Saturday, October 18, 2008

I am not a classical music lover. I don't know how to play the piano, which is rather unusual for a Singaporean, nor have I ever figured out how to read music. If I had to learn an instrument, it would be the drums, because that features so prominently in jazz and I love the improvisation that takes place when it comes to jazz drums.

But I digress. I am currently listening to what MD feels is the world's greatest recording of Verdi's La Traviata, as sung by Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti and conducted by Richard Bonyge in 1979. I certainly am not one to be able to comment on these things, not having grown up on them, unlike MD. But it sounds wonderful and the flutes and violins just sound as if they are dancing throughout the faster pieces (such as Dell'invito Trascorsa and Libiamo, ne' lieti calici) and it just sounds wonderfully infectious. And the ending of Un di felice, eterea when the whole cast sings in unison just completely blew me away.

The only other opera I have watched is Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and it was also an enjoyable experience, and, as it unexpectedly turns out, was a turning point in our relationship, a point which will be elaborated on some other time. MD and I were meant to watch Mozart's Don Giovanni a few weeks later on account of it being the dream cast (Simon Keenlyside as the title lead and Charles MacKerras as conductor) at the Royal Opera House, but he and I were both unexpectedly sidelined by work. Such is the nature of our work. Thankfully, Don Giovanni is now available to be watched online, courtesy of the ROH.

In any case, I will be heading to New York for the first time in a couple of days. MD and I have spoken, and I will, in addition to wanting to catch a show on Broadway, now be purchasing a ticket to Anthony Minghella's production of Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera featuring Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio San, although, as MD and I both acknowledged, the plot of the opera itself was pretty weak. To be exact, he described it as "s***" while my response after reading the sypnosis was "That's it? That's IT?!"

I can't wait!

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