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Wonkette's Top Ten Stories Of The Week Are Just Legendary
This week I am actually going to bless you with something wonderful instead of terrible. Yay! Yesterday was opera singer Leontyne Price's 96th birthday so I thought I would drop a few jams in here today instead of ... something else. Price, if you don't know, is one of the great operatic sopranos of the 20th century — the greatest, according to many — and I love her very, very much.
Here she is playing the title role in Puccini's Tosca , which she actually played in a live television performance in 1955. Vissi D'arte ("I lived for art") comes from Act 2 of the opera, sung by Tosca after she has just been told by Scarpia, the chief of police, that the only way she can save her lover Cavaradossi from execution is to sleep with him. ACAB, amirite? I recommend getting a box of Kleenex out.
Leontyne Price Performs ´Vissi D´arte www.youtube.com
Her debut at The Metropolitan Opera was as Lenora in Verdi's Il Trovatore . Oddly enough, Lenora sings "D'amor sull'ali rosee" when her lover is imprisoned and she tries to free him by offering to sleep with the Count de Luna (but in her case she kills herself with poison from her ring).
Leontyne Price, as Lenore – the aria “D'amor sull'ali rosee” from Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore www.youtube.com
Here she is singing a song in English — Summertime from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess .
Leontyne Price at the White House: Summertime (encore). www.youtube.com
Price is most strongly associated with the title role in Verdi's Aida . In 1985 she sang it at The Met for the last time, largely considered the greatest event in the history of the Live at the Met series. In "O patria mia," Aida, an Ethiopian princess who has been captured and held as a slave by the Egyptians and fallen in love with Radames, a general in the Egyptian army whom she is supposed to run away with on the eve of his wedding to another woman, sings about her her fear that she will never see Ethiopia again.
Leontyne Price Opera Farewell "O patria mia" Aida www.youtube.com
Just an absolute goddess.
If you or someone you know wants a good introduction to opera, I highly recommend Price's Prima Donna series of albums, in which she performs most of the great soprano operatic arias.
And here are your top ten stories of the week!
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