Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Monday, 2 May 2016

Bellissimo Canto?

I was thrilled, when my dear Mother was failing, to discover what an extraordinary amount of opera is to be seen on the Tube of You.
Even sitting in a movie theater for very long became impossible, so shortly after she was introduced to them, the Met's HD broadcast's were no longer an option - but I was so, so grateful for them while they worked, and for the chance to share performances with her.
And then, there was Youtube, sometimes singers I never saw or had the opportuinty to hear live much less in person, but whose recordings were the best sort of  "blast from the past", in the case of, say, Birgit Nilsson, almost literally so! ("literally", refers to the "blast" part.)
E'en now, I think when she tires of bending the Blessed Virgin's ear, my Mother chats with Magda Olivero and the latter's English has become perfect, and my Mother's Italian is flawless.
(Or perhaps, I should say, everyone there speaks "heaven.")

I was reminded of all that delightful scouring of the Tube of Yous, while repeating the exercise for some examples and inspiration for Himself's next gig.
And since the Tube is one of the worst offenders of the ThoseInterwebsAreATimesuck variety, I ended up listning to various too many In Questa Reggias, and hearing Nina Stemme, and being sorry that the Met's most recent Turandot HD broadcast was not available to us when I heard her shattering Elektra on the radio this past weekend.
Hopefully it will find its way to a PBS station or library shelf near us.
But THAT reminded me of another Saturday afternoon broadcast - I only listen to the "radio", (ask your parents, little ones,) from the Met, (thank you, Towle Bros, Toll Bros?)

Not an enormous Donizetti fan, not wildly familiar with Roberto Devereaux, (though IIRC, I saw the entire "Tudor Trilogy" in my remote youth,) and only heard snatches in between errands, (I only think to listen to the radio in the car.)

But, you guys.... Matthew Polenzani.

Omiwerd, I don't think I've ever been bought to tears by Donizetti, and unless it was a super-familiar, filled-with-associations opera or singer, ever wept at such over the radio, of all things.

Pearl Fishers was another one I would have dearly liked to have seen, but the Met is no longer available at any theaters near us.

So, just once more, I need to type - MATTHEW POLENZANI.

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