I want to be a prima donna, donna, donna

Fanny Brice burlesques an operatic diva. (Here’s more video goodness.)

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3 Responses to “I want to be a prima donna, donna, donna”

  1. Il Tenore di Coloratura Superba Says:

    To my dearest La Cieca,

    I finally got around to listen to some past podcasts whilst doing some house cleaning (what better way to pass the time than to immerse oneself in the annals of audio recorded operatic art!). Today I listened to both podcasts devoted to Miss B. Sills.

    I will admit, La Sills is an incredible artists and vocalist – although she’s never been one of my top favorites (she does have to stand behind some hollerin bitches – Grubby, Deutekom, Joany, Gencer, Price, Caballe, and so forth) but I’ve always been able to rely on her for outstanding performances and recordings. One of my absolute favorite recordings is her rendition of Odabella’s Act I aria “Santo di patria” from Verdi’s Attila. Clearly, this role was far too heavy for her (and for Joan who also has a fierce recording), but she really turns it out in the aria and especially with her interpolated High Eb’s (which were admittedly much more steady than Joans were) in the cabaletta.

    At any rate…I had such a blast listening to the Fledermaus podcast – especially since I saw Kitty C. Hart twice in a 48 hour period last weekend!! I was, however, looking foward to hearing La Sills sing he Czardas since I’ve only ever heard her sing Adele’s arias, but alas, it was not there for listening pleasure.

    I found the second podcast thrilling, and I have to say, Natalie Dessay was the first recording of the complete “Marten aller arten” that I had ever heard (I have heard sopranos studying the aria sing the omitted measures – Baerenreiter includes them in their edition and the Dover score also has all the omitted passages from Konstanze, Blonde, and Belmonte’s arias in an appendix – complete with orchestration – if anyone is interested to know. I myself sing some of the omitted passages when I do the Belmonte arias), and I am perfectly delighted to know that La Sills also sang the full aria – I only wish Joan had sung them on her recording!

    My final thought regards the Zerbinetta clip. I had never taken the time to listen to Sills sing that aria – mainly because after one hears Edita sing the shit out of it on the Norman, Price, and Tomowa-Sintow recordings, as well as several concert discs and her most amazing recording of the orginial version…I couldn’t imagine listening to anyone else sing it!
    I have to say that I was so impressed that Beverly sang that aria as well as she did – not that I doubted her technique, but for some reason I just never pictured her as one who would have been extremely successful in that role – thank you for proving me wrong!! I also admit, I did miss the two High F#’s, but I admired Sills’ courage to sing the version while tastefully omitting them.

    Thank you for boosting Miss Sills a little further up the ladder on my favorites list!! =)

    P.S. Having mentioned Odabella’s aria tonight made me wonder if you’ve ever thought about doing a podcast complilation of comparing different sopranos singing both arias from Attila…sort of a competition between recordings and fearless dive who braved this bloodthirsty role!! Another idea would be to compare recordings amd performances of the three arias from I Lombardi and take notice of just how many sopranos bit the dust in Act II!!!

  2. My understanding is that Sills sang (or at least attempted) the high F#s in other performances of the “Ariadne” concert, but she ducked them for the one that was broadcast.

    The “comparison” podcast is a great idea… I’ll start working on one.

  3. We practically had a comparison compilation of “Mercè, dilette amiche” nested within the I Vespri Siciliani Act V podcast.

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