Friday, July 06, 2007

Helas, those summer nights

Well thank god I know clever people to quote so you'll keep me around when I have nothing to say. (Perhaps I ought to take the good advice of David Byrne whose lips, you know, are sealed when he has nothing to say. Yeah I was just watching that on Netflix.) Anyway this requires a tiny bit of backstory but I'm certain you'll find it worth it: in discussing Steber and Les Nuits D'Ete, actually before the passing of the much beloved Mme. Crespin, Stewball of the North and I both started to make a knee-slapper on Nuits d'Ete and "Summer Nights" from Grease and then dismissed it, aghast at ourselves. Having so confessed, though...

Writes our Stewball:

...And now that the doors are open, I
think I've come up the most fantastic Konzept production of
Grease ever. All the regular songs will be replaced by
Berlioz selections which address the same themes. Les Nuits
d'Ete works nicely as a back and forth boy/girl number and
is thus a perfect replacement for Summer Nights. Then we can
have Hero's aria from B and B in place of Hopelessly Devoted
to You, There Are Worse Things I Could Do is replaced by
D'Amour l'ardente flamme, obviously cause of the whole
knocked up thing, and for You're the One that I Want, well I
guess Nuit d'ivresse from Troyens. I'm not sure what to do
about Beauty School Dropout. But really, this will be a huge
success on the Bregenz Floating Stage, I'm convinced of it.

Well, I have no connections at Bregenz, but if you do, you might bring it up. I can't see how they'd say no, right? Suggestions are being solicited for appropriate Berliozian stand-ins for "Beauty School Dropout." Riffing on the whole issue of hair color, I suggested "O Blonde Ceres," but I don't think either of us was quite satisfied with it, me in part because I know none of the other words to the aria so I don't know what it's about, but almost certainly not failure and disappointment, teenage style. That's awfully specific.

Aright, gotta get going to that malt shop in the sky. Next up: Podles conquers the outdoors.


jondrytay said...

'Hold your head high, take a deep breath and sigh- goodbye to Sandra Dee'

Shepherds' Farewell?

Anonymous said...

And the Rydell High theme song - the Trojan March from Les Troyens.

I am reminded of how gorgeous both Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Michelle DeYoung looked in Act III of the METs most recent production of Troyens. Either in her white dress could have easily been cast as Sandra Dee.

The women's chorus in Act II of Troyen could easily be sung by Sandi, Rizzo, Frenchie, and Marty at the sleepover.

And while it's no "Greased Lightning", let's not forget that the Trojan Horse was a pretty souped-up, automatic, systematic, hydromatic vehicle.

OK, enough already...

Anonymous said...

My favorite Nuits d'Ete is Behrens...and my favorite Wesendonck is Crespin's...

Maury D'annato said...

Wait, did Behrens seriously record Nuits d'Ete? I have a serious soft spot for her, but that sounds like a joke.

Anonymous said...

No joke! It's on a Decca disc (long out-of-print) coupled with Ravel's SCHEHEREZADE conducted by Jeffrey Tate. What I love about it is the air of utter desolation Behrens brings to
the three 'unhappy' songs. Tonally it is certainly a long way from what we are accustomed to in this cycle, but I find it really haunting.

I have heard her sing the Villanelle as an encore in recital.

Maury D'annato said...

The thought of her singing the Villanelle, in particular, is hilarious/perplexing. I've always thought of her as the kind of artist who triumphed over but also triumphed because of a uniquely unlovely voice. And the Villanelle is so goddamn pretty. In her cords, I imagine it coming out sounding something like "Was bluten muss?" Needless to say, I'd be curious to hear it.