I happened onto the marvelous voice and musicianship of Aoife O’Donovan a little over a year ago and have been a super-fan ever since.
For this edition of I’m A Fan Fridays!I’d like to share with you one of my favorite cuts off of her latest album, Fossils. The song is called, “Red & White & Blue & Gold” and is just the right number to get you looking forward to that summer holiday relaxation mood.
Dido and Aeneas is one of the truly great early operas. Written by the English composer Henry Purcell it had its world premiere in 1688. The piece tells the story of the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her deep despair when he abandons her.
One of the most enduring mezzo-soprano arias of all time is Dido’s Lament which is sung by Dido to her sister/handmaiden Belinda. She sings:
When I am laid in earth, may my wrongs create no trouble in thy breast. Remember me, but ah, forget my fate!
It is such a moving piece, but through the absolutely mesmerizing artistry of British soprano Sarah Connolly this aria is nothing short of heart-stoppingly brilliant.
I would’ve liked to have shared with you a clip of her in a performance of the opera, but I couldn’t find one that shows the entire piece. So, I bring you her 2009 performance from Royal Albert Hall in which she sings the full aria. Her solo is then followed by the chorus, which sings the finale, “With drooping wings ye cupids come.”
Just about every night as I attempt to wind down at the end of the day, I turn on my stereo and dial up my favorite Pandora radio station—Chet Baker Radio.
A few years back, I discovered the music and vocal stylings of one of the great jazz men of the mid twentieth century. The late Chet Baker had a way of blowing his trumpet and singing the old standards that moves me like few other artists can. His voice goes deep down inside me and hits the bulls-eyed mark on my heart with every simple, straightforward phrase.
He left us way too soon. But thanks to the modern world of digital recording and YouTube, his artistry can be shared all around the world.
So, for this edition of I’m A Fan Fridays, I share with you my favorite rendition of one of my favorite songs of all time.
My brother, Danny, introduced me to Tommy Emmanuel a few years ago via a YouTube clip, much like I’m about to do for you right now. I can’t remember the exact piece my brother shared with me, but as soon as I experienced the one, I got lost down the rabbit hole of videos of Tommy that are on the site.
To get you started, here is one of my favorites. It’s a brilliant arrangement of a couple of Beatles tunes that you might be familiar with. I hope you enjoy this edition of I’m A Fan Fridays!
It’s late in the evening, but not too late! For what, you ask? For the latest edition of…
I’m A Fan Fridays!!
For this edition, I give you an absolutely beautiful version of one of my favorite pieces of choral music for the Christmas season, “Messe de Minuit pour Noël” by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Here is Part 2: Gloria. Enjoy!
In honor of Sunday’s opening of “A Christmas Carol” at The Media Theatre and tomorrow night’s “Doctor Who” 50th Anniversary celebration, I’m bringing you something very special for this edition of I’m a fan Fridays!
A few years ago, the “Doctor Who Christmas Special” was an adaptation of my favorite holiday story. What a treat it was to have two of my favorite things mash-up together! You should treat yourself and find the entire episode this holiday season! Enjoy!
Well, it’s been quite a week! We closed “Spamalot” at The Media Theatre on Sunday, and now I’m in full on preparation/panic mode for my one-man “A Christmas Carol” that goes up in two weeks at the same theater.
I’m a bit bummed because I’m going to have to withdrawal from this year’s Philadelphia Marathon. I’m sad about that because I’ve really worked hard. Unfortunately, I’ve been suffering from BVVP (aka Vertigo!), and I haven’t been able to put in the miles over the last couple of weeks that I’ve needed.
It’s been more than a little scary the past few weeks, as this condition is no respecter of where you might be and/or what you might be doing when it comes on you like “a bad lobster in a dark cellar” (not exactly sure what that means, but it’s my favorite line from “A Christmas Carol!” Suffice it to say, vertigo happens very suddenly and with very little warning).
It came on me twice while I was on stage and, needless to say, it freaked me out. The first time it happened, I almost fell into the orchestra pit. Luckily, I was headed off stage at the time and made it to the wings. Believe me, nobody wants to fall on top of the brass section! They get upset about stuff like that!
I’ve got some medication and we’ll see what happens, but let me tell you, it’s no fun at all.
So, in honor of this condition that has me spinning, I give you a scene from a classic film, with a classic score and one of my favorite actors. Enjoy!