I’d like to start with «Aaall thaaat JAAAAAZZZ»!!! Today’s post has nothing to do with opera world. Cause honestly now I’m having a sort of… opera break. You may think «What!? How dare you!!!! You must blog about opera!!!». Yeah, yeah…and I still love opera very much but for now I’m mostly listening to Jazz and a capella music!
I’ve always liked many types of music (opera is on the top list, of course!). I consider there are a lot of talented singers not only in opera, also in Jazz, in pop or rock music. And I guess some opera stars could support me in this. Some of them even collaborate with famous pop/rock singers to record a song. The most striking example is Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury. There were many haters but my opinion is that it was a cool duet. They both sang in their style and it worked. Anyway my point is if it’s talented it’s good!
Jazz is awesome!!! I love it as much as opera music! It’s very different and it’s not easy to play or sing (I mean real Jazz). It requires a lot of efforts and skills from a performer! Nevertheless, my blog is called «Opera bubbles» and I’m gonna stick by it! So… here I want to tell you about several opera singers who either love Jazz or sing it from time to time.
Let’s start with Jazz fans! Among them are Renee Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Natalie Dessay.
Renee Fleming was in a Jazz band and had some doubts about what career to choose: opera or jazz. In her book «The Inner Voice: the Making of a Singer» (which is a perfect book for young opera singers, by the way) she says that this experience of singing Jazz helped her to feel herself free on stage. Here is «In a sentimental mood» of Duke Ellington. I like Renee’s version a lot!
Joyce DiDonato and Natalie Dessay are really into jazz too. One of Joyce’s favorite non-classical recordings are Ella Fitzgerald’s CD «Pour l’amour d’Ella», Chet Baker’s «Last Great Concert» (jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and vocalist). Natalie also loves Ella Fitzgerald (who doesn’t!?), she also listens to Bill Evans (jazz pianist and composer) and vocal jazz group «Take 6». They both sometimes perform famous movie songs which are also beloved by many jazz musicians. Check out Dessay performing adorable Legrand’s «Les Parapluies de Cherbourg» and Joyce singing «Somewhere over the rainbow» from the classic movie «The Wizard of Oz». The melodies are great and you see that singers put all their heart into these performances!
Another great artist, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is also not afraid of performing in other genres. He sings jazz pretty often as well as Broadway melodies and Welsh songs (as he is Welsh). I love him! He has a very pleasant voice and it suits perfectly for this sort of repertoire. Here is one of my favourite songs «What a wonderful world»!
I consider that the works of George Gershwin deserve the individual attention. He was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. His melodies are simple, very catchy but at the same time you should put some efforts to sing it right emotionally and musically. I know what I’m talking about cause I’m singing one of his masterpieces – «The man I love».
But here it’s not me:) but the great soprano Leontyne Price singing one of the fanciest songs ever written by Gershwin, I mean «Love walked in». I love this recording so much!!! I can barely say for sure if it’s sung by an opera singer or not cause Leontyne sounds like a real jazz singer here. Sometimes she is very, very similar to Ella Fitzgerald!!! The talented person is talented at everything!
Love Duet «Bess, You Is My Woman Now» is a beautiful and romantic melody also performed by many, many singers. I’ve picked Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott. They sing it with a huge passion (maybe as they were together at that time) and even kiss at the end! And that’s what Jazz is all about for me - freedom and passion! Enjoy!
Jazz world is great!!! I hope after reading my post you’ll have a huge desire to discover more of it!