Australia's Favourite Soprano™ heads into the studio with Richard Bonynge and the MSO this week, to record the long-promised disc of operetta favorites. In different circumstances I might be bored and/or scathing about this. As it is, of course, I'm elated. And present herewith my own predicted/desired tracklisting.
"Heia, in den Bergen ist mein Heimatland"
"O, jag dem Glück nicht nach"
"Hör ich Cymbalklänge"
"Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss"
"Warum hast du mich wachgeküsst?"
"In einem Meer von Liebe"
"Einer wird kommen"
"Schenkt man sich Rosen im Tyrol"
"Wien wird schön erst bei Nacht"
"Mein Liebeslied muss ein Walzer sein"
"Klänge der Heimat"
"Draussen in Sievering"
"Wien, du Stadt meine Träume"
Half of these are easy to predict — they're the arias included in the free concert which Maestro Bonynge and AFS™ will give later this month. "Vilja" is a given, though frankly I'd be happy never ever to hear it again. I wouldn't have included "Klänge der Heimat" except that, unless I've misunderstood, it appears she's to sing Rosalinde at West Park Green this year, which, if true, is a bit of a surprise. Rosalinde is one of my all time favourite operatic women; I wouldn't necessarily have thought she was on the horizon of AFS™, however. Most of the others are selected from Lucia Popp's operetta disc, the most wonderful operetta album of all time. "By Strauss" is just a wild guess. Of all the arias listed above, the one I'd love most for her to sing — and one I suspect shan't be on the CD — is "Warum hast du mich wachgeküsst", which has a bit less schmalz and a bit more genuine allure than most of the others. If she can pull off Rosalinde's Csardas, though, it will likely automatically become my favourite track. "In einem Meer von Liebe" would also be a lot of fun. As it's pretty certain "Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume" will be included, I'm also looking forward to that, as it's just the right kind of gorgeousness for her voice as is.
I've listen fifteen arias above but I'm sure the real thing shan't be so generous. Besides, as it's an ABC Classics release, and as ABC Classics seems unable to conceive of anyone putting up with a vocal recital which features the singer on every single track, we have to leave room for two or three overtures, ballets, intermezzi etc. (Yawn.) The title, I imagine, will either be something totally left field like "Sings Operetta" or "Operetta Favorites" or else will be, like the Music Bowl concert, "Operetta Magic". Or else something incorporating Vienna. I fear the cover will involve a seriously extravagant frock and a glass of champagne, but hope springs eternal for something a little subtler. And now all I have to do is wait until it's released, some time later this year, to find out just how wrong I am.