Sound and Clouds and Thunder (24)

[I dare you not to be charmed by this. I dare you. – Marilyn Horne (Nicklausse) and Montserrat Caballé (Giulietta) with the Barcarolle from Offenbach’s “Les contes d’Hoffmann”, Munich 1990. – Clip with thanks to LadyArmide]

France, I love you.
Please don’t f*ck it up on Sunday.

I love this (unabashedly old-fashioned and charming) clip of a this-can-only-be French piece for a variety of reasons. There is the singing. There is the easy companionship between the singers. There is the joy of making something together and addressing that joy. There is the giant f*ck you at conventional notions of gender, particularly as it relates to age, body types and sexualities.

Look at this wonderful (though it could use some more color apart from the dresses) slice of intersectional visibility for a variety identities, and then look at a bunch of white priviliged goons who want to infringe on it. This week (“oh no, what did he do now?” is my ’17 mode), it’s legalizing discrimination against and preparing to take away healthcare from far too many of us.

It is not normal, and it is not okay. It is disgusting and kleptocratic and nepotistic and vile. And so far, saying that has not been outlawed where I live (neither where 45 lives, though he certainly seems to be working towards it, though “golfing towards it” might be the more approriate term).

You take away the arts, you take away spaces of representation and visibility and empowerment and human connection. So on that note, you can pry my belcanto collection from by cold, dead hands, and until then, we’ve got song to keep us powered up and visible far beyond 2020. Keep on walking!


18 thoughts on “Sound and Clouds and Thunder (24)”

  1. Thank you, thank you for this! Just what I needed after a (beep) week at work.
    So sweet, so relevant.
    “They” (I refer to some recent elections and with what and whom those lead us to deal with) can ban us, repress us, belittle us or whatever (and it will make cultural life harder and more challenging, sometimes depress us also as individuals), BUT: We’ll still be here, forever and ever!


    1. We’ll still be here. Battered, mourning people in our midst, but here. Yes!

      (also, Caballé doesn’t get nearly enough credit for her level of foxiness)

      Hope you have a really good weekend!


  2. what a, yes, charming clip. gosh, i love the interplay between them, holding hands for the duration! What does Horne say to the audience in the beginning? And Caballe’s delighted surprise when they finished, so sweet.

    and yes to everything else you said, too. more and more. we are capable of THIS too, this beauty, this delight, we are we are…


    1. Horne says “the next one, I am sure you know.”
      And yes, this level of grace and joy, and precisely through these bodies, not nubile flesh without lived experience.


      1. Oh Marilyn. That makes Caballe’s laugh even more delightful.

        Lived experience…there are a couple of moments before and after singing where Horne gets this glint, like, “you come for us and I will take you down with my bare hands.” I believe her.


        1. Horne displays abit of her power there, something completely unaffected by age, a thing in attutide and voice that had critics sneer at her because they instinctivel recognized that power she inhabits.


            1. I like to think so – particularly in her line of career and fach, at her time. She has been such an important trailblazer for repertory that deals precisely in that kind of power (and she continues to be an important teacher).


            2. Remember our recent rant and faction pouring vitriol at other factions? Horne got that at some specific interjections.


    1. …in which case it would go to prove that a great, experienced singer would still be better under the influence that many other (and younger) ones sober. 😉

      (actually, if you would be so kind, would you have a source for that? I have never heard of it before and would prefer not to have a hearsay claim about such a sensitive issue (wider context of substance abuse), without backup, unless concerned parties are talking openly about it)


  3. I have just seen your request. I am sorry for my belated reply. It was an inconsiderate comment on my part (it seems that I have made several in this blog). The source was a comment of one of the Youtubers. I am posting the link, and her comment for future reference.

    the Youtube video

    Kethryweryn3 years ago
    I wondered why Horne was so out of tune, until I realized she’s completely drunk. Anyway, the interpretation is overall very bad (even if Caballé is, at least, singing in tune), but once you realize the drunkeness and that the conductor seems desperate, it becomes quite funny to watch. But not to hear.



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