Wednesday, September 08, 2010
DGG reissue of a 1959 pressing of this American opera starring Beverly Sills and Walter Cassel. Sounds great. I doubt many people are familiar with this opera. I think its a fine thing. Its based on the legendary and tragic love affair of a Colorado millionaire and his flashy and intrepid mistress, the young Baby Doe. Latouche and Moore worked on the opera together right up until its premiere in Colorado in 1956. And then John Latouche DIED that same year at the age of 39. Talk about operatic. With an opera this down home and Amurrican, and written in the 50's, its hard not to think of Oklahoma or Carousel or any one of a dozen other big brash spectacle musicals of the era when listening. But Baby Doe is the real deal. And Beverly Sills sings the hell out of what Moore & Latouche came up with. And its fun! And, um, easy and entertaining to follow seeing as how its in english and all. Some english language operas can sound stilted or too mannered to me. Just wrong somehow. But if you just let the language flow - a la the musical - you are good to go. Or, if you are gonna be all arty about it, be REALLY arty. You know? I found this boxed set for a dollar. I play it about once a year. People who think they don't like opera either don't have a good stereo system or don't play music loud enough. And I can't help you if you don't care for opera singing. I think the human voice - and in opera the human voice is in full flower - is one of the seven wonders of the world. But what do I know, i'm a goregrind fan.