So I'm a Sucker for Baritones: Simon Keenlyside

>> Saturday, November 20, 2010

It was only recently that I discovered this incredible English Baritone; it was when my daughter, Lauren, gave me the DVD recording of the 2003 Royal Opera House production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. Simon Keenlyside sang the role of Papageno in that production and from that point on I was hooked. (If you're interested in reading a biographical sketch, click on his name to the Wikipedia information.)

Today I've featured Keenlyside in the role of Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Personally, if I were Susanna, I'd dump Figaro and go for the Count! Oh BABY!


Jasper November 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

What is maybe the perfect Italian Opera was authored by Viennese genius. Mozart just kind of waltzed on in and showed the world how it's done. And then at 35 he was gone. That's really something.

Lynette November 21, 2010 at 3:10 PM  

Jasper, I totally agree. Now tell that to some of my snobby colleagues who claim that Mozart was a "hack". *sigh*

Jasper November 21, 2010 at 6:21 PM  


Jasper November 21, 2010 at 6:23 PM  

...Seriously, though: Do they offer an argument for aforesaid heresy, or is it a case of "De gustibus..."?

Lynette November 22, 2010 at 6:59 AM  

Not really. I suspect that it's based entirely on the fact that they're not huge lovers of the classical era in general and so they're not extremely well-versed in it's history nor the context. Most of them are music theorists and the classical era in general bores them. I suppose if I were a music theorist, the classical era would bore me too, for it is more about form than innovation. However, what they don't seem to realize is that it was Mozart who moved us out of the classical era into the early romantic era, and he did it through his innovations WITHIN the strict classical form. They're also not familiar with his entire body of work--namely his chamber pieces which demonstrate a tremendous amount of harmonic intricacies and innovation. So all that to say is that their opinions are really bogus because they don't know what the hell they're talking about. ;)

Jasper November 22, 2010 at 1:01 PM  


Naturally, a form must be mastered before it can be superseded by new developments. Mozart was that master, and according to what your saying his mastery heralded the new developments to come.

Thanks for sharing.


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