Latest purchase: (With What Money??)
1) I Troiani. That's right, not Les Troyens. Highlights disc, actually, but it has the parts one is curious to hear. I'm trying to remember my Mario del Monaco timeline and whether 1960 is after his car wreck/goiter/whatever but I would guess not. I mean he ditches the C in "inutiles regrets" and we all hate that, but the final B (?) is so long and fearless as to make up for it. The crowd agrees. Simionato as Didone isn't quite what I imagined...I think the grandeur of her big scena is all tied up in its Frenchness and even an artist of her caliber can't really make it sound right in translation. I'm trying to imagine Janet Baker doing it in English, which seems likely to have happened. It just doesn't make me want to rev up the time machine. I haven't given Nell Rankin's Cassandra a fair listen; cursorily I'd say the goods are there.
2) Cebotari Sings This and That in Really Good Sound. Can someone clear up for me whether she was or was not Hitler's little darling? I'd swear I read it somewhere but it's hard to wrap my head around since she's from Kishinev, ancestral home of the D'annato family and so many other shtetl Jews. Anyway if she was in fact the songbird of Sobibor maybe I'd actually rather not know it, because she made some irresistable records. While we're on her, che-bo-TA-ri? Because it's a semi-made up name anyway, from Cebutaru. And while I have no idea what a "c" represents in Romanian, it's not impossible she was aiming for something with more of an Italian ring to it like, y'know, Rossellini or Buccatini or, oh, Millo. Herein are featured excerpts from Puccini, Verdi, etc and Cebotari's second to none Es Gibt ein Reich, complete with Ferrieresque mythology that she knew she was dying when she sang it. It could be true.
Honestly, I haven't stopped going to the opera. I'm bound to go to Forza sooner or later, especially since I got an intriguing text message about it from JSU. Go click on his page until he's forced to review it. (Actually I haven't checked today--he may have done so already. All I've seen lately though was Walk the Line, which I secretly suspect was just the negatives from last year's Ray.
Over at The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross outlines a Ring set in an American high school, which made me laugh, in part because I have at times daydreamed about other operas set in high schools (they being the last place it is socially acceptable to indulge in high drama/operatically sized emotion all the livelong day.) Is the Duke of Mantua really just the captain of the football team? Is Der Komponist really just the faggiest kid in the drama club? Watch your back, Calixto Bieito--here I come!