White Shirt Monday: “What am I to do, I can’t help it.”



[Joyce Dietrich DiDonato as Romeo , which might as well be a movie called The Black Pearl Angel, but only if you pronounce it with a Dietrich accent. Otherwise, it’s the traveling Vincent Boussard production of Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”, San Francisco 2012. – click to enlarge]

I vote for more mezzos in top hats!

In fact, Anna Bonitatibus (The White Angel?) could have pulled off a top hat for her Cherubino, only that we might have had to change the aria from Voi che sapete to “Nimm Dich in Acht vor singenden Frau’n, sie haben so etwas Gewisses.” (no, that’s the actual song lyrics. Or should have been.)




And then there is Joyce DiDonato, and a top hat and LEATHER.

Uhm… where was I? – I have no idea, but this is right on topic (thank you, Hanna!):



“Morgen”, to me, has always been very much a buttoned-up and straight and, yes, somewhat settled specimen of a Strauss song (when you can have “Zueignung” or “Heimliche Aufforderung” instead! Or “Traum durch die Dämmerung”, for something gentler! – Don’t judge. Those were my formative teenage years and “Morgen” was not really my mindset. Also, my head would probably have exploded if I had dared to think those songs outside of a cis-het context back then), but I will have to revisit that. A lot.

If I ever make it to professor and then to emeritus, I don’t want a lecture hall or a dig site named after me, or an honorary volume for my 70th birthday. Instead I want a recording of all the racy Strauss songs written for/from a once-assumed male perspective sung by female singers. That’s all.

(My first version ever of “Verführung” was Siegfried Jerusalem. I was 16 and I owned the entire disk and I thought it was great and I didn’t know what I was missing. It was only after I got my hands (and ears) on Jessye Norman singing “Heimliche Aufforderung” (and, but that’s a story for another day and post, Brahms’ “Sapphische Ode”) that I realized that I had listened to the entire repertory from a perspective that was not mine. And that there was one that could be mine.

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