Getting back into the swing of things
It’s HARD to finish a soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating vacation! I want one more day to swim in the pool as the mountain waterfall plays in the background. I wouldn’t mind one more back massage. And certainly I will miss the abundant breakfast buffet (although another day of that might put me over the edge!) It’s been perfectly perfect and just what the doctor ordered.
Tomorrow I head off to my “first day at school”, as we opera singers often refer to the first day of rehearsals. It’s a good analogy, because a real sense of anticipation fills your head the night before making sleep a bit hard to come by, and you put a little more thought into what you will wear to that first rehearsal, as you hope that you’re prepared enough, and that your voice decides to show up! (Even now I still silently think to myself, “Boy, I hope they don’t fire me!”)
But in preparing mentally to get back to work, calling upon the great singers of the past somehow can provide that extra “push” needed to snap out of the hot-oil-massage-induced-bliss, and my friends, there truly is none greater than the First Lady of Song.
I had not seen this tape before, and I can’t stop playing it and marveling at the sheer genius that pours out of her. Nearly 3 minutes of acappella singing and she lands SMACK IN THE MIDDLE of the final chord, PERFECTLY in tune. PERFECTLY. Every note perfectly in place. A billion different colors and textures and rhythms and emotions. She astonishes me and in seeing this I think how FORTUNATE we are to live in an age where this kind of unbelievably rare performance is caught on tape to be enjoyed and admired by those of us who couldn’t hear her live!
Enjoy, and see you in Salzburg! (I’m EXCITED!!!)
P.S. This video was located during a youtube marathon that was instigated by the great Larry Brownlee who had shared a favorite video of his by the inspired Mel Torme, (which led us on a late-night tour of Nat King Cole and Danny Kaye and Frank…aaah!) But I had forgotten how brilliant the “Velvet Fog” was, and how SMOOTH his voice was – not to mention how much control over shading and dynamics he employed. Here is the video he posted – perhaps he’s a bit past his “vocal prime” – lord knows we’ll all get there one day! – but that only means more richness of interpretation and smoothness. It’s heavenly!
This makes me curious – who are your favorite singers outside of the “operatic” field?