Thursday, September 08, 2005
Well, I had a feeling when I got up this morning that it would be a bad day.
The workman repairing my garage roof fell THROUGH said roof on Friday, and now, in a snow storm I have a 275 lbs. worker in the hospital with a busted ankle and no garage roof. The other fellas hired to begin siding my house arrived at 7 a.m. today, in three degree weather, to begin removing the windows. All of them. My autistic daughter, a bright, funny love-has this week and next off from school and told me that having workmen in the house has "ruined my life".
(I am constantly ruining her life which I guess is my job).
My wife is on the warpath and even at 7 a.m. the local market was sold out of Crispy Cremes. And then, I read that Renata Tebaldi had died.
This is another of my "I loved them when I was a kid in Boston" stories.
Feel free to skip it, but...
I only heard Tebaldi once in person, at a recital in symphony Hall around 1974. I remember the red hair, the green dress and the fact that she was and is the most beautiful woman I had ever seen on stage.
I passed up tickets to hear her in La boheme and Adriana Lecouvreur-with Corelli, yet!-because I was young and stupid.
But I treasure the memory of that presence and that voice, , as heard on broadcasts and studio recordings. We all know the 1956 Met broadcast of Tosca. How about Manon Lescaut from 1959? La Gioconda from 1967? Even in a role like that, I always hear a lot of love in her voice. To the comments I've read that she wasn't much of an actress, I'd suggest that she was the link between operatic personality and singing actor. There is plenty of drama in her performances. We are lucky, in the generation born during her career, too late to have heard her at her best, that she captured so vividly the music and drama of her great roles on disc.
To Renata Tebaldi I can only say thank you, and Godspeed.
(December 20, 2004)