Have started listening a little obsessively to La Damnation de Faust which I think is French for That Darn Cat! Actually I'm doing something I haven't done in years which is to listen repeatedly but in a disengaged manner, taking advantage of subway noise and my brain's own shall we say porous qualities to listen as if Berlioz had written for vocal instruments, making sounds with no meaning. You end up making up your own meanings, if you're me; not stories or anything, just understanding the emotion of a phrase in some kind of blunt, caveman emotive vocabulary. Funny to think of cavemen and Janet Baker in the same context but there it is. It's a beautiful recording, not too studio-bound, and at least when I bought it, it was on itunes for $9.99 for the whole megillah. [Hat tip to Chalkenteros.]
Yesterday I finally printed a libretto after futzing around to make it compact (sudden memories of the horrible/wonderful summer I spent at Glimmerglass, when they squished the entire text of The Mother of Us All onto one page. It was a much sought after souvenir item among the miserable staff.) and will soon take to crushing my own vague, projected meanings out of it. I mean, yes, I know the story, but it still exists for me right now in the strangest liminal state...I must have listened to Act I of Der Rosenkavalier fifty times before I ever bothered to find out what they were singing. I don't know what this practice means, but I'm hoping it isn't anything in the DSM IV-TR.
In other non-news, I read Latonia Moore's name somewhere this morning and it put me in mind to wonder when we'll hear her next, and in what. It was a lasting impression she made in Edgar. Guess I should look on operabase. Also tonight I am going to Lucia though nine gets you seventeen I'll go home before what is sure to be a terrific star turn for Beczala after going ten rounds with Szechuan Gourmet during last night's frustrating debate and then waking up at 4 am with scalding heartburn. Yeah, TMI, but whatever. So, too, in some sense, are my opinions of people's singing. En todo caso, I'll twitter Act I at least.