I am not a huge fan of sopranos. This is perhaps because I ended up a contralto,* after having a very good range and at least fair pitch in childhood. It didn't last. However, there is one piece that send chills down my spine, W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan at perhaps the top of their form -- I first heard it by channel-surfing happenstance.
Having spent the morning looking for a version of "The Moon and I" (aka "The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze...") from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado at least as good as the one in the film Topsy Turvy, I was frankly delighted to discover this one, recorded "for showcase only:"
For contrast, the British-through-and-though take from Topsy-Turvy, gorgeously sung, can be heard here.
Best line: "I mean to rule the Earth as he the sky." Ambition! (For those unfamiliar with the story line, it is not really such an unreasonable one as you might think.)
* In musical theatre, contraltos are generally limited to playing "witches, britches and bitches." Basically, the "bad Bond girl" is about as good as it gets.
4 weeks ago