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"There's a lot of other singers out there who don't sound anything like they talk ..."

Death Vessel is a modern folk band from Rhode Island. But mostly, it's Joel Thibodeau's astonishing soprano singing voice . [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Aug 21, 2012 - 6 comments

 

Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs" sung by Jessye Norman

In the sixty-odd years since their composition, the Four Last Songs have acquired in many people’s minds an unassailable status as simply the most beautiful music known to them, to be listened to in a dimly lit room and a state of rapt meditation, surrendering to the extraordinary spell of profound, other-worldly calm that they cast. This is not surprising. They were, indeed, the last things of any significance that Strauss wrote, between May and September 1948, at the age of eighty-four. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 24, 2012 - 11 comments

The Forrest Gump of Opera

Whilst searching for more images of La Milo (mentioned in this post), I stumbled across the David Elliot theatrical postcard collection. In it were some pictures of Blanche Arral. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Mar 14, 2012 - 5 comments

Jean-Jacques Beineix's "Diva"

The French romantic thriller “Diva” dashes along with a pellmell gracefulness, and it doesn’t take long to see that the images and visual gags and homages all fit together and reverberate back and forth. It’s a glittering toy of a movie... This one is by a new director, Jean-Jacques Beineix... who understands the pleasures to be had from a picture that doesn’t take itself very seriously. Every shot seems designed to delight the audience. - Pauline Kael, 1982 [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 16, 2011 - 33 comments

Joan Sutherland (1926-2010)

Dame Joan Sutherland has died at the age of 83. One of the most remarkable female opera singers of the 20th century, she was dubbed La Stupenda by a La Fenice audience in 1960 after a performance as Alcina. She possessed a voice of beauty and power, combining extraordinary agility, accurate intonation, "pin point staccatos, a splendid trill and a tremendous upper register, although music critics often complained about the imprecision of her diction. Her friend Luciano Pavarotti once called Sutherland the "Voice of the Century", while Montserrat Caballé described the Australian's voice as being like "heaven".
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 11, 2010 - 16 comments

Birgit Nilsson

A big, blunt woman with a wicked sense of humor, Ms. Nilsson brooked no interference from Wagner's powerful and eventful orchestra writing. When she sang Isolde or Brünnhilde, her voice pierced through and climbed above it. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 3, 2009 - 11 comments

If I'm not pure, at least my jewels are!

Glitter-and-Be-Gay-filter: Chenoweth, Anderson, Dessay, Damrau, Gruberova, Sumi Jo, Leigh, Young Dessay, Chenoweth again. [more inside]
posted by flug on Nov 7, 2007 - 36 comments

Old Good Fellows

Before testosterone coursed through their bodies and caused corruption they were The Sopranos. Frankie, Bobby 'MoFoChild' Breen, Frankienoinfo, Graham 'Freeda' Payn, Donnie 'Alleluja, Jackie [sans kilt], Master Joe Peterson and Joselito was a cutie too.
posted by tellurian on Oct 5, 2007 - 9 comments

RIP, Saxophonist Michael Brecker

Michael Brecker has passed away Arguably, one of the most influential saxophonists of all time, he has lost his fight against myelodysplastic syndrome. Truly a major loss for the jazz and rock worlds.
posted by milnak on Jan 13, 2007 - 30 comments

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

"...People do have an attitude of curiosity toward me. They say, 'This guy looks funny, he looks too young, he looks like a woman, but I can't be sure.'"

Jimmy Scott's unforgettable voice has inspired generations of singers-- both male and female-- from the 1940's to present day (he worked with David Lynch on a song for "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me," and is still making recordings). Read his bittersweet story on his official website. Born with Kallman Syndrome [Wikipedia], his voice has remained the undiluted, soaring soprano that he's had since childhood. A couple of mp3's here, as well as the inevitable YouTubery.
posted by hermitosis on Jan 12, 2007 - 15 comments

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