[YT link with thanks to AyseCeylan 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…)