des Mittdreißigers vom Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts. Mehr als 200 Lieder hat Richard Strauss im Laufe seiner langen Karriere komponiert, von der Jugend bis ins hohe Alter. Den Schlusspunkt bilden vier Stücke, die von Frühjahr bis Herbst 1948 Gestalt gewannen. Zwei Jahre immerhin hatte Strauss an diesen Liedern gearbeitet, von den ersten Skizzen bis zur fertigen Partitur. Ausgewählt hatte er sich zunächst drei Gedichte von Hermann Hesse, deren poetische Bilder ihn sehr ansprachen. Als viertes kam ein Gedicht des hoch geschätzten Romantikers Joseph von Eichendorff hinzu, das einige Entsprechungen zu den Hesse-Texten enthielt. Bis auf Frühling mit seinem optimistischen, aufgehellten Ton kreisen die Texte (Hesses
Maestro Barenboim and Ms. Netrebko in Strauss concert.
 'September' und 'Beim Schlafengehen' sowie Eichendorffs 'Im Abendrot') sämtlich um die Themen Müdigkeit, Abschied, Vollendung und Tod, wobei die Atmosphäre ins Friedvoll-Tröstende gewendet ist. Insgesamt herrscht ein spürbar verschatteter, herbstlicher Klang vor, den Strauss mittels fein differenzierter orchestraler Nuancierungen erreicht. Die Singstimme blüht häufig in breit strömenden Kantilenen von bezwingender Schönheit auf – eine eindringliche Beschwörung der Romantik. Insbesondere in den beiden abschließenden Liedern kommt dieses stilistische Moment zum Tragen: Strauss’ Musik wirkt hier gleichsam wie aus der Zeit gefallen, aber trotzdem absolut authentisch. Dass dabei die Vier letzten Lieder insgesamt zurückhaltend, geradezu zart wirken, passt durchaus ins Bild. Fragile – und trotzdem hochgradig expressive – musikalische Gebilde sind es, die der späte Strauss seinen Hörern hinterlassen hat. Ein gutes halbes Jahrhundert zuvor, Ende 1896, hatte Strauss eine Tondichtung in Angriff genommen, in deren Zentrum eine Heroengestalt (bzw. das Heldenhafte an sich) stehen sollte. Autobiografische Aspekte haben hier zweifellos eine Rolle gespielt – als Protagonist seines Heldenlebens dürfte Strauss in erster Linie sich selbst gesehen haben. An keiner Stelle jedoch offenbart er, dass es sich um ein klingendes Selbstporträt handelt: Die Grundidee des Werkes bestehe vielmehr darin, die Auseinandersetzung eines Helden mit seinen Widersachern in Musik zu setzen. Von vornherein waren zwei kontrastierende Teile geplant: Auf die Darstellung des Heroischen sollte ein Abschnitt folgen, der den Kritikern des Helden Raum gab. Auch die Tonarten wurden bereits festgelegt: Es-dur – wie in Beethovens Eroica – für den Helden, g-moll für dessen bornierte Gegner. Zusätzlich zu diesen beiden musikalisch bewusst gegensätzlichen, aber eng aufeinander bezogenen Hauptthemen sollten weitere Episoden (eine Liebesszene, ein Teil »Kampf mit der Welt« sowie eine beschließende Adagio-Partie »Flucht in Einsamkeit/Ruhe/Idyll«) eingearbeitet werden. Erstaunlich ist, dass Strauss auf dem Weg zur endgültigen Werkgestalt und zur Uraufführung 1899 an dieser ersten Konzeption kaum mehr Änderungen vornahm. Allerdings integrierte er virtuose Passagen der Solo-Violine, die symbolhaft für »Des Helden Gefährtin« stehen. Im Anschluss entwickelt sich ein regelrechtes Schlachtentableau sowie eine Folge von Themen, die sämtlich als Zitate aus früheren Strauss-Werken erkennbar sind, bevor die Tondichtung unerwartet gedämpft, fast ein wenig resignativ ausklingt. - Detlef Giese" Pre-order your copy today by clicking here. Track listing is after the jump.

NY Philharmonic Tribute To William Warfield Role In "Show Boat"

Can't Help Lovin' That Man: The 1962 cast recording of
Show Boat featuring John Raitt, Barbara Cook,  music director
 Franz Allers, and William Warfield. (Photo: Don Hunstein)
"In anticipation of the New York Philharmonic's production of Show Boat, Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence Carol J. Oja explores the African American baritone William Warfield, whose relationship with the philharmonic began at the summer Stadium Concerts at Lewisohn Stadium with his performance as Joe in a 1952 concert version of Show Boat. The lecture includes clips from the 1951 MGM film featuring Warfield as Joe and his 1976 performance with the Philharmonic in London narrating Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait, conducted by Leonard Bernstein." The event is free and takes place at the David Rubenstein Atrium on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, at 7:30 PM. [SourceFor more information about the New York Philharmonic production of Show Boat featuring Vanessa William, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Lauren Worsham, and Norm Lewis, click here. "William Caesar Warfield (January 22, 1920 – August 26, 2002), was an American concert bass-baritone singer and actor. Warfield was born in West Helena, Arkansas and grew up in Rochester, New York, where his father was called to serve as pastor of Mt. Vernon Church. He gave his recital debut in New York's Town Hall on March 19, 1950. He was quickly invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to tour Australia and give 35 concerts. In 1952, Warfield performed in Porgy and Bess during a tour of Europe sponsored by the U.S. State Department (he made six separate tours for the US Department of State, more than any other American solo artist.) In this production he played opposite the opera star Leontyne Price, whom he soon married, but the demands of two separate careers left them
Gershwin Partners: Leontyne Price and William Warfield
recorded highlights from Porgy and Bess for RCA.
little time together. They divorced in 1972, but were featured together in a 1963 studio recording of excerpts from Porgy and Bess." [Source] "Show Boat is a 1927 musical in two acts, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on Edna Ferber's bestselling novel of the same name, the musical follows the lives of the performers, stagehands, and dock workers on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat, over forty years, from 1887 to 1927. Its themes include racial prejudice and tragic, enduring love. The musical contributed such classic songs as 'Ol' Man River,' 'Make Believe,' and 'Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man.'" Watch William Warfield sing "Ol' Man River" from Show Boat, after the jump.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Sex And The City" Features Mozart's "La Clemenza Di Tito"

Ballo in Maschera: Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) and
Jack (Joseph Murphy) are looking for [more] love.
Sex and the City, Season 1, Episode 8: "Architect and amazing lover Jack, an ideal catch for princess Charlotte, whom she met at many disease benefits, strongly suggests a trio with another woman- the friends are divided if or how....She talks about this to her friends and finds out that Samantha loves it, but insists that one should only be a 'guest star' in one to avoid complications." Charlotte and Jack attend a masked ball fundraiser for Attention Deficit Disorder where they set their sights on a willing third person for their ménage à trois fantasy. As the flirtation begins, the scene's accompanying music is the tenor aria "Se all'impero amici dei" from Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. [Source] "Titus (Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus; December 30, 39 – September 13, 81) was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own biological father. Prior to becoming Emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judaea during the First Jewish-Roman War. The campaign came to a brief halt with the death of emperor Nero in 68, launching Vespasian's bid for the imperial power during the Year of the Four Emperors. When Vespasian was declared Emperor on 1 July 69, Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion. In 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph; the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day. Under the rule of his father, Titus gained notoriety in Rome serving as prefect of the Praetorian Guard, and for carrying on a controversial relationship with the Jewish queen Berenice. Despite concerns over his character, Titus ruled to great acclaim following the death of Vespasian in 79, and was considered a good emperor by Suetonius and other contemporary historians. As emperor, he is best known for completing the Colosseum and for his generosity in relieving the suffering caused by two disasters, the eruption of Mount
Mercy, Mercy: Victory is at hand for the couple
Vesuvius in AD 79 and a fire in Rome in 80. After barely two years in office, Titus died of a fever on September 13, 81. He was deified by the Roman Senate and succeeded by his younger brother Domitian." [Source
Watch the scene from 1998 by clicking here. After the jump is a full text translation of the aria and a video of Jonas Kaufmann singing the aria from a 2005 production of Mozart's opera at the Opernhaus Zürich. You can purchase the entire first season of Sex and the City by clicking here