I've been consoling myself by watching the Losey film "Don Giovanni." I've always had a huge crush on Ruggiero Raimondi's voice -- he's incredible in every way. I've listened to my favorite favorite "I Lombardi Ala Prima Crocciata" (with Ruggiero Raimondi as Pagano) probably 300 times on a nasty library record. I can hear it any time I want because it's all in my head. The first opera I ever saw, in 1986, was I Lombardi. It was a La Scala production in Vancouver for Expo. I was moved and overwhelmed -- I remember the chorus (which was fabulous) singing while facing the stage as soldiers, and the tips of their spears swayed in time most affectingly. I had the tenderest feelings. If you listen to a particular recording a bazillion times it's inside you and you don't need to listen to it any more. It's worn out, in a way, or just a part of you. Like I can hear any Beatles song any time I want in my head. Then you are only satisfied with live productions. I can't go, anymore, as it's too hard. It pains me to have to turn down free tickets, too, which I've done several times.
Other recordings I love passionately are the Tosca with Tito Gobbi and Franco Corelli. Once at Seattle Operahouse I got to talking with the woman next to me, and she'd met Franco Corelli in some volunteer opera guildish-type hostess role. She said he came off stage and said, "Was I all right?" There's a nice photo of him cooking soup with his dog. And I love the Barbieri with Maria Callas, Luigi Alva*, Tito Gobbi -- that production at La Scala is famous for having the ugliest costumes in history. I cut my eye teeth on Mario del Monaco, so I love his voice even though he came in for a lot of criticism for lack of modulation. He spent I think 6 years in the Italian army which would have been rather an interruption. I adore Nikolai Ghiarov -- especially in Turandot. Bulgarians rock. And I've heard Cesare Siepi many times in the recording of Mefistopheles. He was wonderful. And even if it is 100, you can't beat the Caruso/Scotti duets in La Forza del Destino. I love opera. It's so... well first of all the sounds that some people can make must make them feel like they are flying. The costumes, the spectacle... I think it's the highest form of collaborative art.
*another Peru link
I went to see Whale Rider with Lucia and E at the Capitol Theater. It was a nice, little children's movie. I'd've loved it when I was 8. Then we were to go to dinner at Chiang Mai, and meet up with Con and Dave there. Chiang Mai was shut, so after Loosh scootered over we went down the street to Ramblin' Jack's. And I forgot about meeting Con and Dave because I don't have two brain cells to rub together this week, but they found us anyway! Yay! And Dave gave me a groovy ratfink shirt which I managed to drop onto my plate. They are leaving for France on Sunday. We had a discussion about a Turkish movie star. Loosh had ribs (which looked un-dried up: last time I had them they were dessicated), E had a burger, and I had the grilled prawn salad. I couldn't identify what Dave and Sam had. Connie didn't eat.
posted by - 10:10 AM