Friday, 2 November 2007

Girl Friday: Victoria de Los Angeles


I've decided to devote Fridays to talking about people whose work I like, or who I think are otherwise interesting.

Victoria de Los Angeles (Born Victòria Gómez Cima in Barcelona 1923, died there in 2005) was a Spanish Mezzo-Soprano. She is known, among other things, for her famous recordings of operas by Puccini, Bizet and Rossini, and later in her life traditional Spanish songs.

She is Rosina in the 1962 recording of Rossini's "The Barber of Seville", which for me is a dream recording - all of the singers are perfect in their roles. Opera stories are like any other plot - all sex and violence. Well, this one doesn't have too much violence... Rosina is the heroine - kept isolated from the world by her guardian who hopes to marry her when she comes of age, but in love with a young Count. She is supposedly an innocent girl, but underneath she is strong-willed and determined to get what she wants:
Io sono docile,
son rispettosa,
...
Ma se mi toccano
dov'e il mio debole,
saro una vipera, saro.
e cento trappole
prima di cedere faro giocar.
"I am docile, respectful ... But If I'm crossed in love I'll be like a viper, and 'll play a hundred tricks before I give in". Naturally by the end, she manages to defy her guardian and marry the Count.

Rosina has been sung be a lot of sopranos, but it was really meant for a mezzo, who can be more expressive and seductive, And Victoria de Los Angeles' voice is seriously seductive.

Her sexy mezzo is also perfect for Carmen. The opera was written by Bizet (a Frenchman), but is all about Spain, so perhaps that's why my two favourite Carmens are both Spanish - the other one being Conchita Supervia.

She continued to perform well into her 70s. Her voice was special in that it was both beautiful and full of character - something very rare.

14 comments:

Bee said...

Ha!
Because it's Day Of Tthe Dead I was going to do a post honoring Elvis, whose music I love, but then I got distracted with the green beans!

Bee said...

AND!
I've seen almost everyone one of his movies! (twice)

Jean Knee said...

Brian unless you are posting about guns N Roses or the cult we pretty much don't know what you are writing about,

The day of the dead festival, on the wrong day, was funnnn


no green bean casserole in sight

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

Incomprehensible:

Well, you should be pleased - saves you the trouble of actually having to read it...

Jean Knee said...

I love reading your posts brian, I wasn't dissing you

I am merely ignorant about opera

Jean Knee said...

my sisters hate me, now you know why

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

Hateful Sisters: Why? Don't they like Guns N Roses?

How many sisters do you have? Are they all older than you?

Green Beans:

I bet they'd be nice covered in chocolate...

Jean Knee said...

I have two older sisters, they are both crazy loons

one older brother- normal

Brian o Vretanos said...

I have a "normal" younger sister, though she's one of those people who can take offence & not talk to you for years. We don't see much of each other.

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

Musical Tastes: My initial answer to your first post was a bit sharp, sorry... Most people I know don't like things like Opera, so I don't really expect anyone to share my tastes.

It sounds like you'll have a good opportunity to get to grips with it soon - I read in the paper that they're talking about cancelling most of the US TV programs due to a strike...

Jean Knee said...

ha on them, I don't watch tv

Bee said...

I read the first few comments of you guys going back and forth and
I was like "why are they being mean to each other? [sad face]" but then I read on and saw you guys made up! [happy face]!

jean knee what da ya mean you don't watch TV? Don't you watch the office????

Jean Knee said...

I love the office, I watched it some last year but we always forget to watch the good shows, then when we flip it on the shows are too stupid to watch. I see re-caps on you tube posts.

I forgot, I do watch some of the today show in the am

Brian o Vretanos said...

Useless TV:

I sat watching RIK (Cypriot tele) for about an hour and a half today - they had the news and a documentary about a village, but in between there was a 10 minute progam teaching (presumably Greek) sign language. So if I ever find myself having to order a Cappuccino or a cup of tea with milk in a Greek coffee shop where the person behind the counter is deaf, I'll know how ;-)