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Subject: Re: Renee Fleming - Broadway album
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 10 Jun 2018 13:53:12 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (379 lines)


There were two all-star films based on ROBERTA, and a
couple of significant "show albums", especially the one with
Alfred Drake, Kitty Carlisle, and, vacationing from Wagner,
Kathryn Meisle.  Even if I proved to be an audience of one,
I'd rather see a revival of it than of SHOWBOAT.

We agree on Hammerstein - have you listened to ME AND
JULIET lately?

dtmk

On Sun, Jun 10, 2018 at 1:15 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Funny - Roberta hasn't had any significant life beyond its initial run
> either. Nor have any
> other Kern shows except Show Boat. But his songs live on, in an era where
> that was the
> point - the shows were generally much less important as an entity than the
> songs were.
> And yes indeed, such wonderful songs they were.
>
> As for Hammerstein - well yes, as much as I admire his writing, he does
> tend to veer into
> preciousness at times, especially with odd allusions to nature. I'm still
> not sure where he
> got the image of "a lark who is learning to pray" (except, of course, for
> the fact that the
> line is sung by a novitiate nun), or when hunky Lieutenant Cable, head
> over heels in lust,
> compares his strong arms to "a pair of birds that burst with song."
>
> One attribute of Hammerstein I love is when he gets dark or cynical -
> songs like "Lonely
> Room" or "The Gentleman Is A Dope" or "The Next Time It Happens," where
> his
> characters unavoidably reveal their vulnerabilities through their pain.
>
>
> On Sun, 10 Jun 2018 10:33:01 -0400, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> >Yes, the fact that it is Audio alone obviates every reference to visual
> >antics,
> >yours as well as mine.  I have never succumbed to the purported wonders
> >of "All The Things You Are".  It may have been the highlight of the show,
> >but
> >of a show that seems to have had no life beyond the length of its original
> >run.  The tune has a way of turning on people who normally have little use
> >for popular music (I don't know what that says, but it says something),
> and
> >the lyrics are Oscar on one of his rare pseudo-Wordworthian off days.  I'd
> >rather hear Renee Fleming sing any one, or all of the five great songs
> that
> >Kern wrote for ROBERTA.:  The Touch of Your Hand, You're Devastating,
> >Yesterdays, Lovely To Look At, and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
> >
> >dtmk
> >
> >On Sat, Jun 9, 2018 at 11:07 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Well, I'm not sure why the supposed "trappings" of the original
> >> arrangement might only
> >> be assessed in a full production, but whatever. I think the superbly
> >> crafted arrangement
> >> stands more than solidly on its own. Even Robert Russell Bennett's muted
> >> string voicings
> >> in the intro are superb, let alone the rest of the song. And even
> without
> >> the big choral
> >> refrain, the original multi-sectioned verse (something Kern seemed
> >> particularly adept at -
> >> look to songs such as "You Are Love" and "Make Believe" from Show Boat
> as
> >> other
> >> examples of complex/extended verse structure), and the beautiful
> baritone
> >> counterpoint
> >> in the first refrain, are wonderful discoveries for anyone who has only
> >> heard the standard
> >> version (with an entirely different verse).
> >>
> >> But, more to the point, whatever version Fleming may choose, it's an
> AUDIO
> >> recording,
> >> so where she places her hands has absolutely no bearing on anything.
> Only
> >> in the context
> >> of a visual performance might such a thing be assessed, after all.
> >>
> >>
> >> On Sat, 9 Jun 2018 20:00:32 -0400, donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> >I think Ms. Fleming would do better to ignore the pretentious
> >> >trappings of the "original version"  (only in the context of a
> >> >staged performance of VERY WARM FOR MAY might that
> >> >be assessed), and put her hands in her pockets and just sing
> >> >"All The ThingsYou Are" as simply and ravishingly as Beverly
> >> >Sills did in 1973.  It's on Youtube.
> >> >
> >> >dtmk
> >> >
> >> >On Sat, Jun 9, 2018 at 6:37 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> Well, I think it HAS to be better than her ridiculously horrid and
> >> >> laughably weak-tea "Dark
> >> >> Hope" album, yes? The one where she *thinks* she's singing indy pop
> >> songs?
> >> >> I mean,
> >> >> anything would be better than that.
> >> >>
> >> >> Actually, many of the choices here are sensible. The gorgeous,
> >> >> heartbreaking "Fable" from
> >> >> The Light In The Piazza is essentially an aria, both in terms of
> >> dramatic
> >> >> and musical
> >> >> sweep, and it was written for "legit" soprano voice. Many of the more
> >> >> classic/older
> >> >> selections are also easily imaginable in her voice, as long as she
> >> really
> >> >> expresses the
> >> >> TEXT. (And some of the songs, like the Porter "Down In The Depths"
> >> really
> >> >> do need to be
> >> >> text first to the hilt The melody in this case really serves the
> piquant
> >> >> text, not the other
> >> >> way around.)
> >> >>
> >> >> Of the other more contemporary choices, I would expect the beautiful
> >> >> Violet lullaby to be
> >> >> fine. I'm not so sure about the folk-ish "So Big So Small," and
> suspect
> >> >> she will likewise
> >> >> wrongly oversing Sting's gorgeous folk/pop "August Winds." And
> probably
> >> >> the same for
> >> >> Webber's "Tell Me On A Sunday," which will most likely come off way
> too
> >> >> "pretty" and
> >> >> without the grit a singing actor like Bernadette Peters can give it.
> We
> >> >> shall see...;-)
> >> >>
> >> >> My REAL wish is that for the last track on the album, Fleming would
> band
> >> >> up with 3 other
> >> >> soloists and a choral ensemble and do the full original stage
> version of
> >> >> "All The Things You
> >> >> Are," which is truly a musical revelation. This original version
> >> >> (unearthed by the late great
> >> >> John McGlinn, who did that archival Show Boat album with all the cut
> >> >> songs, etc)
> >> >> deserves to be much, much better known - and although I would imagine
> >> >> Fleming really
> >> >> doesn't have the 2 high D's for the obbligato section anymore, maybe
> >> she'd
> >> >> be willing to
> >> >> give that to a fellow soprano as she sings the other female solo
> part?
> >> >>
> >> >> (for those of you who haven't heard the stunning original version -
> >> please
> >> >> go here:
> >> >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf80ntbCLCc - and also here:
> >> >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUNQy0uHUvs - if you doubt me, you
> >> *will*
> >> >> be
> >> >> surprised!)
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> On Sat, 9 Jun 2018 13:42:19 -0400, John Greene <
> [log in to unmask]>
> >> >> wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> >Oh, god, NO!
> >> >> >
> >> >> >-----Original Message-----
> >> >> >From: Discussion of opera and related issues <
> >> [log in to unmask]>
> >> >> On
> >> >> >Behalf Of Christopher Weimer
> >> >> >Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2018 1:30 PM
> >> >> >To: [log in to unmask]
> >> >> >Subject: Renee Fleming - Broadway album
> >> >> >
> >> >> >Renee Fleming is releasing an album of musical theater songs,
> >> "Broadway."
> >> >> >This isn't a total surprise, given her current gig in the "Carousel"
> >> >> >revival, and I admit I'm curious - though opera singers' success
> with
> >> >> >Broadway material has historically been inconsistent, to say the
> least.
> >> >> >(Remember the fad for studio albums of classic musicals starring
> opera
> >> >> >singers 20-30 years ago?!  A definite mixed bag.)  The track
> listing,
> >> >> which
> >> >> >I'm copying below, does show some interesting repertory choices.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >Christopher Weimer
> >> >> >
> >> >> >Renee Fleming - Broadway
> >> >> >1.    'Fable' from "The Light in the Piazza" (Guettel)
> >> >> >2.    'Loneliness of Evening' from "South Pacific" (Rodgers &
> >> Hammerstein)
> >> >> >3.    'Children Will Listen/You've Got to be Taught' from "Into the
> >> >> >Woods/South Pacific"(Sondheim/Rogers & Hammerstein arr. Couglin),
> with
> >> >> guest
> >> >> >star Leslie Odom, Jr.
> >> >> >4.    'So Big So Small' from "Dear Evan Hansen" (Pasek & Paul)
> >> >> >5.    'Something Wonderful' from "The King and I" (Rodgers &
> >> Hammerstein)
> >> >> >6.    'Wonderful Guy' from "South Pacific" (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
> >> >> >7.    'Lay Down Your Head' from "Violet" (Tesori/Crawley)
> >> >> >8.    'Down in the Depths (on the Ninetieth Floor)' from "Red, Hot
> and
> >> >> Blue"
> >> >> >(Porter)
> >> >> >9.    'Love and Love Alone/Winter' from "The Visit" (Kander/Ebb)
> >> >> >10. 'Dear Friend' from "She Loves Me" (Bock/Harnick) 11. 'The Sound
> of
> >> >> >Music' from "The Sound of Music" (Rodgers & Hammerstein) 12.
> 'Unusual
> >> Way'
> >> >> >from "Nine" (Yeston) 13. 'Till There Was You' from "The Music Man"
> >> >> (Wilson)
> >> >> >14. 'The Glamorous Life' from "A Little Night Music" (Sondheim) 15.
> >> 'Tell
> >> >> Me
> >> >> >on A Sunday' from "Song and Dance" (Lloyd Webber/Black) 16. 'August
> >> Winds'
> >> >> >from "The Last Ship" (Sting) 17. 'All the Things You Are' from "Very
> >> Warm
> >> >> >for May" (Kern/Hammerstein)
> >> >> >
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