Archive for the ‘crossover’ Tag

The Final “Cut”: Music Video Contest Entry

I now present to you my entry for La Cieca’s ( light-hearted lip dub video competition:

Although a winner hasn’t been announced, happily, my entry was featured today on Darkest Before the Dawn

[UPDATE: I won! My video received the winning prize worth $200.00, and cries of “Bravissimo!,” “genius,” “brilliant,” “poignant” and “hilarious.” Woo-hoo!]

The song is opera diva Renée Fleming’s recent crossover single “Endlessly” (originally by Muse). It was GOBS of fun to create…a tragic tranny mess? Visionary? You be the judge, but it’s nothing if not fun. Plus, I didn’t know I was a blonde (the look chosen to APPROXIMATE the album cover)…the results proved me SO wrong.

For non-opera aficionados, the paper dolls are of Peter Gelb (he runs the Metropolitan Opera), Barbara Walters (operagoer), Mary Zimmerman (director), James Levine (music director and conductor at the Met), and La Cieca! (Yes, the inside jokes abound.)

I invite you to share comments directly below the video at link provided above! Praise me, roast me, sex me up, and so on!

Here’s the official collectible album cover:

An Early St. Patty’s Day Gift

A couple of days ago I had one of those true music discovery moments, while listening to KUSF 90.3. These happen less and less these days, with my radio listening being greatly diminished, and entertainment being so much more “programmed”, via my iPod/iTunes. It seems most of us now revel in the fully customizable listening experience they provide. But, radio discoveries remind me of my (even) younger days, when that was more commonly a mode for being introduced to artists, and I felt a sense of wonder accompanying the feeling of unlimited musical horizons.

A sonorous bass voice tenderly wafted from my speakers. “Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling… From glen to glen, and down the mountain side…”.

(No, this isn't my car radio, but it conjures up the lost charm I'm going for.)

(No, this isn't my car radio, but it conjures up the lost charm I'm going for.)

I knew the song immediately, but I couldn’t identify the singer. I have always loved Danny Boy. At my grandmother’s recent funeral a version was sung with the same melody but an adapted text. The song is one of the truest musical embodiments of longing for me. It has a sweet sentimentality that is undeniable. Honestly, it is really the melody itself (the Irish tune Londonderry Air) that speaks to me each time, and less so the text.

Over a decade ago I enjoyed Aprile Millo’s performance of it on The Johnny Carson Show. Ah, I miss the days when real grand divas/divos would perform on night shows, or any popular tv forum for that matter… and I know you do too ;-). And, Eleanor Steber’s version from CD 2 of the “Eleanor Steber In Concert (1956-58)” double album.

Well, the singer I heard that day was Paul Robeson. He is probably most famous in the mainstream for the ’36 film version of Show Boat, and his performance of Ol’ Man River (which has never been matched). I certainly know him well, but had never heard his beautiful rendition of this song. He possesses legendary endowment in the cavernous basso profondo nether regions. But, what I didn’t know is how tenderly he could float and caress a higher phrase. That was largely why I was surprised to hear it was him. Also, there is something so disarmingly simple and real about this recording that I didn’t even suspect it was an “opera singer”.

I hope you enjoy it too. And Happy St. Patty’s Day!