Saturday, August 27, 2011

Golden Age Singer of the Week--Virginia Zeani

I've written before about the divine Virginia Zeani. (See tag below for link to other posts.) I just came upon this clip of her performance in the Italian premiere of Mr. Menotti's The Consul (Il Console) at Spoleto in 1972, so how could I resist posting it?

The YouTube link is here. It contains more information from dear CharlotteinWeimar, a wonderful lady and great source of Zeani clips. I quote some of the information below. There is also the original English text and clips of English performances by other singers.

[This] was the first time Zeani had been seen dressed in drab clothes and flat shoes as an unglamorous heroine, However, having lived in a Communist regime, from which she had escaped to political asylum in Italy, she identified herself completely with the role and portrayed it with penetrating intensity.

She plays a refugee desperately trying to get her husband released from captivity. But she comes up against an implacable, totalitarian bureaucracy. Faced with endless form filling and never able to satisfy their demands she breaks down and cries out "Papers, papers, papers" ("carte, carte, carte")....

Zeani sang the role for Menotti in the Spoleto Festival in 1972 and again in the Maggio Musicale in Florence. She received ecstatic reviews and it was one of the greatest triumphs of her career.

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