Monday Music: El Vito (Joaquín Nin y Castellanos) sung by Patricia Petibon

Really, how gorgeous is Patricia Petibon?  I mean, first there is that impeccable, light coloratura voice, full of personality, and then there is her amazing, almost outrageously expressive face.  I wish there were more videos of her singing live, because I could watch and listen to her for hours.

Actually, I kind of have been.  But I’m saving some of those other posts for later.  And swooning a little.

Anyway, here she is, singing El Vito, a Spanish folk song that was, if I understand correctly (I do not have her Melancolia CD – yet! – so I can’t tell you based on the notes) set by Joaquín Nin y Castellanos.  The lyrics are a little concerning, translating to “An old woman is worth a silver coin and a young girl two copper coins, but as I am so poor I go for the cheapest. On with the dancing, on with the dancing, ole! Stop your teasing, sir, else I’ll blush!”

But I don’t really care about dodgy lyrics, because Petibon is just so utterly gorgeous when she sings them. I’m sorry, I know I keep saying that.  One of the other things I really love about Petibon’s work is her choice of repertoire – her CDs tend to be a combination of baroque arias with the sort of folk songs that are halfway to being dances – full of lively percussion. To me, that’s the perfect mix… or perhaps it’s just the way Petibon sings?

Because I am now officially a Petibon addict, I’m going to leave you with a couple more of her songs.  Here’s her version of the Doll Song from Les Contes d’Hoffmann, complete with strange doll-like noises, broken creaks, and random attacks of Queen of the Night.  And for contrast, here she is, singing ‘Lascia ch’io pianga‘ (let me weep), from Handel’s opera, Rinaldo.

Can I be her when I grow up?

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Friday Fun: Les oiseaux dans la charmille (The Doll Aria) – Offenbach

Time for a final fling with opera before we plunge into Advent and my annual Advent Calendar for the next few weeks!  Today’s aria is a favourite of mine, because you can do so much with it, and because it contains so much potential for humour, pathos, and creepiness.  This version contains all three of those aspects…

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