White Shirt Monday: Sexy Audio Edition

[YT link with thanks to for the upload]

Happy Birthday, Susan Graham.

Before Graham included this song in her recent recital at Wigmore Hall, I didn’t even know it, but ever since then, I’ve been meaning to post it for WSM. Today seems to be a good day for that.

Actually, I meant to post the 2012 Wigmore version that I recorded off the radio, but with the 2006 version on YT, I didn’t have to trail after free mp3 hosting/streaming, so this is – I think – the 2003 Carnegie Hall debut version.

While the song in itself is a riot, it gets better the more you know about it: it was written for Graham and refers to some of her hit roles (Cherubino, Octavian) and their musical signature tunes, as well as to Graham’s role in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking” (at the most generous receommendation of Frederica von Stade, no less).

Most of the readers here will probably not subscribe to the line “I’m tired of kissing chicks” (but the one after that) and argue that mezzos “strut their stuff” best and foremost and above all in trouser roles, while being, very, very very sexy ladies, but don’t let that detract you from a wonderful song and a wonderful performance by a truly wonderful singer.

(now if only someone composed a queer companion piece for Patricia Racette about a soprano who never gets to wear the pants or kiss the girls onstage…)

9 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Sexy Audio Edition”

  1. There is a wonderful portrait of Graham on DVD by Olivier Simonnet “The Gal from the West” including many arias, songs and interviews and showing beautiful landscapes from Santa Fe

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  2. I heard that song during her Strasbourg recital, a few weeks ago, and I must admit I was quite disapointed by those few lines. After all, pants roles made her famous all over the world, isn’t it ungrateful from her ? I don’t think Joyce di Donato, who released a proud «Diva / Divo» album, would have done the same, for instance.

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    1. I admit I did frown a little in reflex upon first hearing, but since it more or less says “which is fine, but not my cup of tea” right afterwards, I don’t find it in any way offensive.
      Apart from the fact that poking fun at mezzo repertory and heternormative opera imagery is the point of the whole song (to me). I’m very grateful for all the wonderful portrayals Graham has given us over the years. 😉

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  3. Well, I found that statement («I’m straight ! I kiss girls but they make me do it !») rather awkward. The rest of the concert was marvelous, though.

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  4. Also re Patricia Racette doesn’t she get to be kissed by the Mezzos? So it all works out in the end?
    Some opera singers are straight, some opera singers are gay – get over it ?? ! 😉

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    1. Recette’s repertory doesn’t have much in the mezzo-kissing realm, I think (mainly Puccini & Verdi). And well, singers’ privates lives are their private lives. 😉
      Of course, if you mention personal life in a song, for some it will be “I’d rather kiss guys”, for some “I’d rather kiss chicks” and for some “I don’t care as long as they brush their teeth”…

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