Today we’re listening to… American tenor Lawrence Brownlee singing “Je crois entendre encore” (“I still believe I hear”), Nadir’s aria from Georges Bizet's French opera Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). If you watched the film The Father with Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman you would have heard
What a delivery from Lawrence Brownlee! So enjoyed it
FYI the Met is streaming a free performance of Les pêcheurs des perles from 2016.
You can watch here:
After dawdling through the tenors these past few days, I almost abandoned them completely once the Tokyo Olympics had begun. Whenever the world’s greatest athletes come together to compete, I become a complete sports nut. I root for the home team at all times. The better part, though, is seeing people from almost every corner of the earth come together in unity, friendship and peace.
The Tokyo Olympics have been weird and wacky from the start. Yet there is much to admire about Japan, and the hospitality she has extended to a world caught in the grip of a global pandemic. As evidenced by ongoing protests, the Japanese people are divided over the games. “The show must go on!” has come into direct conflict with rising Covid infection rates.
I pray that these Olympics will not become a super spreader event. Meanwhile, out of honor and respect, I watch. I’m making a conscious effort to follow the Olympic sports which don't get the marquee headlines. Sports like archery, foil, badminton, taekwondo, kendo or air pistol are where medalists emerge from developing or smaller nations like Cameroon, Estonia and Kosovo. I’ll check out the new sports like surfing, motocross and skateboarding. But my heart belongs to dressage, not only because men and women on horseback compete on an equal footing against each other, but because it’s a performing art – beautiful, elegant and refined at its best.
Having recently witnessed two billionaires compete to see how high they could fly to the edge of the sky, I’ll gladly settle for these more down to earth races.
Returning to the selections for this past week's Opera Daily, like Puccini, Bizet knew how to play the heartstrings. “Je crois entendre encore”*, from Act 1 of “Les pêcheurs de perles” (The Pearl Fishers) is so full of Nadir's love, lamentation and longing for Leila that the more I listened to it, the more I felt like crying. Each tenor voice was lyrical and sweet, but with a flavor all its own. Here are my takes.
LAWRENCE BROWNLEE Red Velvet Cake (rich, lush, once savored you just want more)
Latest News: https://en.martincid.com/2021/07/23/patricia-petibon-and-lawrence-brownlee-at-the-star-gala-in-the-park/
ALFREDO KRAUS Spanish Flan (perfection and consistency through endless variations)
ALAIN VANZO Crèpes Suzette (light, airy, easy to digest)
JUSSI BJÖRLING Rum Cake (intoxicating and highly addictive)
JAVIER CAMARENA Cherries Jubilee Flambé (filling, flamboyant, can set hearts afire)
JERRY HADLEY Apple Pie (quintessentially American, once tasted never to be forgotten)
MATTHEW POLENZANI Lemon Meringue (for my taste, too light, insubstantial, lacks depth)
Je crois entendre encore,
Caché sous les palmiers,
Sa voix tendre et sonore
Comme un chant de ramier!
O nuit enchanteresse!
O souvenir charmant!
Folle ivresse! doux rêve!
Aux clartés des étoiles,
Je crois encore la voir,
Entr'ouvrir ses longs voiles
Aux vents tièdes du soir!